This review focuses on the role that DNA methylation plays in the regulation of normal and aberrant gene expression and on how, in a hypothesis-driven fashion, altered DNA methylation may be viewed as a secondary mechanism involved in carcinogenesis. Research aimed at discerning the mechanisms by which chemicals can transform normal cells into frank carcinomas has both theoretical and practical implications. Through an increased understanding of the mechanisms by which chemicals affect the carcinogenic process, we learn more about basic biology while, at the same time, providing the type of information required to make more rational safety assessment decisions concerning their actual potential to cause cancer under particular conditions of exposure. One key question is: does the mechanism of action of the chemical in question involve a secondary mechanism and, if so, what dose may be below its threshold?


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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