Epigenetics connects the divide between genotype and phenotype without completely altering the genome. Modifications to certain genes can affect cell functions and produce diseased phenotypes, such as cancer. In some forms of cancer, epigenetic changes cause the cell to irregularly reproduce, avoid immunological responses, and operate under unsuitable conditions. This review explores the epigenetic changes that can occur to produce an oxygen deficient, hypoxically functioning environment that increases cancer vitality. More specifically, this review will focus on epigenetic alterations to HIF and p53 genes and briefly cover other genes that can be affected in cancerous cells. This review found there are multiple reoccurring epigenetic changes that contribute to the development of cancer, and these changes can be countered by further epigenetic manipulation. Overall, this review will explain how understanding the epigenetic changes within cells is extremely beneficial for early diagnosis and, more importantly, specific treatment of genetic diseases.

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.