Expression level and methylation status of three tumor suppressor genes, DLEC1, ITGA9 and MLH1, in non-small cell lung cancer
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Despite therapeutic advances, lung cancer remains one of the most common causes of cancer-related death in the world. There is a need to develop biomarkers of diagnostic and/or prognostic value and to translate findings in basic science research to clinical application. Tumor suppressor genes (TSGs) represent potential useful markers for disease detection, progression and treatment target. We tried to elucidate the role of three 3p21.3 TSGs: DLEC1, ITGA9 and MLH1, in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). We assessed their expression pattern by qPCR in 59 NSCLC tissues and in the matched macroscopically unchanged lung tissues. Additionally, we analyzed gene promoter methylation status by methylation-specific PCR in NSCLC samples. We did not find significant correlations between gene expression and methylation. In case of DLEC1 and ITGA9, expression levels were decreased in 71–78 % of tumor samples and significantly different between tumor and normal tissues (P = 0.0001). It could point to their diagnostic value. ITGA9 could also be regarded as a diagnostic marker differentiating NSCLC subtypes, as its expression level was significantly lower in squamous cell carcinoma (P = 0.001). The simultaneous down-regulation of DLEC1 and ITGA9 was observed in 52.5 % of NSCLCs. MSPs revealed high frequencies of gene promoter methylation in NSCLCs: 84 % for DLEC1 and MLH1 and 57 % for ITGA9. Methylation indexes reflected moderate gene methylation levels: 34 % for ITGA9, 27 % for MLH1 and 26 % for DLEC1. However, frequent simultaneous methylation of the studied genes in more than 50 % of NSCLCs suggests the possibility of consider them as a panel of epigenetic markers.
KeywordsNon-small cell lung cancer Gene expression Promoter methylation Tumor suppressor gene Biomarker
This work was supported by the Grant of the National Science Centre, Poland, No. 2011/01/B/NZ4/04966.
Dorota Pastuszak-Lewandoska and Jacek Kordiak have equally contributed to this work.
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
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