Study Suggests Epigenetic Modification Is Central for Tumor Metastasis

Fatty acid uptake produces an epigenetic modification that is required for cancer metastasis, according to a study published online on November 10, 2021 in Nature. The article is titled “Dietary Palmitic Acid Promotes a Prometastatic Memory Via Schwann Cells.” Inhibiting this epigenetic mechanism--the activity of a methyltransferase called Set1A, a major component of the COMPASS complex--could be key to reducing cancer metastasis according to Ali Shilatifard, PhD, the Robert Francis Furchgott Professor, Chair of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine, and co-corresponding author of the study.
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