European Journal of Anatomy

Official Journal of The Spanish Society of Anatomy
Cover Volume 22 - Number 4
Eur J Anat, 22 (4): 303-316 (2018)

DNA methylation patterns as molecular biomarkers: an overview in colorectal cancer

Encarnación González-Flores1, Rosa Hernández2,3,4, Pablo J. Álvarez3, Laura Cabeza2,3,4, Gloria Perazzoli3, Inmaculada Zafra3, Consolación Melguizo2,3,4, Jose Prados2,3,4, Ana R. Rama3,5

1Service of Medical Oncology, University Hospital Virgen de las Nieves of Granada, Granada, Spain, 2Departament of Anatomy and Embryology, University of Granada, Granada, Spain, 3Institute of Biopathology and Regenerative Medicine (IBIMER), Biomedical Research Center (CIBM), University of Granada, Granada, Spain, 4Biosanitary Institute of Granada (ibs GRANADA), SAS -Universidad de Granada, Granada, Spain, 5Department of Health Sciences, Univer-sity of Jaen, Jaen, Spain

ABSTRACT DNA methylation patterns may be used as innovative biomarkers for some pathologies including cancer. They show a great accessibility due to their stability and presence in body fluids. In addition, these epigenetic modifications may be used as prognosis markers or therapeutic targets. Concretely, in colorectal cancer (CRC), the third most common cancer in the world in both men and women, a continuous genetic and epigenetic alteration occurs during neoplastic transformation in colonic epithelial cells. This accumulation of alterations leads to the transformation of normal colonic epithelial cells to adenocarcinomas, and these genetic alterations are promoted by aberrant methylation of promoter regions and subsequent gene silencing. Many of these genes have been reported to be methylated in the tissue, plasma and stool of CRC patients, suggesting that they may have great potential to be used as biomarkers for the early detection of CRC. The aim of this study is to review changes in the methylation pattern of the genes that can be used as novel diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers of CRC.

Keywords: Colorectal cancer – Biomarkers – DNA Methylation – Prognosis

European Journal of anatomy
ISSN 2340-311X (Online)