[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tumor recurrence is a leading cause of cancer mortality. Therapies for recurrent disease may fail, at least in part, because the genomic alterations driving the growth of recurrences are distinct from those in the initial tumor. To explore this hypothesis, we sequenced the exomes of 23 initial low-grade gliomas and recurrent tumors resected from the same patients. In 43% of cases, at least half of the mutations in the initial tumor were undetected at recurrence, including driver mutations in TP53, ATRX, SMARCA4, and BRAF, suggesting recurrent tumors are often seeded by cells derived from the initial tumor at a very early stage of their evolution. Notably, tumors from 6 of 10 patients treated with the chemotherapeutic drug temozolomide (TMZ) followed an alternative evolutionary path to high-grade glioma. At recurrence, these tumors were hypermutated and harbored driver mutations in the RB and AKT-mTOR pathways that bore the signature of TMZ-induced mutagenesis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: DNA methylation plays key roles in diverse biological processes such as X chromosome inactivation, transposable element repression, genomic imprinting, and tissue-specific gene expression (Khulan et al. 2006; Suzuki and Bird 2008; Laird 2010; Day and Sweatt 2011; Jones 2012). Sequencing-based DNA methylation profiling provides an unprecedented opportunity to map and compare complete DNA methylomes. These include one of the most widely applied technologies for measuring DNA methylation, methylated DNA immunoprecipitation followed by sequencing (MeDIP-seq) (Weber et al. 2005; Maunakea et al. 2010), coupled with a complementary method, methylation-sensitive restriction enzyme sequencing (MRE-seq) (Maunakea et al. 2010). A computational approach that integrates data from these two different but complementary assays and predicts methylation differences between samples has been lacking. Here we present a novel integrative statistical framework M&M (for integration of MeDIP-seq and MRE-seq) that dynamically scales, normalizes and combines MeDIP-seq and MRE-seq data to detect differentially methylated regions. Using sample-matched whole-genome bisulfite sequencing (WGBS) as a gold standard, we demonstrate superior accuracy and reproducibility of M&M compared to existing analytical methods for MeDIP-seq data alone. M&M leverages the complementary nature of MeDIP-seq and MRE-seq data to allow rapid comparative analysis between whole methylomes at a fraction of the cost of WGBS. Comprehensive analysis of nineteen human DNA methylomes with M&M reveals distinct DNA methylation patterns among different tissue types, cell types, and individuals, potentially underscoring divergent epigenetic regulation at different scales of phenotypic diversity. We find that differential DNA methylation at enhancer elements, with concurrent changes in histone modifications and transcription factor binding, is common at the cell, tissue, and individual levels, whereas promoter methylation is more prominent in reinforcing fundamental tissue identities.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent advancements in sequencing-based DNA methylation profiling methods provide an unprecedented opportunity to map complete DNA methylomes. These include whole genome bisulfite sequencing (WGBS, MethylC-seq or BS-seq), Reduced-Representation Bisulfite-Sequencing (RRBS), and enrichment-based methods such as MeDIP-seq, MBD-seq and MRE-seq. These methods yield largely comparable results, but differ significantly in extent of genomic CpG coverage, resolution, quantitative accuracy, and cost, at least while using current algorithms to interrogate the data. None of these existing methods provides single-CpG resolution, comprehensive genome-wide coverage, and cost feasibility for a typical laboratory. We introduce methylCRF, a novel Conditional Random Fields-based algorithm that integrates methylated DNA immunoprecipitation (MeDIP-seq) and methylation-sensitive restriction enzyme (MRE-seq) sequencing data to predict DNA methylation levels at single CpG resolution. Our method is a combined computational and experimental strategy to produce DNA methylomes of all 28 million CpGs in the human genome for a fraction (<10%) of the cost of whole genome bisulfite sequencing methods. MethylCRF was benchmarked for accuracy against Infinium arrays, RRBS, WGBS sequencing and locus specific-bisulfite sequencing performed on the same embryonic stem cell line. MethylCRF transformation of MeDIP-seq/MRE-seq was equivalent to a biological replicate of WGBS in quantification, coverage and resolution. We used conventional bisulfite conversion, PCR, cloning and sequencing to validate loci where our predictions do not agree with whole genome bisulfite data, and in 11 out of 12 cases methylCRF predictions of methylation level agree better with validated results than does whole genome bisulfite sequencing. Therefore, methylCRF transformation of MeDIP-seq/MRE-seq data provides an accurate, inexpensive and widely accessible strategy to create full DNA methylomes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Transposable element (TE)-derived sequences comprise half of the human genome and DNA methylome and are presumed to be densely methylated and inactive. Examination of genome-wide DNA methylation status within 928 TE subfamilies in human embryonic and adult tissues identified unexpected tissue-specific and subfamily-specific hypomethylation signatures. Genes proximal to tissue-specific hypomethylated TE sequences were enriched for functions important for the relevant tissue type, and their expression correlated strongly with hypomethylation within the TEs. When hypomethylated, these TE sequences gained tissue-specific enhancer marks, including monomethylation of histone H3 at lysine 4 (H3K4me1) and occupancy by p300, and a majority exhibited enhancer activity in reporter gene assays. Many such TEs also harbored binding sites for transcription factors that are important for tissue-specific functions and showed evidence of evolutionary selection. These data suggest that sequences derived from TEs may be responsible for wiring tissue type-specific regulatory networks and may have acquired tissue-specific epigenetic regulation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells are remarkably similar to embryonic stem (ES) cells, but recent reports indicate that there may be important differences between them. We carried out a systematic comparison of human iPS cells generated from hepatocytes (representative of endoderm), skin fibroblasts (mesoderm) and melanocytes (ectoderm). All low-passage iPS cells analysed retain a transcriptional memory of the original cells. The persistent expression of somatic genes can be partially explained by incomplete promoter DNA methylation. This epigenetic mechanism underlies a robust form of memory that can be found in iPS cells generated by multiple laboratories using different methods, including RNA transfection. Incompletely silenced genes tend to be isolated from other genes that are repressed during reprogramming, indicating that recruitment of the silencing machinery may be inefficient at isolated genes. Knockdown of the incompletely reprogrammed gene C9orf64 (chromosome 9 open reading frame 64) reduces the efficiency of human iPS cell generation, indicating that somatic memory genes may be functionally relevant during reprogramming.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To address the association between sequence variants within the MGMT (O(6)-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase) promoter-enhancer region and methylation of MGMT in premalignant lesions from smokers and lung adenocarcinomas, their biological effects on gene regulation, and targeting MGMT for therapy.
Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) identified through sequencing a 1.9 kb fragment 5' of MGMT were examined in relation to MGMT methylation in 169 lung adenocarcinomas and 1,731 sputum samples from smokers. The effect of promoter haplotypes on MGMT expression was tested using a luciferase reporter assay and cDNA expression analysis along with allele-specific sequencing for methylation. The response of MGMT methylated lung cancer cell lines to the alkylating agent temozolomide (TMZ) was assessed.
The A allele of rs16906252 and the haplotype containing this SNP were strongly associated with increased risk for MGMT methylation in adenocarcinomas (ORs ≥ 94). This association was observed to a lesser extent in sputum samples in both smoker cohorts. The A allele was selectively methylated in primary lung tumors and cell lines heterozygous for rs16906252. With the most common haplotype as the reference, a 20 to 41% reduction in promoter activity was seen for the haplotype carrying the A allele that correlated with lower MGMT expression. The sensitivity of lung cancer cell lines to TMZ was strongly correlated with levels of MGMT methylation and expression.
These studies provide strong evidence that the A allele of a MGMT promoter-enhancer SNP is a key determinant for MGMT methylation in lung carcinogenesis. Moreover, TMZ treatment may benefit a subset of lung cancer patients methylated for MGMT.
Clinical Cancer Research 02/2011; 17(7):2014-23. · 7.84 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Analysis of DNA methylation patterns relies increasingly on sequencing-based profiling methods. The four most frequently used sequencing-based technologies are the bisulfite-based methods MethylC-seq and reduced representation bisulfite sequencing (RRBS), and the enrichment-based techniques methylated DNA immunoprecipitation sequencing (MeDIP-seq) and methylated DNA binding domain sequencing (MBD-seq). We applied all four methods to biological replicates of human embryonic stem cells to assess their genome-wide CpG coverage, resolution, cost, concordance and the influence of CpG density and genomic context. The methylation levels assessed by the two bisulfite methods were concordant (their difference did not exceed a given threshold) for 82% for CpGs and 99% of the non-CpG cytosines. Using binary methylation calls, the two enrichment methods were 99% concordant and regions assessed by all four methods were 97% concordant. We combined MeDIP-seq with methylation-sensitive restriction enzyme (MRE-seq) sequencing for comprehensive methylome coverage at lower cost. This, along with RNA-seq and ChIP-seq of the ES cells enabled us to detect regions with allele-specific epigenetic states, identifying most known imprinted regions and new loci with monoallelic epigenetic marks and monoallelic expression.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although it is known that the methylation of DNA in 5' promoters suppresses gene expression, the role of DNA methylation in gene bodies is unclear. In mammals, tissue- and cell type-specific methylation is present in a small percentage of 5' CpG island (CGI) promoters, whereas a far greater proportion occurs across gene bodies, coinciding with highly conserved sequences. Tissue-specific intragenic methylation might reduce, or, paradoxically, enhance transcription elongation efficiency. Capped analysis of gene expression (CAGE) experiments also indicate that transcription commonly initiates within and between genes. To investigate the role of intragenic methylation, we generated a map of DNA methylation from the human brain encompassing 24.7 million of the 28 million CpG sites. From the dense, high-resolution coverage of CpG islands, the majority of methylated CpG islands were shown to be in intragenic and intergenic regions, whereas less than 3% of CpG islands in 5' promoters were methylated. The CpG islands in all three locations overlapped with RNA markers of transcription initiation, and unmethylated CpG islands also overlapped significantly with trimethylation of H3K4, a histone modification enriched at promoters. The general and CpG-island-specific patterns of methylation are conserved in mouse tissues. An in-depth investigation of the human SHANK3 locus and its mouse homologue demonstrated that this tissue-specific DNA methylation regulates intragenic promoter activity in vitro and in vivo. These methylation-regulated, alternative transcripts are expressed in a tissue- and cell type-specific manner, and are expressed differentially within a single cell type from distinct brain regions. These results support a major role for intragenic methylation in regulating cell context-specific alternative promoters in gene bodies.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Restriction landmark genomic scanning (RLGS) is a method that provides a quantitative genetic and epigenetic (cytosine methylation) assessment of thousands of CpG islands in a single gel without prior knowledge of gene sequence. The method is based on two-dimensional separation of radiolabeled genomic DNA into nearly 2,000 discrete fragments that have a high probability of containing gene sequences. Genomic DNA is digested with an infrequently cutting restriction enzyme, such as NotI or AscI, radiolabeled at the cleaved ends, digested with a second restriction enzyme, and then electrophoresed through a narrow, 60-cm-long agarose tube-shaped gel. The DNA in the tube gel is then digested by a third, more frequently cutting restriction enzyme and electrophoresed, in a direction perpendicular to the first separation, through a 5% nondenaturing polyacrylamide gel, and the gel is autoradiographed. Radiolabeled NotI or AscI sites are frequently used as "landmarks" because NotI or AscI cannot cleave methylated sites and since an estimated 89% and 83% of the recognition sites, respectively, are found within CpG islands. Using a methylation-sensitive enzyme, the technique has been termed RLGS-M. The resulting RLGS profile displays both the copy number and methylation status of the CpG islands. Integrated with high-resolution gene copy-number analyses, RLGS enables one to define genetic or epigenetic alteration in cells. These profiles are highly reproducible and are therefore amenable to inter- and intraindividual DNA sample comparisons. RLGS was the first of many technologies to allow large-scale DNA methylation analysis of CpG islands.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Both genetic and epigenetic mechanisms contribute to meningioma development by altering gene expression and protein function. To determine the relative contribution of each mechanism to meningioma development, we used an integrative approach measuring copy number and DNA methylation changes genomewide. We found that genetic alterations affected 1.9%, 7.4%, and 13.3% of the 691 loci studied, whereas epigenetic mechanisms affected 5.4%, 9.9%, and 10.3% of these loci in grade I, II, and III meningiomas, respectively. Genetic and epigenetic mechanisms rarely involved the same locus in any given tumor. The predilection for epigenetic rather than genetic silencing was exemplified at the 5' CpG island of WNK2, a serine-threonine kinase gene on chromosome 9q22.31. WNK2 is known to negatively regulate epidermal growth factor receptor signaling via inhibition of MEK1 (mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase 1), and point mutations have been reported in WNK1, WNK2, WNK3, and WNK4. In meningiomas, WNK2 was aberrantly methylated in 83% and 71% of grade II and III meningiomas, respectively, but rarely in a total of 209 tumors from 13 other tumor types. Aberrant methylation of the CpG island was associated with decreased expression in primary tumors. WNK2 could be reactivated with a methylation inhibitor in IOMM-Lee, a meningioma cell line with a densely methylated WNK2 CpG island and lack of WNK2 expression. Expression of exogenous WNK2 inhibited colony formation, implicating it as a potential cell growth suppressor. These findings indicate that epigenetic mechanisms are common across meningiomas of all grades and that for specific genes such as WNK2, epigenetic alteration may be the dominant, grade-specific mechanism of gene inactivation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human cancer genome and epigenome projects aim to identify new cancer genes and targets for therapy that have been overlooked by conventional approaches. Here we integrated large-scale genomics and epigenomics of 31 human infiltrative gliomas and identified low-frequency deletion and highly recurrent epigenetic silencing of WNK2, encoding a putative serine/threonine kinase. Prior cancer genome sequencing projects also identified point mutations in WNK1-4, suggesting that WNK family genes may have a role in cancers. We observed consistent gene silencing in tumors with dense aberrant methylation across 1.3 kb of the CpG island but more variable expression when the 5'-most region remained unmethylated. This primary tumor data fit well with WNK2 promoter analysis, which showed strong promoter activity in the 5'-most region, equivalent to the simian virus 40 promoter, but no activity in the 3' region. WT WNK2 exhibited autophosphorylation and protein kinase activity that was enhanced in cells exposed to hypertonic conditions, similar to WNK1. WNK2 inhibited up to 78% of colony formation by glioma cells but in an unexpectedly kinase-independent manner. The WNK2 silencing by epigenetic mechanisms was significantly associated (P < 0.01) with a known genetic signature of chemosensitive oligodendroglial tumors, 1p and 19q deletion, in two small but independent tumor sets. Taken together, the epigenetic silencing, occasional deletion and point mutation, and functional assessment suggest that aberrations of WNK2 may contribute to unregulated tumor cell growth. Thus, our integrated genetic and epigenetic approach might be useful to identify genes that are widely relevant to cancer, even when genetic alterations of the locus are infrequent.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 07/2007; 104(26):10974-9. · 9.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alterations in DNA methylation are important in cancer, but the acquisition of these alterations is poorly understood. Using an unbiased global screen for CpG island methylation events, we have identified a non-random pattern of DNA hypermethylation acquired in p16-repressed cells. Interestingly, this pattern included loci located upstream of a number of homeobox genes. Upon removal of p16(INK4A) activity in primary human mammary epithelial cells, polycomb repressors, EZH2 and SUZ12, are up-regulated and recruited to HOXA9, a locus expressed during normal breast development and epigenetically silenced in breast cancer. We demonstrate that at this targeted locus, the up-regulation of polycomb repressors is accompanied by the recruitment of DNA methyltransferases and the hypermethylation of DNA, an endpoint, which we show to be dependent on SUZ12 expression. These results demonstrate a causal role of p16(INK4A) disruption in modulating DNA hypermethylation, and identify a dynamic and active process whereby epigenetic modulation of gene expression is activated as an early event in breast tumor progression.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 09/2006; 281(34):24790-802. · 4.65 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: CpG islands are present in one-half of all human and mouse genes and typically overlap with promoters or exons. We developed a method for high-resolution analysis of the methylation status of CpG islands genome-wide, using arrays of BAC clones and the methylation-sensitive restriction enzyme NotI. Here we demonstrate the accuracy and specificity of the method. By computationally mapping all NotI sites, methylation events can be defined with single-nucleotide precision throughout the genome. We also demonstrate the unique expandability of the array method using a different methylation-sensitive restriction enzyme, BssHII. We identified and validated new CpG island loci that are methylated in a tissue-specific manner in normal human tissues. The methylation status of the CpG islands is associated with gene expression for several genes, including SHANK3, which encodes a structural protein in neuronal postsynaptic densities. Defects in SHANK3 seem to underlie human 22q13 deletion syndrome. Furthermore, these patterns for SHANK3 are conserved in mice and rats.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tumors arise in part from the deleterious effects of genetic and epigenetic mechanisms on gene expression. In several mouse models of human tumors, the tumorigenic phenotype is reversible, suggesting that epigenetic mechanisms also contribute significantly to tumorigenesis in mice. It is not known whether these are the same epigenetic mechanisms in human and mouse tumors or whether they affect homologous genes. Using an integrated approach for genome-wide methylation and copy number analyses, we identified SLC5A8 on chromosome 12q23.1 that was affected frequently by aberrant methylation in human astrocytomas and oligodendrogliomas. SLC5A8 encodes a sodium monocarboxylate cotransporter that was highly expressed in normal brain but was significant down-regulated in primary gliomas. Bisulfite sequencing analysis showed that the CpG island was unmethylated in normal brain but frequently localized methylated in brain tumors, consistent with the tumor-specific loss of gene expression. In glioma cell lines, SLC5A8 expression was also suppressed but could be reactivated with a methylation inhibitor. Expression of exogenous SLC5A8 in LN229 and LN443 glioma cells inhibited colony formation, suggesting that it may function as a growth suppressor in normal brain cells. Remarkably, 9 of 10 murine oligodendroglial tumors (from p53+/- or ink4a/arf+/- animals transgenic for S100beta-v-erbB) showed a similar tumor-specific down-regulation of mSLC5A8, the highly conserved mouse homologue. Taken together, these data suggest that SLC5A8 functions as a growth suppressor gene in vitro and that it is silenced frequently by epigenetic mechanisms in primary gliomas. The shared epigenetic inactivation of mSLC5A8 in mouse gliomas indicates an additional degree of commonality in the origin and/or pathway to tumorigenesis between primary human tumors and these mouse models of gliomas.
Cancer Research 06/2005; 65(9):3617-23. · 8.65 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Very little is known of the genes and mechanisms contributing to the genesis of oligodendrogliomas, a subtype of primary brain tumors. Using an integrated genetic and epigenetic analysis of oligodendrogliomas, we show that aberrant CpG island methylation is the most prevalent alteration in these tumors, and the majority of methylated genes are independent of regions affected by deletion. In contrast, a subset of the gene-associated CpG islands are preferentially affected by converging methylation and deletion, including a putative zinc finger gene, ZNF342, located in a commonly deleted region at chromosome 19q13. ZNF342 expression is specifically decreased in primary oligodendrogliomas and up-regulated in glioma cell lines treated with a demethylating agent, whereas the expression level of the adjacent gene, Gemin7, is not consistently altered in these samples. This initial integrated approach identifies novel targets of gene silencing, and provides a more comprehensive view of the genes and mechanisms underlying oligodendrogliomas.
Cancer Research 12/2003; 63(22):7600-5. · 8.65 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aberrant methylation of CpG islands and genomic deletion are two predominant mechanisms of gene inactivation in tumorigenesis, but the extent to which they interact is largely unknown. The lack of an integrated approach to study these mechanisms has limited the understanding of tumor genomes and cancer genes. Restriction landmark genomic scanning (RLGS; ref. 1) is useful for global analysis of aberrant methylation of CpG islands, but has not been amenable to alignment with deletion maps because the identity of most RLGS fragments is unknown. Here, we determined the nucleotide sequence and exact chromosomal position of RLGS fragments throughout the genome using the whole chromosome of origin of the fragments and in silico restriction digestion of the human genome sequence. To study the interaction of these gene-inactivation mechanisms in primary brain tumors, we integrated RLGS-based methylation analysis with high-resolution deletion maps from microarray-based comparative genomic hybridization (array CGH; ref. 3). Certain subsets of gene-associated CpG islands were preferentially affected by convergent methylation and deletion, including genes that exhibit tumor-suppressor activity, such as CISH1 (encoding SOCS1; ref. 4), as well as genes such as COE3 that have been missed by traditional non-integrated approaches. Our results show that most aberrant methylation events are focal and independent of deletions, and the rare convergence of these mechanisms can pinpoint biallelic gene inactivation without the use of positional cloning.