PerspectiveGene Silencing

Silent Assassin: Oncogenic Ras Directs Epigenetic Inactivation of Target Genes

Science Signaling  01 Apr 2008:
Vol. 1, Issue 13, pp. pe14
DOI: 10.1126/stke.113pe14

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Oncogenic transformation is associated with genetic changes and epigenetic alterations. A study now shows that oncogenic Ras uses a complex and elaborate epigenetic silencing program to specifically repress the expression of multiple unrelated cancer-suppressing genes through a common pathway. These results suggest that cancer-related epigenetic modifications may arise through a specific and instructive mechanism and that genetic changes and epigenetic alterations are intimately connected and contribute to tumorigenesis cooperatively.

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