Hypermethylation of the somatostatin promoter is a common, early event in human esophageal carcinogenesis

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Published on Sunday, 18 August 2013

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The promoter of somatostatin (SST), a primary inhibitor of gastrin-stimulated gastric acid secretion, is hypermethylated in 80% of human colon cancers. The aim of the current study was to investigate whether and at what stage promoter hypermethylation of SST is involved in human esophageal carcinogenesis.

METHODS: SST promoter hypermethylation was examined by real-time methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR) (MSP) in 260 human esophageal tissue specimens. Real-time reverse-transcriptase PCR and MSP were also performed on esophageal cancer cell lines before and after treatment with 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (5-Aza-dC).

RESULTS: SST hypermethylation showed highly discriminative receiver-operator characteristic curve profiles, clearly distinguishing esophageal squamous cell carcinomas (ESCC) and esophageal adenocarcinomas (EAC) from normal esophagus (NE) (P < .01). Both SST methylation frequency and normalized methylation value (NMV) were significantly higher in Barrett metaplasia without dysplasia or EAC (BE), low-grade and high-grade (HGD) dysplasia occurring in BE, EAC, and ESCC than in NE (P < .01). SST hypermethylation frequency was significantly lower in NE (9%) than in BE (70%), HGD (71.4%), or EAC (71.6%), whereas 14 (53.8%) of 26 ESCCs exhibited SST hypermethylation. There was a significant relation between SST hypermethylation and BE segment length, a known clinical risk factor for neoplastic progression. Demethylation of KYSE220 ESCC and OE33 EAC cells with 5-Aza-dC reduced SST methylation and increased SST mRNA expression. SST mRNA levels in native unmethylated EACs were significantly higher than in native methylated EACs (P < .05).

CONCLUSIONS: SST promoter hypermethylation is a common event in human esophageal carcinomas and is related to early neoplastic progression in Barrett esophagus.

 

 

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