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Am J Pathol. 2012 Jul;181(1):43-52. doi: 10.1016/j.ajpath.2012.03.027. Epub 2012 May 18.

Overexpression of IFITM1 has clinicopathologic effects on gastric cancer and is regulated by an epigenetic mechanism.

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  • 1Branch of Cancer Genomics, Research Institute, National Cancer Center, Goyang Gyeonggi-do, South Korea.


In an effort to identify novel genes related to the prognosis of gastric cancer, we performed gene expression profiling and found overexpressed levels of human interferon-induced transmembrane protein 1 (IFITM1). We validated the gastric cancer-specific up-regulation of IFITM1 and its association with cancer progression. We also studied its epigenetic regulation and tumorigenesis-related functions. Expression of IFITM1 was evaluated in various human gastric cancer cells and in 35 patient tumor tissues by quantitative RT-PCR and Western blot analyses. The results showed highly up-regulated IFITM1 in cancer cell lines and tissues. Furthermore, IHC studies were performed on 151 patient tissues, and a significant correlation was revealed between higher IFITM1 expression and Lauren's intestinal type (P = 0.007) and differentiated adenocarcinoma (P = 0.025). Quantitative studies of DNA methylation for 27 CpG sites in the regulatory region showed hypermethylation in cells expressing low levels of IFITM1. Methylation-dependent IFITM1 expression was confirmed further by in vitro demethylation using 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine and luciferase assays. The functional analysis of IFITM1 by silencing of its expression with small-interfering RNA showed decreased migration and invasiveness of cancer cells, whereas its overexpression exhibited the opposite results. In this study, we demonstrated gastric cancer-specific overexpression of IFITM1 regulated by promoter methylation and the role of IFITM1 in cancer prognosis.

Copyright © 2012 American Society for Investigative Pathology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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