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Genome Med. 2010 Sep 3;2(9):59. doi: 10.1186/gm180.

Epigenetics of renal cell carcinoma: the path towards new diagnostics and therapeutics.

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1
Renal Molecular Oncology Group, Medical and Molecular Genetics, School of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, College of Medical and Dental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK. m.r.morris@bham.ac.uk.

Abstract

Aberrant DNA methylation, in particular promoter hypermethylation and transcriptional silencing of tumor suppressor genes, has an important role in the development of many human cancers, including renal cell carcinoma (RCC). Indeed, apart from mutations in the well studied von Hippel-Lindau gene (VHL), the mutation frequency rates of known tumor suppressor genes in RCC are generally low, but the number of genes found to show frequent inactivation by promoter methylation in RCC continues to grow. Here, we review the genes identified as epigenetically silenced in RCC and their relationship to pathways of tumor development. Increased understanding of RCC epigenetics provides new insights into the molecular pathogenesis of RCC and opportunities for developing novel strategies for the diagnosis, prognosis and management of RCC.

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