Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS)--Induced genetic and epigenetic alterations in human carcinogenesis

Dominique Ziech, Rodrigo Franco, Aglaia Pappa, Mihalis I. Panayiotidis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

400 Scopus citations


Cancer is a multistage and complex process characterized by molecular alterations that underlie all three phases of its development: (i) initiation, (ii) promotion and (iii) progression. Some of these molecular events include alterations in gene expression that are regulated by both genetic and epigenetic mechanisms. On the other hand, "oxidative stress" implies a cellular state where ROS production exceeds the cell's ability to metabolize them resulting in excessive accumulation of ROS that overwhelms cellular defenses. Such state has been shown to regulate both genetic and epigenetic cascades underlying altered gene expression in human disease including cancer. Throughout this manuscript, we review the current state of knowledge on the role of ROS-induced oxidative stress in altering the genetic and epigenetic involvement during human carcinogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-173
Number of pages7
JournalMutation Research - Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jun 3 2011


  • DNA damage
  • DNA methylation
  • DNA methyltransferases
  • DNA repair
  • Epigenetics
  • HATs
  • HDACs
  • Histone modifications
  • Human carcinogenesis
  • Oncogenes
  • Oxidative stress
  • Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS)
  • Tumor suppressor genes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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