Cancer epigenetics.

Department of Leukemia, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA.
CA A Cancer Journal for Clinicians (Impact Factor: 153.46). 10/2010; 60(6):376-92. DOI: 10.3322/caac.20085
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Epigenetics refers to stable alterations in gene expression with no underlying modifications in the genetic sequence and is best exemplified by differentiation, in which multiple cell types diverge physiologically despite a common genetic code. Interest in this area of science has grown over the past decades, especially since it was found to play a major role in physiologic phenomena such as embryogenesis, imprinting, and X chromosome inactivation, and in disease states such as cancer. The latter had been previously thought of as a disease with an exclusive genetic etiology. However, recent data have demonstrated that the complexity of human carcinogenesis cannot be accounted for by genetic alterations alone, but also involves epigenetic changes in processes such as DNA methylation, histone modifications, and microRNA expression. In turn, these molecular alterations lead to permanent changes in the expression of genes that regulate the neoplastic phenotype, such as cellular growth and invasiveness. Targeting epigenetic modifiers has been referred to as epigenetic therapy. The success of this approach in hematopoietic malignancies validates the importance of epigenetic alterations in cancer, not only at the therapeutic level but also with regard to prevention, diagnosis, risk stratification, and prognosis.


Available from: Jean-Pierre Issa, Nov 24, 2014
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background. Aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) plays a crucial role in myocardial protection against ischemia. Downregulation of ALDH2 was evidenced after myocardial infarction and the underlying mechanism is not fully understood. DNA methylation can regulate gene transcription in epigenetic level. We thus hypothesized that DNA methylation may affect ALDH2 expression in myocardial infarction (MI). Methods. MI was induced in Sprague-Dawley rats. MI border zone tissues were harvested at 1st week, 2nd week, and 3rd week after MI. Bisulfite sequencing PCR (BSP) was performed to detect the methylation levels of ALDH2 core promoter. Sequenom MassARRAY platform (MassARRAY) was used to examine the methylation levels of ALDH2 promoter upstream sequence. ALDH2 protein and mRNA expression were assayed by Western blot and real-time PCR, respectively. Results. Compared with Sham group, ALDH2 protein and mRNA expression of MI groups was significantly downregulated. Compared with Sham group, DNA methylation level of CpG sites in ALDH2 promoter upstream sequence was significantly higher in MI groups in a time-dependent manner (CpG1, CpG2, and CpG7, P < 0.01). DNA methylation did not affect ALDH2 core promoter sequence during the progress of MI. No significant difference was detected in DNA methylation level of ALDH2 promoter upstream sequence among MI groups. Conclusion. Aberrant hypermethylation of CpG sites in ALDH2 promoter upstream sequence is associated with myocardial ischemia injury and may partly result in ALDH2 downregulation after MI.
    BioMed Research International 01/2015; 2015:503692. DOI:10.1155/2015/503692 · 2.71 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Gastric cancer (GC) is the fourth most commonly diagnosed type of cancer worldwide and has the second highest mortality rate of all cancer types. Classical genetics alone does not fully explain how GC occurs; however, epigenetics provides a partial explanation with regard to the cause of cancer. DNA methylation, the best‑known type of epigenetic marker, represses the expression of tumor‑suppressor genes and is involved in the pathogenesis of various types of human cancer, including GC. Micro (mi)RNAs are critical in the initiation, progression, metastasis and invasion of GC through gene regulation. The dysregulation of miRNAs is widely recognized as a hallmark of cancer. Recently, studies concerning DNA methylation of miRNAs in GC have been frequently reported, and these studies deepen the knowledge of how epigenetic regulation of miRNAs results in GC pathogenesis and indicate novel therapeutic strategies for GC. The present review provides an overview of the reported DNA methylation of miRNAs in GC.
    Molecular Medicine Reports 10/2014; DOI:10.3892/mmr.2014.2780 · 1.48 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs that function as endogenous silencers of target genes, previous studies have shown that miR-335 play an important role in suppressing metastasis and migration in human cancer including gastric cancer (GC). However, the mechanisms which result in aberrant expression of miR-335 in GC are still unknown. Recent studies have shown that the silencing of some miRNAs is associated with DNA hypermethylation. In this study, we find the promoter of miR-335 we embedded in CpG island by accessing to bioinformatics data and the low expression of miR-335 in 5 gastric cell lines can be restored by 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (5-Aza-dC) treatment. So we postulated that the miR-335 genes undergo epigenetic inactivation in GC. Subsequently, in GC cells and tissues, we performed quantitative real-time PCR (RTQ-PCR) to assess the expression of miR-335, and methylation-specific PCR (MSP) and bisulfite sequence-PCR (BSP) to evaluate the DNA methylation status in the CpG islands upstream of MiR-335. The result showed that the expression of miR-335 was significantly reduce in gastric cancer cell lines and tumor tissues compared to matched normal gastric tissues, and cell lines, and which is inverse correlation with DNA hypermethylation of miR-335 both in GC cells lines and tissues, but not in normal tissues. In addition, we found that the lower miR-335 expression induced by abnormal methylation may be mainly involved in gastric cell invasion and metastasis in GC tissues. No statistical significance was found about miR-335 expression and methylation level between healthy individuals with and without H. pylori (HP) infection. Finally, we carry out miRNA transfection, RTQ-PCR and western blot assay to find the RAS p21 protein activator (GTPase activating protein) 1 (RASA1) may be the possible target genes which lead to the gastric cell invasion and metastasis, furthermore, the re-expression of endogenous miR-335 by 5-Aza-dC treatment can exert effects similar to exogenous miRNAs transfection. Taken together, our results suggest that miR-335 may be silenced by promoter hypermethylation and play important roles in gastric cell invasion and metastasis through its target genes, such as RASA1. Its methylation level might be a predictive epigenetic marker of GC and remodeling on the expression by demethylation can provided a potential therapeutic strategy.