ABSTRACT: SPINT2 is a tumor suppressor gene that inhibits proteases implicated in cancer progression, like HGFA, hepsin and matriptase. Loss of SPINT2 expression in tumors has been associated with gene promoter hypermethylation; however, little is known about the mechanisms of SPINT2 deregulation in prostate cancer (PCa). We aimed to analyze SPINT2 expression levels and understand the possible regulation by SPINT2 promoter hypermethylation in PCa. In a cohort of 57 cases including non-neoplastic and PCa tissues, SPINT2 expression and promoter methylation was analyzed by immunohistochemistry and methylation-specific PCR, respectively. Methylation status of the SPINT2 promoter was also evaluated by bisulfite sequencing and 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine treatment. Oncomine and TCGA databases were used to perform in silico PCa analysis of SPINT2 mRNA and methylation levels. A reduction in SPINT2 expression levels from non-neoplastic to PCa tissues was observed; however, none of the cases exhibited SPINT2 promoter methylation. Both bisulfite sequencing and 5-aza demonstrated that SPINT2 promoter is not methylated in PCa cells. Bioinformatics approaches did not show downregulation of SPINT2 at the mRNA level and, in corroboration with our results, SPINT2 promoter region is reported to be unmethylated. Our study suggests an involvement of SPINT2 in PCa tumorigenesis, probably in association with a post-translational regulation of SPINT2.
Project description:PURPOSE:Both IDH1-mutated and wild-type gliomas abundantly display aberrant CpG island hypermethylation. However, the potential role of hypermethylation in promoting gliomas, especially the most aggressive form, glioblastoma (GBM), remains poorly understood. METHODS:We analyzed RRBS-generated methylation profiles for 11 IDH1WT gliomas (including 7 GBMs), 24 IDH1MUT gliomas (including 6 GBMs), and 5 normal brain samples and employed TCGA GBM methylation profiles as a validation set. Upon classification of differentially methylated CpG islands by IDH1 status, we used integrated analysis of methylation and gene expression to identify SPINT2 as a top cancer related gene. To explore functional consequences of SPINT2 methylation in GBM, we validated SPINT2 methylation status using targeted bisulfite sequencing in a large cohort of GBM samples. We assessed DNA methylation-mediated SPINT2 gene regulation using 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine treatment, DNMT1 knockdown and luciferase reporter assays. We conducted functional analyses of SPINT2 in GBM cell lines in vitro and in vivo. RESULTS:We identified SPINT2 as a candidate tumor-suppressor gene within a group of CpG islands (designated GT-CMG) that are hypermethylated in both IDH1MUT and IDH1WT gliomas but not in normal brain. We established that SPINT2 downregulation results from promoter hypermethylation, and that restoration of SPINT2 expression reduces c-Met activation and tumorigenic properties of GBM cells. CONCLUSIONS:We defined a previously under-recognized group of coordinately methylated CpG islands common to both IDH1WT and IDH1MUT gliomas (GT-CMG). Within GT-CMG, we identified SPINT2 as a top cancer-related candidate and demonstrated that SPINT2 suppressed GBM via down-regulation of c-Met activation.
Project description:Hepatocyte growth factor activator inhibitor type 2 (HAI-2), encoded by the SPINT2 gene, is a membrane-anchored protein that inhibits proteases involved in the activation of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), a ligand of MET receptor. Epigenetic silencing of the SPINT2 gene has been reported in a human glioblastoma cell line (U87) and glioblastoma-derived cancer stem cells. However, the incidence of SPINT2 methylation in tumor tissues obtained from glioma patients is unknown. In this study, we analyzed the methylation status of the SPINT2 gene of eight human glioblastoma cell lines and surgically resected glioma tissues of different grades (II, III, and IV) by bisulfite sequence analysis and methylation-specific PCR. Most glioblastoma lines (7/8) showed methylation of the SPINT2 gene with a significantly reduced level of SPINT2mRNA compared to cultured astrocytes and normal brain tissues. However, all glioblastoma lines expressed mRNA for HGF activator (HGFAC), a target protease of HAI-2/SPINT2. Forced expression of SPINT2 reduced MET phosphorylation of U87 glioblastoma cells both in vitro and in intracranial xenografts in nude mice. Methylation-specific PCR analysis of the resected glioma tissues indicated notable methylation of the SPINT2 gene in 33.3% (2/6), 71.4% (10/14), and 74.3% (26/35) of grade II, III, and IV gliomas, respectively. Analysis of RNA sequencing data in a public database indicated an increased HGFAC/SPINT2 expression ratio in high-grade compared to low-grade gliomas (P = .01). In summary, aberrant methylation of the SPINT2 gene is frequently observed in high-grade gliomas and might confer MET signaling in the glioma cells.
Project description:Aberrant HGF-MET (hepatocyte growth factor-met proto-oncogene) signaling activation via interactions with surrounding stromal cells in tumor microenvironment has significant roles in malignant tumor progression. However, extracellular proteolytic regulation of HGF activation, which is influenced by the tumor microenvironment, and its consequential effects on melanoma malignancy remain uncharacterized. In this study, we identified SPINT2 (serine peptidase inhibitor Kunitz type 2), a proteolytic inhibitor of hepatocyte growth factor activator (HGFA), which has a significant role in the suppression of the HGF-MET pathway and malignant melanoma progression. SPINT2 expression is significantly lower in metastatic melanoma tissues compared with those in early-stage primary melanomas, which also corresponded with DNA methylation levels isolated from tissue samples. Treatment with the DNA-hypomethylating agent decitabine in cultured melanoma cells induced transcriptional reactivation of SPINT2, suggesting that this gene is epigenetically silenced in malignant melanomas. Furthermore, we show that ectopically expressed SPINT2 in melanoma cells inhibits the HGF-induced MET-AKT (v-Akt murine thymoma viral oncogene) signaling pathway and decreases malignant phenotype potential such as cell motility and invasive growth of melanoma cells. These results suggest that SPINT2 is associated with tumor-suppressive functions in melanoma by inhibiting an extracellular signal regulator of HGF, which is typically activated by tumor-stromal interactions. These findings indicate that epigenetic impairment of the tightly regulated cytokine-receptor communications in tumor microenvironment may contribute to malignant tumor progression.
Project description:?-Catenin plays dual role in adhesion complex formation and the Wnt signaling pathway. Although ?-catenin expression appears to be upregulated and Wnt signaling pathway is activated in the majority of cancers, its expression level seems to be lost in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). We previously reported that the promoter of ?-catenin was hypermethylated in two NSCLC cell lines. In the current study, we expanded our analysis for the methylation status of ?-catenin promoter region and its protein expression in seven NSCLC cell lines and a series of 143 cases of primary human lung cancer with adjacent non-neoplastic tissues. Quantitative methylation specific PCR (qMSP) analysis showed methylation of ?-catenin promoter region in five NSCLC cell lines, with increased ?-catenin protein levels upon 5'-Aza-2'-deoxycytidine (5-aza-dC) treatment. The methylation status in SPC (methylated) and A549 (unmethylated) was confirmed by bisulfite sequencing PCR. 5-Aza-dC treatment inhibited invasiveness of SPC but not A549. Immunofluorescence analysis showed membranous ?-catenin expression was lost in SPC and could be re-established by 5-aza-dC, while Wnt3a treatment led to nuclear translocation of ?-catenin in both SPC and A549. Dual-luciferase assays indicated that 5-aza-dC treatment caused no significant increase in Wnt signaling activity compared with Wnt3a treatment. The effect of demethylation agent in SPC can be reversed by ?-catenin depletion but not E-cadherin depletion which indicated that the methylation mediated ?-catenin silencing might enhance NSCLC invasion and metastasis in an E-cadherin independent manner. Subsequent immunohistochemistry results further confirmed that ?-catenin promoter hypermethylation correlated with loss of immunoreactive protein expression, positive lymph node metastasis, high TNM stage and poor prognosis. The present study implicates ?-catenin promoter hypermethylation in the mechanism of epigenetic changes underlying NSCLC metastasis and progression, thus indicating the potential of ?-catenin as a novel epigenetic target for the treatment of NSCLC patients.
Project description:Androgen receptor (AR) plays a critical role during the development and progression of prostate cancer in which microRNA miR-375 is overexpressed and correlated with tumor progression. Although DNA methylation is a key mechanism for the repression of gene expression, the relationship between AR and the expression or the hypermethylation of miR-375 is unknown. In this study, we found that AR-positive prostate cancer (PCa) cells showed high expression levels and hypomethylation of the miR-375. In contrast, AR-negative PCa cells displayed low levels and hypermethylation of the miR-375. Addition of 5-Aza-2'-deoxycytidine, a specific inhibitor of DNA methylation, into the culture medium reversed the low expression levels of miR-375 in the AR negative PCa cells. In addition, the total activity levels of DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs) were high in AR-negative PCa cells, in which hypermethylation of miR-375 promoter and low expression levels of miR-375 were observed. Taken together, these findings indicate that the negative correlation between AR and total DNMT activity is one of mechanisms to influence the methylation status of miR-375 promoter, which in turn regulates the expression of miR-375.
Project description:While chromosomal instability is a common feature of human solid tumours, no abnormalities in genes involved in the mitotic checkpoint have been identified. However, recently, Chfr (checkpoint with forkhead associated and ring finger), a mitotic stress checkpoint gene, has been reported to be inactivated due to promoter hypermethylation in several types of human malignancy. To clarify whether Chfr promoter hypermethylation is involved in gastric carcinogenesis, we investigated the promoter methylation status of the Chfr gene in gastric cancer cell lines and primary gastric cancers. Non-neoplastic gastric epithelia from cancer-bearing and noncancer-bearing stomachs were also examined for Chfr promoter hypermethylation to study its cancer specificity. Two of 10 gastric cancer cell lines (20%) showed Chfr promoter hypermethylation with resultant loss of expression, which could be restored by 5-aza-2' deoxycytidine treatment. Chfr promoter hypermethylation was present in 35% (25 of 71) of primary tumours and occurred at similar frequencies in early and advanced stages. As for non-neoplastic gastric epithelia, 1% (one of 91) from noncancer-bearing and 5% (four of 71) from cancer-bearing stomachs exhibited Chfr promoter hypermethylation. Thus, Chfr promoter hypermethylation is mostly cancer specific and frequently leads to chromosome instability in gastric cancer.
Project description:Promoter methylation profiles are proposed as potential prognosis and/or diagnosis biomarkers in cervical cancer. Up to now, little is known about the promoter methylation profile and expression pattern of stem cell (SC) markers during tumor development. In this study, we were interested to identify SC genes methylation profiles during cervical carcinogenesis. A genome-wide promoter methylation screening revealed a strong hypermethylation of Undifferentiated cell Transcription Factor 1 (UTF1) promoter in cervical cancer in comparison with normal ectocervix. By direct bisulfite pyrosequencing of DNA isolated from liquid-based cytological samples, we showed that UTF1 promoter methylation increases with lesion severity, the highest level of methylation being found in carcinoma. This hypermethylation was associated with increased UTF1 mRNA and protein expression. By using quantitative RT-PCR and Western Blot, we showed that both UTF1 mRNA and protein are present in epithelial cancer cell lines, even in the absence of its two main described regulators Oct4A and Sox2. Moreover, by immunofluorescence, we confirmed the nuclear localisation of UTF1 in cell lines. Surprisingly, direct bisulfite pyrosequencing revealed that the inhibition of DNA methyltransferase by 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine was associated with decreased UTF1 gene methylation and expression in two cervical cancer cell lines of the four tested. These findings strongly suggest that UTF1 promoter methylation profile might be a useful biomarker for cervical cancer diagnosis and raise the questions of its role during epithelial carcinogenesis and of the mechanisms regulating its expression.
Project description:Activin receptor 2 (ACVR2) is commonly mutated in microsatellite unstable (MSI) colon cancers, leading to protein loss, signaling disruption, and larger tumors. Here, we examined activin signaling disruption in microsatellite stable (MSS) colon cancers.Fifty-one population-based MSS colon cancers were assessed for ACVR1, ACVR2 and pSMAD2 protein. Consensus mutation-prone portions of ACVR2 were sequenced in primary cancers and all exons in colon cancer cell lines. Loss of heterozygosity (LOH) was evaluated for ACVR2 and ACVR1, and ACVR2 promoter methylation by methylation-specific PCR and bisulfite sequencing and chromosomal instability (CIN) phenotype via fluorescent LOH analysis of 3 duplicate markers. ACVR2 promoter methylation and ACVR2 expression were assessed in colon cancer cell lines via qPCR and IP-Western blots. Re-expression of ACVR2 after demethylation with 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (5-Aza) was determined. An additional 26 MSS colon cancers were assessed for ACVR2 loss and its mechanism, and ACVR2 loss in all tested cancers correlated with clinicopathological criteria.Of 51 MSS colon tumors, 7 (14%) lost ACVR2, 2 (4%) ACVR1, and 5 (10%) pSMAD2 expression. No somatic ACVR2 mutations were detected. Loss of ACVR2 expression was associated with LOH at ACVR2 (p<0.001) and ACVR2 promoter hypermethylation (p<0.05). ACVR2 LOH, but not promoter hypermethylation, correlated with CIN status. In colon cancer cell lines with fully methylated ACVR2 promoter, loss of ACVR2 mRNA and protein expression was restored with 5-Aza treatment. Loss of ACVR2 was associated with an increase in primary colon cancer volume (p<0.05).Only a small percentage of MSS colon cancers lose expression of activin signaling members. ACVR2 loss occurs through LOH and ACVR2 promoter hypermethylation, revealing distinct mechanisms for ACVR2 inactivation in both MSI and MSS subtypes of colon cancer.
Project description:1?,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25-D3) is antiproliferative in preclinical models of lung cancer, but in tumor tissues, its efficacy may be limited by CYP24A1 expression. CYP24A1 is the rate limiting catabolic enzyme for 1,25-D3 and is overexpressed in human lung adenocarcinoma (AC) by unknown mechanisms.The DNA methylation status of CYP24A1 was determined by bisulfite DNA pyrosequencing in a panel of 30 lung cell lines and 90 surgically resected lung AC. The level of CYP24A1 methylation was correlated with CYP24A1 expression in lung AC cell lines and tumors. In addition, histone modifications were assessed by quantitative chromatin immunoprecipitation-polymerase chain reaction (ChIP-qPCR) in A549, NCI-H460, and SK-LU-1.Bisulfite DNA pyrosequencing analysis revealed that CYP24A1 gene was heterogeneously methylated in lung AC. Expression of CYP24A1 was inversely correlated with promoter DNA methylation in lung AC cell lines and tumors. Treatment with 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (5-Aza) and trichostatin A (TSA) increased CYP24A1 expression in lung AC. We observed that CYP24A1 promoter hypermethylation decreased CYP24A1 enzyme activity in vitro, whereas treatment with 5-Aza and/or TSA increased CYP24A1 enzyme affinity for its substrate 1,25-D3. In addition, ChIP-qPCR analysis revealed specific histone modifications within the CYP24A1 promoter region. Treatment with TSA increased H3K4me2 and H3K9ac and simultaneously decreased H3K9me2 at the CYP24A1 promoter and treatment with 5-Aza and/or TSA increased the recruitment of vitamin D receptor (VDR) to vitamin D response elements (VDRE) of the CYP24A1 promoter.The expression of CYP24A1 gene in human lung AC is in part epigenetically regulated by promoter DNA methylation and repressive histone modifications. These findings should be taken into consideration when targeting CYP24A1 to optimize antiproliferative effects of 1,25-D3 in lung AC.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) is a genetic and epigenetic disease. There is growing evidence to suggest that environmental factors due to epigenetic changes can be involved in the OSCC pathogenesis. Although tumor suppressor genes (TSGs) are commonly inactivated by promoter hypermethylation in human cancers, the epigenetic changes and the mechanism of TSGs in human OSCC remain unclear. We therefore assessed the methylation status of the TSGs, which are associated with epigenetic silencing in human cancers, OSCC cell lines, primary tumors, and normal oral mucosa. RESULTS:We used 14 TSGs that were originally identified in colon cancer to investigate the aberrant hypermethylation of these genes associated with transcriptional silencing in 10 OSCC cell lines. We found three TSGs, TFPI2, SOX17, and GATA4, that are robustly hypermethylated and are associated with transcriptional silencing in OSCC cell lines. The re-expression of the three genes was induced by 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (5-aza-dC) in cells in which these genes were not expressed or had a lack of expression. In 33 cases of primary OSCC tumors, promoter hypermethylation was detected for the TFPI2, SOX17, and GATA4 genes at (32/33) 97%, (22/33) 67%, and (11/33) 33%, respectively. Eleven normal oral mucosa samples showed no promoter hypermethylation for all three genes, which suggests that this promoter hypermethylation is cancer-specific. Bisulfite sequencing analysis confirmed the cancer-specific methylation of the TFPI2, SOX17, and GATA4 promoters in the OSCC cell lines and tumors but not in the normal oral mucosa samples. More importantly, the methylation status of TFPI2, GATA4, and SOX17 was significantly associated with OSCC patients' overall survival through TCGA DNA methylation database. CONCLUSIONS:We identified that TFPI2, SOX17, and GATA4 are frequently hypermethylated in human OSCC cells in a cancer-specific manner and that the transcriptional expression of these genes is regulated by promoter hypermethylation in OSCC. Our results highlight the great potential used as a synergistic biomarker set to improve the prognosis and therapeutic treatment for patients with OSCC.