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Nat Rev Cancer. 2010 Jul;10(7):457-69. doi: 10.1038/nrc2876.

Covalent histone modifications--miswritten, misinterpreted and mis-erased in human cancers.

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Laboratory of Chromatin Biology and Epigenetics, 1230 York Avenue, The Rockefeller University, BOX 78, New York, NY 10065, USA.


Post-translational modification of histones provides an important regulatory platform for processes such as gene transcription and DNA damage repair. It has become increasingly apparent that the misregulation of histone modification, which is caused by the deregulation of factors that mediate the modification installation, removal and/or interpretation, actively contributes to human cancer. In this Review, we summarize recent advances in understanding the interpretation of certain histone methylations by plant homeodomain finger-containing proteins, and how misreading, miswriting and mis-erasing of histone methylation marks can be associated with oncogenesis and progression. These observations provide us with a greater mechanistic understanding of epigenetic alterations in human cancers and might also help direct new therapeutic interventions in the future.

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