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Reduced BMP6 expression by DNA methylation contributes to EMT and drug resistance in breast cancer cells.

Oncology reports (2014-06-04)
Geng Liu, Yuan-Jie Liu, Wen-Jing Lian, Zhi-Wei Zhao, Tao Yi, Hong-Ying Zhou
ABSTRACT

Bone morphogenetic protein 6 (BMP6) is an important regulator of cell growth, differentiation and apoptosis in various types of tumor. In breast cancer, it was considered as a tumor suppressor. Our previous study also confirmed that BMP6 was a critical regulator of breast cancer drug resistance. However, little is known about how its expression is regulated and its mechanisms in breast cancer drug resistance. In the present study, we assessed the DNA methylation regulation of BMP6 based on the presence of a large CpG island in the BMP6 gene promoter. Quantitative DNA methylation analyses showed a significantly increased DNA methylation level in the drug-resistant cell line MCF-7/ADR compared to their parental cells MCF-7. Moreover, the drug-resistant cell line MCF-7/ADR showed an EMT phenotype confirmed by morphology and the expression of EMT marker gene. MCF-7 cells transfected with BMP6-specific shRNA vector also showed an EMT phenotype. The MCF-7/ADR cells treated with the recombinant BMP6 proteins reversed their EMT phenotype. These data indicated that hypermethylation modifications contributed to the regulation of BMP6 and induced an EMT phenotype of breast cancer during the acquisition of drug resistance.

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