Researchers from the NIH say they have demonstrated that a subset of human genomic sites that become increasingly methylated with advancing age are also disproportionately methylated in a variety of human cancers. Their findings (“Genome-wide age-related DNA methylation changes in blood and other tissues relate to histone modification, expression and cancer”) are published in Carcinogenesis.
“You can think of methylation as dust settling on an unused switch, which then prevents the cell from turning on certain genes,” said Jack Taylor, M.D., Ph.D., from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. “If a cell can no longer turn on critical developmental programs, it might be easier for it to become a cancer cell.”
Read the full, original story: Age-Related Epigenetic Changes Up the Cancer Risk