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Semin Cancer Biol. 2002 Oct;12(5):347-57.

DNA methylation changes in leukaemia.

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Kanematsu Laboratories, Sydney Cancer Centre, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Missenden Road, Camperdown, NSW 2050, Australia.


Leukaemogenesis is a multi-step process whereby a clonal population arises that has undergone successive alterations to the genotype and the phenotype of the cells that make up the clone. Leukaemia has traditionally been viewed as a genetic disease, however epigenetic defects also play an important role. Expression of the DNA methyltransferase enzymes is elevated in leukaemia, and aberrant methylation is common with both a decrease in the total genomic 5-methylcytosine, and a concomitant hypermethylation of CpG island-associated tumour suppressor genes. This review will discuss the multitude of DNA methylation changes in haematopoietic malignancies and the implications they have for diagnosis and treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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