Gene Summary

Gene:RASSF2; Ras association domain family member 2
Aliases: CENP-34, RASFADIN
Summary:This gene encodes a protein that contains a Ras association domain. Similar to its cattle and sheep counterparts, this gene is located near the prion gene. Two alternatively spliced transcripts encoding the same isoform have been reported. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:ras association domain-containing protein 2
Source:NCBIAccessed: 12 March, 2017


What does this gene/protein do?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1992-2017)
Graph generated 12 March 2017 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 12 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.

Entity Topic PubMed Papers
Colorectal CancerRASSF2 and Colorectal Cancer View Publications12
Stomach CancerRASSF2 and Stomach Cancer View Publications6
Ovarian CancerRASSF2 and Ovarian Cancer View Publications5
-RASSF2 and Adenoma View Publications7
Cervical CancerRASSF2 and Cervical Cancer View Publications3
Thyroid CancerInactivation of RASSF2 in thyroid cancer Epigenetics
In a study of the RASSF family of genes in Thyroid Cancers, Schagdarsurengin et al (2010) found that RASSF2 methylation was significantly increased in primary thyroid carcinoma compared to normal thyroid, goiter and follicular adenoma. They found that RASSF2 interacts with the proapoptotic kinases MST1 and MST2 and deletion of the MST interaction domain of RASSF2 reduced apoptosis significantly (p < 0.05). Together these results suggest that RASSF2 is an epigenetically inactivated candidate tumor suppressor gene in thyroid carcinogenesis.
View Publications1
Breast CancerRASSF2 and Breast Cancer View Publications5

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

Latest Publications: RASSF2 (cancer-related)

Singh SK, Lupo PJ, Scheurer ME, et al.
A childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia genome-wide association study identifies novel sex-specific risk variants.
Medicine (Baltimore). 2016; 95(46):e5300 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) occurs more frequently in males. Reasons behind sex differences in childhood ALL risk are unknown. In the present genome-wide association study (GWAS), we explored the genetic basis of sex differences by comparing genotype frequencies between male and female cases in a case-only study to assess effect-modification by sex.The case-only design included 236 incident cases of childhood ALL consecutively recruited at the Texas Children's Cancer Center in Houston, Texas from 2007 to 2012. All cases were non-Hispanic whites, aged 1 to 10 years, and diagnosed with confirmed B-cell precursor ALL. Genotyping was performed using the Illumina HumanCoreExome BeadChip on the Illumina Infinium platform. Besides the top 100 statistically most significant results, results were also analyzed by the top 100 highest effect size with a nominal statistical significance (P <0.05).The statistically most significant sex-specific association (P = 4 × 10) was with the single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs4813720 (RASSF2), an expression quantitative trait locus (eQTL) for RASSF2 in peripheral blood. rs4813720 is also a strong methylation QTL (meQTL) for a CpG site (cg22485289) within RASSF2 in pregnancy, at birth, childhood, and adolescence. cg22485289 is one of the hypomethylated CpG sites in ALL compared with pre-B cells. Two missense SNPs, rs12722042 and 12722039, in the HLA-DQA1 gene yielded the highest effect sizes (odds ratio [OR] ∼ 14; P <0.01) for sex-specific results. The HLA-DQA1 SNPs belong to DQA1*01 and confirmed the previously reported male-specific association with DQA1*01. This finding supports the proposed infection-related etiology in childhood ALL risk for males. Further analyses revealed that most SNPs (either direct effect or through linkage disequilibrium) were within active enhancers or active promoter regions and had regulatory effects on gene expression levels.Cumulative data suggested that RASSF2 rs4813720, which correlates with increased RASSF2 expression, may counteract the suppressor effect of estrogen-regulated miR-17-92 on RASSF2 resulting in protection in males. Given the amount of sex hormone-related mechanisms suggested by our findings, future studies should examine prenatal or early postnatal programming by sex hormones when hormone levels show a large variation.

Chang ZW, Dong L, Qin YR, et al.
Correlations between gastric cancer family history and ROBO2 and RASSF2A gene methylations.
J Cancer Res Ther. 2016 Apr-Jun; 12(2):597-600 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: To explore the correlation between ROBO2 and RASSF2A gene methylations and gastric cancer family history.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: ROBO2 and RASSF2A gene methylations in gastric cancer tissues and peri.cancerous tissues were detected with methylation.specific PCR in 36. patients with gastric cancer family history and 33 without gastric cancer family history. The correlations of ROBO2 and RASSF2A gene methylations with family history, and clinical and pathological characteristics were analyzed.
RESULTS: ROBO2 and RASSF2A gene methylations were all significantly higher in gastric cancer tissues (30% and 26%) than in peri-cancerous tissues (0% and 0%) (all P < 0.05). ROBO2 gene methylation was significantly lower in the patients with gastric cancer family history (17%, 6/36) than in the patients without gastric cancer family history (41%, 15/33) (P < 0.05).
CONCLUSION: ROBO2 and RASSF2A gene methylations may be related to gastric tumorigenesis, and ROBO2 gene methylation is associated with sporadic gastric cancer.

Yu P, Guo Y, Yusufu M, et al.
Decreased expression of EZH2 reactivates RASSF2A by reversal of promoter methylation in breast cancer cells.
Cell Biol Int. 2016; 40(10):1062-70 [PubMed] Related Publications
EZH2, the catalytic subunit of polycomb repressor complex 2, has oncogenic properties, whereas RASSF2A, a Ras association domain family protein, has a tumor suppressor role in many types of human cancer. However, the interrelationship between these two genes remains unclear. Here, we showed that the downregulation of EZH2 reduces CpG island methylation of the RASSF2A promoter, thereby leading to increased RASSF2A expression. Our findings also showed that knockdown of EZH2 increased RASSF2A expression in the human breast cancer cell line MCF-7 in cooperation with DNMT1. This was similar to the effect of 5-Aza-CdR, a DNA methylation inhibitor that reactivates tumor suppressor genes and activated RASSF2A expression in our study. The EZH2 inhibitor DZNep markedly suppressed the proliferation, migration, and invasion of MCF-7 cells treated with ADR and TAM. EZH2 inhibits the expression of tumor suppressor gene RASSF2A via promoter hypermethylation. Thus, it plays an important role in tumorigenesis and is a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of breast cancer.

Martín-Sánchez E, Pernaut-Leza E, Mendaza S, et al.
Gene promoter hypermethylation is found in sentinel lymph nodes of breast cancer patients, in samples identified as positive by one-step nucleic acid amplification of cytokeratin 19 mRNA.
Virchows Arch. 2016; 469(1):51-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
We analysed the promoter methylation status of five genes, involved in adhesion (EPB41L3, TSLC-1), apoptosis (RASSF1, RASSF2) or angiogenesis (TSP-1), in intraoperative sentinel lymph node (SLN) biopsy samples from patients with breast cancer, that had been processed by the one-step nucleic acid amplification (OSNA) technique. SLN resection is performed to estimate the risk of tumour cells in the clinically negative axilla, to avoid unnecessary axillary lymph node dissection. OSNA is currently one of the eligible molecular methods for detecting tumour cells in SLNs. It is based on the quantitative evaluation of cytokeratin 19 mRNA which allows distinguishing between macrometastasis, micrometastasis and isolated tumour cells, on the basis of the quantity of tumour cells present. There have been no prior studies on the question whether or not samples processed by OSNA can be used for further molecular studies, including epigenetic abnormalities which are some of the most important molecular alterations in breast cancer. Genomic DNA was extracted from samples obtained from 50 patients diagnosed with primary breast cancer. The content of tumour cells in SLNs was evaluated by OSNA, and the promoter methylation status of the selected genes was analysed by methylation-specific PCR. All were found to be hypermethylated to a variable degree, and RASSF1 hypermethylation was significantly associated with macrometastasis, micrometastasis and isolated tumour cells (p = 0.002). We show that samples used for OSNA are suitable for molecular studies, including gene promoter methylation. These samples provide a new source of material for the identification of additional biomarkers.

Wang QL, Chen X, Zhang MH, et al.
Identification of hub genes and pathways associated with retinoblastoma based on co-expression network analysis.
Genet Mol Res. 2015; 14(4):16151-61 [PubMed] Related Publications
The objective of this paper was to identify hub genes and pathways associated with retinoblastoma using centrality analysis of the co-expression network and pathway-enrichment analysis. The co-expression network of retinoblastoma was constructed by weighted gene co-expression network analysis (WGCNA) based on differentially expressed (DE) genes, and clusters were obtained through the molecular complex detection (MCODE) algorithm. Degree centrality analysis of the co-expression network was performed to explore hub genes present in retinoblastoma. Pathway-enrichment analysis was performed using the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) database. Validation of hub gene expression in retinoblastoma was performed by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis. The co-expression network based on 221 DE genes between retinoblastoma and normal controls consisted of 210 nodes and 3965 edges, and 5 clusters of the network were evaluated. By assessing the centrality analysis of the co-expression network, 21 hub genes were identified, such as SNORD115-41, RASSF2, and SNORD115-44. According to RT-PCR analysis, 16 of the 21 hub genes were differently expressed, including RASSF2 and CDCA7, and 5 were not differently expressed in retinoblastoma compared to normal controls. Pathway analysis showed that genes in 2 clusters were enriched in 3 pathways: purine metabolism, p53 signaling pathway, and melanogenesis. In this study, we successfully identified 16 hub genes and 3 pathways associated with retinoblastoma, which may be potential biomarkers for early detection and therapy for retinoblastoma.

Guo W, Dong Z, Cui J, et al.
Aberrant hypermethylation of RASSF2 in tumors and peripheral blood DNA as a biomarker for malignant progression and poor prognosis of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.
Clin Exp Metastasis. 2016; 33(1):73-85 [PubMed] Related Publications
As a tumor suppressor gene, RAS-association domain family 2 (RASSF2) is inactivated by promoter hypermethylation in different tumor cell lines and primary tumors. However, the role of RASSF2 in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) has remained uninvestigated. The aims of this study were to determine the role and methylation status of RASSF2 in esophageal cancer cell lines, ESCC tissues and white blood cells, and to evaluate the potential prognostic role of RASSF2 in ESCC. In the present study, we found frequent silencing of RASSF2 and up-regulation of the gene by 5-Aza-dC treatment in esophageal cancer cell lines. Aberrant methylation of the CpG sites close to the transcription start site induced silencing of RASSF2 expression and in vitro methylation of RASSF2 led to a significant decrease in luciferase activity. The results were further verified in clinical specimens and aberrant methylation of the CpG sites close to the transcription start site of RASSF2 was found in ESCC tumor tissues and peripheral white blood cells. Furthermore, RASSF2 hypermethylation was associated with lower level of RASSF2 expression. ESCC patients in stage III and IV, with negative expression or hypermethylation of the CpG sites close to the transcription start of RASSF2 demonstrated poor patient survival. Taken together, our results suggest that RASSF2 may function as a tumor suppressor gene that is inactivated through hypermethylation of CpG sites close to the transcription start site in ESCC and its expression or methylation may have prognostic implications for ESCC patients.

Aydin D, Bilici A, Kayahan S, et al.
Prognostic importance of RASSF2 expression in patients with gastric cancer who had undergone radical gastrectomy.
Clin Transl Oncol. 2016; 18(6):608-16 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Although Ras-association domain family of gene 2 (RASSF2) has been shown to undergo promoter methylation at high frequency in some cancer types and in brain metastases, its clinical utility as a useful prognostic molecular marker remains unclear in gastric cancer.
METHODS: Prognostic significance of RASSF2 expression was retrospectively analysed by immunohistochemically in 105 patients with gastric cancer who underwent curative gastrectomy.
RESULTS: Low RASSF2 expression was detected in 58 (55 %) patients, whereas 47 patients (45 %) had high RASSF2 expression. Lymph node involvement, pT stage, TNM stage, vascular invasion, perineural invasion and the presence of recurrence were found to be significantly related to RASSF2 expression levels. Low PRL-3 expression was closely correlated with lymph node metastasis (p = 0.001), advanced pT stage (p = 0.021), advanced TNM stage (p < 0.001), the presence of vascular invasion (p < 0.001), perineural invasion (p = 0.018) and high prevalence of recurrence (p = 0.003) compared with high RASSF2 expression. The median disease-free survival (DFS) time for patients with low RASSF2 expression was significantly worse than that of patients with high RASSF2 expression (10.2 vs. 50.6 months, p < 0.001). In addition, patients with high RASSF2 expression had the higher overall survival (OS) interval compared to patients with low RASSF2 expression (NR vs. 14.9 months, p < 0.001). In the multivariate analysis, the rate of RASSF2 expression levels was an independent prognostic factor, for DFS [p < 0.001, HR 0.12 (0.10-0.88)] and OS [p < 0.001, HR 0.10 (0.04-0.46)], as were pT stage and TNM stage, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: RASSF2 may be an important molecular marker for carcinogenesis, prognosis and progression in gastric cancer, but the potential value of RASSF2 expression as a useful molecular marker in gastric cancer progression should be evaluated, comprehensively. It would be possible to develop treatments targeting RASSF2 and advance new treatment strategies for gastric cancer.

Perez-Janices N, Blanco-Luquin I, Torrea N, et al.
Differential involvement of RASSF2 hypermethylation in breast cancer subtypes and their prognosis.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(27):23944-58 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Breast cancer is a heterogeneous disease that can be subdivided into clinical, histopathological and molecular subtypes (luminal A-like, luminal B-like/HER2-negative, luminal B-like/HER2-positive, HER2-positive, and triple-negative). The study of new molecular factors is essential to obtain further insights into the mechanisms involved in the tumorigenesis of each tumor subtype. RASSF2 is a gene that is hypermethylated in breast cancer and whose clinical value has not been previously studied. The hypermethylation of RASSF1 and RASSF2 genes was analyzed in 198 breast tumors of different subtypes. The effect of the demethylating agent 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine in the re-expression of these genes was examined in triple-negative (BT-549), HER2 (SK-BR-3), and luminal cells (T-47D). Different patterns of RASSF2 expression for distinct tumor subtypes were detected by immunohistochemistry. RASSF2 hypermethylation was much more frequent in luminal subtypes than in non-luminal tumors (p = 0.001). The re-expression of this gene by lentiviral transduction contributed to the differential cell proliferation and response to antineoplastic drugs observed in luminal compared with triple-negative cell lines. RASSF2 hypermethylation is associated with better prognosis in multivariate statistical analysis (P = 0.039). In conclusion, RASSF2 gene is differently methylated in luminal and non-luminal tumors and is a promising suppressor gene with clinical involvement in breast cancer.

Blanco-Luquin I, Guarch R, Ojer A, et al.
Differential role of gene hypermethylation in adenocarcinomas, squamous cell carcinomas and cervical intraepithelial lesions of the uterine cervix.
Pathol Int. 2015; 65(9):476-85 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cervical cancer is the third most common cancer in women worldwide. The hypermethylation of P16, TSLC-1 and TSP-1 genes was analyzed in squamous cell carcinomas (SCC), cervical intraepithelial lesions (CIN) and adenocarcinomas (ADC) of the uterine cervix (total 181 lesions). Additionally human papillomavirus (HPV) type, EPB41L3, RASSF1 and RASSF2 hypermethylation were tested in ADC and the results were compared with those obtained previously by our group in SCC. P16, TSLC-1 and TSP-1 hypermethylation was more frequent in SCCs than in CINs. These percentages and the corresponding ones for EPB41L3, RASSF1 and RASSF2 genes were also higher in SCCs than in ADCs, except for P16. The presence of HPV in ADCs was lower than reported previously in SCC and CIN. Patients with RASSF1A hypermethylation showed significantly longer disease-free survival (P = 0.015) and overall survival periods (P = 0.009) in ADC patients. To our knowledge, this is the first description of the EPB41L3 and RASSF2 hypermethylation in ADCs. These results suggest that the involvement of DNA hypermethylation in cervical cancer varies depending on the histological type, which might contribute to explaining the different prognosis of patients with these types of tumors.

Miyanaga A, Masuda M, Tsuta K, et al.
Hippo pathway gene mutations in malignant mesothelioma: revealed by RNA and targeted exon sequencing.
J Thorac Oncol. 2015; 10(5):844-51 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Malignant mesothelioma (MM) is an aggressive neoplasm causatively associated with exposure to asbestos. MM is rarely responsive to conventional cytotoxic drugs, and the outcome remains dismal. It is, therefore, necessary to identify the signaling pathways that drive MM and to develop new therapeutics specifically targeting the molecules involved.
METHODS: We performed comprehensive RNA sequencing of 12 MM cell lines and four clinical samples using so-called next-generation sequencers.
RESULTS: We found 15 novel fusion transcripts including one derived from chromosomal translocation between the large tumor suppressor 1 (LATS1) and presenilin-1 (PSEN1) genes. LATS1 is one of the central players of the emerging Hippo signaling pathway. The LATS1-PSEN1 fusion gene product lacked the ability to phosphorylate yes-associated protein and to suppress the growth of a MM cell line. The wild-type LATS1 allele was undetectable in this cell line, indicating two-hit genetic inactivation of its tumor suppressor function. Using pathway-targeted exon sequencing, we further identified a total of 11 somatic mutations in four Hippo pathway genes (neurofibromatosis type 2 [NF2], LATS2, RASSF1, and SAV1) in 35% (8 of 23) of clinical samples. Nuclear staining of yes-associated protein was detected in 55% (24 of 44) of the clinical samples. Expression and/or phosphorylation of the Hippo signaling proteins, RASSF1, Merlin (NF2), LATS1, and LATS2, was frequently absent.
CONCLUSIONS: The frequent alterations of Hippo pathway molecules found in this study indicate the therapeutic feasibility of targeting this pathway in patients with MM.

Nosho K, Igarashi H, Ito M, et al.
Clinicopathological and molecular characteristics of serrated lesions in Japanese elderly patients.
Digestion. 2015; 91(1):57-63 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The population in Japan is aging more rapidly than in any other country. However, no studies have determined the characteristics of the large population of elderly patients with colorectal tumors. Therefore, we examined the clinicopathological and molecular features of these tumors in elderly patients.
METHODS: In total, 1,627 colorectal tumors (393 serrated lesions, 277 non-serrated adenomas and 957 colorectal cancers) were acquired from patients. Tumor specimens were analyzed for BRAF and KRAS mutations, CpG island methylator phenotype-specific promoters (CACNA1G, CDKN2A, IGF2 and RUNX3), IGFBP7, MGMT, MLH1 and RASSF2 methylation, microsatellite instability (MSI) and microRNA- 31 (miR-31).
RESULTS: The frequency of elderly patients (aged ≥75 years) with sessile serrated adenomas (SSAs) with cytological dysplasia was higher than that of those with other serrated lesions and non-serrated adenomas (p < 0.0001). In elderly patients, all SSAs were located in the proximal colon (particularly the cecum to ascending colon). High miR-31 expression, MLH1 methylation and MSI-high status were more frequently detected in SSAs from elderly patients than in those from non-elderly patients. In contrast, no significant differences were found between older age of onset and high-grade dysplasia for traditional serrated adenomas or non-serrated adenomas in any of these molecular alterations.
CONCLUSION: In elderly patients, all SSAs were located in the proximal colon. Furthermore, cytological dysplasia and molecular alterations were more frequently detected in elderly patients with SSAs than in non-elderly patients. Thus, careful colonoscopic examinations of the proximal colon are necessary for elderly patients because SSAs in those patients may exhibit malignant potential.

Perez-Janices N, Blanco-Luquin I, Tuñón MT, et al.
EPB41L3, TSP-1 and RASSF2 as new clinically relevant prognostic biomarkers in diffuse gliomas.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(1):368-80 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Hypermethylation of tumor suppressor genes is one of the hallmarks in the progression of brain tumors. Our objectives were to analyze the presence of the hypermethylation of EPB41L3, RASSF2 and TSP-1 genes in 132 diffuse gliomas (astrocytic and oligodendroglial tumors) and in 10 cases of normal brain, and to establish their association with the patients' clinicopathological characteristics. Gene hypermethylation was analyzed by methylation-specific-PCR and confirmed by pyrosequencing (for EPB41L3 and TSP-1) and bisulfite-sequencing (for RASSF2). EPB41L3, RASSF2 and TSP-1 genes were hypermethylated only in tumors (29%, 10.6%, and 50%, respectively), confirming their cancer-specific role. Treatment of cells with the DNA-demethylating-agent 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine restores their transcription, as confirmed by quantitative-reverse-transcription-PCR and immunofluorescence. Immunohistochemistry for EPB41L3, RASSF2 and TSP-1 was performed to analyze protein expression; p53, ki-67, and CD31 expression and 1p/19q co-deletion were considered to better characterize the tumors. EPB41L3 and TSP-1 hypermethylation was associated with worse (p = 0.047) and better (p = 0.037) prognosis, respectively. This observation was confirmed after adjusting the results for age and tumor grade, the role of TSP-1 being most pronounced in oligodendrogliomas (p = 0.001). We conclude that EPB41L3, RASSF2 and TSP-1 genes are involved in the pathogenesis of diffuse gliomas, and that EPB41L3 and TSP-1 hypermethylation are of prognostic significance.

Mezzanotte JJ, Hill V, Schmidt ML, et al.
RASSF6 exhibits promoter hypermethylation in metastatic melanoma and inhibits invasion in melanoma cells.
Epigenetics. 2014; 9(11):1496-503 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Brain metastasis is a major contributor to cancer mortality, yet, the genetic changes underlying the development of this capacity remain poorly understood. RASSF proteins are a family of tumor suppressors that often suffer epigenetic inactivation during tumorigenesis. However, their epigenetic status in brain metastases has not been well characterized. We have examined the promoter methylation of the classical RASSF members (RASSF1A-RASSF6) in a panel of metastatic brain tumor samples. RASSF1A and RASSF2 have been shown to undergo promoter methylation at high frequency in primary lung and breast tumors and in brain metastases. Other members exhibited little or no methylation in these tumors. In examining melanoma metastases, however, we found that RASSF6 exhibits the highest frequency of inactivation in melanoma and in melanoma brain metastases. Most melanomas are driven by an activating mutation in B-Raf. Introduction of RASSF6 into a B-Raf(V600E)-containing metastatic melanoma cell line inhibited its ability to invade through collagen and suppressed MAPK pathway activation and AKT. RASSF6 also appears to increase the association of mutant B-Raf and MST1, providing a potential mechanism by which RASSF6 is able to suppress MAPK activation. Thus, we have identified a novel potential role for RASSF6 in melanoma development. Promoter methylation leading to reduced expression of RASSF6 may play an important role in melanoma development and may contribute to brain metastases.

Ren F, Wang DB, Li T, et al.
Identification of differentially methylated genes in the malignant transformation of ovarian endometriosis.
J Ovarian Res. 2014; 7:73 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Key roles for epigenetic mechanisms in tumorigenesis are well accepted, while the relationship between gene methylation and malignant transformation of ovarian endometriosis (EMS) was seldom reported. In this study, we aimed to screen for aberrantly methylated genes associated with the malignant transformation of ovarian EMS and to preliminarily verify the reliability of screened results by detecting the methylation status and protein expression of the candidate gene in a larger scale of formaldehyde-fixed and paraffin-embedded (FFPE) samples.
METHODS: Methylated CpG island amplification coupled with representational difference analysis (MCA-RDA) was performed on 3 couples of endometriosis-associated ovarian carcinoma (EAOC) fresh samples to identify differentially methylated candidate genes related to malignant transformation of ovarian EMS; Methylation-specific PCR (MSP) and immunohistochemistry were performed in 30 EAOC samples to detected the methylation status and protein expression of RASSF2 gene to verify the reliability of MCA-RDA results.
RESULTS: Nine differentially methylated genes were obtained by MCA-RDA as candidate genes for malignant transformation of EMS; Methylation frequency of RASSF2 in the neoplastic tissues of EAOC group was higher than that in the ectopic endometria (p < 0.05). While protein expression of RASSF2 in the neoplastic tissues was lower than that in the ectopic endometria of the EAOC group (p < 0.05) Absence of protein expression of RASSF2 was significantly correlated with the promoter methylation of the gene (p < 0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: RASSF2, RUNX3, GSTZ1, CYP2A, GBGT1, NDUFS1, SPOCK2, ADAM22, and TRIM36 were candidate genes for malignant transformation of ovarian EMS and epigenetic inactivation of RASSF2 by promoter hypermethylation is an early event in malignant transformation of ovarian EMS. The screen results were reliable and worthy of further study.

Wu Y, Zhang X, Lin L, et al.
Aberrant methylation of RASSF2A in tumors and plasma of patients with epithelial ovarian cancer.
Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2014; 15(3):1171-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: The tumor suppressor gene, Ras-association domain family (RASSF)2A, is inactivated by promoter hypermethylation in many cancers. The current study was performed to evaluate the methylation status of RASSF2A in epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) tissues and plasma, and correlations with gene expression and clinicopathologic characteristics.
METHOD: We detected methylation of the RASSF2A gene in tissues and corresponding plasma samples from 47 EOC patients and 14 patients with benign ovarian tumors and 10 with normal ovarian tissues. The methylation status was determined by methylation-specific PCR while gene expression of mRNA was examined by RT-PCR. The EOC cell line, SKOV3, was treated with 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (5-aza- dC).
RESULTS: RASSF2A mRNA expression was significantly low in EOC tissues. The frequency of aberrant methylation of RASSF2A was 51.1% in EOC tissues and 36.2% in corresponding plasma samples, whereas such hypermethylation was not detected in the benign ovarial tumors and normal ovarian samples. The expression of RASSF2A mRNA was significantly down-regulated or lost in the methylated group compared to the unmethylated group (p<0.05). After treatment with 5-aza-dC, RASSF2A mRNA expression was significantly restored in the Skov3 cell line.
CONCLUSION: Epigenetic inactivation of RASSF2A through aberrant promoter methylation may play an important role in the pathogenesis of EOC. Methylation of the RASSF2A gene in plasma may be a valuable molecular marker for the early detection of EOC.

Zhang X, Ma Y, Wu Y, et al.
Aberrant promoter methylation and silencing of RASSF2A gene in cervical cancer.
J Obstet Gynaecol Res. 2014; 40(5):1375-81 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: Ras association domain family (RASSF)2A as a negative effector of Ras protein is inactivated by promoter hypermethylation in many cancers. This study evaluated the methylation status of RASSF2A in cervical cancer (CC) and its correlation with clinicopathological characteristics.
METHODS: Methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction and reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction were utilized to analyze the methylation status and RASSF2A mRNA expression in four CC cell lines and tissue samples from 25 normal controls and 46 CC patients. The CC cell lines also were treated with the methyltransferase inhibitor 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (5-aza-dC).
RESULTS: Expression of RASSF2A was downregulated in all cell lines and CC tissue samples. Hypermethylation of RASSF2A was detected in all cell lines and 26 of 46 (56.5%) CC samples. No methylation of RASSF2A was found in the normal cervical tissues. A decreased level (P < 0.05) of RASSF2A expression was observed among RASSF2A-methylated CC cases (0.1002 ± 0.0377, mean ± standard deviation) compared to unmethylated cases (0.2882 ± 0.0642, mean ± standard deviation). After treatment with 5-aza-dC, loss of RASSF2A expression was restored in four CC cell lines. RASSF2A methylation was significantly different in patients with or without lymph node metastasis (90% vs 47.2%, respectively; P < 0.05).
CONCLUSION: Promoter hypermethylation of RASSF2A is observed in CC, while not in normal cervical tissues. RASSF2A is inactivated in CC by promoter hypermethylation and may play a role in cervical carcinogenesis.

Alholle A, Brini AT, Gharanei S, et al.
Functional epigenetic approach identifies frequently methylated genes in Ewing sarcoma.
Epigenetics. 2013; 8(11):1198-204 [PubMed] Related Publications
Using a candidate gene approach we recently identified frequent methylation of the RASSF2 gene associated with poor overall survival in Ewing sarcoma (ES). To identify effective biomarkers in ES on a genome-wide scale, we used a functionally proven epigenetic approach, in which gene expression was induced in ES cell lines by treatment with a demethylating agent followed by hybridization onto high density gene expression microarrays. After following a strict selection criterion, 34 genes were selected for expression and methylation analysis in ES cell lines and primary ES. Eight genes (CTHRC1, DNAJA4, ECHDC2, NEFH, NPTX2, PHF11, RARRES2, TSGA14) showed methylation frequencies of>20% in ES tumors (range 24-71%), these genes were expressed in human bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells (hBMSC) and hypermethylation was associated with transcriptional silencing. Methylation of NPTX2 or PHF11 was associated with poorer prognosis in ES. In addition, six of the above genes also showed methylation frequency of>20% (range 36-50%) in osteosarcomas. Identification of these genes may provide insights into bone cancer tumorigenesis and development of epigenetic biomarkers for prognosis and detection of these rare tumor types.

Guerrero-Setas D, Pérez-Janices N, Ojer A, et al.
Differential gene hypermethylation in genital lichen sclerosus and cancer: a comparative study.
Histopathology. 2013; 63(5):659-69 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIMS: Lichen sclerosus (LS) is a chronic inflammatory disease of the genital skin of unknown aetiology. The role of LS in penile squamous cell carcinogenesis is not well characterized. HPV has been implicated in both, as have epigenetic changes. The presence of HPV and hypermethylation of the MGMT, p16, RASSF1, RASSF2, TSLC1 and TSP1 genes were studied in penile LS; MGMT, RASSF2 and TSLC1 hypermethylation in penile cancer and TSLC1 hypermethylation in vulvar LS and cancer extends previous results reported by our group.
METHODS AND RESULTS: Thirty-seven HPV genotypes and hypermethylation were evaluated by PCR/reverse-line-blot and methylation-specific PCR respectively, in 27 preputial LS, 24 penile SCC, 30 vulvar SCC, 21 vulvar LS and 22 normal skin cases. HPV66 was present in 3.7% of penile LS cases, and p16 and RASSF2 hypermethylation were more frequent in penile cancer than in penile LS. p16, RASSF1, RASSF2 and TSP1 hypermethylation were similar in penile and vulvar LS.
CONCLUSIONS: Gene hypermethylation is a common event in penile LS, and occurs approximately as frequently as in vulvar LS. Certain genes can be hypermethylated as an early or late event in LS or cancer, respectively. This suggests a possible sequential role for these alterations in the transition from benign to malignant lesions.

Gharanei S, Brini AT, Vaiyapuri S, et al.
RASSF2 methylation is a strong prognostic marker in younger age patients with Ewing sarcoma.
Epigenetics. 2013; 8(9):893-8 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Ras-association domain family of genes consist of 10 members (RASSF1-RASSF10), all containing a Ras-association (RA) domain in either the C- or the N-terminus. Several members of this gene family are frequently methylated in common sporadic cancers; however, the role of the RASSF gene family in rare types of cancers, such as bone cancer, has remained largely uninvestigated. In this report, we investigated the methylation status of RASSF1A and RASSF2 in Ewing sarcoma (ES). Quantitative real-time methylation analysis (MethyLight) demonstrated that both genes were frequently methylated in Ewing sarcoma tumors (52.5% and 42.5%, respectively) as well as in ES cell lines and gene expression was upregulated in methylated cell lines after treatment with 5-aza-2'-deoxcytidine. Overexpression of either RASSF1A or RASSF2 reduced colony formation ability of ES cells. RASSF2 methylation correlated with poor overall survival (p = 0.028) and this association was more pronounced in patients under the age of 18 y (p = 0.002). These results suggest that both RASSF1A and RASSF2 are novel epigenetically inactivated tumor suppressor genes in Ewing sarcoma and RASSF2 methylation may have prognostic implications for ES patients.

Yang J, Du X
Genomic and molecular aberrations in malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor and their roles in personalized target therapy.
Surg Oncol. 2013; 22(3):e53-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNSTs) are malignant tumors with a high rate of local recurrence and a significant tendency to metastasize. Its dismal outcome points to the urgent need to establish better therapeutic strategies for patients harboring MPNSTs. The investigations of genomic and molecular aberrations in MPNSTs which detect many chromosomal aberrations, pathway abnormalities, and specific molecular aberrant events would supply multiple potential therapy targets and contribute to achievement of personalized medicine. The involved genes in the significant gains aberrations include BIRC5, CCNE2, DAB2, DDX15, EGFR, DAB2, MSH2, CDK6, HGF, ITGB4, KCNK12, LAMA3, LOXL2, MET, and PDGFRA. The involved genes in the significant deletion aberrations include CDH1, GLTSCR2, EGR1, CTSB, GATA3, SULT2A1, GLTSCR2, HMMR/RHAMM, LICAM2, MMP13, p16/INK4a, RASSF2, NM-23H1, and TP53. These genetic aberrations involve in several important signaling pathways such as TFF, EGFR, ARF, IGF1R signaling pathways. The genomic and molecular aberrations of EGFR, IGF1R, SOX9, EYA4, TOP2A, ETV4, and BIRC5 exhibit great promise as personalized therapeutic targets for MPNST patients.

Qu Y, Dang S, Hou P
Gene methylation in gastric cancer.
Clin Chim Acta. 2013; 424:53-65 [PubMed] Related Publications
Gastric cancer is one of the most common malignancies and remains the second leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide. Over 70% of new cases and deaths occur in developing countries. In the early years of the molecular biology revolution, cancer research mainly focuses on genetic alterations, including gastric cancer. Epigenetic mechanisms are essential for normal development and maintenance of tissue-specific gene expression patterns in mammals. Disruption of epigenetic processes can lead to altered gene function and malignant cellular transformation. Recent advancements in the rapidly evolving field of cancer epigenetics have shown extensive reprogramming of every component of the epigenetic machinery in cancer, including DNA methylation, histone modifications, nucleosome positioning, noncoding RNAs, and microRNAs. Aberrant DNA methylation in the promoter regions of gene, which leads to inactivation of tumor suppressor and other cancer-related genes in cancer cells, is the most well-defined epigenetic hallmark in gastric cancer. The advantages of gene methylation as a target for detection and diagnosis of cancer in biopsy specimens and non-invasive body fluids such as serum and gastric washes have led to many studies of application in gastric cancer. This review focuses on the most common and important phenomenon of epigenetics, DNA methylation, in gastric cancer and illustrates the impact epigenetics has had on this field.

Guerrero-Setas D, Pérez-Janices N, Blanco-Fernandez L, et al.
RASSF2 hypermethylation is present and related to shorter survival in squamous cervical cancer.
Mod Pathol. 2013; 26(8):1111-22 [PubMed] Related Publications
Ras association (RalGDS/AF-6) domain family member 2 (RASSF2) is a gene involved in the progression of several human cancers, including breast, colorectal and lung cancer. The aims of this study were to determine the hypermethylation of the gene in squamous cervical cancer and precursor lesions, along with that of RASSF1 and the recently described EPB41L3, and to analyze the potential prognostic role of these genes. Methylation-specific PCR and bisulfite sequencing were used to analyze the methylation status of RASSF2 and EPB41L3 gene in 60 squamous cervical cancer, 76 cervical intraepithelial neoplasias grade III, 16 grade II, 14 grade I and 13 cases of normal tissue adjacent to cervical intraepithelial neoplasia. RASSF2 expression was evaluated by immunohistochemistry and the re-expression of RASSF2 and EPB41L3 was analyzed by quantitative reverse-transcription PCR in HeLa, SiHa, C33A and A431 cell lines treated with 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine and/or trichostatin. RASSF1 hypermethylation and human papillomavirus type were also analyzed in all the cases by methylation-specific PCR and reverse line blot, respectively. RASSF2 hypermethylation was predominant in squamous cervical cancer (60.9%) compared with cervical intraepithelial neoplasias (4.2%) and was associated with a lower level of RASSF2 expression and vascular invasion in squamous cervical cancer. EPB41L3 and RASSF1 hypermethylations were also more frequent in cancer than in precursor lesions. Patients with RASSF2 hypermethylation had shorter survival time, independent of tumor stage (hazard ratio: 6.0; 95% confidence interval: 1.5-24.5). Finally, the expressions of RASSF2 and EPB41L3 were restored in several cell lines treated with 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine. Taken together, our results suggest that RASSF2 potentially functions as a new tumor-suppressor gene that is inactivated through hypermethylation in cervical cancer and is related to the bad prognosis of these patients.

Kiss NB, Kogner P, Johnsen JI, et al.
Quantitative global and gene-specific promoter methylation in relation to biological properties of neuroblastomas.
BMC Med Genet. 2012; 13:83 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: In this study we aimed to quantify tumor suppressor gene (TSG) promoter methylation densities levels in primary neuroblastoma tumors and cell lines. A subset of these TSGs is associated with a CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP) in other tumor types.
METHODS: The study panel consisted of 38 primary tumors, 7 established cell lines and 4 healthy references. Promoter methylation was determined by bisulphate Pyrosequencing for 14 TSGs; and LINE-1 repeat element methylation was used as an indicator of global methylation levels.
RESULTS: Overall mean TSG Z-scores were significantly increased in cases with adverse outcome, but were unrelated to global LINE-1 methylation. CIMP with hypermethylation of three or more gene promoters was observed in 6/38 tumors and 7/7 cell lines. Hypermethylation of one or more TSG (comprising TSGs BLU, CASP8, DCR2, CDH1, RASSF1A and RASSF2) was evident in 30/38 tumors. By contrast only very low levels of promoter methylation were recorded for APC, DAPK1, NORE1A, P14, P16, TP73, PTEN and RARB. Similar involvements of methylation instability were revealed between cell line models and neuroblastoma tumors. Separate analysis of two proposed CASP8 regulatory regions revealed frequent and significant involvement of CpG sites between exon 4 and 5, but modest involvement of the exon 1 region.
CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The results highlight the involvement of TSG methylation instability in neuroblastoma tumors and cell lines using quantitative methods, support the use of DNA methylation analyses as a prognostic tool for this tumor type, and underscore the relevance of developing demethylating therapies for its treatment.

Fernandes MS, Carneiro F, Oliveira C, Seruca R
Colorectal cancer and RASSF family--a special emphasis on RASSF1A.
Int J Cancer. 2013; 132(2):251-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
The RAS-association domain family, commonly referred to as RASSF, is a family of 10 members (RASSF1-10) implicated in a variety of key biological processes, including cell cycle regulation, apoptosis and microtubule stability. Furthermore, RASSFs have been implicated in tumorigenesis and several family members are now thought to be tumor suppressors. As opposed to the KRAS oncogene, for which mutational activation is frequent in colorectal cancer (CRC), RASSFs are found to be silenced mainly by aberrant promoter methylation. In particular, RASSF1A, RASSF2 and RASSF5 methylation has been associated with CRC development, though the mechanisms of action remain poorly understood. This review focus on the current knowledge of RASSF inactivation in CRC, particularly RASSF1A, and on the implications RASSFs may have as potential biomarkers and for the development of new targeted therapies for CRC.

Djos A, Martinsson T, Kogner P, Carén H
The RASSF gene family members RASSF5, RASSF6 and RASSF7 show frequent DNA methylation in neuroblastoma.
Mol Cancer. 2012; 11:40 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Hypermethylation of promotor CpG islands is a common mechanism that inactivates tumor suppressor genes in cancer. Genes belonging to the RASSF gene family have frequently been reported as epigenetically silenced by promotor methylation in human cancers. Two members of this gene family, RASSF1A and RASSF5A have been reported as methylated in neuroblastoma. Data from our previously performed genome-wide DNA methylation array analysis indicated that other members of the RASSF gene family are targeted by DNA methylation in neuroblastoma.
RESULTS: In the current study, we found that several of the RASSF family genes (RASSF2, RASSF4, RASSF5, RASSF6, RASSF7, and RASSF10) to various degrees were methylated in neuroblastoma cell lines and primary tumors. In addition, several of the RASSF family genes showed low or absent mRNA expression in neuroblastoma cell lines. RASSF5 and RASSF6 were to various degrees methylated in a large portion of neuroblastoma tumors and RASSF7 was heavily methylated in most tumors. Further, CpG methylation sites in the CpG islands of some RASSF family members could be used to significantly discriminate between biological subgroups of neuroblastoma tumors. For example, RASSF5 methylation highly correlated to MYCN amplification and INRG stage M. Furthermore, high methylation of RASSF6 was correlated to unfavorable outcome, 1p deletion and MYCN amplification in our tumor material.
IN CONCLUSION: This study shows that several genes belonging to the RASSF gene family are methylated in neuroblastoma. The genes RASSF5, RASSF6 and RASSF7 stand out as the most promising candidate genes for further investigations in neuroblastoma.

Helmbold P, Richter AM, Walesch S, et al.
RASSF10 promoter hypermethylation is frequent in malignant melanoma of the skin but uncommon in nevus cell nevi.
J Invest Dermatol. 2012; 132(3 Pt 1):687-94 [PubMed] Related Publications
The Ras association domain family (RASSF) consists of several tumor suppressor genes, which are frequently silenced in human cancers. We analyzed the epigenetic inactivation of RASSF2 and RASSF10 in malignant melanoma (MM) of the skin, including 5 MM cell lines, 28 primary MM, 33 metastases of MM, 47 nevus cell nevi (NCN), and 22 control tissues. The RASSF2 promoter was epigenetically downregulated in two MM cell lines only, but not in any of the investigated tumor samples. In contrast, hypermethylation of the RASSF10 promoter was found in all investigated cell lines, 19/28 (68%) of the primary MM and 30/33 (91%) of the MM metastases, 2/18 (11%) of the dysplastic NCN, and 0/29 (0%) of the non-dysplastic NCN (difference between MM and all nevi, P<0.001). RASSF10 promoter hypermethylation correlated with a reduced RASSF10 mRNA expression in 3/4 MM cell lines, and treatment with a DNA methylation inhibitor reactivated RASSF10 transcription. Furthermore, immunohistological RASSF10 expression corresponds negatively to its promoter methylation state. In summary, RASSF10 proved to be a characteristically epigenetically silenced tumor suppressor in melanomagenesis, and analysis of RASSF10 methylation status represents a new candidate tool to assist in discrimination between MM and NCN.

Zhao L, Cui Q, Lu Z, Chen J
Aberrant methylation of RASSF2A in human pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma and its relation to clinicopathologic features.
Pancreas. 2012; 41(2):206-11 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: Tumor suppressor gene Ras-association domain family 2A (RASSF2A) is inactivated by promoter hypermethylation in many cancers. The study was performed to evaluate the methylation status of RASSF2A in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma and cell lines and its relation to clinicopathologic features.
METHODS: The RASSF2 expression in 8 pancreatic carcinoma cell lines and 1 normal pancreatic tissue was detected. The methylation status of RASSF2A in 8 pancreatic carcinoma cell lines, 41 cases of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, and corresponding normal pancreatic tissue was also examined by methylation-specific PCR. BxPC-3 and AsPC-1 cell lines were treated with 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (5-aza-dC), and RASSF2 expression was determined by quantitative real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction.
RESULTS: The expression of RASSF2 was down-regulated in all cell lines. Hypermethylation of RASSF2A was detected in all cell lines and 9 of 41 pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas. Whereas none of hypermethylation of RASSF2A was found in the normal pancreatic tissue. The expression of RASSF2 could be restored by 5-aza-dC in cell lines.
CONCLUSIONS: Promoter hypermethylation of RASSF2A is observed in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, while not in normal pancreatic tissue. RASSF2A is inactivated in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma by CpG island promoter hypermethylation and may play a role in pancreatic carcinogenesis.

Hiraki M, Kitajima Y, Koga Y, et al.
Aberrant gene methylation is a biomarker for the detection of cancer cells in peritoneal wash samples from advanced gastric cancer patients.
Ann Surg Oncol. 2011; 18(10):3013-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: To assess whether gene methylation in peritoneal fluid (PF) is clinically feasible for determining micrometastasis to the peritoneum in gastric cancer.
METHODS: The gene methylation of BNIP3, CHFR, CYP1B1, MINT25, SFRP2, and RASSF2 were analyzed in 107 specimens of PF by quantitative methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction. All patients were placed into one of 3 groups: group A (n = 42), patients with depth of cancer invasion at muscularis propria (MP) or less than MP; group B (n = 45), depth of cancer invasion beyond the MP; and group C (n = 20), histologically diagnosed peritoneal metastasis or cancer cells cytologically defined in the peritoneal cavity. Patients in both groups A and B were diagnosed as having no cancer cells by peritoneal cytology and histology.
RESULTS: The methylation status of the 6 genes was found to be significantly different among the 3 groups (group A, 0-5%; group B, 0-15%; group C, 15-45%; P < 0.01). Furthermore, the rate of positive methylation in any of the 6 genes was significantly different in each group (group A, 7%; group B, 20%; group C, 75%; P < 0.001). Three of 9 patients in group B with positive methylation in any of 6 genes experienced peritoneal recurrence. On the other hand, only 1 of 36 patients without gene methylation experienced peritoneal recurrence (P < 0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: DNA methylation in PFs is a possible marker detecting occult neoplastic cells on the peritoneum. Methylation analysis along with a cytological examination might therefore improve the positive detection of cancer cells in PF of gastric cancer.

Underhill-Day N, Hill V, Latif F
N-terminal RASSF family: RASSF7-RASSF10.
Epigenetics. 2011; 6(3):284-92 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Epigenetic inactivation of tumor suppressor genes is a hallmark of cancer development. RASSF1A (Ras Association Domain Family 1 isoform A) tumor suppressor gene is one of the most frequently epigenetically inactivated genes in a wide range of adult and children's cancers and could be a useful molecular marker for cancer diagnosis and prognosis. RASSF1A has been shown to play a role in several biological pathways, including cell cycle control, apoptosis and microtubule dynamics. RASSF2, RASSF4, RASSF5 and RASSF6 are also epigenetically inactivated in cancer but have not been analysed in as wide a range of malignancies as RASSF1A. Recently four new members of the RASSF family were identified these are termed N-Terminal RASSF genes (RASSF7-RASSF10). Molecular and biological analysis of these newer members has just begun. This review highlights what we currently know in respects to structural, functional and molecular properties of the N-Terminal RASSFs.

Igarashi S, Suzuki H, Niinuma T, et al.
A novel correlation between LINE-1 hypomethylation and the malignancy of gastrointestinal stromal tumors.
Clin Cancer Res. 2010; 16(21):5114-23 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) are the most important mesenchymal tumors of the gastrointestinal tract. The vast majority of GISTs exhibit activating mutations of KIT or PDGFRA, but epigenetic alteration of GISTs is largely unknown. In this study, we aimed to clarify the involvement of DNA methylation in GIST malignancy.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: A total of 106 GIST specimens were studied. Levels of LINE-1 methylation were analyzed using bisulfite pyrosequencing. In addition, methylation of three other repetitive sequences (Alu Yb8, Satellite-α, and NBL2) was similarly analyzed, and CpG island hypermethylation was analyzed using MethyLight. Array-based comparative genomic hybridization (array CGH) was carried out in 25 GIST specimens.
RESULTS: LINE-1 hypomethylation was significantly correlated with risk, and high-risk GISTs exhibited significantly lower levels of LINE-1 methylation than low-risk (61.3% versus 53.2%; P = 0.001) or intermediate-risk GISTs (60.8% versus 53.2%; P = 0.002). Hypomethylation of Satellite-α and NBL2 was also observed in high-risk GISTs. By contrast, promoter hypermethylation was relatively infrequent (CDH1, 11.2%; MLH1, 9.8%; SFRP1, 1.2%; SFRP2, 11.0%; CHFR, 9.8%; APC, 6.1%; CDKN2A, 0%; RASSF1A, 0%; RASSF2, 0%) and did not correlate with LINE-1 methylation or risk. Array CGH analysis revealed a significant correlation between LINE-1 hypomethylation and chromosomal aberrations.
CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggest that LINE-1 hypomethylation correlates significantly with the aggressiveness of GISTs and that LINE-1 methylation could be a useful marker for risk assessment. Hypomethylation may increase the malignant potential of GISTs by inducing accumulation of chromosomal aberrations.

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