Epigenetic Identity in Cancer Stem Cells

Epigenetic variations are present in all human cancers and are now known to cooperate with genetic alterations to drive the cancer phenotype. These changes include DNA methylation, histone modifiers and readers, chromatin remodelers, microRNAs, and other workings of chromatin. Epigenetics shows a role in the development of cancer (carcinogenesis). Cancer is an epigenetic disease at the equal level that it can be considered a genetic disease. In fact, epigenetic variations, particularly DNA methylation, are susceptible to change and are excellent applicants to explain how certain environmental features may increase the risk of cancer.

Three classes of epigenetic regulation exist:

• DNA methylation

• Noncoading RNA action

• Histone modification

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