Epigenetics alterations are involved in tumorigenesis and have been identified in endocrine neoplasia. In particular, DNA methylation, microRNAs deregulations and histone methylation impairment are detected in tumors of the parathyroid glands. Parathyroid tumors are the second most common endocrine neoplasia following thyroid cancer in women, and it is associated with primary hyperparathyroidism, a disease sustained by PTH hypersecretion. Despite the hallmark of global promoter hypomethylations was not detectable in parathyroid tumors, increase of hypermethylation in specific CpG islands was detected in the progression from benign to malignant parathyroid tumors. Furthermore, deregulation of a panel of embryonic-related microRNAs (miRNAs) was documented in parathyroid tumors compared with normal glands. Impaired expression of the histone methyltransferases EZH2, BMI1, and RIZ1 have been described in parathyroid tumors. Moreover, histone methyltransferases have been shown to be modulated by the oncosuppressors HIC1, MEN1, and HRPT2/CDC73 gene products that characterize tumorigenesis of parathyroid adenomas and carcinomas, respectively. The epigenetic scenario in parathyroid tumors have just began to be decoded but emerging data highlight the involvement of an embryonic gene signature in parathyroid tumor development.
- DNA methylation
- microRNAs signature
- Parathyroid tumors
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism