Data obtained from cutting-edge research have shown that deregulated epigenetic marks are critical hallmarks of cancer. Rapidly emerging scientific evidence has helped in developing a proper understanding of the mechanisms leading to control of cellular functions, from changes in chromatin accessibility, transcription and translation, and in post-translational modifications. Firstly, mechanisms of DNA methylation and demethylation are introduced, as well as modifications of DNA and RNA, with particular focus on N6-methyladenosine (m6A), discussing the effects of these modifications in normal cells and in malignancies. Then, chromatin modifying proteins and remodelling complexes are discussed. Many enzymes and accessory proteins in these complexes have been found mutated or have undergone differential splicing, leading to defective protein complexes. Epigenetic mechanisms acting on nucleosomes by polycomb repressive complexes and on chromatin by SWI/SNF complexes on nucleosome assembly/disassembly, as well as main mutated genes linked to cancers, are reviewed. Among enzymes acting on histones and other proteins erasing the reversible modifications are histone deacetylases (HDACs). Sirtuins are of interest since most of these enzymes not only deacylate histones and other proteins, but also post-translationally modify proteins adding a Mono-ADP-ribose (MAR) moiety. MAR can be read by MACRO-domain containing proteins such as histone MacroH2A1, with specific function in chromatin assembly. Finally, recent advances are presented on non-coding RNAs with a scaffold function, prospecting their role in assembly of chromatin modifying complexes, recruiting enzyme players to chromatin regions. Lastly, the imbalance in metabolites production due to mitochondrial dysfunction is presented, with the potential of these metabolites to inhibit enzymes, either writers, readers or erasers of epitranscriptome marks. In the perspectives, studies are overwied on drugs under development aiming to limit excessive enzyme activities and to reactivate chromatin modifying complexes, for therapeutic application. This knowledge may lead to novel drugs and personalised medicine for cancer patients.

Epigenetic deregulation in cancer: Enzyme players and non-coding RNAs

Massimo Mallardo
Ultimo
2020

Abstract

Data obtained from cutting-edge research have shown that deregulated epigenetic marks are critical hallmarks of cancer. Rapidly emerging scientific evidence has helped in developing a proper understanding of the mechanisms leading to control of cellular functions, from changes in chromatin accessibility, transcription and translation, and in post-translational modifications. Firstly, mechanisms of DNA methylation and demethylation are introduced, as well as modifications of DNA and RNA, with particular focus on N6-methyladenosine (m6A), discussing the effects of these modifications in normal cells and in malignancies. Then, chromatin modifying proteins and remodelling complexes are discussed. Many enzymes and accessory proteins in these complexes have been found mutated or have undergone differential splicing, leading to defective protein complexes. Epigenetic mechanisms acting on nucleosomes by polycomb repressive complexes and on chromatin by SWI/SNF complexes on nucleosome assembly/disassembly, as well as main mutated genes linked to cancers, are reviewed. Among enzymes acting on histones and other proteins erasing the reversible modifications are histone deacetylases (HDACs). Sirtuins are of interest since most of these enzymes not only deacylate histones and other proteins, but also post-translationally modify proteins adding a Mono-ADP-ribose (MAR) moiety. MAR can be read by MACRO-domain containing proteins such as histone MacroH2A1, with specific function in chromatin assembly. Finally, recent advances are presented on non-coding RNAs with a scaffold function, prospecting their role in assembly of chromatin modifying complexes, recruiting enzyme players to chromatin regions. Lastly, the imbalance in metabolites production due to mitochondrial dysfunction is presented, with the potential of these metabolites to inhibit enzymes, either writers, readers or erasers of epitranscriptome marks. In the perspectives, studies are overwied on drugs under development aiming to limit excessive enzyme activities and to reactivate chromatin modifying complexes, for therapeutic application. This knowledge may lead to novel drugs and personalised medicine for cancer patients.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11588/821486
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