The application of genome-wide 5-hydroxymethylcytosine studies in cancer research

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Early detection and characterization of molecular events associated with tumorgenesis remain high priorities. Genome-wide epigenetic assays are promising diagnostic tools, as aberrant epigenetic events are frequent and often cancer specific. The deposition and analysis of multiple patient-derived cancer epigenomic profiles contributes to our appreciation of the underlying biology; aiding the detection of novel identifiers for cancer subtypes. Modifying enzymes and co-factors regulating these epigenetic marks are frequently mutated in cancers, and as epigenetic modifications themselves are reversible, this makes their study very attractive with respect to pharmaceutical intervention. Here we focus on the novel modified base, 5-hydoxymethylcytosine, and discuss how genome-wide 5-hydoxymethylcytosine profiling expedites our molecular understanding of cancer, serves as a lineage tracer, classifies the mode of action of potentially carcinogenic agents and clarifies the roles of potential novel cancer drug targets; thus assisting the development of new diagnostic/prognostic tools.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 12 Dec 2016


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