Potential clinical significance of ERβ ON promoter methylation in sporadic breast cancer
The aim of the study was to assess how hypermethylation of the ON promoter of the estrogen receptor beta (ERβ) gene affects its expression (at the mRNA and protein level) and to correlate these with some clinical and histopathological parameters. A total of 131 samples of frozen breast cancer tissue was analyzed. A custom-designed, two-step PCR method was used to measure the methylation index of the ERβ gene ON promoter region. Quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) was performed to quantify mRNA of the ERβ1 isoform, while ERβ1 protein was determined using the Western blot method. There was a significant difference in the methylation index of the ERβ gene ON promoter between the groups of patients with negative and positive axillary lymph node status (P = 0.03). In addition, the methylation index of the ON promoter was positively correlated with estrogen receptor alfa (ERα) protein levels (ρ = 0.31, P = 0.02). There was a significant difference in the methylation index of the ON promoter between the progesterone receptor (PR)-negative and PR-positive groups of patients (P = 0.01). ERβ1 protein levels were negatively correlated with ERα protein (ρ = −0.27, P < 0.01). The methylation index of the ON promoter could be a more reliable additional parameter for prediction and/or prognosis in breast cancer than ERβ1-mRNA and/or protein levels.
KeywordsMetastases Estrogen receptor alpha Estrogen receptor beta Progesterone receptor Methylation Quantitative PCR
This work was supported by the Ministry of Education and Science, Republic of Serbia, grants ON173049 (Mandusić, V., Božović, A., Dimitrijević, B., Jovanović-Ćupić, S., Krajnović, M.) and ON175068 (Markicevic, M. and Lukić, S.).
Conflict of interest
We declare that we have no conflict of interest.
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