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Cancer Res. 2007 Jun 1;67(11):5097-102.

DNA methylation and complete transcriptional silencing of cancer genes persist after depletion of EZH2.

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  • 1The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21231, USA.


Recent work suggests a link between the polycomb group protein EZH2 and mediation of gene silencing in association with maintenance of DNA methylation. However, we show that whereas basally expressed target cancer genes with minimal DNA methylation have increased transcription during EZH2 knockdown, densely DNA hypermethylated and silenced genes retain their methylation and remain transcriptionally silent. These results suggest that EZH2 can modulate transcription of basally expressed genes but not silent genes that are densely DNA methylated.

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