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Clin Epigenetics. 2020 Feb 11;12(1):26. doi: 10.1186/s13148-020-0817-8.

Accumulation of DNA methylation alterations in paediatric glioma stem cells following fractionated dose irradiation.

Author information

1
Sahlgrenska Cancer Center, Department of Oncology, Institute of Clinical Sciences, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden. Anna.danielsson@oncology.gu.se.
2
Sahlgrenska Cancer Center, Department of Laboratory Medicine, Institute of Biomedicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
3
Department of Clinical Neuroscience and Rehabilitation, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
4
Sahlgrenska Cancer Center, Department of Laboratory Medicine, Institute of Biomedicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden. Helena.caren@gu.se.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Radiation is an important therapeutic tool. However, radiotherapy has the potential to promote co-evolution of genetic and epigenetic changes that can drive tumour heterogeneity, formation of radioresistant cells and tumour relapse. There is a clinical need for a better understanding of DNA methylation alterations that may follow radiotherapy to be able to prevent the development of radiation-resistant cells.

METHODS:

We examined radiation-induced changes in DNA methylation profiles of paediatric glioma stem cells (GSCs) in vitro. Five GSC cultures were irradiated in vitro with repeated doses of 2 or 4 Gy. Radiation was given in 3 or 15 fractions. DNA methylation profiling using Illumina DNA methylation arrays was performed at 14 days post-radiation. The cellular characteristics were studied in parallel.

RESULTS:

Few fractions of radiation did not result in significant accumulation of DNA methylation alterations. However, extended dose fractionations changed DNA methylation profiles and induced thousands of differentially methylated positions, specifically in enhancer regions, sites involved in alternative splicing and in repetitive regions. Radiation induced dose-dependent morphological and proliferative alterations of the cells as a consequence of the radiation exposure.

CONCLUSIONS:

DNA methylation alterations of sites with regulatory functions in proliferation and differentiation were identified, which may reflect cellular response to radiation stress through epigenetic reprogramming and differentiation cues.

KEYWORDS:

Cancer stem cells; Cancer treatment; DNA methylation; Epigenetics; Genomic feature analysis; Glioblastoma; Paediatric; Radiation; Repetitive DNA elements

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