Epigenetics in lung cancer: What do DNA-methyltransferases do?
Despite recent advances in molecular characterization and targeted therapy approaches, lung cancer still remains the number one killer among malignant diseases worldwide. After understanding the impact of genetic mutations on malignant transformation, epigenetic changes have been focused on in recent times. Several studies could elucidate the potential of epigenetic alterations to not only increase invasiveness of cancer cells in cell culture and animal models but also to contribute to autonomous cellular growth and thus malignant transformation itself. Thus, epigenetic changes are nowadays acknowledged as a hallmark in cancer. Several enzymes are involved in the epigenetic equilibrium of DNA methylation and demethylation, one family being DNA methyl transferases (DNMT). Here, we give a review of the impact of DNMTs on the biology of lung cancer and additionally present some of our results within this context. Further, we are also giving a perspective on future treatment options arising from the current literature and our results.
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