Longevity, Epigenetics and Cancer
Ruben Agrelo, Mario F. Fraga, and Manel Esteller
from: Epigenetics (Edited by: Jörg Tost). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2008)
Aging is the main risk factor associated with cancer development. The accumulation of molecular lesions in cells from mature organisms during the aging proccess is perhaps the fact that drives cells to transformation. Molecular lessions can be of genetic or epigenetic nature. Cell epigenetics, in particular DNA methylation and histone modification, becomes altered in aging and cancer. Global hypomethylation and CpG island hypermethylation occur progressively during aging and lead to cell transformation. In particular, the Werner syndrome gene (WRN) promoter and lamin A/C promoter become hypermethylated during the human neoplastic process shedding light on the tight connection between aging and cancer with epigenetics as a link. Cellular modifications that control the length of telomeres and enzymes of the NAD+ dependant deacetylase family (sirtuins) show a progression in cellular aging that is totally reverted during cellular transformation. Here we explore the physiological significance of epigenetic modifications during cellular aging and transformation read more ...