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Anticancer Drugs. 2012 Sep;23(8):856-64. doi: 10.1097/CAD.0b013e3283548d73.

Genomic methylation profiling combined with gene expression microarray reveals the aberrant methylation mechanism involved in nasopharyngeal carcinoma taxol resistance.

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Department of Otolaryngology-Head Neck Surgery, Third Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, China.


Taxol is a first-line chemoagent used for treatment of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). A major obstacle to achieving successful treatment is the development of cellular taxol drug resistance. Aberrant DNA methylation has been recognized to be associated with the transcriptional inactivation of genes related to cancer drug resistance development. To identify the mechanism of DNA methylation involved in NPC taxol resistance, we applied a genome-wide DNA methylation microarray assay to reveal methylation alteration in taxol-resistant NPC cell lines (CNE-1/taxol, 5-8F/taxol, HNE-2/taxol) established previously in our laboratory. Combining with gene expression microarray, we identified drug resistance-associated genes in taxol-resistant cell lines. We also investigated the coeffect of taxol and the DNA methyltransferase inhibitor 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (5-aza-dC) to confirm the involvement of DNA methylation. The methylation profiling revealed differential patterns between the drug-sensitive and -resistant cell lines. As a result, taxol-resistant cell lines were detected to be globally hypermethylated. Forty-eight differentially methylated genes (30 hypermethylated and 18 hypomethylated) were further identified commonly in the three taxol-resistant cell lines. Six of them (DLC1, CHFR, ABCC5, PEG10, ERBB2, and GSTP1) were independently confirmed to contribute to taxol resistance by both methylation-specific PCR and quantitative real-time PCR. Finally, we conclude that DNA methylation is closely correlated with taxol drug resistance in NPC cells. Combined analysis of DNA methylation and gene expression may enable the discovery of new therapeutic targets and prognostic biomarkers of cancers. Furthermore, DNA methylation inhibitors can reverse chemoresistance and prevent the development of acquired drug resistance.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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