Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 21, Issue 12, pp 2101–2111 | Cite as

The effect of modifiable potentials on hypermethylation status of retinoic acid receptor-beta2 and estrogen receptor-alpha genes in primary breast cancer

  • Saeed PirouzpanahEmail author
  • Forough A. Taleban
  • Morteza Atri
  • Ali-Reza Abadi
  • Parvin MehdipourEmail author
Original paper


Epigenetic silencing of retinoic acid receptor-beta2 (RARbeta2) and estrogen receptor-alpha (ERalpha) expressions have been revealed to be important in the development of approaches for diagnosis and therapy of breast cancer. We aimed to explore the correlation of some potential factors with the hypermethylation status of RARbeta2 and ERalpha genes among Iranian breast cancer patients. The hypermethylation status was investigated in 137 dissected tissues from primary breast cancer patients through methylation-specific PCR. Overall, the methylation frequencies of RARbeta2 and ERalpha genes were observed in 36.5 and 51.1% of participants, respectively. The hypermethylated RARbeta2 was associated with younger age at diagnosis and negative family history of breast cancer. The hypermethylation of ERalpha was correlated positively with smoking, duration of estradiol exposure, ER-negativity in tumors and body mass index (at 5 years ago). The plasma levels of folate and vitamin B12 were inversely related to the hypermethylation status of ERalpha, after controlling for covariates. The risk of ERalpha hypermethylation was increased with high plasma level of total homocysteine. In conclusion, our data provide new insights into the possible effect of some lifestyle-related factors on the aberrant methylation drift of ERalpha and RARbeta2 genes in breast cancer.


Breast cancer ERalpha RARbeta2 Hypermethylation Environment 



We are thankful to all participating patients and our valued colleagues in Day General Hospital. We are also grateful to researches affaire of National Nutrition & Food Technology Research Institute, Shaheed Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Iran, for providing financial support to conduct this study. The authors are grateful to Dr. Sonia Ijadi-Maghsoudi and Dr. Mohammad-Amin Tabatabaifar for their valuable reading of this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Human Nutrition, National Nutrition and Food Technology Research Institute, Faculty of Nutrition Sciences and Food TechnologyShahid Beheshti University M.C.TehranIran
  2. 2.Cancer InstituteTehran University of Medical Sciences/Day General HospitalTehranIran
  3. 3.Department of Community & Health, School of MedicineShahid Beheshti University M.C.TehranIran
  4. 4.Department of Medical Genetics, School of MedicineTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran

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