Epigenetics: The master control of endothelial cell fate in cancer.


Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 639798, Singapore; Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, Agency for Science, Technology, and Research (A*STAR), Proteos, Singapore 138632, Singapore; Department of Cell Biology, Institute of Ophthalmology, University College London, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT, United Kingdom. Electronic address: [Email]


The development of new blood vessels from pre-existing vasculature is called angiogenesis. The growth of tumors depends on a network of supplying vessels that provide them with oxygen and nutrients. Pro-angiogenic factors that are secreted by tumors will trigger the sprouting of nearby existing blood vessels towards themselves and therefore researchers have developed targeted therapy towards these pro-angiogenic proteins to inhibit angiogenesis. However, certain pro-angiogenic proteins tend to bypass the inhibition. Thus, instead of targeting these expressed proteins, research towards angiogenesis inhibition had been focused on a deeper scale, epigenetic modifications. Epigenetic regulatory mechanisms are a heritable change in a sequence of stable but reversible gene function modification yet do not affect the DNA primary sequence directly. Methylation of DNA, modification of histone and silencing of micro-RNA (miRNA)-associated gene are currently considered to initiate and sustain epigenetic changes. Recent findings on the subject matter have provided an insight into the mechanism of epigenetic modifications, thus this review aims to present an update on the latest studies.


Angiogenesis,DNA methylation,Epigenetics,Histone modification,microRNA,

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