Peripheral blood immune cell methylation profiles are associated with nonhematopoietic cancers.
ABSTRACT Blood leukocytes from patients with solid tumors exhibit complex and distinct cancer-associated patterns of DNA methylation. However, the biologic mechanisms underlying these patterns remain poorly understood. Because epigenetic biomarkers offer significant clinical potential for cancer detection, we sought to address a mechanistic gap in recently published works, hypothesizing that blood-based epigenetic variation may be due to shifts in leukocyte populations.
We identified differentially methylated regions (DMR) among leukocyte subtypes using epigenome-wide DNA methylation profiling of purified peripheral blood leukocyte subtypes from healthy donors. These leukocyte-tagging DMRs were then evaluated using epigenome-wide blood methylation data from three independent case-control studies of different cancers.
A substantial proportion of the top 50 leukocyte DMRs were significantly differentially methylated among head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) cases and ovarian cancer cases compared with cancer-free controls (48 and 47 of 50, respectively). Methylation classes derived from leukocyte DMRs were significantly associated cancer case status (P < 0.001, P < 0.03, and P < 0.001) for all three cancer types: HNSCC, bladder cancer, and ovarian cancer, respectively and predicted cancer status with a high degree of accuracy (area under the curve [AUC] = 0.82, 0.83, and 0.67).
These results suggest that shifts in leukocyte subpopulations may account for a considerable proportion of variability in peripheral blood DNA methylation patterns of solid tumors.
This illustrates the potential use of DNA methylation profiles for identifying shifts in leukocyte populations representative of disease, and that such profiles may represent powerful new diagnostic tools, applicable to a range of solid tumors.
- SourceAvailable from: João P Duprat[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Melanoma is a highly aggressive cancer, accounting for up to 75% of skin cancer deaths. A small proportion of melanoma cases can be ascribed to the presence of highly penetrant germline mutations, and approximately 40% of hereditary melanoma cases are caused by CDKN2A mutations. The current study sought to investigate whether the presence of germline CDKN2A mutations or the occurrence of cutaneous melanoma would result in constitutive genome-wide DNA methylation changes. The leukocyte methylomes of two groups of melanoma patients (those with germline CDKN2A mutations and those without CDKN2A mutations) were analyzed together with the profile of a control group of individuals. A pattern of DNA hypomethylation was detected in the CDKN2A-negative patients relative to the CDKN2A-mutated patients and controls. Additionally, we delineated a panel of 90 CpG sites that were differentially methylated in CDKN2A-mutated patients relative to controls. Although we identified a possible constitutive epigenetic signature in CDKN2A-mutated patients, the high occurrence of reported SNPs at the detected CpG sites complicated the data interpretation. Thus, further studies are required to elucidate the impact of these findings on melanoma predisposition and their possible effect on the penetrance of CDKN2A mutations.Experimental and Molecular Pathology 12/2014; · 2.88 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Epigenetics plays an important role in regulating gene expression, and can be modified by environmental factors and physiological conditions. Studying epigenetics is a promising approach to potentially improving the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of human diseases, and to providing personalized medical care. However, the role of epigenetics in the development of diseases is not clear because epigenetic markers may be both mediators and outcomes of human diseases. It is particularly complicated to study pharmacoepigenetics, as medication use may modify the epigenetic profile. To address the challenges facing pharmacoepigenetic research of human diseases, we developed a novel design to rapidly identify, contact, and recruit participants and collect specimens for longitudinal studies of pharmacoepigenetics. Using data in real-time from electronic medical record systems, we can identify patients recently start on new medications and who also have a blood test. Prior to disposal of the leftover blood by the clinical laboratory, we are able to contact and recruit these patients, enabling us to use both their leftover baseline blood sample as well as leftover specimens at future tests. With treatment-naïve and follow-up specimens, this system is able to study both epigenetic markers associated with disease without treatment effect as well as treatment-related epigenetic changes.Journal of personalized medicine. 01/2013; 3(4):263-74.
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ABSTRACT: Background Wilms tumor is the most common pediatric renal malignancy and there is a clinical need for a molecular biomarker to assess treatment response and predict relapse. The known mutated genes in this tumor type show low mutation frequencies, whereas aberrant methylation at 11p15 is by far the most common aberration. We therefore analyzed the epigenome, rather than the genome, to identify ubiquitous tumor-specific biomarkers.ResultsMethylome analysis of matched normal kidney and Wilms tumor identifies 309 preliminary methylation variable positions which we translate into three differentially methylated regions (DMR) for use as tumor-specific biomarkers. Using two novel algorithms we show that these three DMRs are not confounded by cell type composition. We further show that these DMRs are not methylated in embryonic blastema but are intermediately methylated in Wilms tumor precursor lesions. We validate the biomarker DMRs using two independent sample sets of normal kidney and Wilms tumor and seven Wilms tumor histological subtypes, achieving 100% and 98% correct classification, respectively. As proof-of-principle for clinical utility, we successfully use biomarker DMR-2 in a pilot analysis of cell-free circulating DNA to monitor tumor response during treatment in ten patients.Conclusions These findings define the most common methylated regions in Wilms tumor known to date which are not associated with their embryonic origin or precursor stage. We show that this tumor-specific methylated DNA is released into the blood circulation where it can be detected non-invasively showing potential for clinical utility.Genome Biology 08/2014; 15(8):434. · 10.30 Impact Factor