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Lab Invest. 2003 Apr;83(4):519-26.

Profile of aberrant CpG island methylation along multistep gastric carcinogenesis.

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Department of Pathology, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.

Erratum in

  • Lab Invest. 2003 Jul;83(7):1093.


The stomach is one of the organs whose epithelial cells frequently undergo aberrant methylation of CpG islands. To date, several reports on the methylation of various genes in gastric cancer (GC) have been published. However, most of these studies have focused on cancer tissues or a single gene only and gave no information about the methylation status of specific genes in the premalignant stages or the concurrent methylation of other genes in specific lesions. We attempted to investigate methylation of multiple genes in a large sample collection of GC (n = 80), gastric adenoma (GA) (n = 79), intestinal metaplasia (IM) (n = 57), and chronic gastritis (CG) (n = 74). We determined the methylation frequency of 12 genes, including APC, COX-2, DAP-kinase, E-cadherin, GSTP1, hMLH1, MGMT, p16, p14, RASSF1A, THBS1, and TIMP3, by methylation-specific PCR. Five different classes of methylation behaviors were found: (a). genes methylated in GC only (GSTP1 and RASSF1A), (b). genes showing low methylation frequency (<12%) in CG, IM, and gastric adenoma (GA) but significantly higher methylation frequency in GC (COX-2, hMLH1, p16), (c). a gene with low and similar methylation frequency (8.8-21.3%) in four-step lesions (MGMT), (d). genes with high and similar methylation frequency (53-85%) in four-step lesions (APC and E-cadherin), and (e). genes showing an increasing tendency with or without fluctuation of the methylation frequency along the progression (DAP-kinase, p14, THBS1, and TIMP-3). The average number of methylated genes was 2.7, 3.6, 3.4, and 5.2 per 12 tested genes in CG, IM, GA, and GC, respectively. Aberrant methylation at multiple loci in the same lesions suggests an overall deregulation of the methylation control, which occurs early in multistep gastric carcinogenesis. Our results suggest that tumor-suppressor genes show a gene-type specific methylation profile along the multistep carcinogenesis and that aberrant CpG island methylation tend to accumulate along the multistep carcinogenesis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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