Oncology Central

DNA methylation is a key factor in understanding differentiation phenotype in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma

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Normal tissue stem cells possess the ability to produce a set of stem and progenitor cells by asymmetric cell division. Progenitor cells lose self-renewal ability but still can proliferate and convert to terminally differentiated cells. During such differentiation process, DNA methylation has a crucial role through epigenetic regulation of target gene expression at the right timing and environment. In other words, a cell population at each differentiation stage has an inherent DNA methylation profile.

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