[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We describe monozygotic twins discordant for childhood leukemia and secondary thyroid carcinoma. We used bisulfite pyrosequencing to compare the constitutive promoter methylation of BRCA1 and several other tumor suppressor genes in primary fibroblasts. The affected twin displayed an increased BRCA1 methylation (12%), compared with her sister (3%). Subsequent bisulfite plasmid sequencing demonstrated that 13% (6 of 47) BRCA1 alleles were fully methylated in the affected twin, whereas her sister displayed only single CpG errors without functional implications. This between-twin methylation difference was also found in irradiated fibroblasts and untreated saliva cells. The BRCA1 epimutation may have originated by an early somatic event in the affected twin: approximately 25% of her body cells derived from different embryonic cell lineages carry one epigenetically inactivated BRCA1 allele. This epimutation was associated with reduced basal protein levels and a higher induction of BRCA1 after DNA damage. In addition, we performed a genome-wide microarray analysis of both sisters and found several copy number variations, i.e., heterozygous deletion and reduced expression of the RSPO3 gene in the affected twin. This monozygotic twin pair represents an impressive example of epigenetic somatic mosaicism, suggesting a role for constitutive epimutations, maybe along with de novo genetic alterations in recurrent tumor development.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2012 · Epigenetics: official journal of the DNA Methylation Society
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The etiology of secondary cancer in childhood cancer survivors is largely unclear. Exposure of normal somatic cells to radiation and/or chemotherapy can damage DNA and if not all DNA lesions are properly fixed, the mis-repair may lead to pathological consequences. It is plausible to assume that genetic differences, i.e. in the pathways responsible for cell cycle control and DNA repair, play a critical role in the development of secondary cancer.
To identify factors that may influence the susceptibility for second cancer formation, we recruited 20 individuals who survived a childhood malignancy and then developed a second cancer as well as 20 carefully matched control individuals with childhood malignancy but without a second cancer. By antibody microarrays, we screened primary fibroblasts of matched patients for differences in the amount of representative DNA repair-associated proteins. We found constitutively decreased levels of RAD9A and several other DNA repair proteins in two-cancer patients, compared to one-cancer patients. The RAD9A protein level increased in response to DNA damage, however to a lesser extent in the two-cancer patients. Quantification of mRNA expression by real-time RT PCR revealed lower RAD9A mRNA levels in both untreated and 1 Gy γ-irradiated cells of two-cancer patients.
Collectively, our results support the idea that modulation of RAD9A and other cell cycle arrest and DNA repair proteins contribute to the risk of developing a second malignancy in childhood cancer patients.