The role of parental and grandparental epigenetic alterations in familial cancer risk

Jessica L. Fleming, Tim H.M. Huang, Amanda Ewart Toland

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

Epigenetic alterations of the genome such as DNA promoter methylation and chromatin remodeling play an important role in tumorigenesis. These modifications take place throughout development with subsequent events occurring later in adulthood. Recent studies, however, suggest that some epigenetic alterations that influence cancer risk are inherited through the germline from parent to child and are observed in multiple generations. Epigenetic changes may be inherited as Mendelian, non-Mendelian, or environmentally induced traits. Here, we will discuss Mendelian, non-Mendelian, and environmentally induced patterns of multigenerational epigenetic alterations as well as some possible mechanisms for how these events may be occurring.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9116-9121
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Research
Volume68
Issue number22
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 15 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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