Background: O(6)-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) can remove O(6)alkylG DNA adducts. If they are not removed, then the adducts mispair with T during DNA replication, resulting in G-to-A mutation. Interrelations between MGMT gene inactivation by promoter methylation, K-ras mutation, and clinicopathologic features in patients with gastric carcinoma were studied.
Methods: Surgically removed tumor tissues from 79 patients were analyzed with MGMT methylation by genomic DNA modification and methylation specific polymerase chain reaction analysis, K-ras mutation by mutant allele specific amplification, TNM classification according to the International Union Against Cancer system, and MGMT protein expression by immunohistochemistry.
Results: MGMT-promoter methylation was found in 18 of 79 tumors. Among those 18 tumors, K-ras mutations were found in 33% and 11% of tumors at codons 12 and 13, respectively, corresponding to 20 times and 7 times greater rates of mutation compared with unmethylated tumors. MGMT methylation was associated significantly with lymph node invasion (P < 0.01), tumor stage (P < 0.03) and 5-year disease free survival (P < 0.02). MGMT protein expression was detected in intestinal metaplasia and adenocarcinoma samples, whereas no expression was detected in normal foveolar cells.
Conclusions: MGMT-promoter methylation in patients with gastric carcinoma was associated significantly with point mutations of K-ras at codons 12 and 13, lymph node invasion, tumor stage, and disease free survival. These associations indicate a significant role of MGMT methylation during gastric carcinogenesis.
Copyright 2001 American Cancer Society.