Gene Summary

Gene:MEST; mesoderm specific transcript
Aliases: PEG1
Summary:This gene encodes a member of the alpha/beta hydrolase superfamily. It is imprinted, exhibiting preferential expression from the paternal allele in fetal tissues, and isoform-specific imprinting in lymphocytes. The loss of imprinting of this gene has been linked to certain types of cancer and may be due to promotor switching. The encoded protein may play a role in development. Alternatively spliced transcript variants encoding multiple isoforms have been identified for this gene. Pseudogenes of this gene are located on the short arm of chromosomes 3 and 4, and the long arm of chromosomes 6 and 15. [provided by RefSeq, Dec 2011]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:mesoderm-specific transcript homolog protein
Source:NCBIAccessed: 15 March, 2017


What does this gene/protein do?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1992-2017)
Graph generated 15 March 2017 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 15 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (7)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: MEST (cancer-related)

Li PT, Tsai YJ, Lee MJ, Chen CT
Increased Histone Deacetylase Activity Involved in the Suppressed Invasion of Cancer Cells Survived from ALA-Mediated Photodynamic Treatment.
Int J Mol Sci. 2015; 16(10):23994-4010 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Previously, we have found that cancer cells survived from 5-Aminolevulinic acid-mediated photodynamic therapy (ALA-PDT) have abnormal mitochondrial function and suppressed cellular invasiveness. Here we report that both the mRNA expression level and enzymatic activity of histone deacetylase (HDAC) were elevated in the PDT-derived variants with dysfunctional mitochondria. The activated HDAC deacetylated histone H3 and further resulted in the reduced migration and invasion, which correlated with the reduced expression of the invasion-related genes, matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP9), paternally expressed gene 1 (PEG1), and miR-355, the intronic miRNA. Using chromatin immunoprecipitation, we further demonstrate the reduced amount of acetylated histone H3 on the promoter regions of MMP9 and PEG1, supporting the down-regulation of these two genes in PDT-derived variants. These results indicate that HDAC activation induced by mitochondrial dysfunction could modulate the cellular invasiveness and its related gene expression. This argument was further verified in the 51-10 cybrid cells with the 4977 bp mtDNA deletion and A375 ρ⁰ cells with depleted mitochondria. These results indicate that mitochondrial dysfunction might suppress tumor invasion through modulating histone acetylation.

Kim J, Bretz CL, Lee S
Epigenetic instability of imprinted genes in human cancers.
Nucleic Acids Res. 2015; 43(22):10689-99 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Many imprinted genes are often epigenetically affected in human cancers due to their functional linkage to insulin and insulin-like growth factor signaling pathways. Thus, the current study systematically characterized the epigenetic instability of imprinted genes in multiple human cancers. First, the survey results from TCGA (The Cancer Genome Atlas) revealed that the expression levels of the majority of imprinted genes are downregulated in primary tumors compared to normal cells. These changes are also accompanied by DNA methylation level changes in several imprinted domains, such as the PEG3, MEST and GNAS domains. Second, these DNA methylation level changes were further confirmed manually using several sets of cancer DNA. According to the results, the Imprinting Control Regions of the PEG3, MEST and GNAS domains are indeed affected in breast, lung and ovarian cancers. This DNA methylation survey also revealed that evolutionarily conserved cis-regulatory elements within these imprinted domains are very variable in both normal and cancer cells. Overall, this study highlights the epigenetic instability of imprinted domains in human cancers and further suggests its potential use as cancer biomarkers.

Singh AK, Chandra N, Bapat SA
Evaluation of Epigenetic Drug Targeting of Heterogenous Tumor Cell Fractions Using Potential Biomarkers of Response in Ovarian Cancer.
Clin Cancer Res. 2015; 21(22):5151-63 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Resolution of aberrant epigenetic changes leading to altered gene expression during transformation and tumor progression is pertinent for mechanistic understanding of disrupted pathways in cancer. Such changes provide for biomarkers that can be applied in drug screening and improved disease management.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Genome-wide profiling and analyses of promoter DNA methylation, histone modifications, and gene expression of an in vitro progression model of serous ovarian adenocarcinoma were carried out. Similar in silico analyses and comparison of methylation and gene expression of early- and late-grade ovarian cancer samples in The Cancer Genome Atlas assigned a clinical relevance to our study. Candidate biomarkers were evaluated for epigenetic drug treatments in experimental animal models on a background of differing tumor cell responses arising from intratumor heterogeneity.
RESULTS: Differentially regulated genes during tumor progression were identified through the previously mentioned analyses as candidate biomarkers. In examining the tumor suppressor PTGIS as a potential biomarker for treatment with either 5-Aza-dC or TSA, 5-Aza-dC effectively stabilized cell cycling, restricted genetic instability, and derepressed PTGIS expression, while TSA led to emergence of drug-resistant progenitors lacking PTGIS expression. Profiling MEST and RXRγ for curcumin and CBB1007, respectively, indicated an inability of curcumin and CBB1007 in restricting residual tumor regenerative capabilities.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study provides novel insights into epigenetic regulation in ovarian cancer progression and potential biomarkers for evaluating efficacy of epigenetic drugs in restricting residual tumor regeneration. Such approaches may assign a new functional interpretation of drug efficacy and cell tumor responses in ovarian cancer.

Barrow TM, Barault L, Ellsworth RE, et al.
Aberrant methylation of imprinted genes is associated with negative hormone receptor status in invasive breast cancer.
Int J Cancer. 2015; 137(3):537-47 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Epigenetic regulation of imprinted genes enables monoallelic expression according to parental origin, and its disruption is implicated in many cancers and developmental disorders. The expression of hormone receptors is significant in breast cancer because they are indicators of cancer cell growth rate and determine response to endocrine therapies. We investigated the frequency of aberrant events and variation in DNA methylation at nine imprinted sites in invasive breast cancer and examined the association with estrogen and progesterone receptor status. Breast tissue and blood from patients with invasive breast cancer (n = 38) and benign breast disease (n = 30) were compared with those from healthy individuals (n = 36), matched with the cancer patients by age at diagnosis, ethnicity, body mass index, menopausal status and familial history of cancer. DNA methylation and allele-specific expression were analyzed by pyrosequencing. Tumor-specific methylation changes at IGF2 DMR2 were observed in 59% of cancer patients, IGF2 DMR0 in 38%, DIRAS3 DMR in 36%, GRB10 ICR in 23%, PEG3 DMR in 21%, MEST ICR in 19%, H19 ICR in 18%, KvDMR in 8% and SNRPN/SNURF ICR in 4%. Variation in methylation was significantly greater in breast tissue from cancer patients compared with that in healthy individuals and benign breast disease. Aberrant methylation of three or more sites was significantly associated with negative estrogen-alpha (Fisher's exact test, p = 0.02) and progesterone-A (p = 0.02) receptor status. Aberrant events and increased variation in imprinted gene DNA methylation, therefore, seem to be frequent in invasive breast cancer and are associated with negative estrogen and progesterone receptor status, without loss of monoallelic expression.

Conway K, Edmiston SN, May R, et al.
DNA methylation profiling in the Carolina Breast Cancer Study defines cancer subclasses differing in clinicopathologic characteristics and survival.
Breast Cancer Res. 2014; 16(5):450 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Breast cancer is a heterogeneous disease, with several intrinsic subtypes differing by hormone receptor (HR) status, molecular profiles, and prognosis. However, the role of DNA methylation in breast cancer development and progression and its relationship with the intrinsic tumor subtypes are not fully understood.
METHODS: A microarray targeting promoters of cancer-related genes was used to evaluate DNA methylation at 935 CpG sites in 517 breast tumors from the Carolina Breast Cancer Study, a population-based study of invasive breast cancer.
RESULTS: Consensus clustering using methylation (β) values for the 167 most variant CpG loci defined four clusters differing most distinctly in HR status, intrinsic subtype (luminal versus basal-like), and p53 mutation status. Supervised analyses for HR status, subtype, and p53 status identified 266 differentially methylated CpG loci with considerable overlap. Genes relatively hypermethylated in HR+, luminal A, or p53 wild-type breast cancers included FABP3, FGF2, FZD9, GAS7, HDAC9, HOXA11, MME, PAX6, POMC, PTGS2, RASSF1, RBP1, and SCGB3A1, whereas those more highly methylated in HR-, basal-like, or p53 mutant tumors included BCR, C4B, DAB2IP, MEST, RARA, SEPT5, TFF1, THY1, and SERPINA5. Clustering also defined a hypermethylated luminal-enriched tumor cluster 3 that gene ontology analysis revealed to be enriched for homeobox and other developmental genes (ASCL2, DLK1, EYA4, GAS7, HOXA5, HOXA9, HOXB13, IHH, IPF1, ISL1, PAX6, TBX1, SOX1, and SOX17). Although basal-enriched cluster 2 showed worse short-term survival, the luminal-enriched cluster 3 showed worse long-term survival but was not independently prognostic in multivariate Cox proportional hazard analysis, likely due to the mostly early stage cases in this dataset.
CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates that epigenetic patterns are strongly associated with HR status, subtype, and p53 mutation status and may show heterogeneity within tumor subclass. Among HR+ breast tumors, a subset exhibiting a gene signature characterized by hypermethylation of developmental genes and poorer clinicopathologic features may have prognostic value and requires further study. Genes differentially methylated between clinically important tumor subsets have roles in differentiation, development, and tumor growth and may be critical to establishing and maintaining tumor phenotypes and clinical outcomes.

Westerhoff M, Tretiakova M, Hart J, et al.
The expression of FOXL2 in pancreatic, hepatobiliary, and renal tumors with ovarian-type stroma.
Hum Pathol. 2014; 45(5):1010-4 [PubMed] Related Publications
FOXL2, a gene encoding a member of the fork-head-winged-helix family of transcription factors, is one of the earliest expressed genes during female gonadal development. It is expressed in normal ovarian stroma and ovarian neoplasms with granulosa cell lineage. Nonovarian tumors such as pancreatic mucinous cystic neoplasms (PMCs), hepatobiliary cystadenomas (HBCs), and mixed epithelial and stromal tumor of the kidney (MEST) have ovarian-type stroma. Immunohistochemical staining with FOXL2, estrogen receptor, and progesterone receptor was performed on 21 PMCs, 13 HBCs, and 10 MESTs and assessed for nuclear immunohistochemical positivity in the tumor stroma. All cases of PMC and HBC demonstrated nuclear reactivity for FOXL2 in the subepithelial stromal cells. Ninety percent of MEST demonstrated nuclear FOXL2 positivity. Estrogen receptor nuclear positivity was demonstrated in 57% of PMC, 77% of HBC, and 80% of MEST. Progesterone receptor nuclear positivity was present in 67% of PMC, 100% of HBC, and 90% of MEST. Clinical information was available for 37 patients. Seventy-eight percent of the patients had a history of obesity, heavy alcohol use, or hormone-related therapy. The 2 male patients had histories significant for morbid obesity and chronic alcoholism. FOXL2 is expressed from the early stages of ovarian development and has been shown to be mandatory for normal ovarian function. We have shown that it is also expressed in the aberrant ovarian-type stroma characteristic of PMC, HBC, and MEST. Most of such patients, including the rare male patients, have risk factors for hormonal abnormalities such as obesity and hormonal replacement therapy.

Vidal AC, Henry NM, Murphy SK, et al.
PEG1/MEST and IGF2 DNA methylation in CIN and in cervical cancer.
Clin Transl Oncol. 2014; 16(3):266-72 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Although most invasive cervical cancer (ICC) harbor <20 human papillomavirus (HPV) genotypes, use of HPV screening to predict ICC from HPV has low specificity, resulting in multiple and costly follow-up visits and overtreatment. We examined DNA methylation at regulatory regions of imprinted genes in relation to ICC and its precursor lesions to determine if methylation profiles are associated with progression of HPV-positive lesions to ICC.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We enrolled 148 controls, 38 CIN and 48 ICC cases at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre from 2008 to 2009. HPV was genotyped by linear array and HIV-1 serostatus was tested by two rapid HIV tests. DNA methylation was measured by bisulfite pyrosequencing at regions regulating eight imprinted domains. Logistic regression models were used to estimate odd ratios.
RESULTS: After adjusting for age, HPV infection, parity, hormonal contraceptive use, and HIV-1 serostatus, a 10 % decrease in methylation levels at an intragenic region of IGF2 was associated with higher risk of ICC (OR 2.00, 95 % CI 1.14-3.44) and cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) (OR 1.51, 95 % CI 1.00-2.50). Methylation levels at the H19 DMR and PEG1/MEST were also associated with ICC risk (OR 1.51, 95 % CI 0.90-2.53, and OR 1.44, 95 % CI 0.90-2.35, respectively). Restricting analyses to women >30 years further strengthened these associations.
CONCLUSIONS: While the small sample size limits inference, these findings show that altered DNA methylation at imprinted domains including IGF2/H19 and PEG1/MEST may mediate the association between HPV and ICC risk.

Nestheide S, Bridge JA, Barnes M, et al.
Pharmacologic inhibition of epigenetic modification reveals targets of aberrant promoter methylation in Ewing sarcoma.
Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2013; 60(9):1437-46 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Ewing sarcoma (ES), a highly aggressive tumor of children and young adults, is characterized most commonly by an 11;22 chromosomal translocation that fuses EWSR1 located at 22q12 with FLI1, coding for a member of the ETS family of transcription factors. Although genetic changes in ES have been extensively researched, our understanding of the role of epigenetic modifications in this neoplasm is limited.
PROCEDURE: In an effort to improve our knowledge in the role of epigenetic changes in ES we evaluated the in vitro antineoplastic effect of the DNA methyltransferase inhibitor 5-Aza-deoxycytidine (5-Aza-dC) and identified epigenetically silenced genes by pharmacologic unmasking of DNA methylation coupled with genome-wide expression profiling.
RESULTS: Comparisons between untreated and 5-Aza-dC treated ES cell lines (n = 5) identified 208 probe sets with at least twofold difference in expression (P ≤ 0.05). The 208 probe sets represented 145 upregulated and 31 down-regulated genes. Of the 145 genes upregulated after 5-Aza-dC treatment, four: were further characterized. ACRC, CLU, MEST, and NNAT were found to be hypermethylated and transcriptionally down-regulated in ES cell lines. Further studies revealed that ACRC, CLU, MEST, and NNAT were often hypermethylated in primary ES tumors. Transfection-mediated reexpression of ACRC, CLU, MEST, and NNAT in ES cell lines resulted in decreased growth in culture.
CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrated epigenetically modified genes in ES cell lines and primary tumors and suggested that epigenetic dysregulation may contribute to disease pathogenesis in ES.

Dohi O, Yasui K, Gen Y, et al.
Epigenetic silencing of miR-335 and its host gene MEST in hepatocellular carcinoma.
Int J Oncol. 2013; 42(2):411-8 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs that function as endogenous silencers of target genes. Some tumor-suppressive miRNAs are known to be epigenetically silenced by promoter DNA methylation in cancer. In the present study, we aimed to identify miRNA genes that are silenced by DNA hypermethylation in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). We screened for miRNA genes with promoter DNA hypermethylation using a genome-wide methylation microarray analysis in HCC cells. It was found that miR-335, which is harbored within an intron of its protein-coding host gene, MEST, was downregulated by aberrant promoter hypermethylation via further methylation assays, including methylation-specific PCR, combined bisulfite and restriction analysis, bisulfite sequencing analysis and 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine treatment. The expression levels of miR-335 significantly correlated with those of MEST, supporting the notion that the intronic miR-335 is co-expressed with its host gene. The levels of miR-335/MEST methylation were significantly higher in 18 (90%) out of 20 primary HCC tumors, compared to their non-tumor tissue counterparts (P<0.001). The expression levels of miR-335 were significantly lower in 25 (78%) out of 32 primary HCC tumors, compared to their non-tumor tissue counterparts (P=0.001). Furthermore, the expression levels of miR-335 were significantly lower in HCC tumors with distant metastasis compared to those without distant metastasis (P=0.02). In conclusion, our results indicate that expression of miR-335 is reduced by aberrant DNA methylation in HCC.

Di Fiore R, Fanale D, Drago-Ferrante R, et al.
Genetic and molecular characterization of the human osteosarcoma 3AB-OS cancer stem cell line: a possible model for studying osteosarcoma origin and stemness.
J Cell Physiol. 2013; 228(6):1189-201 [PubMed] Related Publications
Finding new treatments targeting cancer stem cells (CSCs) within a tumor seems to be critical to halt cancer and improve patient survival. Osteosarcoma is an aggressive tumor affecting adolescents, for which there is no second-line chemotherapy. Uncovering new molecular mechanisms underlying the development of osteosarcoma and origin of CSCs is crucial to identify new possible therapeutic strategies. Here, we aimed to characterize genetically and molecularly the human osteosarcoma 3AB-OS CSC line, previously selected from MG63 cells and which proved to have both in vitro and in vivo features of CSCs. Classic cytogenetic studies demonstrated that 3AB-OS cells have hypertriploid karyotype with 71-82 chromosomes. By comparing 3AB-OS CSCs to the parental cells, array CGH, Affymetrix microarray, and TaqMan® Human MicroRNA array analyses identified 49 copy number variations (CNV), 3,512 dysregulated genes and 189 differentially expressed miRNAs. Some of the chromosomal abnormalities and mRNA/miRNA expression profiles appeared to be congruent with those reported in human osteosarcomas. Bioinformatic analyses selected 196 genes and 46 anticorrelated miRNAs involved in carcinogenesis and stemness. For the first time, a predictive network is also described for two miRNA family (let-7/98 and miR-29a,b,c) and their anticorrelated mRNAs (MSTN, CCND2, Lin28B, MEST, HMGA2, and GHR), which may represent new biomarkers for osteosarcoma and may pave the way for the identification of new potential therapeutic targets.

Hiura H, Okae H, Kobayash H, et al.
High-throughput detection of aberrant imprint methylation in the ovarian cancer by the bisulphite PCR-Luminex method.
BMC Med Genomics. 2012; 5:8 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Aberrant DNA methylation leads to loss of heterozygosity (LOH) or loss of imprinting (LOI) as the first hit during human carcinogenesis. Recently we developed a new high-throughput, high-resolution DNA methylation analysis method, bisulphite PCR-Luminex (BPL), using sperm DNA and demonstrated the effectiveness of this novel approach in rapidly identifying methylation errors.
RESULTS: In the current study, we applied the BPL method to the analysis of DNA methylation for identification of prognostic panels of DNA methylation cancer biomarkers of imprinted genes. We found that the BPL method precisely quantified the methylation status of specific DNA regions in somatic cells. We found a higher frequency of LOI than LOH. LOI at IGF2, PEG1 and H19 were frequent alterations, with a tendency to show a more hypermethylated state. We detected changes in DNA methylation as an early event in ovarian cancer. The degree of LOI (LOH) was associated with altered DNA methylation at IGF2/H19 and PEG1.
CONCLUSIONS: The relative ease of BPL method provides a practical method for use within a clinical setting. We suggest that DNA methylation of H19 and PEG1 differentially methylated regions (DMRs) may provide novel biomarkers useful for screening, diagnosis and, potentially, for improving the clinical management of women with human ovarian cancer.

Rezvani G, Lui JC, Barnes KM, Baron J
A set of imprinted genes required for normal body growth also promotes growth of rhabdomyosarcoma cells.
Pediatr Res. 2012; 71(1):32-8 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: In many normal tissues, proliferation rates decline postnatally, causing somatic growth to slow. Previous evidence suggests that this decline is due, in part, to decline in the expression of growth-promoting imprinted genes including Mest, Plagl1, Peg3, Dlk1, and Igf2. Embryonal cancers are composed of cells that maintain embryonic characteristics and proliferate rapidly in childhood. We hypothesized that the abnormal persistent rapid proliferation in embryonal cancers occurs in part because of abnormal persistent high expression of growth-promoting imprinted genes.
RESULTS: Analysis of microarray data showed elevated expression of MEST, PLAGL1, PEG3, DLK1, and IGF2 in various embryonal cancers, especially rhabdomyosarcoma, as compared to nonembryonal cancers and normal tissues. Similarly, mRNA expression, assessed by real-time PCR, of MEST, PEG3, and IGF2 in rhabdomyosarcoma cell lines was increased as compared to nonembryonal cancer cell lines. Furthermore, siRNA-mediated knockdown of MEST, PLAGL1, PEG3, and IGF2 expression inhibited proliferation in Rh30 rhabdomyosarcoma cells.
DISCUSSION: These findings suggest that the normal postnatal downregulation of growth-promoting imprinted genes fails to occur in some embryonal cancers, particularly rhabdomyosarcoma, and contributes to the persistent rapid proliferation of rhabdomyosarcoma cells and, more generally, that failure of the mechanisms responsible for normal somatic growth deceleration can promote tumorigenesis.

Zeller C, Dai W, Steele NL, et al.
Candidate DNA methylation drivers of acquired cisplatin resistance in ovarian cancer identified by methylome and expression profiling.
Oncogene. 2012; 31(42):4567-76 [PubMed] Related Publications
Multiple DNA methylation changes in the cancer methylome are associated with the acquisition of drug resistance; however it remains uncertain how many represent critical DNA methylation drivers of chemoresistance. Using isogenic, cisplatin-sensitive/resistant ovarian cancer cell lines and inducing resensitizaton with demethylating agents, we aimed to identify consistent methylation and expression changes associated with chemoresistance. Using genome-wide DNA methylation profiling across 27 578 CpG sites, we identified loci at 4092 genes becoming hypermethylated in chemoresistant A2780/cp70 compared with the parental-sensitive A2780 cell line. Hypermethylation at gene promoter regions is often associated with transcriptional silencing; however, expression of only 245 of these hypermethylated genes becomes downregulated in A2780/cp70 as measured by microarray expression profiling. Treatment of A2780/cp70 with the demethylating agent 2-deoxy-5'-azacytidine induces resensitization to cisplatin and re-expression of 41 of the downregulated genes. A total of 13/41 genes were consistently hypermethylated in further independent cisplatin-resistant A2780 cell derivatives. CpG sites at 9 of the 13 genes (ARHGDIB, ARMCX2, COL1A, FLNA, FLNC, MEST, MLH1, NTS and PSMB9) acquired methylation in ovarian tumours at relapse following chemotherapy or chemoresistant cell lines derived at the time of patient relapse. Furthermore, 5/13 genes (ARMCX2, COL1A1, MDK, MEST and MLH1) acquired methylation in drug-resistant ovarian cancer-sustaining (side population) cells. MLH1 has a direct role in conferring cisplatin sensitivity when reintroduced into cells in vitro. This combined genomics approach has identified further potential key drivers of chemoresistance whose expression is silenced by DNA methylation that should be further evaluated as clinical biomarkers of drug resistance.

Buommino E, De Filippis A, Nicoletti R, et al.
Cell-growth and migration inhibition of human mesothelioma cells induced by 3-O-methylfunicone from Penicillium pinophilum and cisplatin.
Invest New Drugs. 2012; 30(4):1343-51 [PubMed] Related Publications
Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a fatal malignancy linked to asbestos exposure. The main challenge for mesothelioma treatment is to go beyond the drug resistance, in particular against cisplatin (CDDP), one of the most used chemotherapeutic drug. 3-O-methylfunicone (OMF) is a metabolite produced by the fungus Penicillium pinophilum; its antiproliferative properties have been previously studied in vitro. Particularly, OMF is able to inhibit mesothelioma cell motility. To improve the effects of CDDP by-passing the resistance of mesothelioma cells to this drug, in the present study we investigated the combined treatment of OMF with CDDP respectively in an established mesothelioma cell line (NCI) and primary mesothelioma cells (Mest). As compared to the effect of single treatments, the combination of OMF and CDDP resulted in a stronger inhibition of NCI and Mest cell proliferation. OMF combination with CDDP was also able to affect the migratory ability of NCI and Mest cells by down-regulating αv and β5 expression and reducing metalloproteinase 2 (MMP-2) production. In addition, this association was effective in modulating VEGF gene expression. This finding highlights the possibility to use OMF and CDDP together to regulate angiogenesis and tumour progression in mesothelioma.

Hubertus J, Lacher M, Rottenkolber M, et al.
Altered expression of imprinted genes in Wilms tumors.
Oncol Rep. 2011; 25(3):817-23 [PubMed] Related Publications
Overexpression of insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF2), an imprinted gene located on chromosome 11p15, has been reported as a characteristic feature in various embryonal tumors, including Wilms tumor (WT). Recent studies specified loss of imprinting (LOI) in a differential methylated region (DMR) of the IGF2/H19 cluster or loss of heterozygosity (LOH), respectively, uniparental disomy (UPD) being responsible for this overexpression. However, the role of other imprinted genes in the genesis of WT is still unknown. In the current study, we analyzed transcriptional activity of the imprinted genes IGF2, H19, NNAT, DLK1, RTL1, MEG3, and MEST as well as the methylation status of the DMR of the IGF2/H19 cluster in a panel of 32 WTs. Except for H19, we detected massive overexpression of all genes in the majority of WTs compared to normal renal tissue, which was most prominent for the paternally expressed genes IGF2, NNAT, and MEST. Alterations of the H19DMR were found in two-thirds of the WTs. Moreover, we have seen a strong correlation between the transcriptional activity of IGF2, NNAT and MEST and LOI/LOH of H19DMR, which was inverse for H19. Expression of DLK1, RTL1 and MEG3 does not correlate with LOI/LOH of H19DMR. Altogether, our findings suggest that over-expression of imprinted genes is common in WTs and correlates at least for some imprinted genes with LOI of H19DMR. Thus, it may be speculated that alterations of the DNA modification machinery drive erroneous setting of methylation marks in imprinting regions throughout the genome, which leads to the concomitant activation of imprinted genes in blastomagenesis.

Moon YS, Park SK, Kim HT, et al.
Imprinting and expression status of isoforms 1 and 2 of PEG1/MEST gene in uterine leiomyoma.
Gynecol Obstet Invest. 2010; 70(2):120-5 [PubMed] Related Publications
PEG1/MEST gene has been known to be an imprinting gene, which is associated with growth of mesodermal origin cells. Its expression was also reported to be increased in leiomyoma. Several reports showed that loss of imprinting is associated with carcinogenesis in some types of cancer. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether overexpression of PEG1/MEST gene in leiomyoma is associated with loss of imprinting of the gene (biallelic), or whether the overexpression occurs while maintaining the imprinting (monoallelic). We investigated the expression and the imprinting status of PEG1/MEST and its isoforms in samples from 25 patients with uterine leiomyomas as well as in matched normal myometrial tissue. The isoform 1 transcripts were found to be more increased in uterine leiomyomas, compared to myometrium. However, there was no difference in the mRNA levels of isoform 2 between normal myometrium and leiomyoma. All normal myometrial tissues and 19 of 20 leiomyomas showed monoallelic expression of PEG1/MEST. Thus, these data demonstrated that tumorigenesis of leiomyoma is associated with overexpression of isoform 1 of PEG1/MEST gene, but not with loss of imprinting of the gene.

Martinez R, Martin-Subero JI, Rohde V, et al.
A microarray-based DNA methylation study of glioblastoma multiforme.
Epigenetics. 2009; 4(4):255-64 [PubMed] Related Publications
Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most frequent and devastating primary brain tumor in adults. The presence of epigenetic lesions, like hypermethylation of known tumor suppressor genes such as MGMT, has been widely described in GBM, but to our knowledge, a genome-wide profile of DNA methylation changes in these lethal tumors is not yet available. In the present analysis, we have quantified the DNA methylation level of 1,505 CpG dinucleotides (807 genes) in 87 consecutive GBMs using universal BeadArrays. Supervised cluster analyses identified 25 and seven genes that were respectively hypermethylated and hypomethylated in more than 20% of the cases studied. The most frequently hypermethylated genes were HOXA11, CD81, PRKCDBP, TES, MEST, TNFRSF10A and FZD9, being involved in more than half of the cases. Studying the biological features of hypermethylated genes, we found that the group of genes hypermethylated in GBM was highly enriched (41%, p < 0.001) for targets of the PRC2 (Polycomb repressive complex 2) in embryonic stem cells. This suggests that GBM might be derived from precursor cells with stem cell-like features. DNA methylation profiles were associated with overall survival in GBM, and we confirmed the favorable prognostic impact of MGMT methylation in patients treated with alkylating agents. Furthermore, we identified that promoter hypermethylation of the transcription factor gene GATA6 (occurring in 30% of GBM) was significantly associated with unfavorable patient survival.

Zhou M, Kort E, Hoekstra P, et al.
Adult cystic nephroma and mixed epithelial and stromal tumor of the kidney are the same disease entity: molecular and histologic evidence.
Am J Surg Pathol. 2009; 33(1):72-80 [PubMed] Related Publications
Adult cystic nephroma (CN) and mixed epithelial and stromal tumor of the kidney (MEST) are considered as separate entities in the 2004 World Health Organization classification of renal neoplasms. Recent studies suggested that the two share clinicopathologic features and may represent the same disease process of varying morphology. However, definitive genetic evidence is lacking. We examined their relationship using gene expression profiling and histologic analysis. Gene expression profiles of 3 CN and 3 MEST were analyzed using HGU133 Plus 2.0 microarrays (Affymetrix) and were compared with each other and also with 48 other renal tumors and 13 normal kidneys. Histologic examination of 26 CN and 13 MEST focused on the cystic septal thickness, cyst-to-stroma ratio, stromal cellularity and composition, types of epithelial cells lining cysts and glands, and estrogen and progesterone receptors expression. Patients' age, sex distribution, and tumor size were similar between the two. They also shared many histologic features, including lining epithelium of cysts and glands, stromal cellularity and composition. Unsupervised clustering of mRNA expression profiles demonstrated that they had very similar expression profiles that were distinct from other renal tumors. By microarray analysis, progesterone receptor expression was significantly higher in CN and MEST relative to both normal and other renal tumors, while estrogen receptor expression was not. By immunohistochemistry, expression of both receptors was similar between CN and MEST. This study provides the most convincing molecular evidence that CN and MEST represent different parts of the morphologic spectrum of the same disease.

Li Y, Meng G, Guo QN
Changes in genomic imprinting and gene expression associated with transformation in a model of human osteosarcoma.
Exp Mol Pathol. 2008; 84(3):234-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Genomic imprinting, a heritable form of epigenetic information, is thought to play an important role in tumor progression. DNA methylation is a common mechanism of genomic imprinting. To evaluate the genome-wide effects of malignant transformation on osteosarcoma progression, we examined multiple biological properties, including DNA methylation, in human osteoblast hFOB1.19 cells (ATCC Catalog No. CRL-11372) transformed by treatment with carcinogenic agent N-Methyl-N'-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine (MNNG, 1.0 microg/ml) and carcinogenic promoting agent 12-O-tetradecanoyl phorbol-13-acetate (TPA, 200 ng/ml). We also examined global changes in expression of imprinted genes during transformation using microarray analysis. Ten imprinted genes, including H19, MKRN3, NDN, CDKN1C, PHLDA2, MEST, CD81, GRB10, SLC22A18, and SLC22A3 were aberrantly regulated in transformed cells, suggesting roles in tumorigenesis. Moreover, we analyzed the methylation state of the promoter regions of H19, PHLDA2, and SLC22A18 genes by bisulfite sequencing array and observed a correlation between upregulated expression of H19 and PHLDA2 genes and hypomethylation of their promoter regions, although this was not observed for SLC22A18. Our results suggest that changes in expression of imprinted genes caused by changes in methylation are involved, and are among the earliest events, in neoplastic progression.

Kim KP, Thurston A, Mummery C, et al.
Gene-specific vulnerability to imprinting variability in human embryonic stem cell lines.
Genome Res. 2007; 17(12):1731-42 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Disregulation of imprinted genes can be associated with tumorigenesis and altered cell differentiation capacity and so could provide adverse outcomes for stem cell applications. Although the maintenance of mouse and primate embryonic stem cells in a pluripotent state has been reported to disrupt the monoallelic expression of several imprinted genes, available data have suggested relatively higher imprint stability in the human equivalents. Identification of 202 heterozygous loci allowed us to examine the allelic expression of 22 imprinted genes in 22 human embryonic stem cell lines. Half of the genes examined (IPW, H19, MEG3, MEST isoforms 1 and 2, PEG10, MESTIT1, NESP55, ATP10A, PHLDA2, IGF2) showed variable allelic expression between lines, indicating vulnerability to disrupted imprinting. However, seven genes showed consistent monoallelic expression (NDN, MAGEL2, SNRPN, PEG3, KCNQ1, KCNQ1OT1, CDKN1C). Furthermore, four genes known to be monoallelic or to exhibit polymorphic imprinting in later-developing human tissues (TP73, IGF2R, WT1, SLC22A18) were always biallelic in hESCs. MEST isoform 1, PEG10, and NESP55 showed an association between the variability observed in interline allelic expression status and the DNA methylation of previously identified regulatory regions. Our results demonstrate gene-specific differences in the stability of imprinted loci in human embryonic stem cells and identify disrupted DNA methylation as one potential mechanism. We conclude the prudence of including comprehensive imprinting analysis in the continued characterization of human embryonic stem cell lines.

Kamei Y, Suganami T, Kohda T, et al.
Peg1/Mest in obese adipose tissue is expressed from the paternal allele in an isoform-specific manner.
FEBS Lett. 2007; 581(1):91-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
Paternally expressed 1 (Peg1)/mesoderm specific transcript (Mest) is an imprinted gene, which is only transcribed from the paternal (father's) allele. In some human cancer tissues, an alternatively spliced variant of PEG1/MEST mRNA using a different promoter of a distinct first exon is expressed from both paternal and maternal alleles. We previously reported that Peg1/Mest expression was markedly up-regulated in obese adipose tissue in mice. Moreover, transgenic overexpression of Peg1/Mest in the adipose tissue resulted in the enlargement of adipocytes in size. Given the potential pathophysiologic relevance in obesity, we examined the nature of increased expression of Peg1/Mest in obese adipose tissue. In obese adipose tissue, expression of Peg1/Mest was increased, but not that of other imprinted genes tested. The transcription rate of Peg1/Mest was increased in obese adipose tissue. We found at least four isoforms of mouse Peg1/Mest generated by use of the alternative first exons. We also demonstrated that the abundantly expressed Peg1/Mest in obese adipose tissue retained monoallelic expression. This is the first report of monoallelic induction of Peg1/Mest in adult tissues.

Dekel B, Metsuyanim S, Schmidt-Ott KM, et al.
Multiple imprinted and stemness genes provide a link between normal and tumor progenitor cells of the developing human kidney.
Cancer Res. 2006; 66(12):6040-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Wilms' tumor (WT), the embryonic kidney malignancy, is suggested to evolve from a progenitor cell population of uninduced metanephric blastema, which typically gives rise to nephrons. However, apart from blastema, WT specimens frequently contain cells that have differentiated into renal tubular or stromal phenotypes, complicating their analysis. We aimed to define tumor-progenitor genes that function in normal kidney development using WT xenografts (WISH-WT), in which the blastema accumulates with serial passages at the expense of differentiated cells. Herein, we did transcriptional profiling using oligonucleotide microarrays of WISH-WT, WT source, human fetal and adult kidneys, and primary and metastatic renal cell carcinoma. Among the most significantly up-regulated genes in WISH-WT, we identified a surprising number of paternally expressed genes (PEG1/MEST, PEG3, PEG5/NNAT, PEG10, IGF2, and DLK1), as well as Meis homeobox genes [myeloid ecotropic viral integration site 1 homologue 1 (MEIS1) and MEIS2], which suppress cell differentiation and maintain self-renewal. A comparison between independent WISH-WT and WT samples by real-time PCR showed most of these genes to be highly overexpressed in the xenografts. Concomitantly, they were significantly induced in human fetal kidneys, strictly developmentally regulated throughout mouse nephrogenesis and overexpressed in the normal rat metanephric blastema. Furthermore, in vitro differentiation of the uninduced blastema leads to rapid down-regulation of PEG3, DLK1, and MEIS1. Interestingly, ischemic/reperfusion injury to adult mouse kidneys reinduced the expression of PEG3, PEG10, DLK1, and MEIS1, hence simulating embryogenesis. Thus, multiple imprinted and stemness genes that function to expand the renal progenitor cell population may lead to evolution and maintenance of WT.

Arslan AA, Gold LI, Mittal K, et al.
Gene expression studies provide clues to the pathogenesis of uterine leiomyoma: new evidence and a systematic review.
Hum Reprod. 2005; 20(4):852-63 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Uterine leiomyomas are extremely common and a major cause of pelvic pain, bleeding, infertility, and the leading indication for hysterectomy. Familial and epidemiological studies provide compelling evidence that genetic alterations play an important role in leiomyoma development.
METHODS: Using Affymetrix U133A GeneChip we analysed expression profiles of 22,283 genes in paired samples of leiomyoma and adjacent normal myometrium. We compared our results with previously published data on gene expression in uterine leiomyoma and identified the overlapping gene alterations.
RESULTS: We detected 80 genes with average differences of > or = 2-fold and false discovery rates of < 5% (14 overexpressed and 66 underexpressed). A comparative analysis including eight previous gene expression studies revealed eight prominent genes (ADH1, ATF3, CRABP2, CYR61, DPT, GRIA2, IGF2, MEST) identified by at least five different studies, eleven genes (ALDH1, CD24, CTGF, DCX, DUSP1, FOS, GAGEC1, IGFBP6, PTGDS, PTGER3, TYMS) reported by four studies, twelve genes (ABCA, ANXA1, APM2, CCL21, CDKN1A, CRMP1, EMP1, ESR1, FY, MAP3K5, TGFBR2, TIMP3) identified by three studies, and 40 genes reported by two different studies.
CONCLUSIONS: Review of gene expression data revealed concordant changes in genes regulating retinoid synthesis, IGF metabolism, TGF-beta signaling and extracellular matrix formation. Gene expression studies provide clues to the relevant pathways of leiomyoma development.

Nakanishi H, Suda T, Katoh M, et al.
Loss of imprinting of PEG1/MEST in lung cancer cell lines.
Oncol Rep. 2004; 12(6):1273-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Paternally expressed imprinted gene 1/mesoderm-specific transcript (PEG1/MEST) is an imprinted gene expressed from the paternal allele. Recently, frequent loss of imprinting (LOI) of PEG1/MEST has been reported in lung adenocarcinomas. It is suggested that the LOI may be involved in pathogenesis of lung adenocarcinoma. In the present study, incidence of LOI of PEG1/MEST was examined in lung cancer cell lines, including small cell lung cancer (SCLC). Among 50 cell lines tested, 20 cell lines were heterozygous for the AflIII site of the PEG1/MEST gene. In these heterozygotes, biallelic expression was observed in 9 cell lines (45%), monoallelic in 11 (55%). In cell lines of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), 62% (8 of 13) exhibited biallelic expression. In SCLC, only 1 of 7 cell lines (14%) showed biallelic expression. LOI of PEG1/MEST in the NSCLC cell line is significantly frequent compared with that in SCLC cell lines (p=0.043). This result supports the possibility that LOI may be related to tumorigenesis and malignant transformation, especially in NSCLC.

Suda T, Katoh M, Hiratsuka M, et al.
Use of real-time RT-PCR for the detection of allelic expression of an imprinted gene.
Int J Mol Med. 2003; 12(2):243-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
Measurement of the relative amounts of transcripts from two alleles is important in the study of imprinted genes, since quantitative differences that vary among tissues or individuals, and subtle differences in the ratio of allelic expression can have pathobiological significance. Discrimination of alleles is commonly based on PCR, followed by restriction endonuclease digestion to recognize a polymorphic site. However, the use of restriction enzymes misses most of the available single nucleotide polymorphisms. Practically, it requires substantial post-PCR analyses including the restriction enzyme digestion and gel electrophoresis, all of which increase turn around time. Taking advantage of our previous study identifying lung adenocarcinomas displaying biallelic expression of the imprinted gene MEST, we investigated the validity of a method of allelic discrimination in a real-time PCR assay using allele-specific probes. Allelic expression of the MEST gene in the range of 4-fold differences was detected. This new method should enhance our ability to rapidly and accurately assess allelic expression of imprinted genes in a number of samples.

Kayashima T, Yamasaki K, Yamada T, et al.
The novel imprinted carboxypeptidase A4 gene ( CPA4) in the 7q32 imprinting domain.
Hum Genet. 2003; 112(3):220-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
By a search for novel human imprinted genes in the vicinity of the imprinted gene MEST, at chromosome 7q32, we identified the carboxypeptidase A4 gene ( CPA4) in a gene cluster of the carboxypeptidase family, 200 kb centromeric to MEST. Because CPA4 was originally identified as a protein induced in a prostate cancer cell line (PC-3) by histone deacetylase inhibitors, and was located at the putative prostate cancer-aggressiveness locus at 7q32, we investigated its imprinting status in fetal tissues and in adult benign hypertrophic prostate (BPH). RT-PCR using four intragenic polymorphisms as markers showed that CPA4 was expressed preferentially from the maternal allele in the fetal heart, lung, liver, intestine, kidney, adrenal gland, and spleen, but not in the fetal brain. It was also preferentially expressed in the BPH. These findings support that CPA4 is imprinted and may become a strong candidate gene for prostate cancer-aggressiveness. As a Silver-Russell syndrome (SRS) locus has been proposed to be located to a region near MEST and to be involved in imprinting, CPA4 would have been a candidate gene for SRS. However, analysis of ten SRS patients revealed no mutations in CPA4.

Tsibris JC, Segars J, Coppola D, et al.
Insights from gene arrays on the development and growth regulation of uterine leiomyomata.
Fertil Steril. 2002; 78(1):114-21 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: To use microarray analysis as an unbiased approach to identify genes involved in the induction and growth of uterine leiomyomata.
DESIGN: Screen by arrays for up to 12,000 genes in leiomyoma (L) and control myometrium (M) from nine patients.
SETTING: University research laboratories.
PATIENT(S): Nine patients in the follicular and luteal phases of the menstrual cycle.
INTERVENTION(S): mRNA from L and M was converted to biotin-labeled cRNA and hybridized to cDNA oligonucleotide sequences on the arrays.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): Greater than two-fold change in gene expression between leiomyoma and matched myometrium.
RESULT(S): Prominent among the 67 genes overexpressed in L relative to M were dlk or Pref-1, doublecortin, JM27, ionotropic glutamate receptor subunit 2, apolipoprotein E3, IGF2, semaphorin F, myelin proteolipid protein, MEST, frizzled, CRABP II, stromelysin-3, and TGFbeta3. The genes dlk, IGF2, and MEST are paternally expressed imprinted genes, and the others are involved in tissue differentiation and growth. Prominent among the 78 genes down-regulated in L relative to M were alcohol dehydrogenases 1alpha-gamma, tryptase, dermatopontin, thrombospondin, coxsackievirus receptor, nur77, and c-kit.
CONCLUSION(S): Arrays offer large-scale screening of mRNA expression, which will help us differentiate between the genes and metabolic pathways necessary for leiomyoma growth and those regulating myometrial contractions.

Pedersen IS, Dervan P, McGoldrick A, et al.
Promoter switch: a novel mechanism causing biallelic PEG1/MEST expression in invasive breast cancer.
Hum Mol Genet. 2002; 11(12):1449-53 [PubMed] Related Publications
We have previously reported on the biallelic expression of the imprinted PEG1/MEST gene in infiltrating carcinomas of the breast. Putative loss of imprinting (LOI) of PEG1/MEST has subsequently also been implicated in the aetiology of lung adenocarcinomas and colon cancer. Taking advantage of our previous study, identifying seven infiltrating carcinomas of the breast, displaying biallelic PEG1/MEST expression, we have analysed the allelic usage of the two alternative PEG1/MEST transcripts encoding isoforms 1 and 2, separately. In addition, expression levels of the two transcripts have been measured by real-time RT-PCR, in order to elucidate the mechanism behind the switch from monoallelic transcription in normal breast tissue to biallelic expression in invasive cancer. The isoform 1 transcript is imprinted in both the paired normal tissue and the breast carcinomas. In contrast, the isoform 2 transcript is biallelically expressed, or in one case expressed from the opposite allele to isoform 1, raising the possibility that isoform 2 is polymorphically imprinted in normal breast tissue. In all the paired normal samples, isoform 1 is predominantly expressed, explaining the monoallelic profiles of these samples. However, in four of the seven biallelic carcinomas, isoform 2 is expressed at higher levels than isoform 1, indicating that a switch in expression from isoform 1 to isoform 2 is responsible for the biallelic profiles in these samples. Our results not only suggest a novel mechanism leading to biallelic expression detected when analysing the common 3'-UTR of the PEG1/MEST transcriptional unit, they are also indicative of the existence of further alternative PEG1/MEST transcripts.

Kohda M, Hoshiya H, Katoh M, et al.
Frequent loss of imprinting of IGF2 and MEST in lung adenocarcinoma.
Mol Carcinog. 2001; 31(4):184-91 [PubMed] Related Publications
Genomic imprinting is a parental origin-specific chromosomal modification that causes differential expression of maternal and paternal alleles of a gene. Accumulating evidence suggests that deregulation of imprinted genes, including loss of imprinting (LOI), plays a role in oncogenesis. In the present study, we investigated allelic expression of six imprinted genes in human lung adenocarcinomas as well as in matched normal lung tissue. Informative cases showing heterozygosity for the gene of interest were selected from 35 patients. LOI of the insulin-like growth factor 2 gene (IGF2) and mesoderm-specific transcript (MEST, also known as paternally expressed gene 1) was noted in 47% (seven of 15) and 85% (11 of 13) of informative cases, respectively. Monoallelic expression was maintained in all the matched normal tissues examined. LOI of IGF2 was seen more frequently in moderately to poorly differentiated adenocarcinomas. In contrast, H19, small nuclear ribonucleoprotein-associated polypeptide N gene (SNRPN), necdin gene (NDN), and long QT intronic transcript 1 (LIT1) exhibited consistent monoallelic expression in all the informative samples. These findings indicated that independent deregulation took place in imprinted genes and suggested that aberrant imprinting of IGF2 and MEST was involved in the development of lung adenocarcinoma.

Nishihara S, Hayashida T, Mitsuya K, et al.
Multipoint imprinting analysis in sporadic colorectal cancers with and without microsatellite instability.
Int J Oncol. 2000; 17(2):317-22 [PubMed] Related Publications
Disrupted imprinting is implicated in certain tumorigenesis. Since aberrant methylation has been described for a majority of microsatellite instability (MSI)-positive sporadic colorectal cancers, we have investigated alteration to the imprinting in 55 sporadic colorectal cancers with or without MSI. Loss of imprinting (LOI) of IGF2 and PEG1/MEST was observed in 42% and 35% of informative cancers, respectively. H19 expression was not detected in 24% of informative cancers. SNRPN and NDN retained monoallelic expression in all the cancers examined. These findings indicate no simultaneous disruption of the imprinted genes. LOI of IGF2 and PEG1/MEST was also observed in colorectal mucosa from almost all the patients with LOI in tumor tissue. Moreover, MSI-positive colorectal cancers exhibit LOI of IGF2 with a high frequency compared to MSI-negative cancers (P=0.013). These observations, consistent with a previous report, establish an association between LOI of IGF2 and MSI in colorectal cancers and provide insight into susceptibility of tumor development.

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