EPIGENETIC MECHANISM OF CANCER: A SHORT REVIEW
Utkarsh Raj*, Shruti Gupta and Pritish Kumar Varadwaj
Epigenetics can be understood as change in phenotypic characteristics without any change in genotypic structures. It is infact the study of mitotically and/or meiotically heritable changes in the function of the gene which cannot be explained by changes in sequence of DNA. In fact, all cells of a complex multicellular organism contain the same genetic information but during development, each single cell differentiates into a specific phenotype without any changes in DNA sequence. This characteristic of epigenetics implies that the accuracy of epigenetic modifications is crucial for maintaining the genome integrity and the phenotype of the cell. Cancer has been usually thought of as a genetic disease, but it is now known to be an epigenetic disease as well, caused by genetic alterations. Cancer is a disease of various types, they share many traits but each has its own working. Therefore, making it necessary to study the mechanism of action. Epigenetic attributes are reversible, meaning they can be counter-acted upon, giving a chance of curing this disease. Use of decitabine and zebularine for the treatment of blood/bone marrow cancers via epigenetic mechanisms have been FDA approved. This review summarizes the main epigenetic mechanisms of cancer.
Keywords: decitabine and zebularine.
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