Epigenetic and genetic burden measures are associated with tumor characteristics in invasive breast carcinoma.
ABSTRACT: The development and progression of invasive breast cancer is characterized by alterations to the genome and epigenome. However, the relationship between breast tumor characteristics, disease subtypes, and patient outcomes with the cumulative burden of these molecular alterations are not well characterized. We determined the average departure of tumor DNA methylation from adjacent normal breast DNA methylation using Illumina 450K methylation data from 700 invasive breast tumors and 90 adjacent normal breast tissues in The Cancer Genome Atlas. From this we generated a novel summary measure of altered DNA methylation, the DNA methylation dysregulation index (MDI), and examined the relation of MDI with tumor characteristics and summary measures that quantify cumulative burden of genetic mutation and copy number alterations. Our analysis revealed that MDI was significantly associated with tumor stage (P = 0.017). Across invasive breast tumor subtypes we observed significant differences in genome-wide DNA MDIs (P = 4.9E-09) and in a fraction of the genome with copy number alterations (FGA) (P = 4.6E-03). Results from a linear regression adjusted for subject age, tumor stage, and estimated tumor purity indicated a positive significant association of MDI with both MCB and FGA (P = 0.036 and P < 2.2E-16). A recursively partitioned mixture model of all 3 somatic alteration burden measures resulted in classes of tumors whose epigenetic and genetic burden profile were associated with the PAM50 subtype and mutations in TP53, PIK3CA, and CDH1. Together, our work presents a novel framework for characterizing the epigenetic burden and adds to the understanding of the aggregate impact of epigenetic and genetic alterations in breast cancer.
Project description:Genetic and epigenetic alterations are required for carcinogenesis and the mutation burden across tumor types has been investigated. Here, we investigate epigenetic alterations with a novel measure of global DNA methylation dysregulation, the methylation dysregulation index (MDI), across 14 cancer types in The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database. DNA methylation data-obtained using Illumina HumanMethylation450 BeadChip-was accessed from TCGA. We calculated the MDI in 14 tumor types (n = 5,592 tumors), using adjacent normal tissues (n = 701) from each tumor site. Copy number alteration, and mutation burden were retrieved from cBioportal (n = 5,152). We tested the relation of subject MDI across tumors and with age, gender, tumor stage, estimated tumor purity, and copy number alterations for both overall MDI and genomic-context-specific MDI. We also investigated the top most dysregulated loci shared across tumor types. There was a broad range of extent in methylation dysregulation across tumor types (P < 2.2E-16). However, a consistent pattern of methylation dysregulation stratified by genomic context was observed across tumor types where the highest dysregulation occurred at non-CpG island regions. Considering other summary measures of somatic alteration, MDI was correlated with copy number alterations but not with mutation burden. Using the top dysregulated CpG sites in common across tumors, 4 classes of cancer types were observed, and the functional consequences of these alterations to gene expression were confirmed. This work identified the global DNA methylation dysregulation patterns across 14 cancer types showing a higher impact for the non-CpG island areas. The most dysregulated loci across cancer types identified common clusters across cancer types that may have implications for future treatment and prevention measures.
Project description:Oncogenic transformation of normal cells often involves epigenetic alterations, including histone modification and DNA methylation. We conducted whole-genome bisulfite sequencing to determine the DNA methylomes of normal breast, fibroadenoma, invasive ductal carcinomas and MCF7. The emergence, disappearance, expansion and contraction of kilobase-sized hypomethylated regions (HMRs) and the hypomethylation of the megabase-sized partially methylated domains (PMDs) are the major forms of methylation changes observed in breast tumor samples. Hierarchical clustering of HMR revealed tumor-specific hypermethylated clusters and differential methylated enhancers specific to normal or breast cancer cell lines. Joint analysis of gene expression and DNA methylation data of normal breast and breast cancer cells identified differentially methylated and expressed genes associated with breast and/or ovarian cancers in cancer-specific HMR clusters. Furthermore, aberrant patterns of X-chromosome inactivation (XCI) was found in breast cancer cell lines as well as breast tumor samples in the TCGA BRCA (breast invasive carcinoma) dataset. They were characterized with differentially hypermethylated XIST promoter, reduced expression of XIST, and over-expression of hypomethylated X-linked genes. High expressions of these genes were significantly associated with lower survival rates in breast cancer patients. Comprehensive analysis of the normal and breast tumor methylomes suggests selective targeting of DNA methylation changes during breast cancer progression. The weak causal relationship between DNA methylation and gene expression observed in this study is evident of more complex role of DNA methylation in the regulation of gene expression in human epigenetics that deserves further investigation.
Project description:Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) of the breast is a precursor of invasive breast carcinoma. DNA methylation alterations are thought to be an early event in progression of cancer, and may prove valuable as a tool in clinical decision making and for understanding neoplastic development.We generate genome-wide DNA methylation profiles of 285 breast tissue samples representing progression of cancer, and validate methylation changes between normal and DCIS in an independent dataset of 15 normal and 40 DCIS samples. We also validate a prognostic signature on 583 breast cancer samples from The Cancer Genome Atlas. Our analysis reveals that DNA methylation profiles of DCIS are radically altered compared to normal breast tissue, involving more than 5,000 genes. Changes between DCIS and invasive breast carcinoma involve around 1,000 genes. In tumors, DNA methylation is associated with gene expression of almost 3,000 genes, including both negative and positive correlations. A prognostic signature based on methylation level of 18 CpGs is associated with survival of breast cancer patients with invasive tumors, as well as with survival of patients with DCIS and mixed lesions of DCIS and invasive breast carcinoma.This work demonstrates that changes in the epigenome occur early in the neoplastic progression, provides evidence for the possible utilization of DNA methylation-based markers of progression in the clinic, and highlights the importance of epigenetic changes in carcinogenesis.
Project description:Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is a heterogeneous, pre-invasive lesion associated with an increased risk for future invasive ductal carcinoma. However, accurate risk stratification for development of invasive disease and appropriate treatment decisions remain clinical challenges. DNA methylation alterations are early events in the progression of cancer and represent emerging molecular markers that may predict invasive recurrence more accurately than traditional measures of DCIS prognosis.We measured DNA methylation using the Illumina HumanMethylation450K array of estrogen-receptor positive DCIS (n?=?40) and adjacent-normal (n?=?15) tissues from subjects in the New Hampshire Mammography Network longitudinal breast imaging registry. We identified locus-specific methylation differences between DCIS and matched adjacent-normal tissue (95,609 CpGs, Q?<?0.05). Among 40 DCIS cases, 13 later developed invasive disease and we identified 641 CpG sites that exhibited differential DNA methylation (P?<?0.01 and median |??|?>?0.1) in these cases compared with age-matched subjects without invasive disease. The set of differentially methylated CpG loci associated with disease progression was enriched in homeobox-containing genes (P?=?1.3E-09) and genes involved with limb morphogenesis (P?=?1.0E-05). In an independent cohort, a subset of genes with progression-related differential methylation between DCIS and invasive breast cancer were confirmed. Further, the functional relevance of these genes' regulation by methylation was demonstrated in early stage breast cancers from The Cancer Genome Atlas database.This work contributes to the understanding of epigenetic alterations that occur in DCIS and illustrates the potential of DNA methylation as markers of DCIS progression.
Project description:Breast cancer, the most common malignancy in women, emerges through a multistep process, encompassing the progressive sequential evolution of morphologically distinct stages from a normal cell to hyperplasia (with and without atypia), carcinoma in situ, invasive carcinoma and metastasis. The success of treatment of breast cancer could be greatly improved by the detection at early stages of cancer. In the present study, we investigated the underlying molecular mechanisms involved in breast carcinogenesis in Augustus and Copenhagen-Irish female rats, a cross between the ACI strains, induced by continuous exposure to 17beta-estradiol. The results of our study demonstrate that early stages of estrogen-induced breast carcinogenesis are characterized by altered global DNA methylation, aberrant expression of proteins responsible for the proper maintenance of DNA methylation pattern and epigenetic silencing of the critical Rassf1a (Ras-association domain family 1, isoform A) tumor suppressor gene. Interestingly, transcriptional repression of the Rassf1a gene in mammary glands during early stages of breast carcinogenesis was associated with an increase in trimethylation of histones H3 lysine 9 and H3 lysine 27 and de novo CpG island methylation and at the Rassf1a promoter and first exon. In conclusion, we demonstrate that epigenetic alterations precede formation of preneoplastic lesions indicating the significance of epigenetic events in induction of oncogenic pathways in early stages of carcinogenesis.
Project description:We broadly profiled DNA methylation in breast cancers (n = 351) and benign parenchyma (n = 47) for correspondence with disease phenotype, using FFPE diagnostic surgical pathology specimens. Exploratory analysis revealed a distinctive primary invasive carcinoma subclass featuring extreme global methylation deviation. Subsequently, we tested the correlation between methylation remodeling pervasiveness and malignant biological features. A methyl deviation index (MDI) was calculated for each lesion relative to terminal ductal-lobular unit baseline, and group comparisons revealed that high-grade and short-survival estrogen receptor-positive (ER(+)) cancers manifest a significantly higher MDI than low-grade and long-survival ER(+) cancers. In contrast, ER(-) cancers display a significantly lower MDI, revealing a striking epigenomic distinction between cancer hormone receptor subtypes. Kaplan-Meier survival curves of MDI-based risk classes showed significant divergence between low- and high-risk groups. MDI showed superior prognostic performance to crude methylation levels, and MDI retained prognostic significance (P < 0.01) in Cox multivariate analysis, including clinical stage and pathological grade. Most MDI targets individually are significant markers of ER(+) cancer survival. Lymphoid and mesenchymal indexes were not substantially different between ER(+) and ER(-) groups and do not explain MDI dichotomy. However, the mesenchymal index was associated with ER(+) cancer survival, and a high lymphoid index was associated with medullary carcinoma. Finally, a comparison between metastases and primary tumors suggests methylation patterns are established early and maintained through disease progression for both ER(+) and ER(-) tumors.
Project description:Recent data have revealed that epigenetic alterations, including DNA methylation and chromatin structure changes, are among the earliest molecular abnormalities to occur during tumorigenesis. The inherent thermodynamic stability of cytosine methylation and the apparent high specificity of the alterations for disease may accelerate the development of powerful molecular diagnostics for cancer. We report a genome-wide analysis of DNA methylation alterations in breast cancer. The approach efficiently identified a large collection of novel differentially DNA methylated loci (approximately 200), a subset of which was independently validated across a panel of over 230 clinical samples. The differential cytosine methylation events were independent of patient age, tumor stage, estrogen receptor status or family history of breast cancer. The power of the global approach for discovery is underscored by the identification of a single differentially methylated locus, associated with the GHSR gene, capable of distinguishing infiltrating ductal breast carcinoma from normal and benign breast tissues with a sensitivity and specificity of 90% and 96%, respectively. Notably, the frequency of these molecular abnormalities in breast tumors substantially exceeds the frequency of any other single genetic or epigenetic change reported to date. The discovery of over 50 novel DNA methylation-based biomarkers of breast cancer may provide new routes for development of DNA methylation-based diagnostics and prognostics, as well as reveal epigenetically regulated mechanism involved in breast tumorigenesis.
Project description:Age is a key risk factor for breast cancer and epigenetic alterations may contribute to age-related increases in breast cancer risk, though the relation of age-related methylation in normal breast tissues with altered methylation in breast tumors is unclear. We investigated the relation of age with DNA methylation in normal breast tissues genome-wide using two data sets from the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) database (GSE32393 and GSE31979). We validated our observations in an independent set of normal breast tissues, examined age-related methylation in normal breast for enrichment of genomic features, and compared age-related methylation in normal tissue with methylation alterations in breast tumors. Between the two array-based methylation data sets, there were 204 CpG loci with significant (P<0.05) and consistent age-related methylation, 97% of which were increases in methylation. Our validation sets confirmed the direction of age-related DNA methylation changes in all measured regions. Among the 204 age-related CpG loci, we observed a significant enrichment for CpG islands (P = 8.7E-6) and polycomb group protein target genes (P = 0.03). In addition, 24 of the 204 CpGs with age-related methylation in normal breast were significantly differentially methylated between normal and breast tumor tissues. We identified consistent age-related methylation changes in normal breast tissue that are further altered in breast tumors and may represent early events contributing to breast carcinogenesis. This work identifies age-related methylation in normal breast tissue and begins to deconstruct the contribution of aging to epigenetic alterations present in breast tumors.
Project description:DNA methylation-induced silencing of genes encoding tumor suppressors is common in many types of cancer, but little is known about how such epigenetic silencing can contribute to tumor metastasis. The PRKD1 gene encodes protein kinase D1 (PKD1), a serine/threonine kinase that is expressed in cells of the normal mammary gland, where it maintains the epithelial phenotype by preventing epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition.The status of PRKD1 promoter methylation was analyzed by reduced representation bisulfite deep sequencing, methylation-specific PCR (MSP-PCR) and in situ MSP-PCR in invasive and noninvasive breast cancer lines, as well as in humans in 34 cases of "normal" tissue, 22 cases of ductal carcinoma in situ, 22 cases of estrogen receptor positive, HER2-negative (ER+/HER2-) invasive lobular carcinoma, 43 cases of ER+/HER2- invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC), 93 cases of HER2+ IDC and 96 cases of triple-negative IDC. A reexpression strategy using the DNA methyltransferase inhibitor decitabine was used in vitro in MDA-MB-231 cells as well as in vivo in a tumor xenograft model and measured by RT-PCR, immunoblotting and immunohistochemistry. The effect of PKD1 reexpression on cell invasion was analyzed in vitro by transwell invasion assay. Tumor growth and metastasis were monitored in vivo using the IVIS Spectrum Pre-clinical In Vivo Imaging System.Herein we show that the gene promoter of PRKD1 is aberrantly methylated and silenced in its expression in invasive breast cancer cells and during breast tumor progression, increasing with the aggressiveness of tumors. Using an animal model, we show that reversion of PRKD1 promoter methylation with the DNA methyltransferase inhibitor decitabine restores PKD1 expression and blocks tumor spread and metastasis to the lung in a PKD1-dependent fashion.Our data suggest that the status of epigenetic regulation of the PRKD1 promoter can provide valid information on the invasiveness of breast tumors and therefore could serve as an early diagnostic marker. Moreover, targeted upregulation of PKD1 expression may be used as a therapeutic approach to reverse the invasive phenotype of breast cancer cells.
Project description:While genetic mutation is a hallmark of cancer, many cancers also acquire epigenetic alterations during tumorigenesis including aberrant DNA hypermethylation of tumor suppressors, as well as changes in chromatin modifications as caused by genetic mutations of the chromatin-modifying machinery. However, the extent of epigenetic alterations in cancer cells has not been fully characterized. Here, we describe complete methylome maps at single nucleotide resolution of a low-passage breast cancer cell line and primary human mammary epithelial cells. We find widespread DNA hypomethylation in the cancer cell, primarily at partially methylated domains (PMDs) in normal breast cells. Unexpectedly, genes within these regions are largely silenced in cancer cells. The loss of DNA methylation in these regions is accompanied by formation of repressive chromatin, with a significant fraction displaying allelic DNA methylation where one allele is DNA methylated while the other allele is occupied by histone modifications H3K9me3 or H3K27me3. Our results show a mutually exclusive relationship between DNA methylation and H3K9me3 or H3K27me3. These results suggest that global DNA hypomethylation in breast cancer is tightly linked to the formation of repressive chromatin domains and gene silencing, thus identifying a potential epigenetic pathway for gene regulation in cancer cells.