Altered epigenetic signals in human disease

Luciano Di Croce, M. Buschbeck, A. Gutierrez, I. Joval, L. Morey, R. Villa, S. Minucci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The genetic information of almost all eukaryotic cells is stored in chromatin. In cancer cells, alterations in chromatin organization or in its epigenetic marks occur frequently. Among these are changes in the patterns of DNA and histone methylation. Using Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia as model system we could demonstrate a direct correlation of epigenetic events induced by the driving oncogene product PML-RARα and cancer progression. Several of the enzymes ultimately responsible for these events can be inhibited by small compound inhibitors and thus can serve as targets in cancer therapy. In this article, we review the role of DNA methylation, histone methylation and chromatin alterations in human diseases. A picture is emerging in which these epigenetic signals "cross-talk" and are implicated in the physiological and pathological spreading of gene silencing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)831-837
Number of pages7
JournalCancer Biology and Therapy
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2004


  • Cancer
  • Chromatin
  • Epigenetics
  • Leukemia
  • Silencing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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