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Open AccessReview

Immunological Effects of Epigenetic Modifiers

by Lucillia Bezu 1,2,3,4,5, Alejandra Wu Chuang 2,3,4,5, Peng Liu 3,4,5, Guido Kroemer 3,4,5,6,7,8,* and Oliver Kepp 3,4,5,*
1
Service anesthésie-réanimation, Hôpital européen Georges Pompidou, AP-HP, 75015 Paris, France
2
Faculty of Medicine, University of Paris Sud, 94270 Kremlin-Bicêtre, France
3
Equipe labellisée par la Ligue contre le cancer, 75000 Paris, France
4
Université de Paris, Sorbonne, INSERM U1138, Centre de Recherche des Cordeliers, 75006 Paris, France
5
Metabolomics and Cell Biology Platforms, Gustave Roussy Cancer Center, 94800 Villejuif, France
6
Pôle de Biologie, Hôpital Européen Georges Pompidou, AP-HP, 75015 Paris, France
7
Suzhou Institute for Systems Medicine, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, 215123 Suzhou, China
8
Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, Karolinska Institute, Karolinska University Hospital, 171 76 Stockholm, Sweden
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Cancers 2019, 11(12), 1911; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11121911
Received: 11 November 2019 / Revised: 27 November 2019 / Accepted: 28 November 2019 / Published: 1 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epigenetic Dysregulation in Cancer: From Mechanism to Therapy)
Epigenetic alterations are associated with major pathologies including cancer. Epigenetic dysregulation, such as aberrant histone acetylation, altered DNA methylation, or modified chromatin organization, contribute to oncogenesis by inactivating tumor suppressor genes and activating oncogenic pathways. Targeting epigenetic cancer hallmarks can be harnessed as an immunotherapeutic strategy, exemplified by the use of pharmacological inhibitors of DNA methyltransferases (DNMT) and histone deacetylases (HDAC) that can result in the release from the tumor of danger-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) on one hand and can (re-)activate the expression of tumor-associated antigens on the other hand. This finding suggests that epigenetic modifiers and more specifically the DNA methylation status may change the interaction of chromatin with chaperon proteins including HMGB1, thereby contributing to the antitumor immune response. In this review, we detail how epigenetic modifiers can be used for stimulating therapeutically relevant anticancer immunity when used as stand-alone treatments or in combination with established immunotherapies.
Keywords: epigenetic modifiers; immunogenicity; cancer epigenetic modifiers; immunogenicity; cancer
MDPI and ACS Style

Bezu, L.; Chuang, A.W.; Liu, P.; Kroemer, G.; Kepp, O. Immunological Effects of Epigenetic Modifiers. Cancers 2019, 11, 1911.

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