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Cells 2013, 2(3), 545-573; doi:10.3390/cells2030545

DNA Methylation and Apoptosis Resistance in Cancer Cells

1 Laboratoire de Biochimie, EA3922, UFR-ST, Université de Franche-Comté, 25035 Besançon Cedex, France 2 Centre de Recherche en Cancérologie Nantes-Angers, INSERM, U892, Equipe Apoptose et progression tumorale, Equipe labellisée Ligue Nationale Contre le Cancer, 44007 Nantes, France 3 Université de Nantes, Faculté de Médecine, Département de Recherche en Cancérologie, IFR26, F-4400, Nantes, France 4 LaBCT, Institut de Cancérologie de l'Ouest, Nantes, Saint Herblain Cedex, France
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 May 2013 / Revised: 27 June 2013 / Accepted: 28 June 2013 / Published: 18 July 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Apoptosis)
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Apoptosis is a cell death programme primordial to cellular homeostasis efficiency. This normal cell suicide program is the result of the activation of a cascade of events in response to death stimuli. Apoptosis occurs in normal cells to maintain a balance between cell proliferation and cell death. A deregulation of this balance due to modifications in the apoptosic pathway leads to different human diseases including cancers. Apoptosis resistance is one of the most important hallmarks of cancer and some new therapeutical strategies focus on inducing cell death in cancer cells. Nevertheless, cancer cells are resistant to treatment inducing cell death because of different mechanisms, such as DNA mutations in gene coding for pro-apoptotic proteins, increased expression of anti-apoptotic proteins and/or pro-survival signals, or pro-apoptic gene silencing mediated by DNA hypermethylation. In this context, aberrant DNA methylation patterns, hypermethylation and hypomethylation of gene coding for proteins implicated in apoptotic pathways are possible causes of cancer cell resistance. This review highlights the role of DNA methylation of apoptosis-related genes in cancer cell resistance.
Keywords: apoptosis; DNA methylation; cancer; epigenetic apoptosis; DNA methylation; cancer; epigenetic
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Hervouet, E.; Cheray, M.; Vallette, F.M.; Cartron, P.-F. DNA Methylation and Apoptosis Resistance in Cancer Cells. Cells 2013, 2, 545-573.

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