Clinical & Experimental Metastasis

, Volume 33, Issue 2, pp 187–195 | Cite as

Epigenetic inactivation of galanin and GALR1/2 is associated with early recurrence in head and neck cancer

  • Kiyoshi Misawa
  • Yuki Misawa
  • Takeharu Kanazawa
  • Daiki Mochizuki
  • Atsushi Imai
  • Shiori Endo
  • Thomas E. Carey
  • Hiroyuki Mineta
Research Paper


The aim of this study was to investigate the prognostic value of galanin (GAL) and galanin receptor (GALR) promoter hypermethylation in patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). The methylation status of three genes—GAL, GALR1, and GALR2 was examined in HNSCC patient tumors using quantitative methylation-specific PCR (Q-MSP). To determine the prognostic value of GAL, GALR1 and GALR2 methylation status, their associations with various clinical characteristics and patient survival were assessed in HNSCC patient tumors (n = 142). Aberrant methylation of at least one gene was observed in 84 of the 142 (59.2 %) primary tumors analyzed. The methylation index, defined as the ratio between the number of methylated genes and the number of genes examined, was positively correlated with larger tumor size (P = 0.034) and disease recurrence (P < 0.001). In the multivariate logistic-regression analysis, methylation of both GAL and GALR1 exhibited the highest association with poor survival (hazard ratio, 6.83, P = 0.002). Moreover, among patients without lymph node metastasis, a multivariate analysis showed a significant trend for poor survival as the number of hypermethylated genes increased (log-rank test, P = 0.003). CpG hypermethylation is a likely mechanism of GAL and GALR1/2 gene inactivation, indicating that GAL and its receptors play a role in HNSCC tumorigenesis. As such, GAL and GALR1/2 methylation status may serve as an important biomarker for clinical outcome.


Galanin GALR1 GALR2 CpG islands Hypermethylation Head and neck cancer 

Supplementary material

10585_2015_9768_MOESM1_ESM.docx (28 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 27 kb)
10585_2015_9768_MOESM2_ESM.eps (940 kb)
Supplementary Fig. 1Standard curve plot showing Ct versus initial quantity. Efficiency of primers of target genes (GAL, GALR1 and GALR2) and housekeeping gene (β-actin) checked for methylation quantification using dilutions of universal methylated DNAs control. For each data point three independent analysis were performed. The equation of the linear regression curve as well as the correlation factor is indicated on each graph. (EPS 940 kb)
10585_2015_9768_MOESM3_ESM.eps (782 kb)
Supplementary Fig. 2Comparison of methylation indexes (MI) amongst HPV status in the oropharynx and oral cavity patients. The mean MI for different groups was compared using the Student’s t tests.
10585_2015_9768_MOESM4_ESM.eps (890 kb)
Supplementary Fig. 3Galanin, GALR1, GALR2andGALR3mRNA patterns in 55 matched pairs of head and neck tumors and adjacent normal mucosal tissues. The mean MI for different groups was compared using the Paired t tests.
10585_2015_9768_MOESM5_ESM.eps (799 kb)
Supplementary Fig. 4Galanin, GALR1andGALR2mRNA patterns for 55 patients according toGAL, GALR1, andGALR2methylation status. The changes between cancerous and normal mucosal tissues were considered to be significant, as determined by the Student’s t‑test.
10585_2015_9768_MOESM6_ESM.eps (1.3 mb)
Supplementary Fig. 5Comparison ofGalanin, GALR1andGALR2mRNA levels amongst selected clinical parameters. Statistical analyses of the associations between variables were performed by the Student’s t‑test.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kiyoshi Misawa
    • 1
  • Yuki Misawa
    • 1
  • Takeharu Kanazawa
    • 2
  • Daiki Mochizuki
    • 1
  • Atsushi Imai
    • 1
  • Shiori Endo
    • 1
  • Thomas E. Carey
    • 3
  • Hiroyuki Mineta
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck SurgeryHamamatsu University School of MedicineShizuokaJapan
  2. 2.Department of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck SurgeryJichi Medical UniversityTochigiJapan
  3. 3.Laboratory of Head and Neck Cancer Biology, Department of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck SurgeryUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

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