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Role of enhancer of zeste homolog 2 polycomb protein and its significance in tumor progression and cell differentiation

Marchesi, Irene and Bagella, Luigi Marco (2013) Role of enhancer of zeste homolog 2 polycomb protein and its significance in tumor progression and cell differentiation. In: Radzioch, Danuta (ed). Chromatin remodelling, [S.l.], InTech. p. 119-152. ISBN 978-953-51-1087-3. Book Section.

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DOI: 10.5772/55370

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Epigenetics is a branch of genetics that focuses on the heritable changes of DNA or associated proteins, other than DNA sequence variations, which carry information content during cell division [1,2]. These heritable changes are ascribed to chromatin, which constitutes the ultrastructure of DNA and whose modifications affect the genetic material functionality. Differences in chromatin structure have been associated to transcription regulation [3-5] and chromosome stability [6,7], affecting both gene’s information, expression and heritability. Noteworthy, these epigenetic modifications are involved in both transcriptional activation and repression, indicating their widespread role as modulators of gene expression in numerous biological processes [8,9].
Chromatin is subjected to numerous modifications roughly classified in two groups: DNA and histone post-translational modifications (histone-PTMs).
DNA methylation is the most studied epigenetic modification of DNA and corresponds to the covalent addition of a methyl (CH3) group to the nucleotide cytosine within CG dinucleotides or CNG trinucleotides where N can be C, A, G or T. Usually, DNA methylation induces decreased protein-DNA binding of transcription factors and leads to the repression of gene expression [10].
DNA “methylable” sequences are not uniform across the human genome but restricted in CpG rich DNA regions termed CpG islands (CGI). CGI are localized at repetitive sequences, heavy methylated, to prevent the reactivation of endoparasitic sequences such as transposons, and at gene promoter sequences, which are normally refractory to methylation in normal somatic cells [8,11].

Item Type:Book Section
ID Code:8978
Uncontrolled Keywords:Zeste homolog 2 (EZH2), polycomb repressive complex 2, chromatin structure, DNA methylation
Subjects:Area 05 - Scienze biologiche > BIO/10 Biochimica
Divisions:001 Università di Sassari > 01-a Nuovi Dipartimenti dal 2012 > Scienze Biomediche
Copyright Holders:© 2013 Marchesi and Bagella; licensee InTech
Deposited On:03 May 2013 12:03

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