New insights on chromatin modifiers and histone post-translational modifications in renal cell tumours

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Abstract

Renal cell tumours (RCTs) are the most common neoplasms affecting the kidney. They are clinically, pathologically and genetically heterogeneous, comprises four major histological subtypes [clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC), papillary renal cell carcinoma (pRCC) and chromophobe renal cell carcinoma (chRCC), which are malignant tumours, and oncocytoma, a benign tumour], as well as an increasing number of less common entities. Epigenetics has emerged as an important field in oncology due to the critical role it plays in neoplastic transformation and progression. Among epigenetic mechanisms, the modulation of chromatin packaging through covalent modifications is fundamental for gene transcription regulation and its deregulation is involved in carcinogenesis. Recently, deregulation of chromatin machinery in RCTs has increasingly acknowledged as an important mechanism for renal neoplastic transformation. The aim of this review is to summarize the most relevant alterations in histone post-translational modifications and chromatin modifiers, which have been implicated in renal tumorigenesis. The recognition of those modifications might provide new biomarkers for diagnosis and prognostication as well as novel targets for personalized therapeutic intervention.

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