DNA methylation in development and human disease

Suhasni Gopalakrishnan, Beth O. Van Emburgh, Keith D. Robertson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


DNA methylation is a heritable and stable epigenetic mark associated with transcriptional repression. Changes in the patterns and levels of global and regional DNA methylation regulate development and contribute directly to disease states such as cancer. Recent findings provide intriguing insights into the epigenetic crosstalk between DNA methylation, histone modifications, and small interfering RNAs in the control of cell development and carcinogenesis. In this review, we summarize the recent studies in DNA methylation primarily focusing on the interplay between different epigenetic modifications and their potential role in gene silencing in development and disease. Although the molecular mechanisms involved in the epigenetic crosstalk are not fully understood, unraveling their precise regulation is important not only for understanding the underpinnings of cellular development and cancer, but also for the design of clinically relevant and efficient therapeutics using stem cells and anticancer drugs that target tumor initiating cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-38
Number of pages9
JournalMutation Research - Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2008


  • Cancer
  • Chromatin
  • DNA methyltransferase
  • Gene regulation
  • Histone modifications
  • ICF syndrome
  • Polycomb

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


Dive into the research topics of 'DNA methylation in development and human disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this