Regulatory genes are often hypermethylated at their promoter 5′ regions and silenced in cancer. Epigenetic therapy with DNA methylation inhibitors have been shown to result in the demethylation and reactivation of these genes. Zebularine is a recently discovered mechanism-based inhibitor of DNA methylation, and has received much attention for its potential in clinical use. Further studies exploring the effectiveness of zebularine in a variety of settings could allow the development of novel therapies for cancer.
© 2004 The Biochemical Society