The original theory of the multi-step process of colorectal cancer (CRC), suggesting that the disease resulted from the accumulation of mutations in oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes in colonic mucosa cells, has been largely revised following the observation that epigenetic modifications of several genes occur in the average CRC genome. Therefore, the current opinion is that CRCs are the consequence of the accumulation of both mutations and epigenetic modifications of several genes. This mini-review article focuses on DNA methylation biomarkers in CRC. Recent large-scale DNA methylation studies suggest that CRCs can be divided into at least three-four subtypes according to the frequency of DNA methylation and those of mutations in key CRC genes. Despite hundreds of genes might be epigenetically modified in CRC cells, there is interest in the identification of DNA methylation biomarkers to be used for CRC diagnosis, progression, tendency to tissue invasion and metastasis, prognosis, and response to chemotherapeutic agents. Moreover, DNA methylation largely depends on one-carbon metabolism, the metabolic pathway required for the production of S-adenosylmethionine, the major intracellular methylating agent. Complex interactions are emerging among dietary one-carbon nutrients (folates, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, methionine, and others), their metabolic genes, CRC risk, and DNA methylation profiles in CRC. Moreover, active research is also focused on the possible contribution of folic acid dietary fortification during pregnancy and the possible methylation of CRC-related genes in the offspring.
|Autori interni:||COPPEDE', FABIO|
|Titolo:||Epigenetic biomarkers of colorectal cancer: Focus on DNA methylation|
|Anno del prodotto:||2014|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1016/j.canlet.2011.12.030|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|