DNA demethylation can be passive or active. The passive process takes place in the absence of methylation of newly synthesized DNA strands by DNMT1 during several replication rounds – for example, upon 5-azacytidine treatment . These pharmaceutical demethylating agents act via inhibition of DNMT1 and favoring its degradation by proteosomes . This approach is currently used in cancer to demethylate tumor suppressor genes .
If we’re demethylating a tumour suppressor gene for cancer curing doesn’t this mean that we’re activating it (to stop the tumours)? I can’t seem to understand the function of DNA demethylation. I came across it when reading about genomic imprinting and haven’t been able to wrap my head around it. Please help.