Out of sight, out of mind? Germ cells and the potential impacts of epigenomic drugs [version 1; referees: 3 approved]

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleOtherpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Epigenetic modifications, including DNA methylation and histone modifications, determine the way DNA is packaged within the nucleus and regulate cell-specific gene expression. The heritability of these modifications provides a memory of cell identity and function. Common dysregulation of epigenetic modifications in cancer has driven substantial interest in the development of epigenetic modifying drugs. Although these drugs have the potential to be highly beneficial for patients, they act systemically and may have “off-target” effects in other cells such as the patients’ sperm or eggs. This review discusses the potential for epigenomic drugs to impact on the germline epigenome and subsequent offspring and aims to foster further examination into the possible effects of these drugs on gametes. Ultimately, the information gained by further research may improve the clinical guidelines for the use of such drugs in patients of reproductive age.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1967
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • Cancer
  • Development
  • Epigenetic
  • Germline
  • Inheritance
  • Pharmacology
  • Reproduction

Cite this