Senescence is a stable cell cycle arrest that is either tumor suppressive or tumor promoting depending on context. Epigenetic changes such as histone methylation are known to affect both the induction and suppression of senescence by altering expression of genes that regulate the cell cycle and the senescence-associated secretory phenotype. A conserved group of proteins containing a Jumonji C (JmjC) domain alter chromatin state, and therefore gene expression, by demethylating histones. Here, we will discuss what is currently known about JmjC demethylases in the induction of senescence, and how these enzymes suppress senescence to contribute to tumorigenesis.
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