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Cancer. 2001 Oct 15;92(8):2076-83.

CpG hypermethylation of the promoter region inactivates the estrogen receptor-beta gene in patients with prostate carcinoma.

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  • 1Department of Urology, University of California-San Francisco and Veterans Affairs Medical Center, San Francisco, California 94121, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The down-regulation of the estrogen receptor-beta (ERbeta) gene is associated with several malignancies, including prostate carcinoma. The purpose of the current study was to investigate the mechanisms of ERbeta inactivation through the analysis of CpG methylation of the promoter region of ERbeta gene.

METHODS:

ERbeta protein expression was examined by immunohistochemistry in 23 cases of human prostate carcinoma and 40 cases of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). DNA was extracted from these tissues and processed for sodium bisulfite genomic sequencing. The percentage of methylation of CpG sites in the promoter region of ERbeta (-376 to -117), which contains 19 CpG sites, was determined from genomic sequencing data. The prostate carcinoma cell lines DU145 and ND1 were treated with the demethylating agent 5-AZAC and ERbeta mRNA expression was analyzed by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction.

RESULTS:

In BPH tissues, ERbeta protein expression was found mainly in epithelial cells. ERbeta protein expression was lacking in 83% of prostate carcinoma samples (19 of 23 samples) whereas all cases of BPH (40 of 40) demonstrated expression of ERbeta protein. The mechanism of inactivation of the ERbeta gene in prostate carcinoma was CpG methylation because the degree of methylation at all CpG sites within the promoter region between -376 and -117 was higher in prostate carcinoma samples compared with BPH tissues. Nine of 19 CpG sites within the promoter region of ERbeta displayed significant differences in methylation between prostate carcinoma and BPH samples. The prostate carcinoma cell lines appeared to lack ERbeta expression. However, 5-AZAC treatment restored ERbeta expression in those cell lines, suggesting that methylation inactivates the ERbeta gene in prostate carcinoma.

CONCLUSIONS:

The results of the current study demonstrate, for what we believe to be the first time, that the inactivation of the ERbeta gene in prostate carcinoma occurs through CpG methylation of the promoter region of this gene.

Copyright 2001 American Cancer Society.

PMID:
11596023
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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