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Oncotarget. 2015 Nov 10;6(35):37647-62. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.6069.

Decrease of 5hmC in gastric cancers is associated with TET1 silencing due to with DNA methylation and bivalent histone marks at TET1 CpG island 3'-shore.

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Epigenome Research Center, Genome Institute, KRIBB, Daejeon, Republic of Korea.
Department of Functional Genomics, Korea University of Science and Technology, Daejeon, Republic of Korea.
Department of Pathology, College of Medicine, Chungnam National University, Daejeon, Republic of Korea.
Department of Pathology, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
Departments of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Hanyang University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.


Recent evidence has shown that the level of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5 hmC) in chromosomal DNA is aberrantly decreased in a variety of cancers, but whether this decrease is a cause or a consequence of tumorigenesis is unclear. Here we show that, in gastric cancers, the 5 hmC decrease correlates with a decrease in ten-eleven translocation 1 (TET1) expression, which is strongly associated with metastasis and poor survival in patients with gastric cancer. In gastric cancer cells, TET1-targeted siRNA induced a decrease in 5 hmC, whereas TET1 overexpression induced an increase in 5 hmC and reduced cell proliferation, thus correlating decreased 5 hmC with gastric carcinogenesis. We also report the epigenetic signatures responsible for regulating TET1 transcription. Methyl-CpG Binding Domain Sequencing and Reduced Representation Bisulfite Sequencing identified unique CpG methylation signatures at the CpG island 3'-shore region located 1.3 kb from the transcription start site of TET1 in gastric tumor cells but not in normal mucosa. The luciferase activity of constructs with a methylated 3'-shore sequence was greatly decreased compared with that of an unmethylated sequence in transformed gastric cancer cells. In gastric cancer cells, dense CpG methylation in the 3'-shore was strongly associated with TET1 silencing and bivalent histone marks. Thus, a decrease in 5 hmC may be a cause of gastric tumorigenesis owing to a decrease in TET1 expression through DNA methylation coupled with bivalent marks in the 3'-shore of TET1.


3′-shore; 5-hydroxymethylcytosine; DNA methylation; TET1; bivalent mark; gastric cancer

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