Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics (Part 1)

Epigenetic and Genetics Factors

Author(s): Abeer A. Alsofyani* and Yazan Samih Said

Pp: 320-366 (47)

DOI: 10.2174/9789815080384123010011

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


Despite variations in the morphology and behaviors of human body cells, every single cell in our body is composed of identical DNA material. The variation in cell phenotypes is a result of a specific regulatory mechanism known as epigenetics, by which gene expression undergoes some modifications without the actual nucleotide sequence being affected [1]. This phenomenon is accomplished through several mechanisms, such as cytosine residue methylation, modifications of histone units, and RNA interference. Therefore, epigenetics performs a key function in embryonic growth and development, cellular RNA expression, gene imprinting, and silencing of females’ X chromosomes [2]. Any impairment in these mechanisms may cause various human disorders, including cancer [3]. In carcinogenesis, defective epigenetic machinery at several distinct levels results in abnormal cellular functions [4]. This chapter highlights epigenetics' importance in cancer development and its potential applications for cancer treatment.

Keywords: Cancer, Epigenetics, Histone, Methylation, miRNA.

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