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Epigenetics. 2009 Jul 1;4(5):307-12. Epub 2009 Jul 25.

Epigenetic disruption of the WNT/beta-catenin signaling pathway in human cancers.

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Cancer Epigenetics Laboratory, State Key Laboratory in Oncology in South China, Sir YK Pao Center for Cancer, Department of Clinical Oncology, Hong Kong Cancer Institute and Li Ka Shing Institute of Health Sciences, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong.


Aberrant activation of the WNT/beta-catenin signaling pathway is frequently involved in a broad spectrum of human malignancies. Alternative to genetic deletions and point mutations, epigenetic inactivation of negative WNT regulators, through DNA methylation of promoter CpG islands and/or histone modification, leads to the activation or amplification of aberrant WNT/beta-catenin signaling. In this review, we summarized the contribution of epigenetic dysregulation of WNT/beta-catenin signaling to tumorigenesis and highlighted the importance of epigenetic identification of negative regulators of this pathway as putative tumor suppressors. The reversal of these silenced regulators may be developed as potential cancer therapeutics.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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