Interdependency Between Genetic and Epigenetic Regulatory Defects in Cancer

  • Félix Recillas-TargaEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1165)


Epigenetic regulation is understood as heritable changes in gene expression and genome function that can occur without affecting the DNA sequence. In its in vivo context DNA is coupled to a group of small basic proteins that together with the DNA form the chromatin. The organization and regulation of the chromatin alliance with multiple nuclear functions are inconceivable without genetic information. With the advance on the understanding of the chromatin organization of the eukaryotic genome, it has been clear that not only genetics but also epigenetics influence both normal human biology and diseases. As a consequence, the basic concepts and mechanisms of cancer need to be readdressed and viewed not only locally but also at the whole genome scale or even, in the three-dimensional context of the cell nucleus space. Such a vision has a larger impact than has been previously predicted, since phenomena like aging, senescence, the entail of nutrition, stem cell biology, and cancer are orchestrated by epigenetic and genetic processes. Here I describe the relevance and central role of genetic and epigenetic defects in cancer.

Key words

Epigenetics Genetics Chromatin Chromatin remodeling DNA methylation Cancer Long noncoding RNA Nuclear dynamics Epigenome 



This work was supported by the Dirección General de Asuntos del Personal Académico-Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (IN209403 and IN203811), Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología, México (CONACyT; 42653-Q and 128464).


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Genética MolecularInstituto de Fisiología Celular, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoMéxicoMéxico

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