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From aging to cancer: a DNA methylation journey

Author(s): Natalia Puig | Ruben Agrelo

Journal: Ageing Research
ISSN 2036-7384

Volume: 3;
Issue: 1;
Start page: e4;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: CpG islands | Age-related methylation | Tumour-suppressor genes | Werner syndrome | Cancer.

Epigenetic gene silencing through DNA promoter hypermethylation is now recognised as a major step in the neoplastic transformation of the cell. The methylation levels of several genes increase with age in normal tissues such as the prostate or colon. Genes like WRN or LMNA that are involved in progeria,a premature aging disease WRN and LMNA, are epigenetically inactivated in cancer. In both aging and cancer, global DNA methylation decreases, potentially accounting for the characteristic genomic instability of these processes. In this review, we will focus on how the accumulation of changes in DNA methylation during aging impact tumourigenesis.

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