Polycomb and the emerging epigenetics of pancreatic cancer

Adrienne Grzenda, Tamas Ordog, Raul Urrutia

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Introduction: The revolution of epigenetics has revitalized cancer research, shifting focus away from somatic mutation toward a more holistic perspective involving the dynamic states of chromatin. Disruption of chromatin organization can directly and indirectly precipitate genomic instability and transformation. Discussion: One group of epigenetic mediators, the Polycomb group (PcG) proteins, establishes heritable gene repression through methylation of histone tails. Although classically considered regulators of development and cellular differentiation, PcG proteins engage in a variety of neoplastic processes, including cellular proliferation and invasion. Due to their multifaceted potential, PcG proteins rest at the intersection of transcriptional memory and malignancy. Expression levels of PcG proteins hold enormous diagnostic and prognostic value in breast, prostate, and more recently, gastrointestinal cancers. Conclusion: In this review, we briefly summarize the function of PcG proteins and report the latest developments in understanding their role in pancreatic cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)100-111
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of gastrointestinal cancer
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2011


  • Epigenetics
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Polycomb
  • Polycomb repressive complex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Gastroenterology


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