The dynamic DNA methylation landscape of the mutL homolog 1 shore is altered by MLH1-93G>A polymorphism in normal tissues and colorectal cancer.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Colorectal cancers (CRCs) undergo distinct genetic and epigenetic alterations. Expression of mutL homolog 1 (MLH1), a mismatch repair gene that corrects DNA replication errors, is lost in up to 15% of sporadic tumours due to mutation or, more commonly, due to DNA methylation of its promoter CpG island. A single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the CpG island of MLH1 (MLH1-93G>A or rs1800734) is associated with CpG island hypermethylation and decreased MLH1 expression in CRC tumours. Further, in peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) DNA of both CRC cases and non-cancer controls, the variant allele of rs1800734 is associated with hypomethylation at the MLH1 shore, a region upstream of its CpG island that is less dense in CpG sites. RESULTS:To determine whether this genotype-epigenotype association is present in other tissue types, including colorectal tumours, we assessed DNA methylation in matched normal colorectal tissue, tumour, and PBMC DNA from 349 population-based CRC cases recruited from the Ontario Familial Colorectal Cancer Registry. Using the semi-quantitative real-time PCR-based MethyLight assay, MLH1 shore methylation was significantly higher in tumour tissue than normal colon or PBMCs (P < 0.01). When shore methylation levels were stratified by SNP genotype, normal colorectal DNA and PBMC DNA were significantly hypomethylated in association with variant SNP genotype (P < 0.05). However, this association was lost in tumour DNA. Among distinct stages of CRC, metastatic stage IV CRC tumours incurred significant hypomethylation compared to stage I-III cases, irrespective of genotype status. Shore methylation of MLH1 was not associated with MSI status or promoter CpG island hypermethylation, regardless of genotype. To confirm these results, bisulfite sequencing was performed in matched tumour and normal colorectal specimens from six CRC cases, including two cases per genotype (wildtype, heterozygous, and homozygous variant). Bisulfite sequencing results corroborated the methylation patterns found by MethyLight, with significant hypomethylation in normal colorectal tissue of variant SNP allele carriers. CONCLUSIONS:These results indicate that the normal tissue types tested (colorectum and PBMC) experience dynamic genotype-associated epigenetic alterations at the MLH1 shore, whereas tumour DNA incurs aberrant hypermethylation compared to normal DNA.
Project description:Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are the most common form of genetic variation. We previously demonstrated that SNPs (rs1800734, rs749072, and rs13098279) in the MLH1 gene region are associated with MLH1 promoter island methylation, loss of MLH1 protein expression, and microsatellite instability (MSI) in colorectal cancer (CRC) patients. Recent studies have identified less CpG-dense "shore" regions flanking many CpG islands. These shores often exhibit distinct methylation profiles between different tissues and matched normal versus tumor cells of patients. To date, most epigenetic studies have focused on somatic methylation events occurring within solid tumors; less is known of the contributions of peripheral blood cell (PBC) methylation to processes such as aging and tumorigenesis. To address whether MLH1 methylation in PBCs is correlated with tumorigenesis we utilized the Illumina 450 K microarrays to measure methylation in PBC DNA of 846 healthy controls and 252 CRC patients from Ontario, Canada. Analysis of a region of chromosome 3p21 spanning the MLH1 locus in healthy controls revealed that a CpG island shore 1 kb upstream of the MLH1 gene exhibits different methylation profiles when stratified by SNP genotypes (rs1800734, rs749072, and rs13098279). Individuals with wild-type genotypes incur significantly higher PBC shore methylation than heterozygous or homozygous variant carriers (p<1.1×10(-6); ANOVA). This trend is also seen in CRC cases (p<0.096; ANOVA). Shore methylation also decreases significantly with increasing age in cases and controls. This is the first study of its kind to integrate PBC methylation at a CpG island shore with SNP genotype status in CRC cases and controls. These results indicate that CpG island shore methylation in PBCs may be influenced by genotype as well as the normal aging process.
Project description:The MLH1 promoter polymorphism rs1800734 is associated with MLH1 CpG island hypermethylation and expression loss in colorectal cancer (CRC). Conversely, variant rs1800734 is associated with MLH1 shore, but not island, hypomethylation in peripheral blood mononuclear cell DNA. To explore these distinct patterns, MLH1 CpG island and shore methylation was assessed in CRC cell lines stratified by rs1800734 genotype. Cell lines containing the variant A allele demonstrated MLH1 shore hypomethylation compared to wild type (GG). There was significant enrichment of transcription factor AP4 at the MLH1 promoter in GG and GA cell lines, but not the AA cell line, by chromatin immunoprecipitation studies. Preferential binding to the G allele was confirmed by sequencing in the GA cell line. The enhancer-associated histone modification H3K4me1 was enriched at the MLH1 shore; however, H3K27ac was not, indicating the shore is an inactive enhancer. These results demonstrate the role of variant rs1800734 in altering transcription factor binding as well as epigenetics at regions beyond the MLH1 CpG island in which it is located.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Sessile serrated adenomas (SSAs) are common polyps which give rise to 20-30% of colorectal cancer (CRC). SSAs display clinicopathologic features which present challenges in surveillance, including overrepresentation in young patients, proclivity for the proximal colon and rarity of histologic dysplasia (referred to then as SSAs with dysplasia, SSADs). Once dysplasia develops, there is rapid progression to CRC, even at a small size. There is therefore a clinical need to separate the "advanced" SSAs at high risk of progression to SSAD and cancer from ordinary SSAs. Since SSAs are known to accumulate methylation over time prior to the development of dysplasia, SSAD backgrounds (the remnant SSA present within an SSAD) likely harbour additional methylation events compared with ordinary SSAs. We therefore performed MethyLight and comprehensive methylation array (Illumina MethylationEPIC) on 40 SSAD backgrounds and 40 matched ordinary SSAs, and compared the methylation results with CRC methylation, CRC expression and immunohistochemical data. RESULTS:SSAD backgrounds demonstrated significant hypermethylation of CpG islands compared with ordinary SSAs, and the proportion of hypermethylated probes decreased progressively in the shore, shelf and open sea regions. Hypomethylation occurred in concert with hypermethylation, which showed a reverse pattern, increasing progressively away from the island regions. These methylation changes were also identified in BRAF-mutant hypermethylated CRCs. When compared with CRC expression data, SV2B, MLH1/EPM2AIP1, C16orf62, RCOR3, BAIAP3, OGDHL, HDHD3 and ATP1B2 demonstrated both promoter hypermethylation and decreased expression. Although SSAD backgrounds were histologically indistinguishable from ordinary SSAs, MLH1 methylation was detectable via MethyLight in 62.9% of SSAD backgrounds, and focal immunohistochemical MLH1 loss was seen in 52.5% of SSAD backgrounds. CONCLUSIONS:Significant hyper- and hypomethylation events occur during SSA progression well before the development of histologically identifiable changes. Methylation is a heterogeneous process within individual SSAs, as typified by MLH1, where both MLH1 methylation and focal immunohistochemical MLH1 loss can be seen in the absence of dysplasia. This heterogeneity is likely a generalised phenomenon and should be taken into account in future methylation-based studies and the development of clinical methylation panels.
Project description:The presence or absence of MLH1 methylation may critically affect the heterogeneity of colorectal carcinoma (CRC) with the CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP). Here, we investigated the differential characteristics of CIMP-high (CIMP-H) CRCs according to MLH1 methylation status. To further confirm the MLH1-dependent features in CIMP-H CRC, an independent analysis was performed using data from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). In our CIMP-H CRC samples, MLH1-methylated tumors were characterized by older patient age, proximal colonic location, mucinous histology, intense lymphoid reactions, RUNX3/SOCS1 promoter methylation, BRAF mutations, and microsatellite instability-high (MSI-H) status. By contrast, MLH1-unmethylated tumors were associated with earlier age of onset, increased distal colorectal localization, adverse pathologic features, and KRAS mutations. In the TCGA dataset, the MLH1-silenced CIMP-H CRC demonstrated proximal location, MSI-H status, hypermutated phenotype, and frequent BRAF mutations, but the MLH1-non-silenced CIMP-H CRC was significantly associated with high frequencies of KRAS and APC mutations. In conclusion, the differential nature of CIMP-H CRCs depends primarily on the MLH1 methylation status. Based on the current knowledge, the sessile serrated adenoma/polyp may be the major precursor of MLH1-methylated CIMP-H CRCs, whereas MLH1-unmethylated CIMP-H CRCs may develop predominantly from KRAS-mutated traditional serrated adenomas and less commonly from BRAF-mutated traditional serrated adenomas and/or sessile serrated adenomas/polyps.
Project description:DNA methylation in transcriptional regulatory regions is crucial for gene expression. The DNA methylation status of the edges of CpG islands, called CpG island shore, is involved in tissue/cell-type-specific gene expression. Haploinsufficiency diseases are caused by inheritance of one mutated null allele and are classified as autosomal dominant. However, in the same pedigree, phenotypic variances are observed despite the inheritance of the identical mutated null allele, including Fibrillin1 (FBN1), which is responsible for development of the haploinsufficient Marfan disease. In this study, we examined the relationship between gene expression and DNA methylation patterns of the FBN1 CpG island shore focusing on transcriptionally active hypomethylated alleles (Hypo-alleles). No difference in the DNA methylation level of FBN1 CpG island shore was observed in porcine fetal fibroblast (PFF) and the liver, whereas FBN1 expression was higher in PFF than in the liver. However, Hypo-allele ratio of the FBN1 CpG island shore in PFF was higher than that in the liver, indicating that Hypo-allele ratio of the FBN1 CpG island shore likely correlated with FBN1 expression level. In addition, oocyte-derived DNA hypermethylation in preimplantation embryos was erased until the blastocyst stage, and re-methylation of the FBN1 CpG island shore was observed with prolonged in vitro culture of blastocysts. These results suggest that the establishment of the DNA methylation pattern within the FBN1 CpG island shore occurs after the blastocyst stage, likely during organogenesis. In conclusion, Hypo-allele ratios of the FBN1 CpG island shore correlated with FBN1 expression levels in porcine tissues.
Project description:The silencing of tumor suppressor genes by promoter CpG island (CGI) methylation is an important cause of oncogenesis. Silencing of MLH1 and BRCA1, two examples of oncogenic events, results from promoter CGI methylation. Interestingly, both MLH1 and BRCA1 have a divergent promoter, from which another gene on the opposite strand is also transcribed. Although studies have shown that divergent transcription is an important factor in transcriptional regulation, little is known about its implication in aberrant promoter methylation in cancer. In this study, we analyzed the methylation status of CGI in divergent promoters using a recently enriched transcriptome database. We measured the extent of CGI methylation in 119 colorectal cancer (CRC) clinical samples (65 microsatellite instability high [MSI-H] CRC with CGI methylator phenotype, 28 MSI-H CRC without CGI methylator phenotype and 26 microsatellite stable CRC) and 21 normal colorectal tissues using Infinium MethylationEPIC BeadChip. We found that CGI within divergent promoters are less frequently methylated than CGI within unidirectional promoters in normal cells. In the genome of CRC cells, CGI within unidirectional promoters are more vulnerable to aberrant methylation than CGI within divergent promoters. In addition, we identified three DNA sequence motifs that correlate with methylated CGI. We also showed that methylated CGI are associated with genes whose expression is low in normal cells. Thus, we here provide fundamental observations regarding the methylation of divergent promoters that are essential for the understanding of carcinogenesis and development of cancer prevention strategies.
Project description:The CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP) is a major molecular pathway in colorectal cancer. Approximately 25% to 60% of CIMP tumors are microsatellite unstable (MSI-H) due to DNA hypermethylation of the MLH1 gene promoter. Our aim was to determine if the distributions of clinicopathologic factors in CIMP-positive tumors with MLH1 DNA methylation differed from those in CIMP-positive tumors without DNA methylation of MLH1.We assessed the associations between age, sex, tumor-site, MSI status BRAF and KRAS mutations, and family colorectal cancer history with MLH1 methylation status in a large population-based sample of CIMP-positive colorectal cancers defined by a 5-marker panel using unconditional logistic regression to assess the odds of MLH1 methylation by study variables.Subjects with CIMP-positive tumors without MLH1 methylation were significantly younger, more likely to be male, and more likely to have distal colon or rectal primaries and the MSI-L phenotype. CIMP-positive MLH1-unmethylated tumors were significantly less likely than CIMP-positive MLH1-methylated tumors to harbor a BRAF V600E mutation and significantly more likely to harbor a KRAS mutation. MLH1 methylation was associated with significantly better overall survival (HR, 0.50; 95% confidence interval, 0.31-0.82).These data suggest that MLH1 methylation in CIMP-positive tumors is not a completely random event and implies that there are environmental or genetic determinants that modify the probability that MLH1 will become methylated during CIMP pathogenesis.MLH1 DNA methylation status should be taken into account in etiologic studies.
Project description:Two molecular pathways promote the development of colorectal cancer (CRC). One is termed "microsatellite stable" (MSS) whereas the other is characterized by "microsatellite instability" (MSI or MIN). In addition, the CpG island methylation phenotype is known to be an important alteration as a third molecular type. Thus, DNA methylation is thought to provide potential biomarkers for assessment of cancer risk in normal mucosa. In addition, it is also known that colonic location is an important parameter in the development of CRC.We examined the surrounding normal mucosa in three parts of the colon. Next, we quantified DNA methylation levels of SFRP1, SFRP2, SFRP5, DKK2, DKK3, mir34b/c, RASSF1A, IGFBP7, CDKN2A, and MLH1 in isolated cancerous glands and crypts of normal colorectal mucosa adjacent to CRCs using a pyrosequencer.DNA methylation levels of SFRP1, SFRP2, DKK2, and mir34b/c were significantly higher in CRCs with an MSS phenotype than in those with an MSI phenotype. The average level of methylation in normal crypts did not decrease with the distance from the tumor, irrespective of microsatellite status or the tumor location. DNA methylation levels in SFRP1 and SFRP2 genes in normal crypts were significantly higher in left-side than right-side CRC with an MSS phenotype. Finally, the genes were classified into three types based on the methylation frequencies in normal crypts, including type I (SFRP1 and SFRP2I), type II (DKK2 and mir34b/c), and type III (others).Our results showed that DNA methylation of SFRP1 and SFRP2 might be useful to predict cancer risk of surrounding normal mucosa. In addition, a field effect may be present in CRC, affecting both adjacent and non-adjacent normal mucosa.
Project description:BACKGROUND:MLL3 is a histone 3-lysine 4 methyltransferase with tumor-suppressor properties that belongs to a family of chromatin regulator genes potentially altered in neoplasia. Mutations in MLL3 were found in a whole genome analysis of colorectal cancer but have not been confirmed by a separate study. METHODS AND RESULTS:We analyzed mutations of coding region and promoter methylation in MLL3 using 126 cases of colorectal cancer. We found two isoforms of MLL3 and DNA sequencing revealed frameshift and other mutations affecting both isoforms of MLL3 in colorectal cancer cells and 19 of 134 (14%) primary colorectal samples analyzed. Moreover, frameshift mutations were more common in cases with microsatellite instability (31%) both in CRC cell lines and primary tumors. The largest isoform of MLL3 is transcribed from a CpG island-associated promoter that has highly homology with a pseudo-gene on chromosome 22 (psiTPTE22). Using an assay which measured both loci simultaneously we found prominent age related methylation in normal colon (from 21% in individuals less than 25 years old to 56% in individuals older than 70, R?=?0.88, p<0.001) and frequent hypermethylation (83%) in both CRC cell lines and primary tumors. We next studied the two loci separately and found that age and cancer related methylation was solely a property of the pseudogene CpG island and that the MLL3 loci was unmethylated. CONCLUSIONS:We found that frameshift mutations of MLL3 in both CRC cells and primary tumor that were more common in cases with microsatellite instability. Moreover, we have shown CpG island-associated promoter of MLL3 gene has no DNA methylation in CRC cells but also primary tumor and normal colon, and this region has a highly homologous of pseudo gene (psiTPTE22) that was age relate DNA methylation.
Project description:Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most common and comprehensively studied malignancies. Hypoxic conditions during formation of CRC may support the development of more aggressive cancers. Hypoxia inducible factor (HIF), a major player in cancerous tissue adaptation to hypoxia, is negatively regulated by the family of prolyl hydroxylase enzymes (PHD1, PHD2, PHD3) and asparaginyl hydroxylase, called factor inhibiting HIF (FIH).PHD1, PHD2, PHD3 and FIH gene expression was evaluated using quantitative RT-PCR and western blotting in primary colonic adenocarcinoma and adjacent histopathologically unchanged colonic mucosa from patients who underwent radical surgical resection of the colon (n=90), and the same methods were used for assessment of PHD3 gene expression in HCT116 and DLD-1 CRC cell lines. DNA methylation levels of the CpG island in the promoter regulatory region of PHD1, PHD2, PHD3 and FIH were assessed using bisulfite DNA sequencing and high resolution melting analysis (HRM) for patients and HRM analysis for CRC cell lines.We found significantly lower levels of PHD1, PHD2 and PHD3 transcripts (p=0.00026; p<0.00001; p<0.00001) and proteins (p=0.004164; p=0.0071; p<0.00001) in primary cancerous than in histopathologically unchanged tissues. Despite this, we did not observe statistically significant differences in FIH transcript levels between cancerous and histopathologically unchanged colorectal tissue, but we found a significantly increased level of FIH protein in CRC (p=0.0169). The reduced PHD3 expression was correlated with significantly increased DNA methylation in the CpG island of the PHD3 promoter regulatory region (p<0.0001). We did not observe DNA methylation in the CpG island of the PHD1, PHD2 or FIH promoter in cancerous and histopathologically unchanged colorectal tissue. We also showed that 5-Aza-2'-deoxycytidine induced DNA demethylation leading to increased PHD3 transcript and protein level in HCT116 cells.We demonstrated that reduced PHD3 expression in cancerous tissue was accompanied by methylation of the CpG rich region located within the first exon and intron of the PHD3 gene. The diminished expression of PHD1 and PHD2 and elevated level of FIH protein in cancerous tissue compared to histopathologically unchanged colonic mucosa was not associated with DNA methylation within the CpG islands of the PHD1, PHD2 and FIH genes.