ABSTRACT: Casp8AP2 contains a FLASH functional domain and is critical for the formation of death complex and the relay of death signal into the cells. Genetic defects in Casp8AP2 are associated with several diseases. A CpG island within the Casp8AP2 promoter is differentially regulated during somatic stem cell differentiation, and aberrant DNA methylation within the Casp8AP2 promoter has been reported in cancers. We hypothesized that abnormal DNA methylation of Casp8AP2 promoter might contribute to prolonged cellular survival or drug resistance in cancer. The epigenetic state within the Casp8AP2 promoter was then determined in different cancer cell lines and patient samples by methylation-specific PCR. Targeted Casp8AP2 methylation within normal and tumor cells was performed to see whether methylation promoted drug resistance. We found differential Casp8AP2 methylation among the normal and tumoral samples. Global demethylation in a platinum drug-resistant human gastric cancer cell line reversed Casp8AP2 methylation and diminished drug resistance. Targeted methylation of the Casp8AP2 promoter in somatic stem cells and cancer cells increased their resistance to drugs including platinum drugs. These data demonstrate that methylation within the Casp8AP2 promoter correlates with the development of drug resistance and might serve as a biomarker and treatment target for drug resistance in cancer cells.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 05/2012; 422(4):578-85. · 2.48 Impact Factor