A survey of gene-specific methylation in human prostate cancer among black and white men

Cancer Lett. 2004 Mar 18;205(2):181-8. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2003.11.027.


Gene methylation is an important molecular event in prostate carcinogenesis that may have diagnostic and prognostic significance. We evaluated the methylation status of eight genes implicated in prostate carcinogenesis. DNA was extracted from archived paraffin-embedded tumor blocks from 90 prostate cancer patients. Gene methylation status of eight genes (GSTP1, RASSF1A, RARbeta2, CD44, EDNRB, E-cadherin, Annexin-2, and Caveolin-1) was determined using real-time methylation-sensitive PCR techniques. Differences in gene methylation among race, tumor grade and disease stage were evaluated by chi-square test. Of the eight genes, GSTP1, RASSF1A, and RARbeta2 methylation was highly prevalent across tumors (>60% for all three genes) whereas CD44, E-cadherin and EDNRB methylation was less prevalent (33, 24 and 29%, respectively). Annexin-2 and Caveolin-1 were not methylated in any of the tumors examined. Methylation of RARbeta2, CD44 and E-cadherin was correlated with tumor grade but not stage. Interestingly, methylation of EDNRB, a gene involved in angiogenesis, was correlated with stage of disease but not tumor grade. With the possible exception of CD44, we did not observe differences in gene methylation between racial categories for the genes under study. In summary, our data suggest that evaluation of the methylation of a panel of genes may have diagnostic and prognostic utility in prostate cancer.

MeSH terms

  • African Continental Ancestry Group
  • Aged
  • DNA Methylation*
  • European Continental Ancestry Group
  • Glutathione S-Transferase pi
  • Glutathione Transferase / genetics
  • Humans
  • Isoenzymes / genetics
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Receptors, Retinoic Acid / genetics
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins / genetics


  • Isoenzymes
  • RASSF1 protein, human
  • Receptors, Retinoic Acid
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • retinoic acid receptor beta
  • GSTP1 protein, human
  • Glutathione S-Transferase pi
  • Glutathione Transferase