Methylation status of the Ep-CAM promoter region in human breast cancer cell lines and breast cancer tissue

Cancer Lett. 2007 Feb 8;246(1-2):253-61. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2006.03.002. Epub 2006 Apr 18.


We examined the methylation status of the Ep-CAM promoter region of human breast cancer cell lines and breast cancer tissue using MethyLight technology and bisulfite sequencing. We found the promoter of Ep-CAM-negative breast cancer cell lines Hs 578T to be methylated to a higher degree as compared to positive cell lines MCF-7. Demethylation of cell lines was performed using 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine. Ep-CAM RNA and protein expression could be partially restored by treating cells with 5-Aza-2'-deoxycytidine. In most primary breast cancer tissue, methylation of the Ep-CAM gene could be detected at a low level and no correlation was found with Ep-CAM protein expression in tumour tissue. Taken together, these data suggest that methylation of the Ep-CAM promoter is not a crucial mechanism for regulation of Ep-CAM expression in breast cancer. Thus, most important regulatory mechanisms have to be supposed in vivo.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, Neoplasm / genetics*
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / metabolism
  • Azacitidine / analogs & derivatives
  • Azacitidine / pharmacology
  • Breast / metabolism
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / genetics*
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / metabolism
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Colon / metabolism
  • CpG Islands
  • DNA Methylation*
  • Decitabine
  • Epithelial Cell Adhesion Molecule
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Mucosa / metabolism
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic / genetics*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism


  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • EPCAM protein, human
  • Epithelial Cell Adhesion Molecule
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Decitabine
  • Azacitidine