Arsenic is a proven but enigmatic carcinogen. It produces human cancer although the mechanism is
unclear. It doesn’t induces point mutation. Therefore the general procedure of cancer promotion is
missing here and epigenetic events has been mooted as an alternate pathway of arsenic induced
carcinogenesis. Aberrant DNA methylation and histone modification has been classified and proven
as the mechanism of arsenic induced carcinogenesis. Arsenic methylation and DNA methylation both
the pathways are using same enzymes and methyl donor. Therefore, the role of arsenic metabolising
gene and there polymorphisms in DNA methylation has been analysed and a positive association has
been found. We have also analysed the degree of histone modifications and it’s role in arsenic
induced cancer. Gene expression and association of mi RNA has been pointed out to explore the
molecular mechanism of arsenic induced cancer. Although the scope is limited, this paper also lighten
on the future therapeutics of arsenic induced cancer. This is a platform on which many of our future
research can be based on, although it lack the power of discussion about nutritional aspects and it’s
association with aberrant methylation and subsequent development of cancer.
Author (s) Details
Dr. Sarmishtha Chanda
Department of Physiology, West Bengal Education Service, West Bengal, India.