The MLH1 polymorphism rs1800734 and risk of endometrial cancer with microsatellite instability.
ABSTRACT: Both colorectal (CRC, 15%) and endometrial cancers (EC, 30%) exhibit microsatellite instability (MSI) due to MLH1 hypermethylation and silencing. The MLH1 promoter polymorphism, rs1800734 is associated with MSI CRC risk, increased methylation and reduced MLH1 expression. In EC samples, we investigated rs1800734 risk using MSI and MSS cases and controls. We found no evidence that rs1800734 or other MLH1 SNPs were associated with the risk of MSI EC. We found the rs1800734 risk allele had no effect on MLH1 methylation or expression in ECs. We propose that MLH1 hypermethylation occurs by different mechanisms in CRC and EC.
Project description:Expression of the mismatch repair gene MutL homolog 1 (MLH1) is silenced in a clinically important subgroup of sporadic colorectal cancers. These cancers exhibit hypermutability with microsatellite instability (MSI) and differ from microsatellite-stable (MSS) colorectal cancers in both prognosis and response to therapies. Loss of MLH1 is usually due to epigenetic silencing with associated promoter methylation; coding somatic mutations rarely occur. Here we use the presence of a colorectal cancer (CRC) risk variant (rs1800734) within the MLH1 promoter to investigate the poorly understood mechanisms of MLH1 promoter methylation and loss of expression. We confirm the association of rs1800734 with MSI+ but not MSS cancer risk in our own data and by meta-analysis. Using sensitive allele-specific detection methods, we demonstrate that MLH1 is the target gene for rs1800734 mediated cancer risk. In normal colon tissue, small allele-specific differences exist only in MLH1 promoter methylation, but not gene expression. In contrast, allele-specific differences in both MLH1 methylation and expression are present in MSI+ cancers. We show that MLH1 transcriptional repression is dependent on DNA methylation and can be reversed by a methylation inhibitor. The rs1800734 allele influences the rate of methylation loss and amount of re-expression. The transcription factor TFAP4 binds to the rs1800734 region but with much weaker binding to the risk than the protective allele. TFAP4 binding is absent on both alleles when promoter methylation is present. Thus we propose that TFAP4 binding shields the protective rs1800734 allele of the MLH1 promoter from BRAF induced DNA methylation more effectively than the risk allele.
Project description:We previously identified an association between a mismatch repair gene, MLH1, promoter SNP (rs1800734) and microsatellite unstable (MSI-H) colorectal cancers (CRCs) in two samples. The current study expanded on this finding as we explored the genetic basis of DNA methylation in this region of chromosome 3. We hypothesized that specific polymorphisms in the MLH1 gene region predispose it to DNA methylation, resulting in the loss of MLH1 gene expression, mismatch-repair function, and consequently to genome-wide microsatellite instability.We first tested our hypothesis in one sample from Ontario (901 cases, 1,097 controls) and replicated major findings in two additional samples from Newfoundland and Labrador (479 cases, 336 controls) and from Seattle (591 cases, 629 controls). Logistic regression was used to test for association between SNPs in the region of MLH1 and CRC, MSI-H CRC, MLH1 gene expression in CRC, and DNA methylation in CRC. The association between rs1800734 and MSI-H CRCs, previously reported in Ontario and Newfoundland, was replicated in the Seattle sample. Two additional SNPs, in strong linkage disequilibrium with rs1800734, showed strong associations with MLH1 promoter methylation, loss of MLH1 protein, and MSI-H CRC in all three samples. The logistic regression model of MSI-H CRC that included MLH1-promoter-methylation status and MLH1 immunohistochemistry status fit most parsimoniously in all three samples combined. When rs1800734 was added to this model, its effect was not statistically significant (P-value ?=?0.72 vs. 2.3×10(-4) when the SNP was examined alone).The observed association of rs1800734 with MSI-H CRC occurs through its effect on the MLH1 promoter methylation, MLH1 IHC deficiency, or both.
Project description: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: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: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:Aberrant DNA methylation has been widely investigated in sporadic colorectal carcinomas (CRCs), and extensive work has been performed to characterize different methylation profiles of CRC. Less information is available about the role of epigenetics in hereditary CRC and about the possible clinical use of epigenetic biomarkers in CRC, regardless of the etiopathogenesis. Long interspersed nucleotide element 1 (LINE-1) hypomethylation and gene-specific hypermethylation of 38 promoters were analyzed in multicenter series of 220 CRCs including 71 Lynch (Lynch colorectal cancer with microsatellite instability (LS-MSI)), 23 CRCs of patients under 40 years in which the main inherited CRC syndromes had been excluded (early-onset colorectal cancer with microsatellite stability (EO-MSS)), and 126 sporadic CRCs, comprising 28 cases with microsatellite instability (S-MSI) and 98 that were microsatellite stable (S-MSS). All tumor methylation patterns were integrated with clinico-pathological and genetic characteristics, namely chromosomal instability (CIN), TP53 loss, BRAF, and KRAS mutations.LS-MSI mainly showed absence of extensive DNA hypo- and hypermethylation. LINE-1 hypomethylation was observed in a subset of LS-MSI that were associated with the worse prognosis. Genetically, they commonly displayed G:A transition in the KRAS gene and absence of a CIN phenotype and of TP53 loss. S-MSI exhibited a specific epigenetic profile showing low rates of LINE-1 hypomethylation and extensive gene hypermethylation. S-MSI were mainly characterized by MLH1 methylation, BRAF mutation, and absence of a CIN phenotype and of TP53 loss. By contrast, S-MSS showed a high frequency of LINE-1 hypomethylation and of CIN, and they were associated with a worse prognosis. EO-MSS were a genetically and epigenetically heterogeneous group of CRCs. Like LS-MSI, some EO-MSS displayed low rates of DNA hypo- or hypermethylation and frequent G:A transitions in the KRAS gene, suggesting that a genetic syndrome might still be unrevealed in these patients. By contrast, some EO-MSS showed similar features to those observed in S-MSS, such as LINE-1 hypomethylation, CIN, and TP53 deletion. In all four classes, hypermethylation of ESR1, GATA5, and WT1 was very common.Aberrant DNA methylation analysis allows the identification of different subsets of CRCs. This study confirms the potential utility of methylation tests for early detection of CRC and suggests that LINE-1 hypomethylation may be a useful prognostic marker in both sporadic and inherited CRCs.
Project description:Micro-satellite instability (MSI) is relevant in the management of colorectal cancers (CRC) and relies on analysis of gene mutations, or production of the proteins involved in DNA mismatch repair (e.g. MLH1, MSH2). p53 mutation is also relevant in MSI, but high-level CRC (MSI-H) demonstrate fewer mutations than low-level (MSI-L) or stable (MSS) cancers. Recently, the importance of gene activity (transcription) in MSI has been identified, where rather than being mutated genes have been downregulated. In this study, 67 sporadic CRC and eight samples of normal bowel were analysed for MSI status (by SSCP) and levels of MLH1, MSH2 and p53 gene transcription (by RT-PCR and scanning densitometry). Micro-satellite instability correlated with gender and site, with more MSI-H CRC in females (P<0.02) and in the right colon (P<0.04). In MSI-H, p53 transcription was markedly reduced (P<0.003). Compared to normal bowel, MLH1 transcription was elevated in all cancers (P<0.01), while MSH2 transcription was elevated only in MSI-H (P<0.04). There was a direct correlation between MLH1 and MSH2 transcription (P<0.001). Although fewer mutations are reported in MSI-H than MSI-L/MSS, these results suggest that reduced p53 transcription might account for decreased tumour suppression in MSI-H. The direct correlation between MLH1 and MSH2 transcription suggests that control of these genes might be coordinated.
Project description:Methylation of the MLH1 promoter region has been suggested to be a major mechanism of gene inactivation in sporadic microsatellite instability-positive (MSI-H) colorectal cancers (CRCs). Recently, single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the MLH1 promoter region (MLH1-93G/A; rs1800734) has been proposed to be associated with MLH1 promoter methylation, loss of MLH1 protein expression and MSI-H tumors. We examined the association of MLH1-93G/A and six other SNPs surrounding MLH1-93G/A with the methylation status in 210 consecutive sporadic CRCs in Japanese patients.Methylation of the MLH1 promoter region was evaluated by Na-bisulfite polymerase chain reaction (PCR)/single-strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) analysis. The genotype frequencies of SNPs located in the 54-kb region surrounding the MLH1-93G/A SNP were examined by SSCP analysis.Methylation of the MLH1 promoter region was observed in 28.6% (60/210) of sporadic CRCs. The proportions of MLH1-93G/A genotypes A/A, A/G and G/G were 26% (n=54), 51% (n=108) and 23% (n=48), respectively, and they were significantly associated with the methylation status (p=0.01). There were no significant associations between genotype frequency of the six other SNPs and methylation status. The A-allele of MLH1-93G/A was more common in cases with methylation than the G-allele (p=0.0094), especially in females (p=0.0067). In logistic regression, the A/A genotype of the MLH1-93G/A SNP was shown to be the most significant risk factor for methylation of the MLH1 promoter region (odds ratio 2.82, p=0.003). Furthermore, a haplotype of the A-allele of rs2276807 located -47 kb upstream from the MLH1-93G/A SNP and the A-allele of MLH1-93G/A SNP was significantly associated with MLH1 promoter methylation.These results indicate that individuals, and particularly females, carrying the A-allele at the MLH1-93G/A SNP, especially in association with the A-allele of rs2276807, may harbor an increased risk of methylation of the MLH1 promoter region.
Project description:To describe the frequency of MLH1 promoter methylation in colorectal cancer (CRC); to explore the associations between MLH1 promoter methylation and clinicopathological and molecular factors using a systematic review and meta-analysis.A literature search of the PubMed and Embase databases was conducted to identify relevant articles published up to September 7, 2012 that described the frequency of MLH1 promoter methylation or its associations with clinicopathological and molecular factors in CRC. The pooled frequency, odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) were calculated.The pooled frequency of MLH1 promoter methylation in unselected CRC was 20.3% (95% CI: 16.8-24.1%). They were 18.7% (95% CI: 14.7-23.6%) and 16.4% (95% CI: 11.9-22.0%) in sporadic and Lynch syndrome (LS) CRC, respectively. Significant associations were observed between MLH1 promoter methylation and gender (pooled OR = 1.641, 95% CI: 1.215-2.215; P = 0.001), tumor location (pooled OR = 3.804, 95% CI: 2.715-5.329; P<0.001), tumor differentiation (pooled OR = 2.131, 95% CI: 1.464-3.102; P<0.001), MSI (OR: 27.096, 95% CI: 13.717-53.526; P<0.001). Significant associations were also observed between MLH1 promoter methylation and MLH1 protein expression, BRAF mutation (OR = 14.919 (95% CI: 6.427-34.631; P<0.001) and 9.419 (95% CI: 2.613-33.953; P = 0.001), respectively).The frequency of MLH1 promoter methylation in unselected CRC was 20.3%. They were 18.7% in sporadic CRC and 16.4% in LS CRC, respectively. MLH1 promoter methylation may be significantly associated with gender, tumor location, tumor differentiation, MSI, MLH1 protein expression, and BRAF mutation.
Project description:To investigate the etiology of MLH1 promoter methylation in mismatch repair (MMR) mutation-negative early onset MSI-H colon cancer. As this type of colon cancer is associated with high ages, young patients bearing this type of malignancy are rare and could provide additional insight into the etiology of sporadic MSI-H colon cancer.We studied a set of 46 MSI-H colon tumors cases with MLH1 promoter methylation which was enriched for patients with an age of onset below 50 years (n=13). Tumors were tested for CIMP marker methylation and mutations linked to methylation: BRAF, KRAS, GADD45A and the MLH1 -93G>A polymorphism. When available, normal colon and leukocyte DNA was tested for GADD45A mutations and germline MLH1 methylation. SNP array analysis was performed on a subset of tumors.We identified two cases (33 and 60 years) with MLH1 germline promoter methylation. BRAF mutations were less frequent in colon cancer patients below 50 years relative to patients above 50 years (p-value: 0.044). CIMP-high was infrequent and related to BRAF mutations in patients below 50 years. In comparison with published controls the G>A polymorphism was associated with our cohort. Although similar distribution of the pathogenic A allele was observed in the patients with an age of onset above and below 50 years, the significance for the association was lost for the group under 50 years. GADD45A sequencing yielded an unclassified variant. Tumors from both age groups showed infrequent copy number changes and loss-of-heterozygosity.Somatic or germline GADD45A mutations did not explain sporadic MSI-H colon cancer. Although germline MLH1 methylation was found in two individuals, locus-specific somatic MLH1 hypermethylation explained the majority of sporadic early onset MSI-H colon cancer cases. Our data do not suggest an intrinsic tendency for CpG island hypermethylation in these early onset MSI-H tumors other than through somatic mutation of BRAF.