Send to

Choose Destination
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2012 Jun;97(6):E1004-13. doi: 10.1210/jc.2011-3298. Epub 2012 Apr 3.

DNA methylation profiling identifies global methylation differences and markers of adrenocortical tumors.

Author information

Endocrine Oncology Section, Surgery Branch, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.



It is not known whether there are any DNA methylation alterations in adrenocortical tumors.


The objective of the study was to determine the methylation profile of normal adrenal cortex and benign and malignant adrenocortical tumors.


Genome-wide methylation status of CpG regions were determined in normal (n = 19), benign (n = 48), primary malignant (n = 8), and metastatic malignant (n = 12) adrenocortical tissue samples. An integrated analysis of genome-wide methylation and mRNA expression in benign vs. malignant adrenocortical tissue samples was also performed.


Methylation profiling revealed the following: 1) that methylation patterns were distinctly different and could distinguish normal, benign, primary malignant, and metastatic tissue samples; 2) that malignant samples have global hypomethylation; and 3) that the methylation of CpG regions are different in benign adrenocortical tumors by functional status. Normal compared with benign samples had the least amount of methylation differences, whereas normal compared with primary and metastatic adrenocortical carcinoma samples had the greatest variability in methylation (adjusted P ≤ 0.01). Of 215 down-regulated genes (≥2-fold, adjusted P ≤ 0.05) in malignant primary adrenocortical tumor samples, 52 of these genes were also hypermethylated.


Malignant adrenocortical tumors are globally hypomethylated as compared with normal and benign tumors. Methylation profile differences may accurately distinguish between primary benign and malignant adrenocortical tumors. Several differentially methylated sites are associated with genes known to be dysregulated in malignant adrenocortical tumors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center