Next Article in Journal
Targeting the Adenosinergic Axis in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia: A Way to Disrupt the Tumor Niche?
Next Article in Special Issue
Memory Function in Feeding Habit Transformation of Mandarin Fish (Siniperca chuatsi)
Previous Article in Journal
Beneficial Phytochemicals with Anti-Tumor Potential Revealed through Metabolic Profiling of New Red Pigmented Lettuces (Lactuca sativa L.)
Previous Article in Special Issue
Cell-Specific PEAR1 Methylation Studies Reveal a Locus that Coordinates Expression of Multiple Genes

Defining Driver DNA Methylation Changes in Human Cancer

Center for Epigenetics, Van Andel Research Institute, 333 Bostwick Avenue NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503, USA
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 1166;
Received: 28 March 2018 / Revised: 9 April 2018 / Accepted: 10 April 2018 / Published: 12 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue DNA Methylation)
Human malignant tumors are characterized by pervasive changes in the patterns of DNA methylation. These changes include a globally hypomethylated tumor cell genome and the focal hypermethylation of numerous 5′-cytosine-phosphate-guanine-3′ (CpG) islands, many of them associated with gene promoters. It has been challenging to link specific DNA methylation changes with tumorigenesis in a cause-and-effect relationship. Some evidence suggests that cancer-associated DNA hypomethylation may increase genomic instability. Promoter hypermethylation events can lead to silencing of genes functioning in pathways reflecting hallmarks of cancer, including DNA repair, cell cycle regulation, promotion of apoptosis or control of key tumor-relevant signaling networks. A convincing argument for a tumor-driving role of DNA methylation can be made when the same genes are also frequently mutated in cancer. Many of the most commonly hypermethylated genes encode developmental transcription factors, the methylation of which may lead to permanent gene silencing. Inactivation of such genes will deprive the cells in which the tumor may initiate from the option of undergoing or maintaining lineage differentiation and will lock them into a perpetuated stem cell-like state thus providing an additional window for cell transformation. View Full-Text
Keywords: DNA methylation; hallmarks of cancer; 5-methylcytosine; cell differentiation; genomic instability DNA methylation; hallmarks of cancer; 5-methylcytosine; cell differentiation; genomic instability
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

MDPI and ACS Style

Pfeifer, G.P. Defining Driver DNA Methylation Changes in Human Cancer. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19, 1166.

AMA Style

Pfeifer GP. Defining Driver DNA Methylation Changes in Human Cancer. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2018; 19(4):1166.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Pfeifer, Gerd P. 2018. "Defining Driver DNA Methylation Changes in Human Cancer" International Journal of Molecular Sciences 19, no. 4: 1166.

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

Back to TopTop