Oncology letters

A potential diagnostic marker for ovarian cancer: Involvement of the histone acetyltransferase, human males absent on the first.

PMID 24137335


Human males absent on the first (hMOF), a human ortholog of the Drosophila MOF protein, is responsible for histone H4 lysine 16 (H4K16) acetylation in human cells. The depletion of hMOF leads to a global reduction in histone H4K16 acetylation in human cells, genomic instability, cell cycle defects, reduced transcription of certain genes, defective DNA damage repair and early embryonic lethality. Studies have shown that abnormal hMOF gene expression is involved in a number of primary cancers. The present study examined the involvement of hMOF expression and histone H4K16 acetylation in clinically diagnosed primary ovarian cancer tissues. Clinically diagnosed frozen primary ovarian cancer tissues were used for polymerase chain reaction (PCR), quantitative PCR (qPCR), western blotting and immunohistochemical staining approaches. A PCR analysis of mRNA expression in 47 samples revealed a downregulation of hMOF mRNA in 81% of patients, whereas only 13% of patients demonstrated upregulation. qPCR was used to validate the frequent downregulation of hMOF expression in the primary ovarian cancer tissues. As expected, the analysis of hMOF expression in 57 samples revealed that hMOF mRNA expression was significantly downregulated (>2-fold decrease) in 65% of patients, while a <2-fold reduction of hMOF was observed in 10.5% of patients. Furthermore, the expression of hMOF-regulated human leukocyte antigen (HLA) complex 5, (HCP5), was also found to be downregulated in >87% of patients with a decrease in hMOF. hMOF and its regulated gene, HCP5, are frequently downregulated in human ovarian cancer, suggesting that hMOF may be involved in the pathogenesis of the disease.