2Department of Zoology, Delhi University, Delhi 110007, India
# These authors contributed equally to this work.
* To whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received January 5, 2015; Revision received February 16, 2015
The hallmarks of carcinogenesis are characterized by alterations in the expression of multiple genes that occur via genetic and epigenetic alterations, leading to genome rearrangements and instability. The reversible process of epigenetic regulation, which includes changes in DNA methylation, histone modifications, and alteration in microRNA (miRNA) expression that alter phenotype without any change in the DNA sequence, is recognized as a key mechanism in cancer cell metabolism. Recent advancements in the rapidly evolving field of cancer epigenetics have shown the anticarcinogenic potential of natural compounds targeting epigenetic mechanism as a common molecular approach for cancer treatment. This review summarizes the potential of natural chemopreventive agents to reverse cancer-related epigenetic aberrations by regulating the activity of histone deacetylases, histone acetyltransferases, DNA methyltransferase I, and miRNAs. Furthermore, there is impetus for determining novel and effective chemopreventive strategies, either alone or in combination with other anticancer agents that exhibit similar properties, for improving the therapeutic aspects of cancer.
KEY WORDS: epigenetic, histone, DNA methylation, cancer