Epigenetic dysregulation in virus-associated neoplasms

J. Mináróvits, Anett Demcsák, Ferenc Banati, Hans Helmut Niller

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

16 Citations (Scopus)


The oncoproteins of human tumor viruses regularly interact with the cellular epigenetic machinery. Such interactions alter the epigenome of the host cell and reprogram its gene expression pattern. Altered levels or redistribution of (cytosine-5)-DNA methyltransferases and changes in the cellular methylome were observed in Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis D virus (HDV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), and human papillomavirus (HPV) associated neoplasms and cell lines. Methylation-mediated silencing of cellular promoters was also noted in Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCPyV) positive Merkel cell carcinomas, and, as discussed elsewhere, in EBV-associated malignancies and adenovirus-induced rodent tumors as well. Promoter activation also occurred, either associated with DNA hypomethylation or with the induction of euchromatic histone modifi cations by viral oncoproteins. It is worthy to notice that HCV infection induced large, hypomethylated blocks of cellular chromatin, although the exact molecular mechanism remains to be elucidated. In hepatoma cells expressing HBx, the oncoprotein encoded by the HBV genome, demethylation of the repetitive satellite 2 sequences was observed, due to downregulation of the de novo DNA methyltransferase DNMT3B. Tax and HBZ, the oncoproteins of human T-cell lymphotropic virus type I (HTLV-I), can both activate and silence distinct cellular promoters by interacting with cellular enzymes involved in histone modification.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
PublisherSpringer New York LLC
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Publication series

NameAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
ISSN (Print)00652598
ISSN (Electronic)22148019


  • CpG island shores
  • CpG shelves
  • Epigenetic reprogramming
  • Focal hypermethylation
  • Histone acetyltransferases
  • Relocation of chromatin binding proteins
  • Viral oncoproteins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

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  • Cite this

    Mináróvits, J., Demcsák, A., Banati, F., & Niller, H. H. (2016). Epigenetic dysregulation in virus-associated neoplasms. In Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology (Vol. 879, pp. 71-90). (Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology; Vol. 879). Springer New York LLC. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-24738-0_4