Blood-based DNA methylation as biomarker for breast cancer: a systematic review.
ABSTRACT: Multiple studies have investigated global DNA methylation profiles and gene-specific DNA methylation in blood-based DNA to develop powerful screening markers for cancer. This systematic review summarizes the current evidence on methylation studies that investigated methylation level of blood-derived DNA of breast cancer (BC) patients in comparison to healthy controls by conducting a systematic literature review in PubMed and Web of Science. Essential results, such as methylation levels of BC cases and healthy controls, p values, and odds ratios, were extracted from these studies by two investigators independently. Overall, 45 publications met the inclusion criteria for this review. DNA from whole blood, as well as cell-free DNA (cfDNA) from serum or plasma, was used in these studies. The most common method used for measuring global DNA methylation was the investigation of repetitive elements as surrogates and the application of array-based genome-wide methylation analysis. For measuring gene-specific methylation level, methylation-specific PCR and pyrosequencing were the most frequently used methods. Epigenome-wide blood DNA hypomethylation in BC patients were reported in several studies; however, the evidence is still not conclusive. The most frequently investigated gene in whole blood was BRCA1, which was found more frequently methylated in patients compared to controls. RASSF1A was the most widely investigated gene in cfDNA of serum or plasma, which was also found more frequently methylated in patients compared to controls. Several of the eligible studies reported the associations of global hypomethylation and increased BC risk. Studies investigated associations between gene-specific methylation and BC risk, while got heterogeneous results. But two studies reported that hypermethylation of ATM gene was associated with increased BC risk, which suggest the potential use of this gene for BC risk stratification. Overall, our review suggests the possibility of using blood-based DNA methylation marker as promising marker for BC risk stratification, as several studies found associations between certain methylation level in blood and BC risk. However, so far, the evidence is still quite limited. Optimal markers are yet to be developed and promising results needed to be validated in prospective study cohorts and tested in large screening populations.
Project description:Previous work has shown that DNA methylation in peripheral blood may be associated with malignancy; however, these studies have mainly been conducted within Caucasian populations. Here, we investigated the association between blood-based methylation of S100 calcium-binding protein P gene (S100P) and hyaluronoglucosaminidase 2 gene (HYAL2) and breast cancer (BC) via mass spectrometry in two independent case-control studies of the Chinese population with a total of 351 BC cases and 427 cancer-free female controls. In Study I, in which subjects had an average of 45 years, hypomethylation of S100P showed a protective effect for women ?45 years (six out of nine CpG sites, p < 0.05) but not for women >45 years. In contrast, hypomethylation of HAYL2 was not correlated with BC in women ?45 years but was a risk factor for women >45 years (three out of four CpG sites, p < 0.05). We proposed an age-dependent correlation between BC and methylation of S100P and HYAL2 and performed further validation in Study II with older subjects (average age = 52.5 years), where hypomethylation of both S100P and HYAL2 was a risk factor for BC (p < 0.05 for 10 CpG sites) as reported in Caucasians who develop BC around 55 years old. Together with the observation that Chinese cancer-free females having variant basal methylation levels comparing to Caucasians, we assumed that blood-based methylation might be modified by ethnic background, hormone status, and lifestyle. Here, we highlighted that the epigenetic biomarkers warrant validations when its application in variant ethnic groups is considered.
Project description:Breast cancer (BC) is the most common cancer among women and has high mortality rates. Early detection is supposed to be critical for the patient's prognosis. In recent years, several studies have investigated global DNA methylation profiles and gene-specific DNA methylation in blood-based DNA to develop putative screening markers for cancer. However, most of the studies have not yet been validated. In our study, we analyzed the promoter methylation of RASSF1A and ATM in peripheral blood DNA of 229 sporadic patients and 151 healthy controls by the MassARRAY EpiTYPER assay. There were no significant differences in DNA methylation levels of RASSF1A and ATM between the sporadic BC cases and the healthy controls. Furthermore, we performed the Infinium HumanMethylation450 BeadChip (450K) array analysis using 48 sporadic BC cases and 48 healthy controls (cases and controls are the same from those of the MassARRAY EpiTYPER assay) and made a comparison with the published data. No significant differences were presented in DNA methylation levels of RASSF1A and ATM between the sporadic BC cases and the healthy controls. So far, the evidence for powerful blood-based methylation markers is still limited and the identified markers need to be further validated.
Project description:As a noninvasive blood testing, the detection of cell-free DNA (cfDNA) methylation in plasma has raised an increasing interest due to diagnostic applications. Although extensively used in cfDNA methylation analysis, bisulfite sequencing is less cost-effective. In this study, we investigated the cfDNA methylation patterns in lung cancer patients by MeDIP-seq. Compared with the healthy individuals, 330 differentially methylated regions (DMRs) at gene promoters were identified in lung cancer patients with 33 hypermethylated and 297 hypomethylated regions, respectively. Moreover, these hypermethylated genes were validated with the publicly available DNA methylation data, yielding a set of ten significant differentially methylated genes in lung cancer, including B3GAT2, BCAR1, HLF, HOPX, HOXD11, MIR1203, MYL9, SLC9A3R2, SYT5, and VTRNA1-3. Our study demonstrated MeDIP-seq could be effectively used for cfDNA methylation profiling and identified a set of potential biomarker genes with clinical application for lung cancer.
Project description:As a non-invasive blood testing, the detection of cell-free DNA (cfDNA) methylation in plasma is raising increasing interest due to its diagnostic and biology applications. Although extensively used in cfDNA methylation analysis, bisulfite sequencing is less cost-effective. Through enriching methylated cfDNA fragments with MeDIP followed by deep sequencing, we aimed to characterize cfDNA methylome in cancer patients. In this study, we investigated the cfDNA methylation patterns in lung cancer patients by MeDIP-seq. MEDIPS package was used for the identification of differentially methylated regions (DMRs) between patients and normal ones. Overall, we identified 330 differentially methylated regions (DMRs) in gene promoter regions, 33 hypermethylation and 297 hypomethylation respectively, by comparing lung cancer patients and healthy individuals as controls. The 33 hypermethylation regions represent 32 genes. Some of the genes had been previously reported to be associated with lung cancers, such as GAS7, AQP10, HLF, CHRNA9 and HOPX. Taken together, our study provided an alternative method of cfDNA methylation analysis in lung cancer patients with potential clinical applications.
Project description:The understanding of mechanisms linking psychological stress to disease risk depend on reliable stress biomarkers. Circulating cell-free DNA (cfDNA) has emerged as a potential biomarker of cellular stress, aging, inflammatory processes, and cell death. Recent studies indicated that psychosocial stress and physical exercise might also influence its release. We compared the effects of acute psychosocial and physical exercise stress on cfDNA release by exposing 20 young, healthy men to both an acute psychosocial laboratory stressor and an acute physical exercise stressor. Venous blood and saliva samples were collected before and after stress exposure. Cell-free DNA was extracted from plasma and quantified by qPCR. Furthermore, cfDNA fragment length was analyzed and cfDNA methylation patterns were assayed across time. In addition, release of stress hormones and subjective stress responses were measured. Results showed a twofold increase of cfDNA after TSST and fivefold increase after exhaustive treadmill exercise, with an overabundance of shorter cfDNA fragments after physical exhaustion. Interestingly, cell-free mitochondrial DNA showed similar increase after both stress paradigms. Furthermore, cfDNA methylation signatures-used here as a marker for diverse cellular origin-were significantly different post stress tests. While DNA methylation decreased immediately after psychosocial stress, it increased after physical stress, suggesting different cellular sources of active DNA release. In summary, our results suggest stimulus and cell-specific regulation of cfDNA release. Whereas the functional role of stress-associated cfDNA release remains elusive, it might serve as a valuable biomarker in molecular stress research as a part of the psychophysiological stress response.
Project description:DNA methylation plays an important role in cancer development. Cancer cells exhibit two types of DNA methylation alteration: site-specific hypermethylation at promoter of oncosuppressor genes and global DNA hypomethylation. This study evaluated the methylation patterns of long interspersed nuclear element (LINE-1) sequences which, due to their relative abundance in the genome, are considered a good surrogate indicator of global DNA methylation. LINE-1 methylation status was investigated in the cell-free DNA (cfDNA) of 21 patients, 19 with esophageal adenocarcinoma (EADC) and 2 with Barrett's esophagus (BE). The two BE patients and one EADC patient were also analyzed longitudinally. Methylation status was analyzed using restriction enzymes and DNA amplification. This methodology was chosen to avoid bisulfite conversion, which we considered inadequate for cfDNA analysis. Indeed, cfDNA is characterized by poor quality and low concentration, and bisulfite conversion might worsen these conditions. Results showed that hypomethylated LINE-1 sequences are present in EADC cfDNA. Furthermore, longitudinal studies in BE suggested a correlation between methylation status of LINE-1 sequences in cfDNA and progression to EADC. In conclusion, our study indicated the feasibility of our methodological approach to detect hypomethylation events in cfDNA from EADC patients, and suggests LINE-1 methylation analysis as a new possible molecular assay to integrate into patient monitoring.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Tumour-released DNA in blood represents a promising biomarker for cancer detection. Although epigenetic alterations such as aberrant promoter methylation represent an appealing perspective, the discordance existing between frequencies of alterations found in DNA extracted from tumour tissue and cell-free DNA (cfDNA) has challenged their practical clinical application. With the aim to explain this bias of agreement, we investigated whether protocadherin 10 (PCDH10) promoter methylation in tissue was associated with methylation pattern in matched cfDNA isolated from plasma of patients with colorectal cancer (CRC), and whether the strength of concordance may depend on levels of cfDNA, integrity index, as well as on different clinical-pathological features. METHODS: A quantitative methylation-specific PCR was used to analyse a selected CpG site in the PCDH10 promoter of 67 tumour tissues, paired normal mucosae, and matched plasma samples. The cfDNA integrity index and cfDNA concentration were assessed using a real-time PCR assay. RESULTS: The PCDH10 promoter methylation was detected in 63 out of 67 (94.0%) surgically resected colorectal tumours and in 42 out of 67 (62.7%) plasma samples. The median methylation rate in tumour tissues and plasma samples was 43.5% (6.3-97.8%) and 5.9% (0-80.9%), respectively. There was a significant correlation between PCDH10 methylation in cfDNA and tumour tissue in patients with early CRC (P<0.0001). The ratio between plasma and tissue methylation rate increases with increasing cfDNA integrity index in early-stage cancers (P=0.0299) and with absolute cfDNA concentration in advanced cancers (P=0.0234). CONCLUSION: Our findings provide new insight into biological aspects modulating the concordance between tissues and plasma methylation profiles.
Project description:In type 1 diabetes (T1D), ?-cell loss is silent during disease progression. Methylation-sensitive quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) of ?-cell-derived DNA in the blood can serve as a biomarker of ?-cell death in T1D. Amylin is highly expressed by ?-cells in the islet. Here we examined whether demethylated circulating free amylin DNA (cfDNA) may serve as a biomarker of ?-cell death in T1D. ? cells showed unique methylation patterns within the amylin coding region that were not observed with other tissues. The design and use of methylation-specific primers yielded a strong signal for demethylated amylin in purified DNA from murine islets when compared with other tissues. Similarly, methylation-specific primers detected high levels of demethylated amylin DNA in human islets and enriched human ?-cells. In vivo testing of the primers revealed an increase in demethylated amylin cfDNA in sera of non-obese diabetic (NOD) mice during T1D progression and following the development of hyperglycemia. This increase in amylin cfDNA did not mirror the increase in insulin cfDNA, suggesting that amylin cfDNA may detect ?-cell loss in serum samples where insulin cfDNA is undetected. Finally, purified cfDNA from recent onset T1D patients yielded a high signal for demethylated amylin cfDNA when compared with matched healthy controls. These findings support the use of demethylated amylin cfDNA for detection of ?-cell-derived DNA. When utilized in conjunction with insulin, this latest assay provides a comprehensive multi-gene approach for the detection of ?-cell loss.
Project description:Analysis of circulating cell-free DNA (cfDNA) has opened new opportunities for characterizing tumour mutational landscapes with many applications in genomic-driven oncology. We developed a customized targeted cfDNA sequencing approach for breast cancer (BC) using unique molecular identifiers (UMIs) for error correction. Our assay, spanning a 284.5 kb target region, is combined with a novel freely-licensed bioinformatics pipeline that provides detection of low-frequency variants, and reliable identification of copy number variations (CNVs) directly from plasma DNA. We first evaluated our pipeline on reference samples. Then in a cohort of 35 BC patients our approach detected actionable driver and clonal variants at low variant frequency levels in cfDNA that were concordant (77%) with sequencing of primary and/or metastatic solid tumour sites. We also detected ERRB2 gene CNVs used for HER2 subtype classification with 80% precision compared to immunohistochemistry. Further, we evaluated fragmentation profiles of cfDNA in BC and observed distinct differences compared to data from healthy individuals. Our results show that the developed assay addresses the majority of tumour associated aberrations directly from plasma DNA, and thus may be used to elucidate genomic alterations in liquid biopsy studies.
Project description:The analysis of tumours using biomarkers in blood is transforming cancer diagnosis and therapy. Cancers are characterised by evolving genetic alterations, making it difficult to develop reliable and broadly applicable DNA-based biomarkers for liquid biopsy. In contrast to the variability in gene mutations, the methylation pattern remains generally constant during carcinogenesis. Thus, methylation more than mutation analysis may be exploited to recognise tumour features in the blood of patients. In this work, we investigated the possibility of using global CpG (CpG means a CG motif in the context of methylation. The p represents the phosphate. This is used to distinguish CG sites meant for methylation from other CG motifs or from mentions of CG content) island methylation profiles as a basis for the prediction of cancer state of patients utilising liquid biopsy samples. We retrieved existing GEO methylation datasets on hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and cell-free DNA (cfDNA) from HCC patients and healthy donors, as well as healthy whole blood and purified peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) samples, and used a random forest classifier as a predictor. Additionally, we tested three different feature selection techniques in combination. When using cfDNA samples together with solid tumour samples and healthy blood samples of different origin, we could achieve an average accuracy of 0.98 in a 10-fold cross-validation. In this setting, all the feature selection methods we tested in this work showed promising results. We could also show that it is possible to use solid tumour samples and purified PBMCs as a training set and correctly predict a cfDNA sample as cancerous or healthy. In contrast to the complete set of samples, the feature selections led to varying results of the respective random forests. ANOVA feature selection worked well with this training set, and the selected features allowed the random forest to predict all cfDNA samples correctly. Feature selection based on mutual information could also lead to better than random results, but LASSO feature selection would not lead to a confident prediction. Our results show the relevance of CpG islands as tumour markers in blood.