Loss of cyclin D2 expression in the majority of breast cancers is associated with promoter hypermethylation

Cancer Res. 2001 Mar 15;61(6):2782-7.


Cyclin D2 is a member of the D-type cyclins, implicated in cell cycle regulation, differentiation, and malignant transformation. It was noted previously that cyclin D2 is not expressed in the majority of breast cancer cell lines, whereas abundant expression was detected in finite life span human mammary epithelial cells. By reverse transcription-PCR and Western blot analysis, we extended this finding to primary breast carcinomas and show that the majority of these tumors lack expression of cyclin D2 mRNA (18 of 24) and protein (10 of 13). In contrast, both luminal and myoepithelial subpopulations of normal breast tissues expressed cyclin D2. Hypermethylation of the CpG island in the promoter was detected by methylation-specific PCR in nearly half of the breast cancers (49 of 106) and was associated with silencing of cyclin D2 gene expression. Promoter hypermethylation was also detected in ductal carcinoma in situ, suggesting that loss of cyclin D2 expression is an early event in tumorigenesis. Our results suggest that loss of cyclin D2 expression is associated with the evolution of breast cancer.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Blotting, Western
  • Breast / cytology
  • Breast / metabolism
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Carcinoma in Situ / genetics*
  • Carcinoma in Situ / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / genetics*
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / metabolism
  • CpG Islands
  • Cyclin D2
  • Cyclins / biosynthesis
  • Cyclins / genetics*
  • DNA Methylation*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Gene Silencing*
  • Humans
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic*
  • RNA, Messenger / biosynthesis
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction


  • CCND2 protein, human
  • Cyclin D2
  • Cyclins
  • RNA, Messenger