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Cancers (Basel). 2013 Jun 25;5(3):786-814. doi: 10.3390/cancers5030786.

Alterations of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine in human cancers.

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Section of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Medicine, The University of Chicago, 5841 S. Maryland Ave., MC 2115, Chicago, IL 60637, USA.


Prior to 2009, 5-methylcytosine (5-mC) was thought to be the only biologically significant cytosine modification in mammalian DNA. With the discovery of the TET enzymes, which convert 5-methylcytosine (5-mC) to 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5-hmC), however, intense interest has emerged in determining the biological function of 5-hmC. Here, we review the techniques used to study 5-hmC and evidence that alterations to 5-hmC physiology play a functional role in the molecular pathogenesis of human cancers.

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