DNA methylation and ovarian cancer. I. Analysis of CpG island hypermethylation in human ovarian cancer using differential methylation hybridization

Gynecol Oncol. 2001 Aug;82(2):261-8. doi: 10.1006/gyno.2001.6291.


Objective: The aim of this study was to examine CpG island methylation patterns in ovarian cancer and determine whether epigenetic information can be related to clinical data of patients. CpG island (CpGI) hypermethylation is commonly associated with cancer progression, but little is currently known about the role of methylation in ovarian cancer.

Methods: Differential methylation hybridization (DMH) analysis at 742 loci was performed to determine methylation signatures for 20 primary epithelial ovarian carcinomas (Stages II, III, and IV adenocarcinomas, serous papillary), 6 ovarian cancer cell lines, and normal ovarian surface epithelial cells.

Results: Between 23 and 108 methylated CpGIs were seen in the ovarian carcinomas. Fewer (P < 0.05) methylated CpGIs were observed in the ovarian cancer cell lines; however, a number of CpGIs were commonly hypermethylated in both the cell lines and the tumor samples. A methylation signature, consisting of frequently (P < 0.05) methylated CpGIs, was determined for the samples. The observed pattern of methylation in ovarian cancers included several (11) CpGI tags that were previously reported to be hypermethylated in human breast cancer.

Conclusions: Epigenetic signatures in ovarian cancer were determined using DMH. This proof-of-concept study lays the foundation for genome-wide screening of methylation to examine epigenotype-phenotype relationships in ovarian cancer.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • CpG Islands*
  • DNA Methylation*
  • DNA, Neoplasm / genetics
  • DNA, Neoplasm / metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization / methods
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / metabolism


  • DNA, Neoplasm