Somatic Evolution in Cancer - Somatic Evolution in Progression - Somatic Evolution By Epigenetics

Somatic Evolution By Epigenetics

The state of a cell may be changed epigenetically, in addition to genetic alterations. The best-understood epigenetic alterations in tumors are the silencing or expression of genes by changes in the methylation of CG pairs of nucleotides in the promoter regions of the genes. These methylation patterns are copied to the new chromosomes when cells replicate their genomes and so methylation alterations are heritable and subject to natural selection. Methylation changes are thought to occur more frequently than mutations in the DNA, and so may account for many of the changes during neoplastic progression (the process by which normal tissue becomes cancerous), in particular in the early stages. Epigenetic changes in progression interact with genetic changes. For example, epigenetic silencing of genes responsible for the repair of mutations in the DNA (e.g. MLH1 and MSH2) results in an increase of genetic mutations.

Read more about this topic:  Somatic Evolution In Cancer, Somatic Evolution in Progression

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