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Biomed Rep. 2014 May;2(3):326-330. Epub 2014 Feb 14.

DNA methylation as an early diagnostic marker of cancer (Review).

Author information

1
School of Environmental and Biological Engineering, Nanjing University of Science and Technology, Nanjing, Jiangsu 210094, P.R. China ; Engineering Research Center of Bioreactor and Pharmaceutical Development, Ministry of Education, Jilin Agricultural University, Changchun, Jilin 130118, P.R. China.
2
School of Environmental and Biological Engineering, Nanjing University of Science and Technology, Nanjing, Jiangsu 210094, P.R. China.
3
Engineering Research Center of Bioreactor and Pharmaceutical Development, Ministry of Education, Jilin Agricultural University, Changchun, Jilin 130118, P.R. China.

Abstract

DNA methylation is one of the essential epigenetic mechanisms that are closely correlated with the mechanisms underlying cell growth, differentiation and transformation in eukaryotes. Global changes in the epigenetic landscape are considered to be a hallmark of cancer. The initiation and progression of cancer are mediated through epigenetic modifications along with genetic alterations. Aberrant methylation of promoter regions is an epigenetic abnormality of the human genome that is highly characteristic of cancer. In this review, we aimed to summarize our current understanding of the alterations in the epigenetic landscape and investigate the potential use of DNA and RNA methylation in effective molecular treatment strategies.

KEYWORDS:

DNA methylation; early diagnosis; molecular marker

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