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14 Feb 2013

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In colon cancer, a subset of tumours called the CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP) is characterized by high levels of cancer-specific methylation. Associations have been established between CIMP and BRAF mutation, but the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. In attempt to tackle this issue, Eddy van Roon (Erasmus MC Rotterdam) and colleagues, including NBIC Faculty member Judith Boer, studied genome-wide methylation differences between colorectal tumours carrying a BRAF mutation and BRAF wildtype tumours. They succeeded in identifying new BRAF-mutation specific methylation changes in colorectal cancer, including validated differential methylation of forkhead box (FOX) transcription factors. The authors also found methylation-dependent silencing of FOXD3 and enrichment of several cancer-related pathways, including the PI3 kinase and Wnt signalling pathways.

van Roon EH, Boot A, Dihal AA, Ernst RF, van Wezel T, Morreau H, Boer JM
BRAF mutation-specific promoter methylation of FOX genes in colorectal cancer.
Clin Epigenetics. 2013 Jan 16;5(1):2<br />