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Sep Aug 2011 Medecine sciences : M/S

[Histone methyltransferases: a new class of therapeutic targets in cancer treatment?].


Chaib H, Prébet T, Vey N, Collette Y


Epigenetic gene regulation contributes, together with genetic alterations, to cancer development and progression. In contrast to genetic disorders, the possibility of reversing epigenetic alterations has provided original targets for therapeutic application. In the last years, work has been focused on the pharmacological restoration of epigenetic regulation balance using epidrugs which yield hopes for novel strategy in cancer therapy. Histone acetylation and DNA methylation are epigenetic modifications which have been closely linked to the pathology of human cancers, and inhibitors of both enzyme classes for clinical use are at hands. Novel findings accumulated during the last years both in chemistry and biomedical applications give rise to new targeted treatments against cancer. Since their links with pathogenesis and progression of cancer were recognized, histone methyltransferases emerge as promising therapeutic targets in cancer treatment.

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