SCGB3A1

Gene Summary

Gene:SCGB3A1; secretoglobin family 3A member 1
Aliases: HIN1, HIN-1, LU105, UGRP2, PnSP-2
Location:5q35.3
Summary:-
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:secretoglobin family 3A member 1
Source:NCBIAccessed: 16 March, 2017

Ontology:

What does this gene/protein do?
Show (5)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1992-2017)
Graph generated 16 March 2017 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

  • Receptors, Progesterone
  • Cyclins
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Lung Cancer
  • Mutation
  • CpG Islands
  • Receptors, Retinoic Acid
  • Ductal Breast Carcinoma
  • DNA Methylation
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Cytokines
  • Transcription Factors
  • Epigenetics
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Chromosome 5
  • Breast
  • Carcinoma, Intraductal, Noninfiltrating
  • Promoter Regions
  • Cyclin D2
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Genetic Predisposition
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • BRCA1
  • Cancer DNA
  • Breast Cancer
  • Carcinoma, Lobular
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • Tumor Suppressor Gene
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Testicular Cancer
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Azacitidine
  • Estrogen Receptors
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Gene Silencing
  • ROC Curve
Tag cloud generated 16 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (4)

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: SCGB3A1 (cancer-related)

Ma K, Cao B, Guo M
The detective, prognostic, and predictive value of DNA methylation in human esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.
Clin Epigenetics. 2016; 8:43 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Esophageal cancer is one of the most common malignancies in the world. Squamous cell carcinoma accounts for approximately 90 % of esophageal cancer cases. Genetic and epigenetic changes have been found to accumulate during the development of various cancers, including esophageal squamous carcinoma (ESCC). Tobacco smoking and alcohol consumption are two major risk factors for ESCC, and both tobacco and alcohol were found to induce methylation changes in ESCC. Growing evidence demonstrates that aberrant epigenetic changes play important roles in the multiple-step processes of carcinogenesis and tumor progression. DNA methylation may occur in the key components of cancer-related signaling pathways. Aberrant DNA methylation affects genes involved in cell cycle, DNA damage repair, Wnt, TGF-β, and NF-κB signaling pathways, including P16, MGMT, SFRP2, DACH1, and ZNF382. Certain genes methylated in precursor lesions of the esophagus demonstrate that DNA methylation may serve as esophageal cancer early detection marker, such as methylation of HIN1, TFPI-2, DACH1, and SOX17. CHFR methylation is a late stage event in ESCC and is a sensitive marker for taxanes in human ESCC. FHIT methylation is associated with poor prognosis in ESCC. Aberrant DNA methylation changes may serve as diagnostic, prognostic, and chemo-sensitive markers. Characterization of the DNA methylome in ESCC will help to better understand its mechanisms and develop improved therapies.

Benevolenskaya EV, Islam AB, Ahsan H, et al.
DNA methylation and hormone receptor status in breast cancer.
Clin Epigenetics. 2016; 8:17 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: We examined whether differences in tumor DNA methylation were associated with more aggressive hormone receptor-negative breast cancer in an ethnically diverse group of patients in the Breast Cancer Care in Chicago (BCCC) study and using data from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA).
RESULTS: DNA was extracted from formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded samples on 75 patients (21 White, 31 African-American, and 23 Hispanic) (training dataset) enrolled in the BCCC. Hormone receptor status was defined as negative if tumors were negative for both estrogen and progesterone (ER/PR) receptors (N = 22/75). DNA methylation was analyzed at 1505 CpG sites within 807 gene promoters using the Illumina GoldenGate assay. Differential DNA methylation as a predictor of hormone receptor status was tested while controlling for false discovery rate and assigned to the gene closest to the respective CpG site. Next, those genes that predicted ER/PR status were validated using TCGA data with respect to DNA methylation (validation dataset), and correlations between CpG methylation and gene expression were examined. In the training dataset, 5.7 % of promoter mean methylation values (46/807) were associated with receptor status at P < 0.05; for 88 % of these (38/46), hypermethylation was associated with receptor-positive disease. Hypermethylation for FZD9, MME, BCAP31, HDAC9, PAX6, SCGB3A1, PDGFRA, IGFBP3, and PTGS2 genes most strongly predicted receptor-positive disease. Twenty-one of 24 predictor genes from the training dataset were confirmed in the validation dataset. The level of DNA methylation at 19 out 22 genes, for which gene expression data were available, was associated with gene activity.
CONCLUSIONS: Higher levels of promoter methylation strongly correlate with hormone receptor positive status of breast tumors. For most of the genes identified in our training dataset as ER/PR receptor status predictors, DNA methylation correlated with stable gene expression level. The predictors performed well when evaluated on independent set of samples, with different racioethnic distribution, thus providing evidence that this set of DNA methylation biomarkers will likely generalize to prospective patient samples.

White AJ, Chen J, Teitelbaum SL, et al.
Sources of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are associated with gene-specific promoter methylation in women with breast cancer.
Environ Res. 2016; 145:93-100 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Tobacco smoke, diet and indoor/outdoor air pollution, all major sources of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), have been associated with breast cancer. Aberrant methylation may be an early event in carcinogenesis, but whether PAHs influence the epigenome is unclear, particularly in breast tissue where methylation may be most relevant. We aimed to evaluate the role of methylation in the association between PAHs and breast cancer.
METHODS: In a population-based case-control study, we measured promoter methylation of 13 breast cancer-related genes in breast tumor tissue (n=765-851 cases) and global methylation in peripheral blood (1055 cases/1101 controls). PAH sources (current active smoking, residential environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), vehicular traffic, synthetic log burning, and grilled/smoked meat intake) were evaluated separately. Logistic regression was used to estimate adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).
RESULTS: When comparing methylated versus unmethylated genes, synthetic log use was associated with increased ORs for CDH1 (OR=2.26, 95%CI=1.06-4.79), HIN1 (OR=2.14, 95%CI=1.34-3.42) and RARβ (OR=1.80, 95%CI=1.16-2.78) and decreased ORs for BRCA1 (OR=0.44, 95%CI=0.30-0.66). Residential ETS was associated with decreased ORs for ESR1 (OR=0.74, 95%CI=0.56-0.99) and CCND2 methylation (OR=0.65, 95%CI=0.44-0.96). Current smoking and vehicular traffic were associated with decreased ORs for DAPK (OR=0.53, 95%CI=0.28-0.99) and increased ORs for TWIST1 methylation (OR=2.79, 95%CI=1.24-6.30), respectively. In controls, synthetic log use was inversely associated with LINE-1 (OR=0.59, 95%CI=0.41-0.86).
DISCUSSION: PAH sources were associated with hypo- and hypermethylation at multiple promoter regions in breast tumors and LINE-1 hypomethylation in blood of controls. Methylation may be a potential biologic mechanism for the associations between PAHs and breast cancer incidence.

Sheng Y, Wang H, Liu D, et al.
Methylation of tumor suppressor gene CDH13 and SHP1 promoters and their epigenetic regulation by the UHRF1/PRMT5 complex in endometrial carcinoma.
Gynecol Oncol. 2016; 140(1):145-51 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: Epigenetic changes in cancer and precancerous lesions could be utilized as biomarkers for cancer early detection. This study aims to investigate the novel biomarkers in endometrial carcinoma, and explore their epigenetic regulation.
METHODS: Methylation of six tumor suppressor genes (CDH13, SHP1, HIN1, DKK3, CTNNA1 and PCDH8) was evaluated in 155 endometrium samples. Changes of methylation and mRNA expression after treatment with 5-Aza-2'-deoxycytidine (5-Aza-CdR) or/and trichostatin A (TSA) were investigated by MSP and qRT-PCR respectively. Co-immunoprecipitation was used to detect the interactions between UHRF1 and PRMT5 proteins.
RESULTS: CDH13 and SHP1 promoters were highly methylated (81.36% and 86.44%, respectively) in endometrial carcinoma, while CDH13 promoter methylation was also present in complex hyperplasia and atypical hyperplasia (51.72% and 50.00%, respectively). Methylation of CDH13 and SHP1 promoters was associated with age and tumor differentiation or muscular infiltration depth. CDH13 and SHP1 promoters were completely methylated in endometrial carcinoma cell lines and were partially reversed by 5-Aza-CdR or TSA to induce mRNA levels (P<0.01). After combined treatment with these two agents, methylation of CDH13 and SHP1 promoters was completely reversed and expression of their mRNA was significantly increased (P<0.01). Moreover, PRMT5 could bind to UHRF1 and down-regulated by 5-Aza-CdR and/or TSA treatment (P<0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: Our data demonstrate for the first time that SHP1 methylation has high specificity for diagnosis of endometrial carcinoma, while CDH13 promoter methylation plays a role in the earlier stage. Furthermore, UHRF1 could form a complex with PRMT5 to contribute to the endometrial carcinogenesis.

Ho CM, Huang CJ, Huang SH, et al.
Demethylation of HIN-1 reverses paclitaxel-resistance of ovarian clear cell carcinoma through the AKT-mTOR signaling pathway.
BMC Cancer. 2015; 15:789 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Methylation of HIN-1 is associated with poor outcomes in patients with ovarian clear cell carcinoma (OCCC), which is regarded to be an aggressive, chemo-resistant histological subtype. This study aimed to evaluate whether 5-aza-2-deoxycytidine (5-aza-2-dC) can reverse methylation of the HIN-1 gene to restore chemo-sensitivity of OCCC and the possible mechanism.
METHODS: In vitro flow cytometric analysis and evaluation of caspase-3/7 activity of paclitaxel-sensitive and resistant OCCC cell lines were performed. Methylation status and expression changes of HIN-1 in the OCCC cell lines treated with 5-aza-2-dC were evaluated, and immunohistochemical staining of HIN-1 in OCCC tissues was performed. In vivo tumor growth with or without 5-aza-2-dC treatment was analyzed, and Western blotting of AKT-mTOR signaling-related molecules was performed.
RESULTS: G2-M phase arrest was absent in paclitaxel-resistant OCCC cells after treatment with the cytotoxic drug. The caspase activities of the chemo-resistant OCCC cells were lower than those of the chemo-sensitive OCCC cells when treated with paclitaxel. Methylation of HIN-1 was noted in paclitaxel-resistant OCCC cell lines and cancerous tissues. 5-aza-2-dC reversed the methylation of HIN-1, re-activated the expression of HIN-1, and then suppressed the in vivo tumor growth of paclitaxel-resistant OCCC cells. Immunoblotting revealed that phospho-AKT473 and phospho-mTOR were significantly increased in HIN-1-methylated paclitaxel-resistant OCCC cell lines. However, the expressions of phospho-AKT at Ser473 and Thr308 and phospho-mTOR decreased in the OCCC cells with a high expression of HIN-1.
CONCLUSIONS: Demethylating agents can restore the HIN-1 expression in paclitaxel-resistant OCCC cells through the HIN-1-AKT-mTOR signaling pathway to inhibit tumor growth.

Geybels MS, Zhao S, Wong CJ, et al.
Epigenomic profiling of DNA methylation in paired prostate cancer versus adjacent benign tissue.
Prostate. 2015; 75(16):1941-50 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Aberrant DNA methylation may promote prostate carcinogenesis. We investigated epigenome-wide DNA methylation profiles in prostate cancer (PCa) compared to adjacent benign tissue to identify differentially methylated CpG sites.
METHODS: The study included paired PCa and adjacent benign tissue samples from 20 radical prostatectomy patients. Epigenetic profiling was done using the Infinium HumanMethylation450 BeadChip. Linear models that accounted for the paired study design and False Discovery Rate Q-values were used to evaluate differential CpG methylation. mRNA expression levels of the genes with the most differentially methylated CpG sites were analyzed.
RESULTS: In total, 2,040 differentially methylated CpG sites were identified in PCa versus adjacent benign tissue (Q-value < 0.001), the majority of which were hypermethylated (n = 1,946; 95%). DNA methylation profiles accurately distinguished between PCa and benign tissue samples. Twenty-seven top-ranked hypermethylated CpGs had a mean methylation difference of at least 40% between tissue types, which included 25 CpGs in 17 genes. Furthermore, for 10 genes over 50% of promoter region CpGs were hypermethylated in PCa versus benign tissue. The top-ranked differentially methylated genes included three genes that were associated with both promoter hypermethylation and reduced gene expression: SCGB3A1, HIF3A, and AOX1. Analysis of The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) data provided confirmatory evidence for our findings.
CONCLUSIONS: This study of PCa versus adjacent benign tissue showed many differentially methylated CpGs and regions in and outside gene promoter regions, which may potentially be used for the development of future epigenetic-based diagnostic tests or as therapeutic targets.

Spitzwieser M, Holzweber E, Pfeiler G, et al.
Applicability of HIN-1, MGMT and RASSF1A promoter methylation as biomarkers for detecting field cancerization in breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Res. 2015; 17:125 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: It has been shown in some articles that genetic and epigenetic abnormalities cannot only be found in tumor tissues but also in adjacent regions that appear histologically normal. This phenomenon is metaphorically called field cancerization or field defect. Field cancerization is regarded as clinically significant because it is assumed to be an important factor in local recurrence of cancer. As the field showing these molecular abnormalities may not be removed completely by surgery, these changes might lead to neoplasms and subsequent transformation to a tumor. We aimed to investigate the applicability of the methylation status of six tumor suppressor genes as biomarkers for detecting field cancerization in breast cancer.
METHODS: The promoter methylation status of CCND2, DAPK1, GSTP1, HIN-1, MGMT and RASSF1A was determined by methylation-sensitive high-resolution melting (MS-HRM) analysis. MS-HRM methods for CCND2, MGMT and RASSF1A were developed in-house, primer sequences for DAPK1, GSTP1 and HIN-1 have already been published. Biopsy samples were taken from tumor, tumor-adjacent and tumor-distant tissue from 17 breast cancer patients. Normal breast tissues of four healthy women served as controls.
RESULTS: All MS-HRM methods proved to be very sensitive. LODs were in the range from 0.1 to 1.5 %, LOQs ranged from 0.3 to 5.3 %. A total of 94 %, 82 % and 65 % of the tumors showed methylation of RASSF1A, HIN-1 and MGMT promoters, respectively. The methylation status of these promoters was significantly lower in tumor-distant tissues than in tumor tissues. Tumor-adjacent tissues showed higher methylation status of RASSF1A, HIN-1 and MGMT promoters than tumor-distant tissues, indicating field cancerization. The methylation status of the HIN-1 promoter in tumor-adjacent tissues was found to correlate strongly with that in the corresponding tumors (r = 0.785, p < 0.001), but not with that in the corresponding tumor-distant tissues (r = 0.312, p = 0.239).
CONCLUSIONS: Among the gene promoters investigated, the methylation status of the HIN-1 promoter can be considered the best suitable biomarker for detecting field cancerization. Further investigation is needed to test whether it can be used for defining surgical margins in order to prevent future recurrence of breast cancer.

Herranz M, Padín-Iruegas ME, Martínez-Lago N, et al.
HIN-1: a New Epigenetic Biomarker Crucial for Therapy Selection in Glioblastoma Multiforme.
Mol Neurobiol. 2016; 53(3):1802-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common brain tumor in adults. The role of high in normal-1 (HIN-1) as a potential biomarker in combating this disease is being described for the first time in this study. A combination of O6-methylguanine DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) and HIN-1 methylation could be a possible biomarker in therapy choice. Interestingly, survival data shows a similar trend for the methylation of MGMT and for unmethylation of HIN-1 and vice versa. Eighty-eight paraffin-embedded brain tumors were analyzed to screen methylation rates of different genes and evaluate the association between genes methylation and clinicopathologic variables. Our study is the first of its kind to indicate that MGMT and HIN-1 methylation status are inverted (97.7% of methylated ones) and could be new markers in the study of GBM prognosis, especially in the therapy selection.

Hafez MM, Al-Shabanah OA, Al-Rejaie SS, et al.
Increased hypermethylation of glutathione S-transferase P1, DNA-binding protein inhibitor, death associated protein kinase and paired box protein-5 genes in triple-negative breast cancer Saudi females.
Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2015; 16(2):541-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is an aggressive subtype of breast cancer (BC) with higher metastatic rate and both local and systemic recurrence compared to non-TNBC. The generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) secondary to oxidative stress is associated with DNA damage, chromosomal degradation and alterations of both hypermethylation and hypomethylation of DNA. This study concerns differential methylation of promoter regions in specific groups of genes in TNBC and non-TNBC Saudi females in an effort to understand whether epigenetic events might be involved in breast carcinogenesis, and whether they might be used as markers for Saudi BCs. Methylation of glutathione S-transferase P1 (GSTP1), T-cadherin (CDH13), Paired box protein 5 (PAX5), death associated protein kinase (DAPK), twist-related protein (TWIST), DNA-binding protein inhibitor (ID4), High In Normal-1 (HIN-1), cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 2A (p16), cyclin D2 and retinoic acid receptor-β (RARβ1) genes was analyzed by methylation specific polymerase chain reaction (MSP) in 200 archival formalin- fixed paraffin embedded BC tissues divided into 3 groups; benign breast tissues (20), TNBC (80) and non-TNBC (100). The relationships between methylation status, and clinical and pathological characteristics of patients and tumors were assessed. Higher frequencies of GSTP1, ID4, TWIST, DAPK, PAX5 and HIN-1 hypermethylation were found in TNBC than in non-TNBC. Hypermethylation of GSTP1, CDH13, ID4, DAPK, HIN-1 and PAX5 increased with tumor grade increasing. Other statistically significant correlations were identified with studied genes. Data from this study suggest that increased hypermethylation of GSTP1, ID4, TWIST, DAPK, PAX5 and HIN-1 genes in TNBC than in non-TNBC can act as useful biomarker for BCs in the Saudi population. The higher frequency of specific hypermethylated genes paralleling tumor grade, size and lymph node involvement suggests contributions to breast cancer initiation and progression.

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.

Dai D, Dong XH, Cheng ST, et al.
Aberrant promoter methylation of HIN-1 gene may contribute to the pathogenesis of breast cancer: a meta-analysis.
Tumour Biol. 2014; 35(8):8209-16 [PubMed] Related Publications
We conducted the present meta-analysis of relevant cohort studies to evaluate whether promoter methylation of the high in normal-1 (HIN-1) gene contributes to breast cancer. The MEDLINE (1966 ~ 2013), Cochrane Library (Issue 12, 2013), EMBASE (1980 ~ 2013), CINAHL (1982 ~ 2013), Web of Science (1945 ~ 2013), and Chinese Biomedical (CBM) (1982 ~ 2013) databases were searched without any language restrictions. Meta-analyses were conducted using Stata software (version 12.0; Stata Corporation, College Station, TX, USA). Crude odds ratios (ORs) with their 95 % confidence interval (CI) were calculated. Nine clinical cohort studies that enrolled a total of 693 breast cancer patients were included in the meta-analysis. The results of our meta-analysis demonstrated that HIN-1 methylation frequency in cancer tissue was significantly higher than that of normal and benign tissues (cancer tissue vs. normal tissue: OR = 52.60, 95 % CI = 33.77 ~ 81.92, P < 0.001; cancer tissue vs. benign tissue: OR = 2.38, 95 % CI = 1.53 ~ 3.70, P < 0.001; respectively). Ethnicity-stratified analysis indicated that HIN-1 promoter methylation was correlated with the pathogenesis of breast cancer among both Asians and Caucasians (all P < 0.05). Our findings provide empirical evidence that aberrant HIN-1 promoter methylation may contribute to the pathogenesis of breast cancer. Thus, aberrant HIN-1 promoter methylation could be an independent and important biomarker used in predicting the prognosis and progression of breast cancer.

Vasiljević N, Scibior-Bentkowska D, Brentnall AR, et al.
Credentialing of DNA methylation assays for human genes as diagnostic biomarkers of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia in high-risk HPV positive women.
Gynecol Oncol. 2014; 132(3):709-14 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: Testing for high risk human papillomavirus (HR-HPV) is increasing; however due to limitations in specificity there remains a need for better triage tests. Research efforts have focused recently on methylation of human genes which show promise as diagnostic classifiers.
METHODS: Methylation of 26 genes: APC, CADM1, CCND2, CDH13, CDKN2A, CTNNB1, DAPK1, DPYS, EDNRB, EPB41L3, ESR1, GSTP1, HIN1, JAM3, LMX1, MAL, MDR1, PAX1, PTGS2, RARB, RASSF1, SLIT2, SOX1, SPARC, TERT and TWIST1 was measured by pyrosequencing in cytology specimens from a pilot set of women with normal or cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 3 (CIN3) histology. Six genes were selected for testing in Predictors 1, a colposcopy referral study comprising 799 women. The three genes EPB41L3, DPYS and MAL were further tested in a second colposcopy referral study, Predictors 2, comprising 884 women.
RESULTS: The six genes selected from the pilot: EPB41L3, EDNRB, LMX1, DPYS, MAL and CADM1 showed significantly elevated methylation in CIN2 and CIN3 (CIN2/3) versus ≤CIN1 in Predictors 1 (p<0.01). Highest methylation was observed in cancer tissues. EPB41L3 methylation was the best single classifier of CIN2/3 in both HR-HPV positive (p<0.0001) and negative samples (p=0.02). Logistic regression modeling showed that other genes did not add significantly to EPB41L3 and in Predictors 2, its classifier value was validated with AUC 0.69 (95% CI 0.65-0.73).
CONCLUSION: Several methylated genes show promise for detecting CIN2/3 of which EPB41L3 seems the best. Methylated human gene biomarkers used in combination may be clinically useful for triage of women with HR-HPV infections.

Bignotti E, Tassi RA, Calza S, et al.
Secretoglobin expression in ovarian carcinoma: lipophilin B gene upregulation as an independent marker of better prognosis.
J Transl Med. 2013; 11:162 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The aim of the present study was to investigate within ovarian carcinoma and normal ovarian biopsies the gene expression of multiple secretoglobin family members relative to mammaglobin B, which we previously reported as a promising novel ovarian carcinoma prognostic marker.
METHODS: Using quantitative real-time Reverse Transcription PCR we tested 53 ovarian carcinoma and 30 normal ovaries for the expression of 8 genes belonging to the secretoglobin family: mammaglobin A, lipophilin A, lipophilin B, uteroglobin, HIN-1, UGRP-1, RYD5 and IIS. Next, we decided to expand the LipB gene expression analysis to a further 48 ovarian carcinoma samples, for a total of 101 tumor tissues of various histologies and to study its protein expression by immunohistochemistry in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tumors and normal ovaries. Finally, we correlated lipophilin B gene and protein expression to conventional patient clinico-pathological features and outcome.
RESULTS: We found significant mammaglobin A, lipophilin A, lipophilin B and RYD5 gene overexpression in ovarian carcinomas compared to normal ovaries. Lipophilin B mRNA showed a higher presence in tumors (75.4%) compared to normal ovaries (16.6%) and the most significant correlation with mammaglobin B mRNA (rs =0.77, p < 0.001). By immunohistochemical analysis, we showed higher lipophilin B expression in the cytoplasm of tumor cells compared to normal ovaries (p < 0.001). Moreover, lipophilin B gene overexpression was significantly associated with serous histology (serous vs clear cell p = 0.027; serous vs undifferentiated p = 0.007) and lower tumor grade (p = 0.02). Lower LipB mRNA levels (low versus high tertiles) were associated to a shorter progression-free (p = 0.03, HR = 2.2) and disease-free survival (p = 0.02, HR = 2.5) by univariate survival analysis and, importantly, they remain an independent prognostic marker for decreased disease-free (p = 0.001, HR = 3.9) and progression-free survival (p = 0.004, HR = 2.8) in multivariate Cox regression analysis.
CONCLUSIONS: The present study represents the first quantitative evaluation of secretoglobin gene expression in normal and neoplastic ovarian tissues. Our results demonstrate lipophilin B gene and protein upregulation in ovarian carcinoma compared to normal ovary. Moreover, lipophilin B gene overexpression correlates with a less aggressive tumor phenotype and represents a novel ovarian carcinoma prognostic factor.

Twelves D, Nerurkar A, Osin P, et al.
DNA promoter hypermethylation profiles in breast duct fluid.
Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2013; 139(2):341-50 [PubMed] Related Publications
DNA methylation of tumor-suppressor genes occurs early in the molecular transformation of precursor events to breast cancer and is therefore of interest to screening in high-risk women. The aim of this study was to use tumor-suppressor genes that have previously been shown to be cancer predictive in tissue to evaluate the potential of DNA methylation assays in cells from duct lavage (DL) fluid. The frequency of target gene DNA methylation in tissue and DL of cancer and healthy control patients was assessed, and an association of DNA methylation between different duct systems in the same breast was explored. The cancer and control groups were identified in the outpatient clinic when surgical treatment was finalized. Tumor, adjacent tissue and bilateral DL samples for comparative DNA methylation studies were obtained during surgery from women with cancer. In the healthy control group, samples of tissue and DL were collected. Reverse transcriptase methylation-specific PCR was conducted on modified DNA purified from 42 cancer biopsies, 41 benign excision cavity biopsies (internal control), 29 benign biopsies (external control), and 119 DL specimens. A validated panel of cancer predictive genes was analyzed in the study bank of tissue and DL samples from cancer and healthy patients. The sensitivity of DNA methylation in DL samples compared with matched cancer tissue was highest for SCGB3A1 (90 %), CDH13 (91 %), and RARB (83 %). The genetic algorithm selected RASSF1A, RARB, and IGFBP7 as the optimum predictor set for detecting DNA methylation in cancer tissue. The optimum area under the ROC curve for DNA methylation in cancer compared with internal control healthy tissue from excision margins was 0.84. The area under the ROC curve for DNA methylation in cancer DL compared with contralateral benign DL was 0.76. DL cytology was not a helpful predictor of breast cancer. This study shows that relative patterns of tumor-suppressor gene hypermethylation in breast cancer tissue are significantly reflected in the DL from the cancer affected breast. Using DL, nonconcordant patterns of DNA methylation between different duct systems confer independent oncologic potential for distinct breast lobes. The approach of DNA methylation in DL may be substantiated by a larger trial of breast cancer biomarkers.

García-Baquero R, Puerta P, Beltran M, et al.
Methylation of a novel panel of tumor suppressor genes in urine moves forward noninvasive diagnosis and prognosis of bladder cancer: a 2-center prospective study.
J Urol. 2013; 190(2):723-30 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Changes in DNA methylation of tumor suppressor genes early in carcinogenesis represent potential indicators of cancer detection and disease evolution. We examined the diagnostic, stratification and prognostic biomarker roles in urine of the methylation of a novel panel of tumor suppressor genes in bladder cancer.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: We evaluated the methylation of 18 tumor suppressor genes in 2 prospective, independent sets of urine samples (training set of 120 preparations and validation set of 128) from patients with bladder cancer (170) and controls (78) using methylation specific multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification. Diagnostic performance was evaluated with ROC curves. Recurrence, progression and disease specific survival were analyzed using univariate and multivariate Cox models.
RESULTS: PRDM2, HLTF, ID4, DLC1, BNIP3, H2AFX, CACNA1G, TGIF and CACNA1A were methylated in bladder cancer. CCND2, SCGB3A1, BNIP3, ID4 and RUNX3 were the most frequently methylated tumor suppressor genes in each urine set. Methylation of several tumor suppressor genes correlated with clinicopathological variables, such as stage, tumor grade, focality or age. ROC analysis revealed significant diagnostic accuracy for RUNX3 and CACNA1A in the training set, and for RUNX3 and ID4 in the validation set. On univariate and multivariate analysis CACNA1A methylation correlated with recurrence in the training set, while in the validation set PRDM2 and BNIP3 were significantly associated with recurrence and disease specific survival, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: Tumor suppressor gene methylation allowed for histopathological and clinical stratification. Urine methylation has noninvasive usefulness not only for diagnostic assessment but also as independent bladder cancer prognosticators.

Verschuur-Maes AH, de Bruin PC, van Diest PJ
Epigenetic progression of columnar cell lesions of the breast to invasive breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2012; 136(3):705-15 [PubMed] Related Publications
Promoter hypermethylation of several tumour suppressor genes often occurs during breast carcinogenesis, but little is known about epigenetic silencing in the possible precursor columnar cell lesion (CCL). Promoter hypermethylation of 50 different tumour suppressor genes was assessed in normal breast tissue (N = 10), CCL (N = 15), ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) grade I originating in CCL (N = 5) and paired CCL (N = 15) with DCIS (N = 7) and/or invasive carcinoma (N = 14) by Methylation-specific multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification. Increasing mean cumulative methylation levels were found from normal breast tissue to CCL to DCIS and invasive carcinoma (P < 0.001) with similar methylation levels in DCIS and invasive carcinoma. Methylation levels and frequencies (in the overall analysis and analysis of only the synchronous lesions) were the highest for RASSF1, CCND2, ID4, SCGB3A1 and CDH13. The methylation levels of ID4, CCND2, and CDH13 increased significantly from normal breast tissue to CCL and to DCIS/invasive carcinoma. RASSF1, SCGB3A1 and SFRP5 had significant higher methylation levels in CCL compared to normal breast tissue, but showed no significant differences between CCL, DCIS and invasive carcinoma. Also, no difference was found between CCLs with and without atypia, or CCLs with or without synchronous cancer. In conclusion, promoter hypermethylation for several established tumour suppressor genes is already present in CCLs, underlining that promoter hypermethylation is an early event in breast carcinogenesis. Atypia in CCL or the presence of synchronous more advanced lesions does not seem to be accompanied by higher methylation levels.

Kim GE, Kweon SS, Lee JS, et al.
Quantitative assessment of DNA methylation for the detection of cervical and endometrial adenocarcinomas in liquid-based cytology specimens.
Anal Quant Cytopathol Histpathol. 2012; 34(4):195-203 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the aberrant promoter hypermethylation as a screening tool for cervical adenocarcinomas (CAs) and endometrial adenocarcinomas (EAs) in cervical scrapings.
STUDY DESIGN: A quantitative multiplex methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction approach was used to examine promoter methylation of 5 genes (APC, HIN-1, RAR-beta, RASSF1A and Twist) in biopsy-confirmed CA (n = 31) and EA (n = 27) residual, liquid-based cytology samples. The data of negative for intraepithelial lesions or malignancy and low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions were used as controls.
RESULTS: Methylation levels of APC, RAR-beta, RASSF1A and Twist were significantly higher in CA than in control cervical samples. For EA, only the methylation levels of RASSF1A differed significantly from those of control. Receiver-operating characteristic analysis demonstrated that APC, RAR-beta and RASSF1A had the ability to distinguish CA/EA, CA and EA from control samples. In CA/EA and CA samples, the best 3-gene combination was RASSF1A/RAR-beta/APC. This 3-gene panel had a sensitivity of 87.0% for CA/EA and of 80.6% for CA and a specificity of 79.3% for both CA/EA and CA. In EA samples, RASSF1A showed the best performance in distinguishing EA from control. The estimated sensitivity of RASSF1A for detecting EA was 63.0%, and its specificity was 96.3%.
CONCLUSION: This feasibility study demonstrates that quantitative detection of aberrant DNA methylation in cervical scrapings may be a promising new diagnostic tool for the detection of CA and EA.

Sturgeon SR, Balasubramanian R, Schairer C, et al.
Detection of promoter methylation of tumor suppressor genes in serum DNA of breast cancer cases and benign breast disease controls.
Epigenetics. 2012; 7(11):1258-67 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Tumors are capable of shedding DNA into the blood stream. This shed DNA may be recovered from serum or plasma. The objective of this study was to evaluate whether pyrosequencing promoter DNA in a panel of 12 breast cancer-related genes (APC, BRCA1, CCND2, CDH1, ESR1, GSTP1, HIN1, P16, RARβ, RASSF1, SFRP1 and TWIST) to measure the degree of methylation would lead to a useful serum-based marker of breast cancer. Serum was obtained from women who were about to undergo a breast biopsy or mastectomy at three hospitals from 1977 to 1987 in Grand Rapids, MI USA. We compared the methylation status of 12 genes in serum DNA obtained from three groups of postmenopausal women (mean age at blood collection: 63.0 y; SD 9.9; range 35-91): breast cancer cases with lymph node-positive disease (n = 241); breast cancer cases with lymph node-negative disease (n = 63); and benign breast disease control subjects (n = 234). Overall, median levels of promoter methylation were low, typically below 5%, for all genes in all study groups. For all genes, median levels of methylation were higher (by 3.3 to 47.6%) in lymph node-positive breast cancer cases than in the controls. Comparing mean methylation level between lymph-node positive cases and controls, the most statistically significant findings, after adjustment of the false-positive rate (q-value), were for TWIST (p = 0.04), SFRP1 (p = 0.16), ESR1 (p = 0.17), P16 (p = 0.19) and APC (p = 0.19). For two of these four genes (TWIST, P16), the median methylation level was also highest in lymph-node positive cases, intermediate in lymph node-negative cases and lowest in the controls. The percent of study subjects with mean methylation scores ≥ 5% was higher among lymph node-positive cases than controls for ten genes, and significantly higher for HIN1 and TWIST (22.0 vs. 12.2%, p = 0.04 and 37.9 vs. 24.5%, p = 0.004, respectively). Despite relatively consistent variation in methylation patterns among groups, these modest differences did not provide sufficient ability to distinguish between cases and controls in a clinical setting.

Ho CM, Huang CJ, Huang CY, et al.
Promoter methylation status of HIN-1 associated with outcomes of ovarian clear cell adenocarcinoma.
Mol Cancer. 2012; 11:53 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: This study is to analyze promoter methylation of various tumor suppressor genes in different types of ovarian carcinoma and to identify potential therapeutic targets of ovarian clear cell adenocarcinoma (OCCA).
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The promoter methylation statuses of 40 genes in primary ovarian carcinomas including 47 clear- and 63 non-clear-cell type tissues, 6 OCCA cell lines, 29 benign ovarian endometriotic cysts, and 31 normal controls were analyzed by methylation-specific multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MS-MLPA). The MS-MLPA results were correlated with clinicopathological features and outcomes of 47 OCCA patients. Functions of the target genes were further explored by Western Blot Analysis, apoptosis assay, and caspase-3/7 activity analysis.
RESULTS: Frequencies of methylated RASSF1A, CDH13, CACNA1A, HIN-1, and sFRP5 genes in OCCA tissues were significantly higher than those in non-OCCA cancerous tissues and benign endometriotic cysts. The expected OS for patients with methylated promoters of HIN-1 was significantly worse than those for patients without methylated HIN-1 (30% vs. 62%, p = 0.002). The HIN-1 gene was over-expressed in ES2 cells, a significant reduction in cell growth and induction of apoptosis, and increasing paclitaxel sensitivity by reducing phosphorylation of Akt were observed.
CONCLUSIONS: Methylation of HIN-1 promoter is a novel epigenetic biomarker associated with poor outcomes in OCCA patients. Ectopic expression of the HIN-1 gene increased paclitaxel sensitivity which is partly through Akt pathway.

Gu S, Tian Y, Chlenski A, et al.
Valproic acid shows a potent antitumor effect with alteration of DNA methylation in neuroblastoma.
Anticancer Drugs. 2012; 23(10):1054-66 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Epigenetic aberrations and a CpG island methylator phenotype are associated with poor outcome in children with neuroblastoma (NB). Previously, we have shown that valproic acid (VPA), a histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor, exerts antitumor effects in an NB xenograft model. However, the underlying antitumor molecular mechanisms are largely unknown. In this study, we examined the role of HDAC in cell proliferation, cell cycle progression, gene expression patterns, and epigenome in NB. Cell proliferation, cell cycle progression, caspase activity, RNA and protein expression, quantitative methylation, and global DNA methylation were examined in NBL-W-N and LA1-55n NB cell lines. Our studies showed that inhibition of HDAC decreased NB proliferation, and induced caspase activity and G1 growth arrest. Expression patterns of cancer-related genes were modulated by VPA. The expression of THBS1, CASP8, SPARC, CDKN1A, HIC1, CDKN1B, and HIN1 was upregulated, and that of MYCN and TIG1 was downregulated. HDAC inhibition decreased methylation levels of THBS1 and RASSF1A promoters. Inhibition of HDAC increased acetylation of histone 4 and overall DNA methylation levels. Our studies showed that inhibition of HDAC blocked cell proliferation and cell cycle progression in relation to alteration in cancer-related genes, increased overall DNA methylation, and decreased methylation of tumor suppressor genes. Further studies examining the antitumor effects of VPA in NB are warranted.

Fonseca AL, Kugelberg J, Starker LF, et al.
Comprehensive DNA methylation analysis of benign and malignant adrenocortical tumors.
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2012; 51(10):949-60 [PubMed] Related Publications
The molecular pathogenesis of benign and malignant adrenocortical tumors (ACT) is incompletely clarified. The role of DNA methylation in adrenocortical tumorigenesis has not been analyzed in an unbiased, systematic fashion. Using the Infinium HumanMethylation27 BeadChip, the DNA methylation levels of 27,578 CpG sites were investigated in bisulfite-modified DNA from 6 normal adrenocortical tissue samples, 27 adrenocortical adenomas (ACA), and 15 adrenocortical carcinomas (ACC). Genes involved in cell cycle regulation, apoptosis, and transcriptional regulation of known or putative importance in the development of adrenal tumors showed significant and frequent hypermethylation. Such genes included CDKN2A, GATA4, BCL2, DLEC1, HDAC10, PYCARD, and SCGB3A1/HIN1. Comparing benign versus malignant ACT, a total of 212 CpG islands were identified as significantly hypermethylated in ACC. Gene expression studies of selected hypermethylated genes (CDKN2A, GATA4, DLEC1, HDAC10, PYCARD, SCGB3A1/HIN1) in 6 normal and 16 neoplastic adrenocortical tissues (10 ACA and 6 ACC), displayed reduced gene expression in benign and malignant ACT versus normal adrenocortical tissue. Treatment with 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine of adrenocortical cancer H-295R cells increased expression of the hypermethylated genes CDKN2A, GATA4, DLEC1, HDAC10, PYCARD, and SCGB3A1/HIN1. In conclusion, the current study represents the first unbiased, quantitative, genome-wide study of adrenocortical tumor DNA methylation. Genes with altered DNA methylation patterns were identified of putative importance to benign and malignant adrenocortical tumor development.

Wang S, Dorsey TH, Terunuma A, et al.
Relationship between tumor DNA methylation status and patient characteristics in African-American and European-American women with breast cancer.
PLoS One. 2012; 7(5):e37928 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Aberrant DNA methylation is critical for development and progression of breast cancer. We investigated the association of CpG island methylation in candidate genes and clinicopathological features in 65 African-American (AA) and European-American (EA) breast cancer patients. Quantitative methylation analysis was carried out on bisulfite modified genomic DNA and sequencing (pyrosequencing) for promoter CpG islands of p16, ESR1, RASSF1A, RARβ2, CDH13, HIN1, SFRP1 genes and the LINE1 repetitive element using matched paired non-cancerous and breast tumor specimen (32 AA and 33 EA women). Five of the genes, all known tumor suppressor genes (RASSF1A, RARβ2, CDH13, HIN1 and SFRP1), were found to be frequently hypermethylated in breast tumor tissues but not in the adjacent non-cancerous tissues. Significant differences in the CDH13 methylation status were observed by comparing DNA methylation between AA and EA patients, with more obvious CDH13 methylation differences between the two patient groups in the ER- disease and among young patients (age<50). In addition, we observed associations between CDH13, SFRP1, and RASSF1A methylation and breast cancer subtypes and between SFRP1 methylation and patient's age. Furthermore, tumors that received neoadjuvant therapy tended to have reduced RASSF1A methylation when compared with chemotherapy naïve tumors. Finally, Kaplan Meier survival analysis showed a significant association between methylation at 3 loci (RASSF1A, RARβ2 and CDH13) and reduced overall disease survival. In conclusion, the DNA methylation status of breast tumors was found to be significantly associated with clinicopathological features and race/ethnicity of the patients.

Xu J, Shetty PB, Feng W, et al.
Methylation of HIN-1, RASSF1A, RIL and CDH13 in breast cancer is associated with clinical characteristics, but only RASSF1A methylation is associated with outcome.
BMC Cancer. 2012; 12:243 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Aberrant promoter CpG island hypermethylation is associated with transcriptional silencing. Tumor suppressor genes are the key targets of hypermethylation in breast cancer and therefore may lead to malignancy by deregulation of cell growth and division. Our previous pilot study with pairs of malignant and normal breast tissues identified correlated methylation of two pairs of genes - HIN-1/RASSFIA and RIL/CDH13 - with expression of estrogen receptors (ER), progesterone receptors (PR), and HER2 (HER2). To determine the impact of methylation on clinical outcome, we have conducted a larger study with breast cancers for which time to first recurrence and overall survival are known.
METHODS: Tumors from 193 patients with early stage breast cancer who received no adjuvant systemic therapy were used to analyze methylation levels of RIL, HIN-1, RASSF1A and CDH13 genes for associations with known predictive and prognostic factors and for impact on time to first recurrence and overall survival.
RESULTS: In this study, we found that ER was associated with RASSF1A methylation (p < 0.001) and HIN-1 methylation (p = 0.002). PR was associated with RIL methylation (p = 0.012), HIN-1 (p = 0.002), and RASSF1A methylation (p = 0.019). Tumor size was associated with RIL and CDH13 methylation (both p = 0.002), and S-phase was associated with RIL methylation (p = 0.036). Only RASSF1A was associated with worse time to first recurrence (p = 0.045) and worse overall survival (p = 0.016) after adjusting for age, tumor size, S-phase, estrogen receptor and progesterone receptor.
CONCLUSIONS: Methylation of HIN-1, RASSF1A, RIL and CDH13 in breast cancers was associated with clinical characteristics, but only RASSF1A methylation was associated with time to first recurrence and overall survival. Our data suggest that RASSF1A methylation could be a potential prognostic biomarker.

Yu Y, Yin D, Hoque MO, et al.
AKT signaling pathway activated by HIN-1 methylation in non-small cell lung cancer.
Tumour Biol. 2012; 33(2):307-14 [PubMed] Related Publications
The purpose of this study is to determine the epigenetic changes and function of High in Normal-1 (HIN-1) in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). HIN-1 expression was examined by semiquantitative RT-PCR before and after 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (5-aza) treatment in NSCLC cell lines. Promoter methylation status of HIN-1 was tested by methylation-specific PCR (MSP). Effect of forced expression of HIN-1 on different key molecules of AKT signaling pathway was tested by Western Blot analysis in H157 and H23 cell lines. Promoter methylations are inversely correlated with expression of HIN-1 in eight (H23, H157, 95D, H1299, H358, H1752, H460, A549) of ten NSCLC cell lines and re-expression was observed by 5-aza treatment. We then tested promoter methylation of HIN-1 in primary NSCLC tissues. Methylation was detected in 73 out of 152 (48%) NSCLC cases. Forced expression of HIN-1 in NSCLC cell lines inhibited colony formation and induce apoptosis. Furthermore, overexpression of HIN-1 reduces the expression of phosphorated-AKT (p-AKT), c-myc, Bcl-2 and cyclinD1 while Bax was increased. Our data suggest that HIN-1 is a potential tumor suppressor gene in NSCLC, silenced by promoter hypermethylation and negatively regulate AKT signaling pathway.

Xu X, Gammon MD, Jefferson E, et al.
The influence of one-carbon metabolism on gene promoter methylation in a population-based breast cancer study.
Epigenetics. 2011; 6(11):1276-83 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Abnormal methylation in gene promoters is a hallmark of the cancer genome; however, factors that may influence promoter methylation have not been well elucidated. As the one-carbon metabolism pathway provides the universal methyl donor for methylation reactions, perturbation of this pathway might influence DNA methylation and, ultimately, affect gene functions. Utilizing approximately 800 breast cancer tumor tissues from a large population-based study, we investigated the relationships between dietary and genetic factors involved in the one-carbon metabolism pathway and promoter methylation of a panel of 13 breast cancer-related genes. We found that CCND2, HIN1 and CHD1 were the most "dietary sensitive" genes, as methylation of their promoters was associated with intakes of at least two out of the eight dietary methyl factors examined. On the other hand, some micronutrients (i.e., B 2 and B 6) were more "epigenetically active" as their intake levels correlated with promoter methylation status in 3 out of the 13 breast cancer genes evaluated. Both positive (hypermethylation) and inverse (hypomethylation) associations with high micronutrient intake were observed. Unlike what we saw for dietary factors, we did not observe any clear patterns between one-carbon genetic polymorphisms and the promoter methylation status of the genes examined. Our results provide preliminary evidence that one-carbon metabolism may have the capacity to influence the breast cancer epigenome. Given that epigenetic alterations are thought to occur early in cancer development and are potentially reversible, dietary modifications may offer promising venues for cancer intervention and prevention.

Park SY, Kwon HJ, Choi Y, et al.
Distinct patterns of promoter CpG island methylation of breast cancer subtypes are associated with stem cell phenotypes.
Mod Pathol. 2012; 25(2):185-96 [PubMed] Related Publications
Although DNA methylation profiles in breast cancer have been connected to breast cancer molecular subtype, there have been no studies of the association of DNA methylation with stem cell phenotype. This study was designed to evaluate the promoter CpG island methylation of 15 genes in relation to breast cancer subtype, and to investigate whether the patterns of CpG island methylation in each subtype are associated with their cancer stem cell phenotype represented by CD44+/CD24- and ALDH1 expression. We performed MethyLight analysis of the methylation status of 15 promoter CpG island loci involved in breast cancer progression (APC, DLEC1, GRIN2B, GSTP1, HOXA1, HOXA10, IGF2, MT1G, RARB, RASSF1A, RUNX3, SCGB3A1, SFRP1, SFRP4, and TMEFF2) and determined cancer stem cell phenotype by CD44/CD24 and ALDH1 immunohistochemistry in 36 luminal A, 33 luminal B, 30 luminal-HER2, 40 HER2 enriched, and 40 basal-like subtypes of breast cancer. The number of CpG island loci methylated differed significantly between subtypes, and was highest in the luminal-HER2 subtype and lowest in the basal-like subtype. Methylation frequencies and levels in 12 of the 15 genes differed significantly between subtypes, and the basal-like subtype had significantly lower methylation frequencies and levels in nine of the genes than the other subtypes. CD44+/CD24- and ALDH1+ putative stem cell populations were most enriched in the basal-like subtype. Methylation of promoter CpG islands was significantly lower in CD44+/CD24-cell (+) tumors than in CD44+/CD24-cell (-) tumors, even within the basal-like subtype. ALDH1 (+) tumors were also less methylated than ALDH1 (-) tumors. Our findings showed that promoter CpG island methylation was different in relation to breast cancer subtype and stem cell phenotype of tumor, suggesting that breast cancers have distinct patterns of CpG island methylation according to molecular subtypes and these are associated with different stem cell phenotypes of the tumor.

Cho YH, Shen J, Gammon MD, et al.
Prognostic significance of gene-specific promoter hypermethylation in breast cancer patients.
Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2012; 131(1):197-205 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The association between promoter methylation status and survival was investigated in a large cohort of women with breast cancer, participants in the Long Island Breast Cancer Study Project. Archived tumor tissues (n = 839) were collected from women diagnosed with a first primary invasive or in situ breast cancer in 1996-1997. Vital status was followed through the end of 2005 with a mean follow-up time of 8 years. Promoter methylation of eight breast cancer-related genes was assessed by MethyLight. The frequencies of methylation for HIN1, RASSF1A, DAPK1, GSTP1, CyclinD2, TWIST, CDH1 and RARβ were 62.9, 85.2, 14.1, 27.8, 19.6, 15.3, 5.8 and 27.6%, respectively. Since survival rates of in situ and invasive breast cancers are substantially different, survival analyses were conducted within 670 invasive cases with complete data on all genes. Age-adjusted Cox proportional hazards models revealed that GSTP1, TWIST and RARβ methylation was significantly associated with higher breast cancer-specific mortality. Methylation of GSTP1 and RARβ was significantly associated with higher all-cause mortality. To investigate the relationship between the number of methylated genes and breast cancer-specific mortality, we included previously published MethyLight data on p16 and APC methylation status. Breast cancer-specific mortality increased in a dose-dependent manner with increasing number of methylated genes (P (trend) = 0.002), although confidence intervals were wide. Our results suggest that promoter methylation, particularly for a panel of genes, has the potential to be used as a biomarker for predicting prognosis in breast cancer.

Haakensen VD, Bjøro T, Lüders T, et al.
Serum estradiol levels associated with specific gene expression patterns in normal breast tissue and in breast carcinomas.
BMC Cancer. 2011; 11:332 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: High serum levels of estradiol are associated with increased risk of postmenopausal breast cancer. Little is known about the gene expression in normal breast tissue in relation to levels of circulating serum estradiol.
METHODS: We compared whole genome expression data of breast tissue samples with serum hormone levels using data from 79 healthy women and 64 breast cancer patients. Significance analysis of microarrays (SAM) was used to identify differentially expressed genes and multivariate linear regression was used to identify independent associations.
RESULTS: Six genes (SCGB3A1, RSPO1, TLN2, SLITRK4, DCLK1, PTGS1) were found differentially expressed according to serum estradiol levels (FDR = 0). Three of these independently predicted estradiol levels in a multivariate model, as SCGB3A1 (HIN1) and TLN2 were up-regulated and PTGS1 (COX1) was down-regulated in breast samples from women with high serum estradiol. Serum estradiol, but none of the differentially expressed genes were significantly associated with mammographic density, another strong breast cancer risk factor. In breast carcinomas, expression of GREB1 and AREG was associated with serum estradiol in all cancers and in the subgroup of estrogen receptor positive cases.
CONCLUSIONS: We have identified genes associated with serum estradiol levels in normal breast tissue and in breast carcinomas. SCGB3A1 is a suggested tumor suppressor gene that inhibits cell growth and invasion and is methylated and down-regulated in many epithelial cancers. Our findings indicate this gene as an important inhibitor of breast cell proliferation in healthy women with high estradiol levels. In the breast, this gene is expressed in luminal cells only and is methylated in non-BRCA-related breast cancers. The possibility of a carcinogenic contribution of silencing of this gene for luminal, but not basal-like cancers should be further explored. PTGS1 induces prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) production which in turn stimulates aromatase expression and hence increases the local production of estradiol. This is the first report studying such associations in normal breast tissue in humans.

Vasiljević N, Wu K, Brentnall AR, et al.
Absolute quantitation of DNA methylation of 28 candidate genes in prostate cancer using pyrosequencing.
Dis Markers. 2011; 30(4):151-61 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Aberrant DNA methylation plays a pivotal role in carcinogenesis and its mapping is likely to provide biomarkers for improved diagnostic and risk assessment in prostate cancer (PCa). We quantified and compared absolute methylation levels among 28 candidate genes in 48 PCa and 29 benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH) samples using the pyrosequencing (PSQ) method to identify genes with diagnostic and prognostic potential. RARB, HIN1, BCL2, GSTP1, CCND2, EGFR5, APC, RASSF1A, MDR1, NKX2-5, CDH13, DPYS, PTGS2, EDNRB, MAL, PDLIM4, HLAa, ESR1 and TIG1 were highly methylated in PCa compared to BPH (p < 0.001), while SERPINB5, CDH1, TWIST1, DAPK1, THRB, MCAM, SLIT2, CDKN2a and SFN were not. RARB methylation above 21% completely distinguished PCa Separation based on methylation level of SFN, SLIT2 and SERPINB5 distinguished low and high Gleason score cancers, e.g. SFN and SERPINB5 together correctly classified 81% and 77% of high and low Gleason score cancers respectively. Several genes including CDH1 previously reported as methylation markers in PCa were not confirmed in our study. Increasing age was positively associated with gene methylation (p < 0.0001).Accurate quantitative measurement of gene methylation in PCa appears promising and further validation of genes like RARB, HIN1, BCL2, APC and GSTP1 is warranted for diagnostic potential and SFN, SLIT2 and SERPINB5 for prognostic potential.

Beane J, Vick J, Schembri F, et al.
Characterizing the impact of smoking and lung cancer on the airway transcriptome using RNA-Seq.
Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2011; 4(6):803-17 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Cigarette smoke creates a molecular field of injury in epithelial cells that line the respiratory tract. We hypothesized that transcriptome sequencing (RNA-Seq) will enhance our understanding of the field of molecular injury in response to tobacco smoke exposure and lung cancer pathogenesis by identifying gene expression differences not interrogated or accurately measured by microarrays. We sequenced the high-molecular-weight fraction of total RNA (>200 nt) from pooled bronchial airway epithelial cell brushings (n = 3 patients per pool) obtained during bronchoscopy from healthy never smoker (NS) and current smoker (S) volunteers and smokers with (C) and without (NC) lung cancer undergoing lung nodule resection surgery. RNA-Seq libraries were prepared using 2 distinct approaches, one capable of capturing non-polyadenylated RNA (the prototype NuGEN Ovation RNA-Seq protocol) and the other designed to measure only polyadenylated RNA (the standard Illumina mRNA-Seq protocol) followed by sequencing generating approximately 29 million 36 nt reads per pool and approximately 22 million 75 nt paired-end reads per pool, respectively. The NuGEN protocol captured additional transcripts not detected by the Illumina protocol at the expense of reduced coverage of polyadenylated transcripts, while longer read lengths and a paired-end sequencing strategy significantly improved the number of reads that could be aligned to the genome. The aligned reads derived from the two complementary protocols were used to define the compendium of genes expressed in the airway epithelium (n = 20,573 genes). Pathways related to the metabolism of xenobiotics by cytochrome P450, retinol metabolism, and oxidoreductase activity were enriched among genes differentially expressed in smokers, whereas chemokine signaling pathways, cytokine-cytokine receptor interactions, and cell adhesion molecules were enriched among genes differentially expressed in smokers with lung cancer. There was a significant correlation between the RNA-Seq gene expression data and Affymetrix microarray data generated from the same samples (P < 0.001); however, the RNA-Seq data detected additional smoking- and cancer-related transcripts whose expression was were either not interrogated by or was not found to be significantly altered when using microarrays, including smoking-related changes in the inflammatory genes S100A8 and S100A9 and cancer-related changes in MUC5AC and secretoglobin (SCGB3A1). Quantitative real-time PCR confirmed differential expression of select genes and non-coding RNAs within individual samples. These results demonstrate that transcriptome sequencing has the potential to provide new insights into the biology of the airway field of injury associated with smoking and lung cancer. The measurement of both coding and non-coding transcripts by RNA-Seq has the potential to help elucidate mechanisms of response to tobacco smoke and to identify additional biomarkers of lung cancer risk and novel targets for chemoprevention.

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