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Tamoxifen Resistance and Epigenetic Modifications in Breast Cancer Cell Lines

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Epigenetic mechanisms play crucial roles in many processes, including neoplasia, genomic imprinting, gene silencing, differentiation, embryogenesis and X chromosome inactivation. Their relevance in human disease and therapy has grown rapidly with the recent emergence of drugs that target for example DNA methylation or histone acetylation. Epigenetic effects were also recently highlighted by the deciphering of the mechanism of action of steroid hormones and anti-hormones acting through nuclear receptors. In this review, we focus on the epigenetic effects associated with long-term treatment of breast cancer cells with the antiestrogen (AE) tamoxifen, in the context of resistance appearance. We summarize the data obtained with a model cell line developed in our laboratory supporting a role for HP1 proteins in the irreversible inactivation of gene expression by long-term treatment with AE.

Keywords: Epigenetic; HP1; MCF-7; antiestrogen; silencing; tamoxifen

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Universite Montpellier I, Montpellier, F-34000 France.

Publication date: December 1, 2007

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  • Current Medicinal Chemistry covers all the latest and outstanding developments in medicinal chemistry and rational drug design. Each issue contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of the current topics in medicinal chemistry. Current Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.

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