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Critical Reviews™ in Oncogenesis
SJR: 0.631 SNIP: 0.503 CiteScore™: 2

ISSN Print: 0893-9675
ISSN Online: 2162-6448

Critical Reviews™ in Oncogenesis

DOI: 10.1615/CritRevOncog.2018025687
pages 1-11

DNA Methylation in Radiation-Induced Carcinogenesis: Experimental Evidence and Clinical Perspectives

Isabelle R. Miousse
Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Arkansas
Laura E. Ewing
Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Experimental Therapeutics Track University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences 4301 W. Markham St., slot 611 Little Rock, AR 72205
Kristy R. Kutanzi
Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Arkansas
Robert J. Griffin
Department of Radiation Oncology, Radiation Biology Division, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Arkansas
Igor Koturbash
Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Arkansas

ABSTRACT

Ionizing radiation is a valuable tool in many spheres of human life. At the same time, it is a genotoxic agent with a well-established carcinogenic potential. Progress achieved in the last two decades has demonstrated convincingly that ionizing radiation can also target the cellular epigenome. Epigenetics is defined as heritable changes in the expression of genes that are not due to alterations of DNA sequence but consist of specific covalent modifications of chromatin components, such as methylation of DNA, histone modifications, and control performed by non-coding RNAs. Accumulating evidence suggests that DNA methylation, a key epigenetic mechanism involved in the control of expression of genetic information, may serve as one of the driving mechanisms of radiation-induced carcinogenesis. Here, we review the literature on the effects of ionizing radiation on DNA methylation in various biological systems, discuss the role of DNA methylation in radiation carcinogenesis, and provide our opinion on the potential utilization of this knowledge in radiation oncology.