Quantitative assessment of DNA methylation: Potential applications for disease diagnosis, classification, and prognosis in clinical settings

Romulo Martin Brena, Hui-ming Huang, Christoph Plass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

81 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Deregulation of the epigenome is now recognized as a major mechanism involved in the development and progression of human diseases such as cancer. As opposed to the irreversible nature of genetic events, which introduce changes in the primary DNA sequence, epigenetic modifications are reversible and leave the original DNA sequence intact. There is now evidence that the epigenetic landscape in humans undergoes modifications as the result of normal aging, with older individuals exhibiting higher levels of promoter hypermethylation compared to younger ones. Thus, it has been proposed that the higher incidence of certain disease in older individuals might be, in part, a consequence of an inherent change in the control and regulation of the epigenome. These observations are of remarkable clinical significance since the aberrant epigenetic changes characteristic of disease provide a unique platform for the development of new therapeutic approaches. In this review, we address the significance of DNA methylation changes that result or lead to disease, occur with aging, or may be the result of environmental exposure. We provide a detailed description of quantitative techniques currently available for the detection and analysis of DNA methylation and provide a comprehensive framework that may allow for the incorporation of protocols which include DNA methylation as a tool for disease diagnosis and classification, which could lead to the tailoring of therapeutic approaches designed to individual patient needs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)365-377
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Molecular Medicine
Volume84
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2006
Externally publishedYes

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DNA Methylation
Epigenomics
Environmental Exposure
Human Development
Disease Progression
Incidence
Therapeutics
Neoplasms

Keywords

  • Biomarker
  • DNA methylation
  • Epigenetic
  • Gene Expression
  • Quantitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Quantitative assessment of DNA methylation : Potential applications for disease diagnosis, classification, and prognosis in clinical settings. / Brena, Romulo Martin; Huang, Hui-ming; Plass, Christoph.

In: Journal of Molecular Medicine, Vol. 84, No. 5, 05.2006, p. 365-377.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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