Like all cancers, breast cancer is considered to result in part from the accumulation of multiple genetic alterations leading to oncogene overexpression and tumor suppressor loss. More recently, the role of epigenetic change as a distinct and crucial mechanism to silence a variety of methylated tissue-specific and imprinted genes has emerged in many cancer types. This review will briefly discuss basic aspects of DNA methylation, recent advances in DNA methyltransferases, the role of altered chromatin organization and the concept of gene transcriptional regulation built on methylated CpGs. In particular, we discuss epigenetic regulation of certain critical tumor suppressor and growth regulatory genes implicated in breast cancer, and its relevance to breast cancer diagnosis, prognosis, progression and therapy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Cancer Research