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Pigment Cell Melanoma Res. 2008 Oct;21(5):545-58. doi: 10.1111/j.1755-148X.2008.00484.x. Epub 2007 Jun 28.

Identification of novel epigenetically modified genes in human melanoma via promoter methylation gene profiling.

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Mitchell Cancer Institute, University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL, USA.


The inactivation of tumor-related genes through the aberrant methylation of promoter CpG islands is thought to contribute to tumor initiation and progression. We therefore investigated promoter methylation events involved in cutaneous melanoma by screening 30 genes of interest for evidence of promoter hypermethylation, examining 20 melanoma cell lines and 40 freshly procured melanoma samples. Utilizing quantitative methylation-specific PCR, we identified five genes (SOCS1, SOCS2, RAR-beta 2, TNFSF10C, and TNFSF10D) with hypermethylation frequencies ranging from 50% to 80% in melanoma cell lines as well as freshly procured tissue samples. Eighteen genes (LOX, RASSF1A, WFDC1, TM, APC, TFPI2, TNFSF10A, CDKN2A, MGMT, TIMP3, ASC, TPM1, IRF8, CIITA-PIV, CDH1, SYK, HOXB13, and DAPK1) were methylated at lower frequencies (2-30%). Two genes (CDKN1B and PTEN), previously reported as methylated in melanoma, and five other genes (RECK, IRF7, PAWR, TNFSF10B, and Rb) were not methylated in the samples screened here. Daughter melanoma cell lines showed identical methylation patterns when compared with original samples from which they were derived, as did synchronous metastatic lesions from the same patient. We identified four genes (TNFSF10C, TNFSF10D, LOX, and TPM1) that have never before been identified as hypermethylated in melanoma, with an overall methylation frequency of 60, 80, 50, and 10%, respectively, hypothesizing that these genes may play an important role in melanoma progression.

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