[Hypermethylation and downregulation of tumor suppressor gene p16 in benzene poisoning].
ABSTRACT To investigate wtietner oenzene negativeiy anecis me expression of p16 through DNA methylation.
We carried out a case-control study in Chinese occupational benzene poisoning patients. Eleven cases of BP and 8 controls who were matched for age (+/- 5 years), sex, working duration and job title with BP were recruited. Expression level was examined by quantitative real-time PCR. Bisulfite-PCR pyrosequencing was used to quantitate the level of DNA methylation.
The expression levels of p16 are down-regulated in BP patients compared to the control group (0.53 versus 2.06, P = 0.064). The average percentage of methylated cytosines of p16 was higher in BP group than in controls (12.4%, 11.3%, respectively, P > 0.05). p16 mRNA level decreased with increasing methylation (Pearson r = -0.64, P > 0.05). The fourth CpG site in p16 promoter is located within the consensus binding sequence for olfactory neuron-specific transcription factor. A significant negative correlation between mRNA level and the fourth CpG site was exhibited (Pearson r = - 0.88, P < 0.05).
Our report demonstrated that mRNA expression of p16 is significantly downregulated in BP patients. Hypermethylation in promoter CpG islands is likely to contribute to the downregulation of p16. Further in-depth studies, utilizing large number of samples, are needed to fully understand the molecular mechanism involved in the tumor-suppressor gene inactivation in benzene-related diseases.