Journal of Gastroenterology

, Volume 37, Supplement 14, pp 97–101 | Cite as

DNA methylation changes in gastrointestinal disease

  • Minoru Toyota
  • Fumio Itoh
  • Takefumi Kikuchi
  • Ayumi Satoh
  • Toshiro Obata
  • Hiromu Suzuki
  • Suguru Ishii
  • Takao Endo
  • Takashi Tokino
  • Kohzoh Imai
Gastroenterology and genetics—polymorphic gene and disease-caused gene


DNA methylation of the 5′ region of genes is often associated with gene silencing in X-chromosome inactivation and imprinting. Recent studies have indicated that altered DNA methylation plays a role in the inactivation of multiple tumor suppressor genes and DNA repair genes such as pl6INK4A and hMLHl. Colorectal adenomas have a relatively high frequency of methylation, and aberrant methylation is an early event during tumorigenesis. In aging patients, even colon epithelium which appears to be normal showed a significant amount of methylation in a subset of the genes. Colon mucosa from patients with inflammatory bowel disease also showed a high level of methylation. DNA methylation can be a specific diagnostic marker in gastrointestinal cancer and inflammatory bowel disease, for which there is no perfect marker for a noninvasive diagnosis.


CpG island methylator phenotype chromatin molecular diagnosis 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Minoru Toyota
    • 1
    • 2
  • Fumio Itoh
    • 1
  • Takefumi Kikuchi
    • 1
  • Ayumi Satoh
    • 1
  • Toshiro Obata
    • 1
  • Hiromu Suzuki
    • 1
  • Suguru Ishii
    • 1
  • Takao Endo
    • 1
  • Takashi Tokino
    • 2
  • Kohzoh Imai
    • 1
  1. 1.First Department of Internal Medicine, Cancer Research InstituteSapporo Medical UniversitySapporoJapan
  2. 2.Department of Molecular BiologySapporo Medical UniversitySapporoJapan

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