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Mol Cancer. 2006 Oct 6;5:44.

Tumor suppressor gene methylation in follicular lymphoma: a comprehensive review.

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Hollings Cancer Center, Medical University of South Carolina, Clinical Sciences Building Room 903, PO Box 250635, Charleston, SC 29425, USA.


Transcriptional silencing of tumor suppressor genes, associated with DNA methylation, is a common epigenetic event in hematologic malignancies. Although DNA hypermethylation of CpG islands is well described in acute leukemias and myelodysplastic syndromes, much less is known of the specific methylation changes that commonly occur in follicular B cell lymphomas. Earlier methylation studies of follicular lymphoma involved only cell lines; however there is a growing literature of methylation changes in primary human FL samples. Published studies of primary follicular lymphoma specimens have demonstrated that: androgen receptor, SHP1, and death-associated protein kinase genes are commonly methylated. By contrast, the cyclin dependent kinase inhibitors p15, p16, and p57 are uncommon epigenetic events in follicular lymphoma. Methylation of cyclin dependent kinase inhibitors is more common in high grade lymphomas, and may be an important step in the progression and transformation of follicular lymphoma. Further methylation studies in follicular lymphoma should investigate the prognostic and therapeutic significance of these epigenetic changes and investigate methylation of other genes. Finally, reactivation of methylated tumor suppressor genes through the use of hypomethylating agents is a promising and novel approach to the treatment of indolent and transformed follicular lymphomas.

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