Epigenetic regulation of cell signaling pathways in acute lymphoblastic leukemia
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a heterogeneous cancer that is characterized by rapid and uncontrolled proliferation of immature B- or T-lymphoid precursors. Although ALL has been regarded as a genetic disease for many years, the crucial importance of epigenetic alterations in leukemogenesis has become increasingly evident. Epigenetic mechanisms, which include DNA methylation and histone modifications, are critical for gene regulation during many key biological processes. Here, we review the cell signaling pathways that are regulated by DNA methylation or histone modifications in ALL. Recent studies have highlighted the fundamental role of these modifications in ALL development, and suggested that future investigation into the specific genes and pathways that are altered by epigenetic mechanisms can contribute to the development of novel drug-based therapies for ALL.