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Methylation of the APAF-1 and DAPK-1 promoter region correlates with progression of renal cell carcinoma in North Indian population

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Tumor Biology


Aberrant promoter hypermethylation of cancer associated genes occur frequently during carcinogenesis and may serve as a cancer biomarker. The aim of this study was to investigate the occurrence and relevance of promoter methylation of the tumor suppressor DAPK-1, APAF-1 () and SPARC in relation to different pathological stages and histological grades of tumor progression that might act as possible independent prognostic factor in the susceptibility towards renal cell carcinoma (RCC) in North Indian population. Three tumor suppressor gene promoters namely APAF-1, DAPK-1 and SPARC were assessed by methylation-specific PCR (MS-PCR) in 196 primarily resected renal cell tumors paired with the corresponding normal tissue samples. After genomic DNA isolation and sodium bisulfite modification, methylation levels were determined and correlated with standard clinicopathological parameters, pathological stage and Fuhrman nuclear grade of RCC. Significant differences in methylation frequency among the four subtypes of renal tumors were found for APAF-1 (p < 0.001), DAPK-1 (p < 0.001) and SPARC (p = 0.182), when compared with the corresponding normal tissue. Male subjects showed stronger association of methylation frequency of all the three genes with RCC than the female subjects. Additionally, higher frequency of APAF-1, DAPK-1 and SPARC promoter methylation were directly correlated with higher tumor stage (p trend < 0.001). Higher frequency of promoter methylation of APAF-1 and SPARC were also associated with higher nuclear grade (p < 0.001 and p = 0.036, respectively). This gene panel might contribute to a more optimal diagnostic coverage and information, improving preoperative assessment and therapeutic decision-making in patients harboring suspicious renal masses.

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Renal cell carcinoma


Clear cell renal cell carcinoma


Papillary renal cell carcinoma


Tumor suppressor gene


Methylation specific PCR


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The authors are thankful to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), New Delhi, India, for providing the funds that allowed us to carry out this research.

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Correspondence to Sarwat Sultana.

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Ahmad, S.T., Arjumand, W., Seth, A. et al. Methylation of the APAF-1 and DAPK-1 promoter region correlates with progression of renal cell carcinoma in North Indian population. Tumor Biol. 33, 395–402 (2012).

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