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Trends Biochem Sci. 2002 Aug;27(8):396-402.

Unsafe SETs: histone lysine methyltransferases and cancer.

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Wellcome/Cancer Research UK Institute and Department of Pathology, Tennis Court Road, Cambridge, UK CB2 1QR.


Enzymes that covalently modify histones control many cellular processes by affecting gene expression. A new class of these enzymes is the histone lysine methyltransferase family, whose catalytic activity lies within a conserved domain, the SET domain. This article surveys the evidence for a connection between SET-domain-containing proteins and cancer. It proposes that deregulation of SET-domain function has an important role in carcinogenesis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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