Methylation analysis of cancer-related genes in non-neoplastic cells from patients with oral squamous cell carcinoma
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Early detection of Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma (OSCC) is important to reduce mortality rates and to help provide successful cancer treatment. Hypermethylation of CpG islands is a common epigenetic mechanism that leads to gene silencing in tumors and could be a useful biomarker in OSCC. Abnormal DNA hypermethylation can occur very early in cancer development and may be induced by exposure to environmental carcinogens. We set out to investigate the methylation status of cancer-related genes in normal oral exfoliated cells from OSCC patients and healthy volunteers, as well as possible associations with alcohol/tobacco exposure or specific tumor characteristics. The methylation status of CDKN2A (cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 2A or p16), SFN (stratifin or 14-3-3 σ), EDNRB (endothelin receptor B) and RUNX3 (runt-related transcript factor-3) was evaluated by MSP (Methylation-Specific Polymerase Chain Reaction) analysis in non-neoplastic oral epithelial cells from OSCC patients (n = 70) and cancer-free subjects (n = 41). Hypermethylation was observed in CDKN2A, EDNRB and SFN genes, whereas no methylation was found in the RUNX3 gene. CDKN2A hypermethylation occurred only in the OSCC group (5.7%) while SFN and EDNRB hypermethylation occurred in both groups. There was no association between hypermethylation and smoking, drinking habits or specific tumor characteristics.
KeywordsOral squamous cell carcinoma Methylation status Cancer-related genes Normal oral mucosa
This study was supported by grants from FACITEC/ES and Fibria ®. We would like to thank PRPPG–UFES for donating methylSEQr™ Bisulfite Conversion Kits. MFCS was sponsored by a CAPES scholarship.
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