Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Tracking the evolution of cancer methylomes

Cellular transformation in cancer has long been associated with aberrant DNA methylation, most notably, hypermethylation of promoter sequences. A new study uses a clever approach of selective high-resolution profiling to follow DNA methylation over a time course of cellular transformation and challenges the notion that hypermethylation in cancer arises in an orchestrated fashion.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Rent or buy this article

Prices vary by article type



Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Figure 1: The ability to detect polymorphic methylation patterns depends on the depth of coverage with which a particular region is sequenced.


  1. Feinberg, A.P. et al. Nature 301, 89–92 (1983).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Baylin, S.B. et al. Nat. Rev. Cancer 11, 726–734 (2011).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Berman, B.P. et al. Nat. Genet. 44, 40–46 (2012).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Adams, D. et al. Nat. Biotechnol. 30, 224–226 (2012).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Landan, G. et al. Nat. Genet. 44, 1207–1214 (2012).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Stadler, M.B. et al. Nature 480, 490–495 (2011).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Wiench, M. et al. EMBO J. 30, 3028–3039 (2011).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Xu, J. et al. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 104, 12377–12382 (2007).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Hodges, E. et al. Mol. Cell 44, 17–28 (2011).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. Lienert, F. et al. Nat. Genet. 43, 1091–1097 (2011).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. Brandeis, M. et al. Nature 371, 435–438 (1994).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  12. Gebhard, C. et al. Cancer Res. 70, 1398–1407 (2010).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  13. Meissner, A. et al. Nucleic Acids Res. 33, 5868–5877 (2005).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Dirk Schübeler.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Krebs, A., Schübeler, D. Tracking the evolution of cancer methylomes. Nat Genet 44, 1173–1174 (2012).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing: Cancer

Sign up for the Nature Briefing: Cancer newsletter — what matters in cancer research, free to your inbox weekly.

Get what matters in cancer research, free to your inbox weekly. Sign up for Nature Briefing: Cancer