DNA methylation and expression of LINE-1 and HERV-K provirus sequences in urothelial and renal cell carcinomas.
ABSTRACT: Since DNA methylation is considered an important mechanism for silencing of retroelements in the mammalian genome, hypomethylation in human tumours may lead to their reactivation. The methylation status of LINE-1 retroposons was determined in 73 samples of urinary bladder cancers, 34 specimens of renal cell carcinoma and in the corresponding normal tissues by Southern blot analysis. LINE-1 sequences were strongly methylated in normal tissues and were significantly hypomethylated in 69 (95%) urothelial carcinomas, but in none of the renal carcinomas. Hypomethylation in bladder cancers was independent of stage and tended to increase with grade. The methylation status of HERV-K proviral DNA in normal and transformed urothelial cells paralleled that of LINE-1 sequences (r2 = 0.87). It was shown by ligation-mediated polymerase chain reaction that hypomethylation also extended to the LINE-1 promoter sequence located at the 5'-ends of full-length elements which is repressed by methylation in somatic tissues. Accordingly, full-length LINE-1 transcripts were detected by Northern blot analysis in two urothelial carcinoma cell lines. In contrast, transcripts from HERV-K proviruses were restricted to teratocarcinoma cell lines. Our data indicate that genome-wide DNA hypomethylation is an early change in urothelial carcinoma, but is absent from renal cell carcinoma. The coordinate changes of LINE-1 and HERV-K DNA methylation suggest that hypomethylation in urothelial cancer affects a variety of different retroelements to similar extents. We speculate that decreased methylation of LINE-1 retroelements, in particular, may contribute to genomic instability in specific human tumours such as urothelial carcinoma by rendering these normally repressed sequences competent for transcription and recombination.
Project description:Human endogenous retroviruses (HERV) and related elements account for more than 8% of the human genome and significantly contribute to the human transcriptome by long terminal repeat (LTR) promoter activity. In this context, HERVs are thought to intervene in the expression of adjacent genes by providing regulatory sequences (cis-effect) or via noncoding RNA including natural antisense transcripts. To address the potential impact of HERV activity in urothelial carcinoma, we comparatively analyzed the HERV transcription profiles in paired samples of non-malignant urothelium and urothelial carcinoma derived from 13 patients with bladder cancer by means of a retrovirus-specific microarray (RetroArray). We established a characteristic HERV signature consisting of six ubiquitously active HERV subgroups (E4-1, HERV-Rb, ERV9, HERV-K-T47D, NMWV3, HERV-KC4). The transcription pattern is largely identical in human urothelial carcinoma, non-malignant urothelial tissue, four tumor-derived cell lines and in a non-malignant urothelial cell line (UROtsa). Quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR (qRT-PCR) of HERV-E4-1, HERV-K(HML-6) and HERV-T(S71-TK1) revealed a bias to lower HERV activity in carcinoma samples compared to non-malignant tissue. Determination of active HERV-E4-1 loci by cloning and sequencing revealed six HERV-E4-1 proviral loci that are differentially regulated in urothelial carcinoma cells and normal tissue. Two full-length HERV-E4-1 proviruses, HERV-Ec1 and HERV-Ec6, are located in antisense orientation in introns of the genes PLA2G4A and RNGTT, respectively. PLA2G4A encodes a cytosolic phospholipase A2 (cPLA2) that is dysregulated in many human tumors. PLA2G4A and HERV-Ec1 displayed reciprocal transcript levels in 7 of 11 urothelial carcinoma patients. Moreover, reciprocal shifts were observed after treatment of UROtsa cells with HERV-Ec1 and PLA2G4A-directed siRNAs or 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (aza-dC) pointing to an antagonistic regulation of PLA2G4A and HERV-Ec1 transcription in human urothelial cells. We suggest that transcription of HERV-Ec1 contributes to fine tuning of cPLA2 expression, thereby facilitating tumorigenesis.
Project description:Urothelial carcinoma (UC), the most common cancer of the urinary bladder causes severe morbidity and mortality, e.g. about 40.000 deaths in the EU annually, and incurs considerable costs for the health system due to the need for prolonged treatments and long-term monitoring. Extensive aberrant DNA methylation is described to prevail in urothelial carcinoma and is thought to contribute to genetic instability, altered gene expression and tumor progression. However, it is unknown how this epigenetic alteration arises during carcinogenesis. Intact methyl group metabolism is required to ensure maintenance of cell-type specific methylomes and thereby genetic integrity and proper cellular function. Here, using two independent techniques for detecting DNA methylation, we observed DNA hypermethylation of the 5'-regulatory regions of the key methyl group metabolism genes ODC1, AHCY and MTHFR in early urothelial carcinoma. These hypermethylation events are associated with genome-wide DNA hypomethylation which is commonly associated with genetic instability. We therefore infer that hypermethylation of methyl group metabolism genes acts in a feed-forward cycle to promote additional DNA methylation changes and suggest a new hypothesis on the molecular etiology of urothelial carcinoma.
Project description:Wide-spread hypomethylation of CpG dinucleotides is characteristic of many cancers. Retrotransposons have been identified as potential targets of hypomethylation during cellular transformation. We report the results of an preliminary examination of the methylation status of CpG dinucleotides associated with the L1 and HERV-W retrotransposons in benign and malignant human ovarian tumors. We find a reduction in the methylation of CpG dinucleotides within the promoter regions of these retroelements in malignant relative to non-malignant ovarian tissues. Consistent with these results, we find that relative L1 and HERV-W expression levels are elevated in representative samples of malignant vs. non-malignant ovarian tissues.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>DNA methylation aberration and microRNA (miRNA) deregulation have been observed in many types of cancers. A systematic study of methylome and transcriptome in bladder urothelial carcinoma has never been reported.<h4>Methodology/principal findings</h4>The DNA methylation was profiled by modified methylation-specific digital karyotyping (MMSDK) and the expression of mRNAs and miRNAs was analyzed by digital gene expression (DGE) sequencing in tumors and matched normal adjacent tissues obtained from 9 bladder urothelial carcinoma patients. We found that a set of significantly enriched pathways disrupted in bladder urothelial carcinoma primarily related to "neurogenesis" and "cell differentiation" by integrated analysis of -omics data. Furthermore, we identified an intriguing collection of cancer-related genes that were deregulated at the levels of DNA methylation and mRNA expression, and we validated several of these genes (HIC1, SLIT2, RASAL1, and KRT17) by Bisulfite Sequencing PCR and Reverse Transcription qPCR in a panel of 33 bladder cancer samples.<h4>Conclusions/significance</h4>We characterized the profiles between methylome and transcriptome in bladder urothelial carcinoma, identified a set of significantly enriched key pathways, and screened four aberrantly methylated and expressed genes. Conclusively, our findings shed light on a new avenue for basic bladder cancer research.
Project description:Cigarette smoking is the single most important epidemiological risk factor for bladder cancer but it is not known whether exposure of urothelial cells to the systemic soluble contents of cigarette smoke is directly causative to bladder cancer and the associated epigenetic changes such as tumor suppressor gene hypermethylation. We undertook this study to investigate if long-term treatment of human urothelial cells with cigarette smoke extract (CSE) results in tumor suppressor gene hypermethylation, a phenotype that was previously associated with long-term constant CSE treatment of airway epithelial cells. We chronically treated an immortalized human urothelial cell line UROtsa with CSE using a cyclic daily regimen but the cells were cultured in CSE-free medium between daily treatments. Bisulfite sequencing and real-time PCR array-based methylation profiling were employed to evaluate methylation changes at tumor suppressor gene loci in the chronically CSE-treated cells versus the passage-matched untreated control cells. The RUNX3 tumor suppressor gene promoter was hypomethylated with a significant increase in proportion of the completely unmethylated haplotype after the long-term CSE treatment; whereas RUNX3 promoter hypermethylation was previously reported for bladder cancers of smokers. Hypomethylation induced by the long-term CSE treatment was also observed for the IGF2-H19 locus. The methylation status at the PRSS8/prostasin and 16 additional loci however, was unaffected by the chronic CSE treatment. Transient CSE treatment over 1 daily regimen resulted in transcriptional down-regulation of RUNX3 and H19, but only the H19 transcription was down-regulated in the chronically CSE-treated urothelial cells. Transcription of a key enzyme in one-carbon metabolism, dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) was greatly reduced by the long-term CSE treatment, potentially serving as a mechanism for the hypomethylation phenotype via a reduced supply of methyl donor. In conclusion, chronic cyclic CSE treatment of urothelial cells induced hypomethylation rather than hypermethylation at specific loci.
Project description:PURPOSE: To investigate the promoter methylation status at selected loci which encode for key proteins involved in apoptosis, DNA repair, cell cycle control and progression in urothelial cell carcinoma of bladder and compare the findings from tissue samples with that of plasma. METHODS: Total genomic DNA was isolated from 43 non-muscle invasive (low grade) and 33 muscle invasive (high grade) urothelial bladder cancer samples along with 10 control cases of normal bladder mucosa. Promoter methylation status was investigated for RASSF1A, APC, MGMT, CDKN2A and CDKN2B genes using real-time methylation-specific PCR with SYBR® green. Plasma samples from 16 patients with muscle invasive high grade bladder cancer were also subjected to similar analyses. RESULTS: Promoter hypermethylation was frequently observed in RASSF1A, APC and MGMT gene promoters (p-value?<?0.001). The methylation was more prominent in the muscle invasive high grade bladder cancer when compared to non-muscle invasive low grade group (p-value?<?0.001) and normal bladder mucosa (p-value?<?0.05). The RNA expression of RASSF1A, APC and MGMT was also found to be decreased in the muscle-invasive high grade bladder cancer when compared to the non muscle invasive low grade group (p-value?<?0.05). RASSF1A, MGMT and CDKN2A showed comparable results when data from 16 plasma samples was compared to the corresponding tissue samples. CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that epigenetic silencing of RASSF1A, APC and MGMT genes is strongly associated with invasive high grade urothelial bladder cancer. Thus, status of promoter methylation has the potential to serve as valuable tool for assessing aggressiveness of urothelial cell carcinoma of bladder.
Project description:BACKGROUND:DNA hypomethylation has been suggested to cause genomic instability and increase cancer risk. We aimed to test the hypothesis that DNA hypomethylation is associated with increased risk of bladder cancer. METHODS:We measured cytosine methylation (5-mC) content in genomic DNA from blood cells from patients with bladder cancer enrolled in a large case-control study in Spain between Jan 1, 1998, and Dec 31, 2001. Cases were men and women with newly diagnosed and histologically confirmed urothelial carcinoma of the bladder. Controls were selected from patients admitted to the same hospital for diseases or conditions unrelated to smoking or other known risk factors for bladder cancer. Controls were individually matched to cases on age (within 5 years), sex, race, and area of hospital referral. 5-mC content was measured in leucocyte DNA by use of a combination of high-performance capillary electrophoresis, Hpa II digestion, and densitometry. Data on demographics, 34 polymorphisms in nine folate metabolism genes, and nutritional intake of six B vitamins (including folate), alcohol, and smoking were assessed as potential confounders. Relative 5-mC content was expressed as a percentage (%5-mC) with respect to the total cytosine content (the sum of methylated and non-methylated cytosines). The primary endpoint was median %5-mC DNA content. FINDINGS:%5-mC was measured in leucocyte DNA from 775 cases and 397 controls. Median %5-mC DNA was significantly lower in cases (3.03% [IQR 2.17-3.56]) than in controls (3.19% [2.46-3.68], p=0.0002). All participants were subsequently categorised into quartiles by %5-mC content in controls. When the highest quartile of %5-mC content was used as the reference category (Q4), the following adjusted odds ratios (OR) and 95% CI were recorded for decreasing methylation quartiles: OR(Q3) 2.05 (95% CI 1.37-3.06); OR(Q2) 1.62 (1.07-2.44); and OR(Q1) 2.67 (1.77-4.03), p for trend <0.0001. The lowest cancer risk was noted in never smokers in the highest methylation quartile (never smokers in Q4). By comparison with never smokers in the highest quartile, current smokers in the lowest methylation quartile had the highest risk of bladder cancer (Q1: OR 25.51 [9.61-67.76], p for interaction 0.06). In analyses stratified by smoking, hypomethylation was a strong risk factor in never smokers (OR 6.39 [2.37-17.22]). Amount of methylation in controls were not associated with baseline characteristics, micronutrients, or selected genotypes in folate metabolism pathways. INTERPRETATION:For the first time, to our knowledge, we have shown in a large case-control study that leucocyte DNA hypomethylation is associated with increased risk of developing bladder cancer, and this association is independent of smoking and the other assessed risk factors. Amount of global methylation in genomic DNA could provide a useful biomarker of susceptibility to certain cancer types and further research is warranted.
Project description:Aging associated DNA hypomethylation of LINE-1 and Alu retroelements may be a crucial determinant of loss of genomic integrity, deterioration and cancer. In peripheral blood LINE-1 hypomethylation has been reported to increase during aging, but other studies did not observe significant changes. We hypothesized that these apparently inconsistent reports might relate to differences between cellular and cell-free DNA. Using the technique of idiolocal normalization of real-time methylation-specific PCR (IDLN-MSP) for genetic imbalanced DNA specimens we obtained evidence that LINE-1 hypomethylation in cell-free DNA, but not cellular DNA from peripheral blood is an epigenetic biomarker for human aging. Furthermore, hypomethylation of cell-free DNA is more extensive in smokers, suggesting that it might be used as a surrogate marker for monitoring the improvement of smoking-induced adverse effects after cancelling smoking.
Project description:DNA methylation and histone acetylation are epigenetic modifications that act as regulators of gene expression. DNA methylation is considered an important mechanism for silencing of retroelements in the mammalian genome. However, the methylation of human endogenous retroviruses (HERVs) is not well investigated. The aim of this study was to investigate the transcriptional potential of HERV-Fc1 proviral 5'LTR in more detail, and examined the specific influence of CpG methylation on this LTR in number of cell lines. Specifically, the role of demethylating chemicals e.g. 5-aza-2' deoxycytidine and Trichostatin-A, in inducing or reactivating expression of HERV-Fc1 specific sequences and the mechanisms were investigated. In our present study, 5-aza-dC is shown to be a powerful inducer of HERV-Fc1, and at the same time it strongly inhibits methylation of DNA. Treatment with this demethylating agent 5-aza-dC, results in significantly increased levels of HERV-Fc1 expression in cells previously not expressing HERV-Fc1, or with a very low expression level. The extent of expression of HERV-Fc1 RNAs precisely correlates with the apparent extent of demethylation of the related DNA sequences. In conclusion, the results suggest that inhibition of DNA methylation/histone deacetylase can interfere with gene silencing mechanisms affecting HERV-Fc1 expression in human cells.
Project description:To determine whether epigenetic changes occur during cyclophosphamide-induced chronic bladder inflammation in mice.Epigenetic changes play a role in the regulation of inflammatory genes in noncancer diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. However, epigenetic (deoxyribonucleic acid [DNA] methylation) changes during chronic bladder inflammation have not been previously described. Chronic cystitis was induced in 3 groups of adult CD-1 male mice using multiple weight-based intraperitoneal cyclophosphamide injections during a 3-month period. Histopathologic and MethyLight assays were performed on specimens with chronic bladder inflammation at multiple points to monitor cystitis progression and DNA methylation changes compared with the control specimens.Histopathologic analysis showed the most extensive edema and urothelial sloughing at the 1-month point. MethyLight analyses revealed statistically significant changes in DNA methylation associated with the Calca, Timp3, Mmp2, and Igf2r genes in the chronic bladder injury model. The changes in DNA methylation associated with chronic cystitis were DNA hypomethylation of the Calca gene in the control tissue and DNA hypermethylation for the Calca, Timp3, Mmp2, and Igf2r genes compared with that in the control tissue.DNA methylation changes were noted in the Calca, Timp3, Mmp2, and Igf2r genes during chronic cystitis in a murine model. Epigenetic changes appear to play a role in the regulation of inflammatory bladder genes during chronic cystitis; however, additional studies are needed to elucidate the pathways associated with these genes.