Hypermethylation of ribosomal DNA in human breast carcinoma

Br J Cancer. 2000 Feb;82(3):514-7. doi: 10.1054/bjoc.1999.0955.


We examined the methylation status of the transcribed domain of ribosomal DNA (rDNA) in 58 patients with breast cancer. The mean percent of methylation was significantly higher in breast tumours than that of normal control samples (P < 0.0001). This increased rDNA methylation was associated with oestrogen receptor non-expression (P < 0.0273) and with moderately or poorly differentiated tumours as compared to well differentiated tumours (P < 0.0475). Our results suggest that rDNA can be a useful marker for monitoring aberrant methylation during breast tumour progression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blotting, Southern
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • DNA Methylation*
  • DNA, Ribosomal / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged


  • DNA, Ribosomal