Xi bao yu fen zi mian yi xue za zhi = Chinese journal of cellular and molecular immunology

[The methylation of ZHX2 gene promoter enhances AFP gene expression in hepatocellular carcinoma].

PMID 23837980


To investigate the relationship between Zinc-fingers and homeoboxes 2 (ZHX2) promoter methylation and alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) gene expression, and analyze the mechanism of AFP gene expression. HepG2 cell line was cultured with 0.5, 1.0 or 5.0 μmol/L of 5-aza-deoxycytidine (5-Aza-Dc). RT-PCR and Western blotting were used to detect the expressions of ZHX2 and AFP in HepG2 cell line. Methylation-specific PCR was used to detect ZHX2 promoter methylation in 38 hepatocellular carcinoma tissues. The HepG2 cell line showed a low level of ZHX2 mRNA, negative expression of ZHX2 protein, but high expression of AFP at both mRNA and protein levels. After the HepG2 cells were treated with 1.0 or 5.0 μmol/L 5-Aza-Dc for 6 d, the expression of ZHX2 mRNA and protein increased and the expression of AFP mRNA and protein decreased. Among 38 hepatocellular carcinoma tissues, ZHX2 promoter methylation was found in 16 hepatocellular carcinoma tissues with AFP>25 ng/mL in serum. No methylation of ZHX2 promoter was found in 8 hepatocellular carcinoma tissues with AFP<25 ng/mL. ZHX2 promoter methylation is closely related with AFP expression.