Histone modifiers in cancer: Friends or foes?

Idan Cohen, Elzbieta Porȩba, Kinga Kamieniarz, Robert Schneider

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

133 Scopus citations


Covalent modifications of histones can regulate all DNA-dependent processes. In the last few years, it has become more and more evident that histone modifications are key players in the regulation of chromatin states and dynamics as well as in gene expression. Therefore, histone modifications and the enzymatic machineries that set them are crucial regulators that can control cellular proliferation, differentiation, plasticity, and malignancy processes. This review discusses the biology and biochemistry of covalent histone posttranslational modifications (PTMs) and evaluates the dual role of their modifiers in cancer: as oncogenes that can initiate and amplify tumorigenesis or as tumor suppressors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)631-647
Number of pages17
JournalGenes and Cancer
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • acetylation
  • cancer
  • chromatin
  • histone modifications
  • methylation
  • phosphorylation


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