The landscape of promoter DNA hypomethylation in liver cancer (expression data)
ABSTRACT: Extensive loss of DNA methylation is a hallmark of cancer. The role of hypomethylation in altering gene expression in cancer cells has been poorly understood. Hepatic cellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most common human cancers. We use HCC as a model to investigate hypomethylation in cancer by a combination of methylated DNA immunoprecipitation and hybridization with comprehensive promoter arrays. We identify approximately 2,800 promoters that are hypomethylated in tumor samples. The hypomethylated promoters appear in clusters across the genome suggesting a high-level organization behind the epigenomic changes in cancer. The genes whose promoters are demethylated are mainly involved in cell growth, cell adhesion and communication, signal transduction, mobility and invasion; functions that are essential for cancer progression and metastasis. Previous studies suggested that MBD2 was involved in demethylation of uPA and MMP2 genes in human breast and prostate cancer cell lines. We extend these results here showing that whereas MBD2 depletion in normal liver cells has little or no effect, its depletion in the human hepatocellular carcinoma cell line HepG2 and the adenocarcinoma cell line SkHep1 results in suppression of cell growth, anchorage-independent growth and invasiveness, as well as an increase in promoter methylation and silencing of several of the genes that are hypomethylated in tumors. Our studies establish for the first time the rules governing hypomethylation of promoters in liver cancer and define the potential functional role of hypomethylation in cancer. Cancerous and normal adjacent tissue samples were obtained from 11 patients with HCC from the Chinese National Human Genome Center at Shanghai, China (Dr. Ze-Guang Han). For three patients, the cancer samples were dissected using the laser capture microdissection technique. Gene expression profiles for these patients were generated using Affymetrix expression microarrays.
Project description:Hepatitis B virus X protein (HBx) is involved in the pathogenesis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Overexpression of the transcripts from the P3 and P4 promoters of the insulin-like growth factor-II (IGF-II) gene is observed in HCC. The present study investigated the involvement of HBx in IGF-II overexpression and its epigenetic regulation. Firstly, the effects of HBx on P3 and P4 mRNA expression, the methylation status of the P3 and P4 promoters, and MBD2 expression were analyzed in human HCC cells and HCC samples. Next, interaction between HBx and MBD2 or CBP/p300 was assessed by co-immunoprecipitation, and HBx-mediated binding of MBD2 and CBP/p300 to the P3 and P4 promoters and the acetylation of the corresponding histones H3 and H4 were evaluated by quantitative chromatin immunoprecipitation. Finally, using siRNA knockdown, we investigated the roles of MBD2 and CBP/p300 in IGF-II overexpression and its epigenetic regulation. Our results showed that HBx promotes IGF-II expression via inducing the hypomethylation of the P3 and P4 promoters, and that HBx increases MBD2 expression, directly interacts with MBD2 and CBP/p300, and elevates their recruitment to the hypomethylated P3 and P4 promoters with increased acetylation levels of the corresponding histones H3 and H4. Further results showed that endogenous MBD2 and CBP/p300 are necessary for HBx-induced IGF-II overexpression and that CBP/p300 presence and CBP/p300-mediated acetylation of histones H3 and H4 are partially required for MBD2 binding and its demethylase activity. These data suggest that HBx induces MBD2-HBx-CBP/p300 complex formation via interaction with MBD2 and CBP/p300, which contributes to the hypomethylation and transcriptional activation of the IGF-II-P3 and P4 promoters and that CBP/p300-mediated acetylation of histones H3 and H4 may be a rate-limiting step for the hypomethylation and activation of these two promoters. This study provides an alternative mechanism for understanding the pathogenesis of HBx-mediated HCC.
Project description:Extensive loss of DNA methylation is a hallmark of cancer. The role of hypomethylation in altering gene expression in cancer cells has been poorly understood. Hepatic cellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most common human cancers. We use HCC as a model to investigate hypomethylation in cancer by a combination of methylated DNA immunoprecipitation and hybridization with comprehensive promoter arrays. We identify approximately 2,800 promoters that are hypomethylated in tumor samples. The hypomethylated promoters appear in clusters across the genome suggesting a high-level organization behind the epigenomic changes in cancer. The genes whose promoters are demethylated are mainly involved in cell growth, cell adhesion and communication, signal transduction, mobility and invasion; functions that are essential for cancer progression and metastasis. Previous studies suggested that MBD2 was involved in demethylation of uPA and MMP2 genes in human breast and prostate cancer cell lines. We extend these results here showing that whereas MBD2 depletion in normal liver cells has little or no effect, its depletion in the human hepatocellular carcinoma cell line HepG2 and the adenocarcinoma cell line SkHep1 results in suppression of cell growth, anchorage-independent growth and invasiveness, as well as an increase in promoter methylation and silencing of several of the genes that are hypomethylated in tumors. Our studies establish for the first time the rules governing hypomethylation of promoters in liver cancer and define the potential functional role of hypomethylation in cancer. Cancerous and normal adjacent tissue samples were obtained from 11 patients with HCC from the Chinese National Human Genome Center at Shanghai, China (Dr. Ze-Guang Han). For three patients, the cancer samples were dissected using laser capture microdissection technique. All patients provided written informed consent, and the Ethics Committee from the Chinese National Human Genome Center at Shanghai approved all aspects of this study. Human HCC HepG2 cells and adenocarcinoma SkHep1 cells were purchased from ATCC (HB8065 and HTB52, respectively, USA), whereas human untransformed hepatocytes (normal hepatocytes, NorHep) were obtained from Celprogen (33003-02, USA). Purified DNA from cancerous samples and normal adjacent samples, as well as HepG2 and NorHep cells, was enriched for methylated DNA using the MeDIP protocol developed by Cedar's group (PMID 16444255). The labeled input and bound DNA samples were hybridized to a custom-designed 244K promoter tiling array that contained probes covering all transcription start sites at intervals from 800 bp upstream to 200 bp downstream of all genes described in Ensembl (version 44) and within 250 bp of the ~400 microRNAs from miRBase, all at 100 bp-spacing.
Project description:Cancer is characterised by DNA hypermethylation and gene silencing of CpG island-associated promoters, including tumour suppressor genes The methyl-CpG-binding domain (MBD) family of proteins bind to methylated DNA and can aid in the meditation of gene silencing by interaction with histone deacetylases and histone methyltransferases. However the mechanisms responsible for eliciting CpG island hypermethylation in cancer, and the potential role that MBD may proteins play in modulation of the methylome remain unclear. Our previous work demonstrated that MBD2 preferentially binds to the hypermethylated GSTP1 promoter CpG island in prostate cancer cells. Here, we use functional genetic approaches to investigate if MBD2 plays an active role in promoting DNA methylation. First, we show that loss of MBD2 results in inhibition of both maintenance and spread of de novo methylation of a transfected construct containing the GSTP1 promoter CpG island in prostate cancer cells and Mbd2-/- mouse fibroblasts. De novo methylation was rescued by transient expression of Mbd2 in Mbd2-/- cells. Second, we show that MBD2 depletion triggers significant hypomethylation genome-wide in prostate cancer cells with concomitant loss of MBD2 binding at promoter and enhancer regulatory regions. Finally, CpG islands and shores that become hypomethylated after MBD2 depletion in LNCaP cancer cells show significant hypermethylation in clinical prostate cancer, highlighting a potential active role of MBD2 in promoting cancer specific hypermethylation. Importantly, co-immunoprecipiation of MBD2 reveals that MBD2 associates with DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) enzymes 1 and 3A. Together our results demonstrate that MBD2 plays a critical role in â??rewritingâ?? the cancer methylome at specific regulatory regions. LNCaP prostate cancer cell line clones with reduced MBD2 expression were establised by using shRNA to MBD2 and scrambled control clones were established with scrambled control shRNA. To interrogate methylation changes induced by MBD2 knock-down we profiled three stably transfected scrambled control clones and three MBD2 knockdown clones on Illumina HumanMethylation450K arrays. Differential methylation analysis was carried out to identified CpG sites hypo-/hyper-methylated as a result of MBD2 knockdown.
Project description:Poor prognosis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) associated with late diagnosis necessitates the development of early diagnostic biomarkers. We have previously delineated the landscape of DNA methylation in HCC patients unraveling the importance of promoter hypomethylation in activation of cancer- and metastasis-driving genes. The purpose of the present study was to test the feasibility that genes that are hypomethylated in HCC could serve as candidate diagnostic markers. We use high resolution melting analysis (HRM) as a simple translatable PCR-based method to define methylation states in clinical samples. We tested seven regions selected from the shortlist of genes hypomethylated in HCC and showed that HRM analysis of several of them distinguishes methylation states in liver cancer specimens from normal adjacent liver and chronic hepatitis in the Shanghai area. Such regions were identified within promoters of neuronal membrane glycoprotein M6-B (GPM6B) and melanoma antigen family A12 (MAGEA12) genes. Differences in HRM in the immunoglobulin superfamily Fc receptor (FCRL1) separated invasive tumors from less invasive HCC. The identified biomarkers differentiated HCC from chronic hepatitis in another set of samples from Dhaka. Although the main thrust in DNA methylation diagnostics in cancer is on hypermethylated genes, our study for the first time illustrates the potential use of hypomethylated genes as markers for solid tumors. After further validation in a larger cohort, the identified DNA hypomethylated regions can become important candidate biomarkers for liver cancer diagnosis and prognosis, especially in populations with high risk for HCC development.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Aberrant DNA methylation plays important roles in carcinogenesis. However, the functional significance of genome-wide hypermethylation and hypomethylation of gene promoters in carcinogenesis currently remain unclear. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Based on genome-wide methylation data for five cancer types, we showed that genes with promoter hypermethylation were highly consistent in function across different cancer types, and so were genes with promoter hypomethylation. Functions related to "developmental processes" and "regulation of biology processes" were significantly enriched with hypermethylated genes but were depleted of hypomethylated genes. In contrast, functions related to "cell killing" and "response to stimulus", including immune and inflammatory response, were associated with an enrichment of hypomethylated genes and depletion of hypermethylated genes. We also observed that some families of cytokines secreted by immune cells, such as IL10 family cytokines and chemokines, tended to be hypomethylated in various cancer types. These results provide new hints for understanding the distinct functional roles of genome-wide hypermethylation and hypomethylation of gene promoters in carcinogenesis. CONCLUSIONS: Genes with promoter hypermethylation and hypomethylation are highly consistent in function across different cancer types, respectively, but these two groups of genes tend to be enriched in different functions associated with cancer. Especially, we speculate that hypomethylation of gene promoters may play roles in inducing immunity and inflammation disorders in precancerous conditions, which may provide hints for improving epigenetic therapy and immunotherapy of cancer.
Project description:The human placenta is hypomethylated compared to somatic tissues. However, the degree and specificity of placental hypomethylation across the genome is unclear. We assessed genome-wide methylation of the human placenta and compared it to that of the neutrophil, a representative homogeneous somatic cell. We observed global hypomethylation in placenta (relative reduction of 22%) compared to neutrophils. Placental hypomethylation was pronounced in intergenic regions and gene bodies, while the unmethylated state of the promoter remained conserved in both tissues. For every class of repeat elements, the placenta showed lower methylation but the degree of hypomethylation differed substantially between these classes. However, some retroelements, especially the evolutionarily younger Alu elements, retained high levels of placental methylation. Surprisingly, nonretrotransposon-containing sequences showed a greater degree of placental hypomethylation than retrotransposons in every genomic element (intergenic, introns, and exons) except promoters. The differentially methylated fragments (DMFs) in placenta and neutrophils were enriched in gene-poor and CpG-poor regions. The placentally hypomethylated DMFs were enriched in genomic regions that are usually inactive, whereas hypermethylated DMFs were enriched in active regions. Hypomethylation of the human placenta is not specific to retroelements, indicating that the evolutionary advantages of placental hypomethylation go beyond those provided by expression of retrotransposons and retrogenes.
Project description:The abnormality of DNA methylation is one of the major epigenetic alterations in the human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). We have assessed the global genomic DNA methylation profiles in human HCC patients by using the Infinium Human Methylation27 BeadChip. A CpG loci of S100A8 was found to be significantly hypomethylated in HCC.Pooled meta-analysis of five validation public datasets demonstrated its methylation level was significantly lower for HCC compared to paired adjacent normal tissues. Quantitative pyrosequencing analysis also showed that the S100A8 methylation level was decreased in cancer tissues (31.90%±13.31%) than that in the paired adjacent normal tissues (65.33%±3.64%, p<0.01). The area under the ROC curve (AUC) value was 0.950 (p<0.01). Kaplan-Meier survival curves revealed that hypomethylation of S100A8 was associated with shortened overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) (log rank p<0.05). Multivariate Cox proportional hazards model also indicated significantly shorter OS (HR, 1.709; 95 % CI, 1.127-2.591) and PFS (HR, 1.767; 95 % CI, 1.168-2.974) were observed in the low-methylation-level group compared to the high-methylation-level group. Furthermore, S100A8 overexpression in Huh7 and MHCC-97H hepatoma cell lines led to increased cell proliferation, migration, invasion, and tumor growth. These findings suggested S100A8 methylation to be served as potential diagnosis and prognosis marker for HCC. S100A8 also may play as a tumor promoter in HCC.
Project description:Genomic DNA methylation maps (methylomes) encode genetic and environmental effects as stable chemical modifications of DNA. Variations in DNA methylation, especially in regulatory regions such as promoters and enhancers, are known to affect numerous downstream processes. In contrast, most transcription units (gene bodies) in the human genome are thought to be heavily methylated. However, epigenetic reprogramming in cancer often involves gene body hypomethylation with consequences on gene expression. In this study, we focus on the relatively unexplored phenomenon that some gene bodies are devoid of DNA methylation under normal conditions. Utilizing nucleotide-resolution methylomes of diverse samples, we show that nearly 2000 human genes are commonly hypomethylated. Remarkably, these genes occupy highly specialized genomic, epigenomic, evolutionary and functional niches in our genomes. For example, hypomethylated genes tend to be short yet encode significantly more transcripts than expected based upon their lengths, include many genes involved in nucleosome and chromatin formation, and are extensively and significantly enriched for histone-tail modifications and transcription factor binding with particular relevance for cis-regulation. Furthermore, they are significantly more prone to cancer-associated hypomethylation and mutation. Consequently, gene body hypomethylation represents an additional layer of epigenetic regulatory complexity, with implications on cancer-associated epigenetic reprogramming.
Project description:Mesenchymal stem cells from adipose tissue can differentiate into mesodermal lineages. Differentiation potential, however, varies between clones of adipose stem cells (ASCs), raising the hypothesis that epigenetic differences account for this variability. We report here a bisulfite sequencing analysis of CpG methylation of adipogenic (leptin [LEP], peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma 2 [PPARG2], fatty acid-binding protein 4 [FABP4], and lipoprotein lipase [LPL]) promoters and of nonadipogenic (myogenin [MYOG], CD31, and GAPDH) loci in freshly isolated human ASCs and in cultured ASCs, in relation to gene expression and differentiation potential. Uncultured ASCs display hypomethylated adipogenic promoters, in contrast to myogenic and endothelial loci, which are methylated. Adipogenic promoters exhibit mosaic CpG methylation, on the basis of heterogeneous methylation between cells and of variation in the extent of methylation of a given CpG between donors, and both between and within clonal cell lines. DNA methylation reflects neither transcriptional status nor potential for gene expression upon differentiation. ASC culture preserves hypomethylation of adipogenic promoters; however, between- and within-clone mosaic methylation is detected. Adipogenic differentiation also maintains the overall CpG hypomethylation of LEP, PPARG2, FABP4, and LPL despite demethylation of specific CpGs and transcriptional induction. Furthermore, enhanced methylation at adipogenic loci in primary differentiated cells unrelated to adipogenesis argues for ASC specificity of the hypomethylated state of these loci. Therefore, mosaic hypomethylation of adipogenic promoters may constitute a molecular signature of ASCs, and DNA methylation does not seem to be a determinant of differentiation potential of these cells.
Project description:Hepatocellular carcinomas (HCC) exhibit distinct promoter hypermethylation patterns, but the epigenetic regulation and function of transcriptional enhancers remain unclear. Here, our affinity- and bisulfite-based whole-genome sequencing analyses reveal global enhancer hypomethylation in human HCCs. Integrative epigenomic characterization further pinpoints a recurrent hypomethylated enhancer of CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein-beta (C/EBP?) which correlates with C/EBP? over-expression and poorer prognosis of patients. Demethylation of C/EBP? enhancer reactivates a self-reinforcing enhancer-target loop via direct transcriptional up-regulation of enhancer RNA. Conversely, deletion of this enhancer via CRISPR/Cas9 reduces C/EBP? expression and its genome-wide co-occupancy with BRD4 at H3K27ac-marked enhancers and super-enhancers, leading to drastic suppression of driver oncogenes and HCC tumorigenicity. Hepatitis B X protein transgenic mouse model of HCC recapitulates this paradigm, as C/ebp? enhancer hypomethylation associates with oncogenic activation in early tumorigenesis. These results support a causal link between aberrant enhancer hypomethylation and C/EBP? over-expression, thereby contributing to hepatocarcinogenesis through global transcriptional reprogramming.