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Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2010 Apr;21(2):209-20. doi: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2009.10.007. Epub 2009 Nov 3.

Histone methyltransferases in cancer.

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BRIC (Biotech Research & Innovation Centre) and Centre for Epigenetics, University of Copenhagen, Ole Maal√łes Vej 5, DK-2200 Copenhagen, Denmark.


Cancer is perceived as a heterogeneous group of diseases that is characterized by aberrant patterns of gene expression. In the last decade, an increasing amount of data has pointed to a key role for epigenetic alterations in human cancer. In this review, we focus on a subclass of epigenetic regulators, namely histone methyltransferases (HMTs). Several HMTs have been linked to different types of cancer; however, in most cases we only have limited knowledge regarding the molecular mechanisms by which the HMTs contribute to disease development. We summarize the current knowledge regarding some of the best-validated examples of HMTs contributing to tumorigenesis and discuss their potential mechanisms of action.

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