Author(s): Kang GH, Shim YH, Jung HY, Kim WH, Ro JY,
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Abstract There are limited reports on methylation analysis of the premalignant lesions of gastric carcinoma thus far. This is despite the fact that gastric carcinoma is one of the tumors with a high frequency of CpG island hypermethylation. To determine the frequency and timing of hypermethylation during multistep gastric carcinogenesis, non-neoplastic gastric mucosa (n = 118), adenomas (n = 61), and carcinomas (n = 64) were analyzed for their p16, human Mut L homologue 1 (hMLH1), death-associated protein (DAP)-kinase, thromobospondin-1 (THBS1), and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase 3 (TIMP-3) methylation status using methylation-specific PCR. Three different classes of methylation behaviors were found in the five tested genes. DAP-kinase was methylated at a similar frequency in all four stages, whereas hMLH1 and p16 were methylated in cancer samples (20.3\% and 42.2\%, respectively) more frequently than in intestinal metaplasia (6.3\% and 2.1\%, respectively) or adenomas (9.8\% and 11.5\%, respectively). However, hMLH1 and p16 were not methylated in chronic gastritis. THBS-1 and TIMP-3 were methylated in all stages but showed a marked increase in hypermethylation frequency from chronic gastritis (10.1\% and 14.5\%, respectively) to intestinal metaplasia (34.7\% and 36.7\%, respectively; P < 0.05) and from adenomas (28.3\% and 26.7\%, respectively) to carcinomas (48.4\% and 57.4\%, respectively: P < 0.05). The hMLH1, THBS1, and TIMP-3 hypermethylation frequencies were similar in both intestinal metaplasia and adenomas, but the p16 hypermethylation frequency tended to be higher in adenomas (11.5\%) than in intestinal metaplasia (2.1\%; P = 0.073). The average number of methylated genes was 0.6, 1.1, 1.1, and 2.0 per five genes per sample in chronic gastritis, intestinal metaplasia, adenomas, and carcinomas, respectively. This shows a marked increase in methylated genes from non-metaplastic mucosa to intestinal metaplasia (P = 0.001) as well as from premalignant lesions to carcinomas (P = 0.002). These results suggest that CpG island hypermethylation occur early in multistep gastric carcinogenesis and tend to accumulate along the multistep carcinogenesis.
This article was published in Cancer Res
and referenced in Journal of Cytology & Histology