Comethylation of p16 and MGMT genes in colorectal carcinoma: correlation with clinicopathological features and prognostic value

World J Gastroenterol. 2007 Feb 28;13(8):1187-94. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v13.i8.1187.


Aim: To investigate the significance of p16 and O(6)-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) genes promoter hypermethylation and K-ras mutations on colorectal tumorigenesis and progression.

Methods: p16 and MGMT methylation status was examined on 47 tumor samples, and K-ras mutational status was examined on 85 tumor samples. For methylation analysis, a methylation specific PCR (MS-PCR) method was used.

Results: p16 and MGMT promoter methylation was found in 51% (24/47) and 43% (20/47) of CRCs, respectively, and the K-ras mutation was found in 44% (37/85) of CRCs. Comethylation of p16 and MGMT genes was significantly associated with lower aggressiveness of the disease within a two-year period of observation. Only 27% of patients with simultaneous p16 and MGMT methylation showed the detectable occurrence of metastasis and/or death, compared to 67% of patients without double methylation or with no methylation (3/11 vs 22/33, P < 0.05, chi(2)-test). In addition, p16 and MGMT comethylation showed a trend toward an association with longer survival in patients with CRCs (35.5 +/- 6.0 mo vs 23.1 +/- 3.2 mo, P = 0.072, Log-rank test). Progression of the disease within a two-year period was observed in 66% of patients carrying the K-ras mutation, compared to only 19% of patients with wild type K-ras (29/44 vs 7/37, P < 0.001, chi(2)-test). The presence of the K-ras mutation significantly correlated to shortened overall survival (20.0 +/- 1.9 mo vs 37.0 +/- 1.8 mo, P < 0.001, Log-rank test). The comethylation of p16 and MGMT genes was significantly associated with lower aggressiveness of the disease even when K-ras mutations were included in the analysis as an independent variable.

Conclusion: Our data suggest that comethylation of promoters of p16 and MGMT genes could have a prognostic value in patients with CRC. Specifically, concurrent methylation of both genes correlates with better prognosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Cadherins / metabolism
  • Carcinoma / genetics*
  • Carcinoma / mortality
  • Carcinoma / pathology
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Colon / pathology
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / mortality
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology
  • DNA Methylation
  • DNA Modification Methylases / genetics*
  • DNA Repair Enzymes / genetics*
  • Female
  • Genes, p16*
  • Genes, ras*
  • Humans
  • Hyaluronan Receptors / metabolism
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Laminin / metabolism
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Point Mutation
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Rectum / pathology
  • Survival Analysis
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins / genetics*


  • CD44 protein, human
  • Cadherins
  • Hyaluronan Receptors
  • Laminin
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • DNA Modification Methylases
  • MGMT protein, human
  • DNA Repair Enzymes