Suppressor of cytokine signaling (SOCS)-1 inhibits signaling of the Janus kinase (JAK)/signal transducers and activators of transcription (STAT) pathway by several cytokines and has tumor suppressor activity. Methylation of the SOCS-1 CpG island has been shown to inactivate the SOCS-1 gene in certain human cancers. In our study, we investigated methylation status of the SOCS-1 gene by methylation-specific PCR in 75 gastric carcinoma (GC) tissues, 25 corresponding nonneoplastic mucosae and 10 normal gastric mucosae from healthy young individuals. We also performed bisulfite sequencing of DNAs from 2 GC tissues. In addition, SOCS-1 mRNA levels were examined in 50 GCs by quantitative RT-PCR. Hypermethylation of the SOCS-1 gene was detected in 33 (44%) of 75 GC tissues and in 3 (12%) of 25 corresponding nonneoplastic mucosae; the incidence was significantly different (p = 0.004). None of the 10 normal gastric tissues from healthy individuals showed hypermethylation. Methylation of the SOCS-1 gene was associated with lymph node metastasis, advanced tumor stage and reduced expression of SOCS-1 in GC tissues (p = 0.009, 0.034 and 0.002, respectively). Reduced expression of SOCS-1 in GC tissues was associated with lymph node metastasis and advanced tumor stage (p = 0.013 and 0.002, respectively). Our results suggest that transcriptional inactivation of the SOCS-1 gene by hypermethylation may be involved in development, progression and metastasis of GC.
(c) 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.