The present paper reviews recent laboratory methods and experimental evidence concerning epigenetic biomarkers involved in carcinogenesis mechanisms. We introduce DNA methylation and its role in gene expression control. DNA methylation analysis may allow to identify early changes leading to cancer and other chronic diseases. We describe here strategies for laboratory analyses and their possible applications. We examine results from recent experimental studies suggesting that the effects of certain occupational agents are mediated by alterations in DNA methylation. Planning and conducting investigations on exposed human subjects will allow to verify whether DNA methylation changes identified in animal and in-vitro studies may be used as early-effect and susceptibility biomarkers. DNA methylation analysis has the potential for future applications in risk assessment and prevention programs conducted on subjects exposed to human carcinogens.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Giornale Italiano di Medicina del Lavoro ed Ergonomia|
|Publication status||Published - Jul 2005|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health