Cancer: pathological nuclear reprogramming?
Goding CR., Pei D., Lu X.
The ability of stem cells to self-renew and generate different lineages during development and organogenesis is a fundamental, tightly controlled, and generally unidirectional process, whereas the 'immortality' of cancer cells could be regarded as pathological self-renewal. The molecular mechanisms that underpin the generation of induced pluripotent stem cells are remarkably similar to those that are deregulated in cancer - so much so that aberrant reprogramming is tumorigenic. The similarities also suggest that mutations in genes implicated in DNA methylation dynamics might represent a hallmark of cancers with a stem cell origin, and they highlight an alternative view of cancer that may be of clinical benefit.