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Oral Dis. 2011 Nov;17(8):771-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1601-0825.2011.01833.x. Epub 2011 Jul 22.

DNA methylation in oral squamous cell carcinoma: molecular mechanisms and clinical implications.

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  • 1Instituto Nacional de Cancerología, Subdirección de Investigación Básica, México City, México. zoegon14@hotmail.com


DNA methylation is an important regulator of gene transcription, and its role in carcinogenesis has been a topic of considerable interest in the last few years. Of the all epigenetic modifications, methylation, which represses transcription of the promoter region of tumor suppressor genes leading to gene silencing, has been most extensively studied. Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) has long been known to be the endpoint of many genetic changes, not only genomic mutations but also abnormal epigenetic modifications, as such, promoter methylation, contribute to development of this tumors. Recent studies have shown that promoter methylation of tumor suppressor genes is an important factor in carcinogenesis of OSCC. Some of the main genes that frequently showed promoter methylation in OSCC are those that participate in diverse processes such as regulation of the cell cycle, DNA repair, proliferation, and apoptosis. The aim of this review is to assess the current state of knowledge regarding promoter methylation of diverse genes in OSCC.

© 2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

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