DNA methylation changes in ovarian cancer are cumulative with disease progression and identify tumor stage.
ABSTRACT: Hypermethylation of promoter CpG islands with associated loss of gene expression, and hypomethylation of CpG-rich repetitive elements that may destabilize the genome are common events in most, if not all, epithelial cancers.The methylation of 6,502 CpG-rich sequences spanning the genome was analyzed in 137 ovarian samples (ten normal, 23 low malignant potential, 18 stage I, 16 stage II, 54 stage III, and 16 stage IV) ranging from normal tissue through to stage IV cancer using a sequence-validated human CpG island microarray. The microarray contained 5' promoter-associated CpG islands as well as CpG-rich satellite and Alu repetitive elements.Results showed a progressive de-evolution of normal CpG methylation patterns with disease progression; 659 CpG islands showed significant loss or gain of methylation. Satellite and Alu sequences were primarily associated with loss of methylation, while promoter CpG islands composed the majority of sequences with gains in methylation. Since the majority of ovarian tumors are late stage when diagnosed, we tested whether DNA methylation profiles could differentiate between normal and low malignant potential (LMP) compared to stage III ovarian samples. We developed a class predictor consisting of three CpG-rich sequences that was 100% sensitive and 89% specific when used to predict an independent set of normal and LMP samples versus stage III samples. Bisulfite sequencing confirmed the NKX-2-3 promoter CpG island was hypermethylated with disease progression. In addition, 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine treatment of the ES2 and OVCAR ovarian cancer cell lines re-expressed NKX-2-3. Finally, we merged our CpG methylation results with previously published ovarian expression microarray data and identified correlated expression changes.Our results show that changes in CpG methylation are cumulative with ovarian cancer progression in a sequence-type dependent manner, and that CpG island microarrays can rapidly discover novel genes affected by CpG methylation in clinical samples of ovarian cancer.
Project description:De novo methylation of CpG islands is a common phenomenon in human cancer, but the mechanisms of cancer-associated DNA methylation are not known. We have used tiling arrays in combination with the methylated CpG island recovery assay to investigate methylation of CpG islands genome-wide and at high resolution. We find that all four HOX gene clusters on chromosomes 2, 7, 12, and 17 are preferential targets for DNA methylation in cancer cell lines and in early-stage lung cancer. CpG islands associated with many other homeobox genes, such as SIX, LHX, PAX, DLX, and Engrailed, were highly methylated as well. Altogether, more than half (104 of 192) of all CpG island-associated homeobox genes in the lung cancer cell line A549 were methylated. Analysis of paralogous HOX genes showed that not all paralogues undergo cancer-associated methylation simultaneously. The HOXA cluster was analyzed in greater detail. Comparison with ENCODE-derived data shows that lack of methylation at CpG-rich sequences correlates with presence of the active chromatin mark, histone H3 lysine-4 methylation in the HOXA region. Methylation analysis of HOXA genes in primary squamous cell carcinomas of the lung led to the identification of the HOXA7- and HOXA9-associated CpG islands as frequent methylation targets in stage 1 tumors. Homeobox genes are potentially useful as DNA methylation markers for early diagnosis of the disease. The finding of widespread methylation of homeobox genes lends support to the hypothesis that a substantial fraction of genes methylated in human cancer are targets of the Polycomb complex.
Project description:In addition to mutations, epigenetic silencing of genes has been recognized as a fundamental mechanism that promotes human carcinogenesis. To date, characterization of epigenetic gene silencing has largely focused on genes in which silencing is mediated by hypermethylation of promoter-associated CpG islands, associated with loss of the H3K4me3 chromatin mark. Far less is known about promoters lacking CpG-islands or genes that are repressed by alternative mechanisms.We performed integrative ChIP-chip, DNase-seq, and global gene expression analyses in colon cancer cells and normal colon mucosa to characterize chromatin features of both CpG-rich and CpG-poor promoters of genes that undergo silencing in colon cancer.Epigenetically repressed genes in colon cancer separate into two classes based on retention or loss of H3K4me3 at transcription start sites. Quantitatively, of transcriptionally repressed genes that lose H3K4me3 in colon cancer (K4-dependent genes), a large fraction actually lacks CpG islands. Nonetheless, similar to CpG-island containing genes, cytosines located near the start sites of K4-dependent genes become DNA hypermethylated, and repressed K4-dependent genes can be reactivated with 5-azacytidine. Moreover, we also show that when the H3K4me3 mark is retained, silencing of CpG island-associated genes can proceed through an alternative mechanism in which repressive chromatin marks are recruited.H3K4me3 equally protects from DNA methylation at both CpG-island and non-CpG island start sites in colon cancer. Moreover, the results suggest that CpG-rich genes repressed by loss of H3K4me3 and DNA methylation represent special instances of a more general epigenetic mechanism of gene silencing, one in which gene silencing is mediated by loss of H3K4me3 and methylation of non-CpG island promoter-associated cytosines.
Project description:The role of CpG island methylation in normal development and cell differentiation is of keen interest, but remains poorly understood. We performed comprehensive DNA methylation profiling of promoter regions in normal peripheral blood by methylated CpG island amplification in combination with microarrays. This technique allowed us to simultaneously determine the methylation status of 6,177 genes, 92% of which include dense CpG islands. Among these 5,549 autosomal genes with dense CpG island promoters, we have identified 4.0% genes that are nearly completely methylated in normal blood, providing another exception to the general rule that CpG island methylation in normal tissue is limited to X inactivation and imprinted genes. We examined seven genes in detail, including ANKRD30A, FLJ40201, INSL6, SOHLH2, FTMT, C12orf12, and DPPA5. Dense promoter CpG island methylation and gene silencing were found in normal tissues studied except testis and sperm. In both tissues, bisulfite cloning and sequencing identified cells carrying unmethylated alleles. Interestingly, hypomethylation of several genes was associated with gene activation in cancer. Furthermore, reactivation of silenced genes could be induced after treatment with a DNA demethylating agent or in a cell line lacking DNMT1 and/or DNMT3b. Sequence analysis identified five motifs significantly enriched in this class of genes, suggesting that cis-regulatory elements may facilitate preferential methylation at these promoter CpG islands. We have identified a group of non-X-linked bona fide promoter CpG islands that are densely methylated in normal somatic tissues, escape methylation in germline cells, and for which DNA methylation is a primary mechanism of tissue-specific gene silencing.
Project description:In this study, we performed the first systematic survey of DNA methylation status of the CpG islands of the PEG3 (Paternally expressed gene 3) imprinted domain in the mouse, cow, and human genomes. Previous studies have shown that the region surrounding the first exon of PEG3 contains a differentially methylated CpG island. In addition, we have discovered two previously unreported differentially methylated regions (DMR): one in the promoter region of mouse Zim3 and another in the promoter region of human USP29. In the cow, the Peg3-CpG island was the only area that showed DMR status. We have also examined the methylation status of several CpG islands in this region using human tumor-derived DNA. The CpG islands near PEG3 and USP29 both showed hypermethylation in DNA derived from breast and ovarian tumors. Overall, this study shows that the PEG3 imprinted domain of humans, cows, and mice contains differing numbers of DMRs, but the PEG3-CpG island is the only DMR that is conserved among these three species.
Project description:Aberrant methylation of CpG islands is a hallmark of cancer and occurs at an early stage in breast tumorigenesis. However, its impact on tumor development is not fully determined, and its potential as a diagnostic biomarker remains to be validated. Methylation profiling of invasive breast carcinoma has been largely explored. Conversely, very little and sparse information is available on early-stage breast cancer. To gain insight into the epigenetic switches that may promote and/or contribute to the initial neoplastic events during breast carcinogenesis, we have analyzed the DNA methylation profile of ductal carcinoma in situ, a premalignant breast lesion with a great potential to progress toward invasive carcinoma.We have utilized a comprehensive and sensitive array-based DNA mapping technique, the methylated-CpG island recovery assay, to profile the DNA methylation pattern in ductal carcinoma in situ. Differential methylation of CpG islands was compared genome-wide in tumor DNA versus normal DNA utilizing a statistical linear model in the LIMMA software package.Using this approach, we have identified 108 significant CpG islands that undergo aberrant DNA methylation in ductal carcinoma in situ and stage I breast tumors, with methylation frequencies greater than or comparable with those of more advanced invasive carcinoma (50% to 93%). A substantial fraction of these hypermethylated CpG islands (32% of the annotated CpG islands) is associated with several homeobox genes, such as the TLX1, HOXB13, and HNF1B genes. Fifty-three percent of the genes hypermethylated in early-stage breast cancer overlap with known Polycomb targets and include homeobox genes and other developmental transcription factors.We have identified a series of new potential methylation biomarkers that may help elucidate the underlying mechanisms of breast tumorigenesis. More specifically, our results are suggestive of a critical role of homeobox gene methylation in the insurgence and/or progression of breast cancer.
Project description:For the past 25 years, it has been known that alterations in DNA methylation (DNAm) occur in cancer, including hypomethylation of oncogenes and hypermethylation of tumor suppressor genes. However, most studies of cancer methylation have assumed that functionally important DNAm will occur in promoters, and that most DNAm changes in cancer occur in CpG islands. Here we show that most methylation alterations in colon cancer occur not in promoters, and also not in CpG islands, but in sequences up to 2 kb distant, which we term 'CpG island shores'. CpG island shore methylation was strongly related to gene expression, and it was highly conserved in mouse, discriminating tissue types regardless of species of origin. There was a notable overlap (45-65%) of the locations of colon cancer-related methylation changes with those that distinguished normal tissues, with hypermethylation enriched closer to the associated CpG islands, and hypomethylation enriched further from the associated CpG island and resembling that of noncolon normal tissues. Thus, methylation changes in cancer are at sites that vary normally in tissue differentiation, consistent with the epigenetic progenitor model of cancer, which proposes that epigenetic alterations affecting tissue-specific differentiation are the predominant mechanism by which epigenetic changes cause cancer.
Project description:UNLABELLED:Many genes undergo aberrant methylation in human cancers, and microarray platforms enable more comprehensive profiling of aberrant DNA methylation patterns. RESULTS:1,010 of 87,922 probes on the 88 K promoter array (606 genes) had a higher signal (log(2) > 2) in the pancreatic cancer line, Panc-1 compared to the non-neoplastic pancreatic duct line, HPDE. Using this cut-off, bisulfite sequencing and/or MSP confirmed differential methylation of all 27 genes (66 probes) predicted to be methylated by the MCA array. More than 1/2 of the genes aberrantly hypermethylated in Panc-1 were not expressed in the pancreatic duct (HPDE) by expression array analysis. Using the 244 K CpG island array, 1,968 CpG islands were differentially methylated in MiaPaca2 compared to normal pancreas. The MCA method was more likely to identify hypermethylation within CpG islands than a cocktail of methylation sensitive restriction enzymes. DNA methylation profiles using 10 ng of DNA were highly correlated with those obtained using 5 ug of DNA (R2 = 0.98). Analysis of 57 pancreatic cancers and 34 normal pancreata using MSP identified MDFI, hsa-miR-9-1, ZNF415, CNTNAP2 and ELOVL4 as methylated in 96%, 89%, 86%, 82% and 68% of the cancers vs. 9%, 15%, 6%, 3% and 97% of normal pancreata, respectively. METHODS:We used methylated CpG island amplification (MCA) and Agilent promoter and CpG island microarrays to identify differential DNA methylation patterns in pancreatic cancer vs. normal pancreas. We examined MCA array reproducibility, compared it to methylation profiles obtained using a cocktail of methylation-sensitive restriction enzymes and examined gene expression of methylated genes. CONCLUSION:Promoter and CpG island array analysis finds aberrant methylation of hundreds of promoters and CpG islands in pancreatic cancer cells.
Project description:CpG island methylation plays an important role in epigenetic gene control during mammalian development and is frequently altered in disease situations such as cancer. The majority of CpG islands is normally unmethylated, but a sizeable fraction is prone to become methylated in various cell types and pathological situations. The goal of this study is to show that a computational epigenetics approach can discriminate between CpG islands that are prone to methylation from those that remain unmethylated. We develop a bioinformatics scoring and prediction method on the basis of a set of 1,184 DNA attributes, which refer to sequence, repeats, predicted structure, CpG islands, genes, predicted binding sites, conservation, and single nucleotide polymorphisms. These attributes are scored on 132 CpG islands across the entire human Chromosome 21, whose methylation status was previously established for normal human lymphocytes. Our results show that three groups of DNA attributes, namely certain sequence patterns, specific DNA repeats, and a particular DNA structure, are each highly correlated with CpG island methylation (correlation coefficients of 0.64, 0.66, and 0.49, respectively). We predicted, and subsequently experimentally examined 12 CpG islands from human Chromosome 21 with unknown methylation patterns and found more than 90% of our predictions to be correct. In addition, we applied our prediction method to analyzing Human Epigenome Project methylation data on human Chromosome 6 and again observed high prediction accuracy. In summary, our results suggest that DNA composition of CpG islands (sequence, repeats, and structure) plays a significant role in predisposing CpG islands for DNA methylation. This finding may have a strong impact on our understanding of changes in CpG island methylation in development and disease.
Project description:Astrocytomas are common and lethal human brain tumors. We have analyzed the methylation status of over 28,000 CpG islands and 18,000 promoters in normal human brain and in astrocytomas of various grades using the methylated CpG island recovery assay. We identified 6,000 to 7,000 methylated CpG islands in normal human brain. Approximately 5% of the promoter-associated CpG islands in the normal brain are methylated. Promoter CpG island methylation is inversely correlated whereas intragenic methylation is directly correlated with gene expression levels in brain tissue. In astrocytomas, several hundred CpG islands undergo specific hypermethylation relative to normal brain with 428 methylation peaks common to more than 25% of the tumors. Genes involved in brain development and neuronal differentiation, such as BMP4, POU4F3, GDNF, OTX2, NEFM, CNTN4, OTP, SIM1, FYN, EN1, CHAT, GSX2, NKX6-1, PAX6, RAX, and DLX2, were strongly enriched among genes frequently methylated in tumors. There was an overrepresentation of homeobox genes and 31% of the most commonly methylated genes represent targets of the Polycomb complex. We identified several chromosomal loci in which many (sometimes more than 20) consecutive CpG islands were hypermethylated in tumors. Seven such loci were near homeobox genes, including the HOXC and HOXD clusters, and the BARHL2, DLX1, and PITX2 genes. Two other clusters of hypermethylated islands were at sequences of recent gene duplication events. Our analysis offers mechanistic insights into brain neoplasia suggesting that methylation of the genes involved in neuronal differentiation, in cooperation with other oncogenic events, may shift the balance from regulated differentiation towards gliomagenesis.
Project description:Changes in DNA methylation patterns are an important characteristic of human cancer. Tumors have reduced levels of genomic DNA methylation and contain hypermethylated CpG islands, but the full extent and sequence context of DNA hypomethylation and hypermethylation is unknown. Here, we used methylated CpG island recovery assay-assisted high-resolution genomic tiling and CpG island arrays to analyze methylation patterns in lung squamous cell carcinomas and matched normal lung tissue. Normal tissues from different individuals showed overall very similar DNA methylation patterns. Each tumor contained several hundred hypermethylated CpG islands. We identified and confirmed 11 CpG islands that were methylated in 80-100% of the SCC tumors, and many hold promise as effective biomarkers for early detection of lung cancer. In addition, we find that extensive DNA hypomethylation in tumors occurs specifically at repetitive sequences, including short and long interspersed nuclear elements and LTR elements, segmental duplications, and subtelomeric regions, but single-copy sequences rarely become demethylated. The results are consistent with a specific defect in methylation of repetitive DNA sequences in human cancer.