Demethylation and re-expression of epigenetically silenced tumor suppressor genes: sensitization of cancer cells by combination therapy.
ABSTRACT Epigenetic regulation in eukaryotic and mammalian systems is a complex and emerging field of study. While histone modifications create an open chromatin conformation allowing for gene transcription, CpG methylation adds a further dimension to the expression of specific genes in developmental pathways and carcinogenesis. In this review, we will highlight DNA methylation as one of the distinct mechanisms for gene silencing and try to provide insight into the role of epigenetics in cancer progenitor cell formation and carcinogenesis. We will also introduce the concept of a dynamic methylation-demethylation system and the potential for the existence of a demethylating enzyme in this process. Finally, we will explain how re-expression of epigenetically silenced tumor suppressor genes could be exploited to develop effective drug therapies. In particular, we will consider how a combination therapy that includes epigenetic drugs could possibly kill cancer progenitor cells and reduce the chance of relapse following chemotherapy.
SourceAvailable from: Karolina Lapinska[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Epigenetic changes such as DNA methylation and histone methylation and acetylation alter gene expression at the level of transcription by upregulating, downregulating, or silencing genes completely. Dysregulation of epigenetic events can be pathological, leading to cardiovascular disease, neurological disorders, metabolic disorders, and cancer development. Therefore, identifying drugs that inhibit these epigenetic changes are of great clinical interest. In this review, we summarize the epigenetic events associated with different disorders and diseases including cardiovascular, neurological, and metabolic disorders, and cancer. Knowledge of the specific epigenetic changes associated with these types of diseases facilitates the development of specific inhibitors, which can be used as epigenetic drugs. In this review, we discuss the major classes of epigenetic drugs currently in use, such as DNA methylation inhibiting drugs, bromodomain inhibitors, histone acetyl transferase inhibitors, histone deacetylase inhibitors, protein methyltransferase inhibitors, and histone methylation inhibitors and their role in reversing epigenetic changes and treating disease.Genetics & Epigenetics 01/2014; 6:9-19. DOI:10.4137/GEG.S12270
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ABSTRACT: In cancer chemotherapy, one axiom, which has practically solidified into dogma, is that acquired resistance to antitumor agents or regimens, nearly inevitable in all patients with metastatic disease, remains unalterable and irreversible, rendering therapeutic rechallenge futile. However, the introduction of epigenetic therapies, including histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACis) and DNA methyltransferase inhibitors (DNMTIs), provides oncologists, like computer programmers, with new techniques to “overwrite” the modifiable software pattern of gene expression in tumors and challenge the “one and done” treatment prescription. Taking the epigenetic code-as-software analogy a step further, if chemoresistance is the product of multiple nongenetic alterations, which develop and accumulate over time in response to treatment, then the possibility to hack or tweak the operating system and fall back on a “system restore” or “undo” feature, like the arrow icon in the Windows XP toolbar, reconfiguring the tumor to its baseline nonresistant state, holds tremendous promise for turning advanced, metastatic cancer from a fatal disease into a chronic, livable condition. This review aims 1) to explore the potential mechanisms by which a group of small molecule agents including HDACis (entinostat and vorinostat), DNMTIs (decitabine and 5-azacytidine), and redox modulators (RRx-001) may reprogram the tumor microenvironment from a refractory to a nonrefractory state, 2) highlight some recent findings, and 3) discuss whether the current “once burned forever spurned” paradigm in the treatment of metastatic disease should be revised to promote active resensitization attempts with formerly failed chemotherapies.Translational oncology 10/2014; 7(5):626–631. DOI:10.1016/j.tranon.2014.08.003 · 3.40 Impact Factor
Article: EMT and Tumor Metastasis[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: EMT and MET comprise the processes by which cells transit between epithelial and mesenchymal states, and they play integral roles in both normal development and cancer metastasis. This article reviews these processes and the molecular pathways that contribute to them. First, we compare embryogenesis and development with cancer metastasis. We then discuss the signaling pathways and the differential expression and down-regulation of receptors in both tumor cells and stromal cells, which play a role in EMT and metastasis. We further delve into the clinical implications of EMT and MET in several types of tumors, and lastly, we discuss the role of epigenetic events that regulate EMT/MET processes. We hypothesize that reversible epigenetic events regulate both EMT and MET, and thus, also regulate the development of different types of metastatic cancers.