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Cancer Res. 2006 Aug 15;66(16):7939-47.

MIRA-assisted microarray analysis, a new technology for the determination of DNA methylation patterns, identifies frequent methylation of homeodomain-containing genes in lung cancer cells.

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Division of Biology, Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope, Duarte, CA 91010, USA.


We present a straightforward and comprehensive approach for DNA methylation analysis in mammalian genomes. The methylated-CpG island recovery assay (MIRA), which is based on the high affinity of the MBD2/MBD3L1 complex for methylated DNA, has been used to detect cell type-dependent differences in DNA methylation on a microarray platform. The procedure has been verified and applied to identify a series of novel candidate lung tumor suppressor genes and potential DNA methylation markers that contain methylated CpG islands. One gene of particular interest was DLEC1, located at a commonly deleted area on chromosome 3p22-p21.3, which was frequently methylated in primary lung cancers and melanomas. Among the identified methylated genes, homeodomain-containing genes were unusually frequent (11 of the top 50 hits) and were targeted on different chromosomes. These genes included LHX2, LHX4, PAX7, HOXB13, LBX1, SIX2, HOXD3, DLX1, HOXD1, ONECUT2, and PAX9. The data show that MIRA-assisted microarray analysis has a low false-positive rate and has the capacity to catalogue methylated CpG islands on a genome-wide basis. The results support the hypothesis that cancer-associated DNA methylation events do not occur randomly throughout the genome but at least some are targeted by specific mechanisms.

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