How does epigenetics affect cancer?
Disruption of epigenetic processes can lead to altered gene function and malignant cellular transformation. Global changes in the epigenetic landscape are a hallmark of cancer.
How can epigenetics be used as treatment?
Epigenetic therapy is the use of drugs or other epigenome-influencing techniques to treat medical conditions. Many diseases, including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and mental illnesses are influenced by epigenetic mechanisms. Epigenetic therapy offers a potential way to influence those pathways directly.
How can epigenetics treat diseases such as cancer?
Cancer cells have epigenetic changes to their DNA. One of these causes the turning off (silencing) of tumor suppressor genes, a small set of genes involved in cell cycle control. Sriharsa discusses drugs currently in the clinic that are able to demethylate DNA and have shown an improvement in a cancer patient’s life.
What cancers are caused by epigenetics?
Frequencies of epimutations in DNA repair genes
|Cancer||Gene||Frequency in Cancer|
|Head and Neck||MGMT||54%|
|Head and Neck||MLH1||33%|
What is an example of an epigenetic change?
Epigenetic changes alter the physical structure of DNA. One example of an epigenetic change is DNA methylation — the addition of a methyl group, or a “chemical cap,” to part of the DNA molecule, which prevents certain genes from being expressed. Another example is histone modification.
What diseases can be treated with epigenetics?
Recent studies have shown that epigenetics plays a central role in many types of diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, neurological diseases, metabolic disorders, and cancer.
Can epigenetics cure disease?
Combating Diseases with Epigenetic Therapy
Because so many diseases, such as cancer, involve epigenetic changes, it seems reasonable to try to counteract these modifications with epigenetic treatments. These changes seem an ideal target because they are by nature reversible, unlike DNA sequence mutations.
What is the goal of epigenetic therapy?
DNA and histone proteins are modified in ways that regulate accessibility and function, and an alteration in these modifications is one hallmark of cancer. Epigenetic therapies seek to normalize DNA methylation patterns and post-translational modifications on histones that promote or maintain a malignant phenotype.
What are 3 factors that affect epigenetics?
Several lifestyle factors have been identified that might modify epigenetic patterns, such as diet, obesity, physical activity, tobacco smoking, alcohol consumption, environmental pollutants, psychological stress, and working on night shifts.