Cancer prevention research (Philadelphia, Pa.)

Aberrant TET1 Methylation Closely Associated with CpG Island Methylator Phenotype in Colorectal Cancer.

PMID 26063725


Inactivation of methylcytosine dioxygenase, ten-eleven translocation (TET) is known to be associated with aberrant DNA methylation in cancers. Tumors with a CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP), a distinct subgroup with extensive DNA methylation, show characteristic features in the case of colorectal cancer. The relationship between TET inactivation and CIMP in colorectal cancers is not well understood. The expression level of TET family genes was compared between CIMP-positive (CIMP-P) and CIMP-negative (CIMP-N) colorectal cancers. Furthermore, DNA methylation profiling, including assessment of the TET1 gene, was assessed in colorectal cancers, as well as colon polyps. The TET1 was silenced by DNA methylation in a subset of colorectal cancers as well as cell lines, expression of which was reactivated by demethylating agent. TET1 methylation was more frequent in CIMP-P (23/55, 42%) than CIMP-N (2/113, 2%, P < 0.0001) colorectal cancers. This trend was also observed in colon polyps (CIMP-P, 16/40, 40%; CIMP-N, 2/24, 8%; P = 0.002), suggesting that TET1 methylation is an early event in CIMP tumorigenesis. TET1 methylation was significantly associated with BRAF mutation but not with hMLH1 methylation in the CIMP-P colorectal cancers. Colorectal cancers with TET1 methylation have a significantly greater number of DNA methylated genes and less pathological metastasis compared to those without TET1 methylation (P = 0.007 and 0.045, respectively). Our data suggest that TET1 methylation may contribute to the establishment of a unique pathway in respect to CIMP-mediated tumorigenesis, which may be incidental to hMLH1 methylation. In addition, our findings provide evidence that TET1 methylation may be a good biomarker for the prediction of metastasis in colorectal cancer.