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APC gene methylation is inversely correlated with features of the CpG island methylator phenotype in colorectal cancer



APC gene methylation is inversely correlated with features of the CpG island methylator phenotype in colorectal cancer



International Journal of Cancer 119(10): 2272-2278



The notion of a CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP) was proposed to describe a subset of colorectal cancers (CRC) displaying frequent and concordant methylation of CpG islands located within gene promoter regions. Some workers have failed to observe associations between CIMP and specific clinicopathological features of CRC, possibly because of the choice of genes used to define this phenotype. The aim of the current study was to determine whether the aberrant methylation of 6 genes implicated in CRC development was associated with the same phenotypic features of this tumour type. The MethyLight assay was used to provide quantitative estimates of MLH1, P16, TIMP3, P14, DAPK and APC methylation levels in 199 unselected colorectal tumours. The methylation of MLH1, P16, TIMP3 and P14 was highly concordant (p < 0.0001 for each pair) but that of DAPK and APC was not. An inverse association was observed between the methylation of APC and TIMP3 (p = 0.004). Methylation of the MLH1, P16, TIMP3 and P14 genes was associated with tumour infiltrating lymphocytes (p < 0.05), microsatellite instability (p < 0.001), BRAF mutation (p < 0.0001) and elevated concentrations of the methyl group carriers tetrahydrofolate (THF) and 5,10-methylene THF (p < 0.05). In contrast, APC methylation was associated with wildtype BRAF (p = 0.003) and with lower concentrations of methyl group carriers (p < 0.05). These findings highlight the importance of gene selection in studies that aim to characterize the biological features and clinical behaviour of CIMP+ tumours.

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Accession: 011716391

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PMID: 16981189

DOI: 10.1002/ijc.22237


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