Dataset Information


Tumor hypoxia causes DNA hypermethylation by reducing TET activity (RNA-Seq)

ABSTRACT: Hypermethylation of tumor suppressor gene (TSG) promoters confers growth advantages to cancer cells, but how these changes arise is poorly understood. Here, we report that tumor hypoxia reduces the activity of oxygen-dependent TET enzymes, which catalyze DNA de-methylation through 5-methylcytosine oxidation. This occurs independently of hypoxia-associated alterations in TET gene expression, basal metabolism, HIF activity or nuclear reactive oxygen species, but directly depends on oxygen shortage. Hypoxia-induced loss of TET activity increases hypermethylation at gene promoters in vitro, while also in patients, gene promoters are markedly more methylated in hypoxic than normoxic tumors. Affected genes are frequently involved in DNA repair, cell cycle regulation, angiogenesis and metastasis, indicating cellular selection of hypermethylation events. Overall, up to 50% of the tumor-associated hypermethylation is ascribable to hypoxia across various cancer types. Accordingly, spontaneous murine breast tumors become hypermethylated when rendered hypoxic through vessel pruning, whereas vessel normalisation rescues this effect. Tumor hypoxia thus acts as a novel regulator underlying DNA methylation. Overall design: RNAseq of MCF7 cells grown under hypoxic and normoxic conditions. Submission includes data on 5 independent RNAseq experiments, each containing biological replicates grown under hypoxic conditions (0.5% oxygen), and under normoxic conditions.

INSTRUMENT(S): Illumina HiSeq 2000 (Homo sapiens)

SUBMITTER: Bernard thienpont 

PROVIDER: GSE71401 | GEO | 2016-09-01



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Hypermethylation of the promoters of tumour suppressor genes represses transcription of these genes, conferring growth advantages to cancer cells. How these changes arise is poorly understood. Here we show that the activity of oxygen-dependent ten-eleven translocation (TET) enzymes is reduced by tumour hypoxia in human and mouse cells. TET enzymes catalyse DNA demethylation through 5-methylcytosine oxidation. This reduction in activity occurs independently of hypoxia-associated alterations in TE  ...[more]

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