Multiple myeloma is an incurable hematological malignancy arising from immortalized plasma cells in the bone marrow. DNA methylation refers to the catalytic addition of a methyl group to the cytosine ring of a CpG dinucleotide. Methylation of a promoter-associated CpG island, a cluster of CpG dinucleotides, may lead to silencing of the associated gene. In carcinogenesis, methylation of protein-coding or non-coding tumor suppressor genes/miRNAs is associated with transcriptional silencing, loss of tumor suppressor function and prognostic significance. This review first introduces pathogenesis of myeloma and DNA methylation in cancer. Then, it summarizes methylation of protein-coding tumor suppressor genes, especially, the latest genome-wide methylation studies in myeloma, followed by the latest findings of methylation of non-coding tumor suppressor miRNAs in myeloma.
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