DNA fingerprinting techniques for the analysis of genetic and epigenetic alterations in colorectal cancer

Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (SBMRI), 10901N. Torrey Pines Rd, La Jolla, CA 92037, United States.
Mutation Research/Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis (Impact Factor: 3.68). 11/2010; 693(1-2):61-76. DOI: 10.1016/j.mrfmmm.2010.08.010
Source: PubMed


Genetic somatic alterations are fundamental hallmarks of cancer. In addition to point and other small mutations targeting cancer genes, solid tumors often exhibit aneuploidy as well as multiple chromosomal rearrangements of large fragments of the genome. Whether somatic chromosomal alterations and aneuploidy are a driving force or a mere consequence of tumorigenesis remains controversial. Recently it became apparent that not only genetic but also epigenetic alterations play a major role in carcinogenesis. Epigenetic regulation mechanisms underlie the maintenance of cell identity crucial for development and differentiation. These epigenetic regulatory mechanisms have been found substantially altered during cancer development and progression. In this review, we discuss approaches designed to analyze genetic and epigenetic alterations in colorectal cancer, especially DNA fingerprinting approaches to detect changes in DNA copy number and methylation. DNA fingerprinting techniques, despite their modest throughput, played a pivotal role in significant discoveries in the molecular basis of colorectal cancer. The aim of this review is to revisit the fingerprinting technologies employed and the oncogenic processes that they unveiled.

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Available from: Sergio Alonso
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    • "Methylation sensitive amplified fragment length polymorphism (MS-AFLP) is a fingerprinting technique developed by Yamamoto et al. as a tool to analyze DNA methylation in hundreds of loci simultaneously [27,28]. The approach utilized NotI restriction endonuclease for targeting methylation changes in any of the two CpG sites within its recognition sequence GCpGGCCpGC. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Recent work led to recognize sessile serrated adenomas (SSA) as precursor to many of the sporadic colorectal cancers with microsatellite instability (MSI). However, comprehensive analyses of DNA methylation in SSA and MSI cancer have not been conducted. Methods With an array-based methylation sensitive amplified fragment length polymorphism (MS-AFLP) method we analyzed 8 tubular (TA) and 19 serrated (SSA) adenomas, and 14 carcinomas with (MSI) and 12 without (MSS) microsatellite instability. MS-AFLP array can survey relative differences in methylation between normal and tumor tissues of 9,654 DNA fragments containing all NotI sequences in the human genome. Results Unsupervised clustering analysis of the genome-wide hypermethylation alterations revealed no major differences between or within these groups of benign and malignant tumors regardless of their location in intergenic, intragenic, promoter, or 3′ end regions. Hypomethylation was less frequent in SSAs compared with MSI or MSS carcinomas. Analysis of variance of DNA methylation between these four subgroups identified 56 probes differentially altered. The hierarchical tree of this subset of probes revealed two distinct clusters: Group 1, mostly composed by TAs and MSS cancers with KRAS mutations; and Group 2 with BRAF mutations, which consisted of cancers with MSI and MLH1 methylation (Group 2A), and SSAs without MLH1 methylation (Group 2B). AXIN2, which cooperates with APC and β-catenin in Wnt signaling, had more methylation alterations in Group 2, and its expression levels negatively correlated with methylation determined by bisulfite sequencing. Within group 2B, low and high AXIN2 expression levels correlated significantly with differences in size (P = 0.01) location (P = 0.05) and crypt architecture (P = 0.01). Conclusions Somatic methylation alterations of AXIN2, associated with changes in its expression, stratify SSAs according to some clinico-pathological differences. We conclude that hypermethylation of MLH1, when occurs in an adenoma cell with BRAF oncogenic mutational activation, drives the pathway for MSI cancer by providing the cells with a mutator phenotype. AXIN2 inactivation may contribute to this tumorigenic pathway either by mutator phenotype driven frameshift mutations or by epigenetic deregulation contemporary with the unfolding of the mutator phenotype.
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