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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 66-70

Methylation pattern of retrotransposons: Biomarker for human cancer

Department of Pathology, Molecular Biology Laboratory, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Datta Meghe Institute of Medical Sciences, Wardha, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Vivek Gupta
Department of Pathology, Molecular and Epidemiology Laboratory, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Sawangi, Wardha - 442 004, Maharashtr
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jdmimsu.jdmimsu_3_18

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Transposable elements (TEs) comprise almost 45% of the human genome. There are DNA transposons and RNA transposons. Retrotransposons like long interspersed nuclear element 1 (LINE 1) is abundant among all the TEs and present in 17% of the genome. These elements have repetitive sequences. Retrotransposons are regulated by epigenetic modification like methylation alteration of which leads to aberrant expression of LINE1. The literature says that loss of methylation of global DNA is associated with the imitation and progression of cancer. LINE 1 methylation status can be considered as a biomarker for cancer. The hypomethylation of LINE 1 causes transcriptional deregulation, genomic instability, chromosomal recombination, activation of oncogenes, and repression of tumor suppressor genes. There is less evidence on genomic instability and the mechanism underlying the cancer progression due to hypomethylation of LINE 1 elements. Hence, the methylation of LINE1 could be the possible marker for the prognosis of cancer.

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