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Clin Epigenetics. 2018 May 29;10:70. doi: 10.1186/s13148-018-0503-2. eCollection 2018.

Re-assessing ZNF331 as a DNA methylation biomarker for colorectal cancer.

Vedeld HM1,2, Nesbakken A2,3,4, Lothe RA1,2,4, Lind GE1,2,5.

Author information

1Department of Molecular Oncology, Institute for Cancer Research, Oslo University Hospital-Norwegian Radium Hospital, Oslo, Norway.
2K.G. Jebsen Colorectal Cancer Research Centre, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway.
4Department of Gastrointestinal Surgery, Oslo University Hospital-Aker, Oslo, Norway.
5Institute for Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.
3Department of Biosciences, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.


We have previously shown that aberrant promoter methylation of ZNF331 is a potential biomarker for colorectal cancer detection with high sensitivity (71%) and specificity (98%). This finding was recently confirmed by others, and it was additionally suggested that promoter methylation of ZNF331 was an independent prognostic biomarker for colorectal cancer (n = 146). In the current study, our initial colorectal cancer sample series was extended to include a total of 423 cancer tissue samples. Aberrant promoter methylation was found in 71% of the samples, thus repeatedly suggesting the biomarker potential of ZNF331 for detection of colorectal cancer. Furthermore, multivariate Cox's analysis indicated a trend towards inferior overall survival for colorectal cancer patients with aberrant methylation of ZNF331.


Colorectal cancer; DNA methylation; Diagnosis; Prognosis; ZNF331

Conflict of interest statement

The research biobanks have been registered according to national legislation (numbers 2781 and 236-2005-16141). The study is part of a project approved by the Regional Committee (REC) for Medical and Health Research Ethics (numbers 1.2005.1629 and S-09282c 2009/4958).RAL and GEL are inventors of a US provisional patent application filed in 2011, describing methylation of ZNF331 and five additional genes as biomarkers for detection of gastrointestinal cancers (61/451,198, INVEN-31899/US-1/PRO). The rest of the authors declare that they have no competing interests.Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

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