BMC cancer

Downregulation of EphA5 by promoter methylation in human prostate cancer.

PMID 25609195


EphA5 is a member of the Eph/ephrin family and plays a critical role in the regulation of carcinogenesis. A significant reduction of EphA5 transcripts in high-grade prostate cancer tissue was shown using a transcriptomic analysis, compared to the low-grade prostate cancer tissue. As less is known about the mechanism of EphA5 downregulation and the function of EphA5, here we investigated the expression and an epigenetic change of EphA5 in prostate cancer and determined if these findings were correlated with clinicopathologic characteristics of prostate cancer. Seven prostate cell lines (RWPE-1, LNCap, LNCap-LN3, CWR22rv-1, PC-3, PC-3M-LN4, and DU145), thirty-nine BPH, twenty-two primary prostate carcinomas, twenty-three paired noncancerous and cancerous prostate tissues were examined via qRT-PCR, methylation-specific PCR, bisulfite sequencing, immunohistochemistry and western blotting. The role of EphA5 in prostate cancer cell migration and invasion was examined by wound healing and transwell assay. Downregulation or loss of EphA5 mRNA or protein expression was detected in 28 of 45 (62.2%) prostate carcinomas, 2 of 39 (5.1%) hyperplasias, and all 6 prostate cancer cell lines. Methylation of the EphA5 promoter region was present in 32 of 45 (71.1%) carcinoma samples, 3 of 39 (7.7%) hyperplasias, and the 6 prostate cancer cell lines. Among 23 paired prostate carcinoma tissues, 16 tumor samples exhibited the hypermethylation of EphA5, and 15 of these 16 specimens (93.8%) shown the downregulation of EphA5 expression than that of their respectively matched noncancerous samples. Immunostaining analysis demonstrated that the EphA5 protein was absent or down-regulated in 10 of 13 (76.9%) available carcinoma samples, and 8 of these 10 samples (80.0%) exhibited hypermethylation. The frequency of EphA5 methylation was higher in cancer patients with an elevated Gleason score or T3-T4 staging. Following the treatment of 6 prostate cancer cell lines with 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine, the levels of EphA5 mRNA were significantly increased. Prostate cancer cells invasion and migration were significantly suppressed by ectopic expression of EphA5 in vitro. Our study provides evidence that EphA5 is a potential target for epigenetic silencing in primary prostate cancer and is a potentially valuable prognosis predictor and thereapeutic marker for prostate cancer.