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Clin Epigenetics. 2011 Aug;2(2):77-83. Epub 2011 Feb 22.

Epigenetic regulation of S100 protein expression.

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  • 1Department of Molecular and Cellular Neurobiology, Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology, 3 Pasteur St, 02-093 Warsaw, Poland.


S100 proteins are small, calcium-binding proteins whose genes are localized in a cluster on human chromosome 1. Through their ability to interact with various protein partners in a calcium-dependent manner, the S100 proteins exert their influence on many vital cellular processes such as cell cycle, cytoskeleton activity and cell motility, differentiation, etc. The characteristic feature of S100 proteins is their cell-specific expression, which is frequently up- or downregulated in various pathological states, including cancer. Changes in S100 protein expression are usually characteristic for a given type of cancer and are therefore often considered as markers of a malignant state. Recent results indicate that changes in S100 protein expression may depend on the extent of DNA methylation in the S100 gene regulatory regions. The range of epigenetic changes occurring within the S100 gene cluster has not been defined. This article reviews published data on the involvement of epigenetic factors in the control of S100 protein expression in development and cancer.

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