Cancer genetics and epigenetics are inextricably linked in generating the malignant phenotype; epigenetic changes can cause mutations in genes, and, conversely, mutations are frequently observed in genes that modify the epigenome.
Is cancer an epigenetic disease?
Cancer is an epigenetic disease at the same level that it can be considered a genetic disease. In fact, epigenetic changes, particularly DNA methylation, are susceptible to change and are excellent candidates to explain how certain environmental factors may increase the risk of cancer.
Which situation must occur in order for cancer to develop?
Cancer is unchecked cell growth. Mutations in genes can cause cancer by accelerating cell division rates or inhibiting normal controls on the system, such as cell cycle arrest or programmed cell death. As a mass of cancerous cells grows, it can develop into a tumor.
What factors 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.
Why cancer often accumulates over a lifetime?
Usually, cancer occurs from multiple mutations over a lifetime. That is why cancer occurs more often in older people. They have had more opportunities for mutations to build up.
Why is epigenetics important in cancer?
Alterations in epigenetic modifications in cancer regulate various cellular responses, including cell proliferation, apoptosis, invasion, and senescence. Through DNA methylation, histone modification, chromatin remodeling, and noncoding RNA regulation, epigenetics play an important role in tumorigenesis.
What epigenetic changes have been found in cancer cells?
In different types of cancer, a variety of epigenetic mechanisms can be perturbed, such as silencing of tumor suppressor genes and activation of oncogenes by altered CpG island methylation patterns, histone modifications, and dysregulation of DNA binding proteins.