Methylation-Mediated Molecular Dysregulation in Clinical Oral Malignancy

Department of Integrative Oncology, British Columbia Cancer Research Centre, 675 West 10th Avenue, Vancouver, BC, Canada V5Z 1L3.
Journal of Oncology 05/2012; 2012(4):170172. DOI: 10.1155/2012/170172
Source: PubMed


Herein we provide a concise review of the state of methylation research as it pertains to clinical oral cancerous and precancerous tissues. We provide context for ongoing research efforts in this field and describe technologies that are presently being applied to analyze clinical specimens. We also discuss the various recurrent methylation changes that have been reported for oral malignancy (including those genes frequently silenced by promoter methylation and the small RNAs with activity modulated by methylation changes) and describe surrogate disease markers identified via epigenetic analysis of saliva and blood specimens from patients with oral cancer.

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Available from: Cathie Garnis, Feb 19, 2015
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    • "Hypo-methylation of a CpG dinucleotide in the global DNA sequence causes activation of oncogenes such as genes in cell cycle signalling [7] [23]. DNA methylation patterns are reversible and dynamic to adapt with changes in the environment or treatment [18]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Although oral cancers are generally preceded by a well-established pre-cancerous stage, there is a lack of well-defined clinical and morphological criteria to detect and signal progression from pre-cancer to malignant tumours. We conducted a critical review to summarize the evidence regarding aberrant DNA methylation patterns as a potential diagnostic biomarker predicting progression. We identified all relevant human studies published in English prior to 30th April 2015 that examined DNA methylation (%) in oral pre-cancer by searching PubMed, Web-of-Science and Embase databases using combined key-searches. Twenty-one studies (18-cross-sectional; 3-longitudinal) were eligible for inclusion in the review, with sample sizes ranging from 4 to 156 affected cases. Eligible studies examined promoter region hyper-methylation of tumour suppressor genes in pathways including cell-cycle-control (n = 15), DNA-repair (n = 7), cell-cycle-signalling (n = 4) and apoptosis (n = 3). Hyper-methylated loci reported in three or more studies included p16, p14, MGMT and DAPK. Two longitudinal studies reported greater p16 hyper-methylation in pre-cancerous lesions transformed to malignancy compared to lesions that regressed (57-63.6% versus 8-32.1%; p <. 0.01). The one study that explored epigenome-wide methylation patterns reported three novel hyper-methylated loci (TRHDE; ZNF454; KCNAB3). The majority of reviewed studies were small, cross-sectional studies with poorly defined control groups and lacking validation. Whilst limitations in sample size and study design preclude definitive conclusions, current evidence suggests a potential utility of DNA methylation patterns as a diagnostic biomarker for oral pre-cancer progression. Robust studies such as large epigenome-wide methylation explorations of oral pre-cancer with longitudinal tracking are needed to validate the currently reported signals and identify new risk-loci and the biological pathways of disease progression.
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    ABSTRACT: Earlier studies involving a priori gene selection have identified promoter regions deregulated by DNA methylation changes in oral squamous cell cancers (OSCCs) and precancers. Interrogation of global DNA methylation patterns for such specimens has not been reported, though such analyses are needed to uncover novel molecular factors driving disease. We evaluated global DNA methylation patterns for 30 biopsies obtained from 10 patients undergoing surgical removal of an OSCC or carcinoma in situ (CIS). From a disease field in each patient, we collected (i) dysplastic, (ii) CIS or OSCC, and (iii) adjacent normal biopsies. DNA isolated from each biopsy was profiled for methylation status using the Illumina HumanMethylation27K platform. Our data demonstrate that aberrant methylation of promoter CpG islands exists across oral precancer and OSCC genomes. Non-hierarchical clustering of all methylation data revealed distinct methylation patterns between the normal and the CIS/OSCC tissues (with results for dysplastic biopsies split between groups). Multiple genes exhibiting recurrent aberrant DNA methylation were found for both dysplastic and CIS/OSCC groups, and included enrichment for genes found in the WNT and MAPK signaling pathways. In identifying aberrant DNA methylation at the earliest stages of oral precancer and finding recurring epigenetic disruption of specific genes/pathways across our analyzed cohort, we see evidence that CpG methylation changes may play a role in oral cancer progression and that global DNA methylation analyses may have significant utility in wider studies that seek to derive biomarkers or potentially druggable targets to improve oral cancer outcomes.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2013 · Oral Oncology
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    ABSTRACT: Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) is a category of aggressive malignancies that represent clinically, molecularly, and etiologically heterogeneous tumors. The majority of OSCCs are associated with tobacco and alcohol use, acting both independently and synergistically, which suggests that the environment plays an important role in carcinogenesis; however, the mechanisms associated with the development of OSCC are not well understood. It has been proposed that the epigenetic components could be implicated in the initiation and progression of OSCC. Primarily, aberrant DNA methylation patterns have been widely addressed in the study of OSCC. Diverse studies have proposed that other epigenetic processes such as post-translational histone modification, the deposition of histone variants, histone chaperones, and recently non-coding RNA, can be also involved in the development of oral cancer. In this review we focus on describing the new insights of the epigenetics processes that are related with OSCC as histones variants and long non-coding RNAs.
    Full-text · Article · May 2014 · Oral Oncology
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