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Cancer Lett. 2003 Dec 8;202(1):101-8.

Methylation of ASC/TMS1, a proapoptotic gene responsible for activating procaspase-1, in human colorectal cancer.

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Institute on Aging and Adaptation, Shinshu University Graduate School of Medicine, Asahi 3-1-1, Nagano, Matsumoto 390-8621, Japan.


ASC/TMS1, a proapoptotic activator of procaspase-1, was reported to be aberrantly methylated in human breast cancer. We found that ASC was methylated in three of five human colon cancer cell lines lacking ASC protein expression. Demethylation treatment of these cell lines lacking ASC with 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine partially restored ASC expression. Methylated ASC was also detected in six of ten colorectal cancer tissues. Although clear down-regulation of ASC in the whole region of a tumor tissue was hardly observed by immunostaining with anti-ASC mAb, complete suppression of ASC was identified in a minor population of the colorectal tumor cells. The biological significance of ASC methylation inducible ASC suppression in colorectal cancer will be discussed.

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