Promoter methylation of genes in and around the candidate lung cancer susceptibility locus 6q23-25

Cancer Res. 2008 Mar 15;68(6):1707-14. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-07-6325.


Chromosomal aberrations associated with lung cancer are frequently observed in the long arm of chromosome 6. A candidate susceptibility locus at 6q23-25 for lung cancer was recently identified; however, no tumor suppressor genes inactivated by mutation have been identified in this locus. Genetic, epigenetic, gene expression, and in silico screening approaches were used to select 43 genes located in 6q12-27 for characterization of methylation status. Twelve (28%) genes were methylated in at least one lung cancer cell line, and methylation of 8 genes was specific to lung cancer cell lines. Five of the 8 genes with the highest prevalence for methylation in cell lines (TCF21, SYNE1, AKAP12, IL20RA, and ACAT2) were examined in primary lung adenocarcinoma samples from smokers (n = 100) and never smokers (n = 75). The prevalence for methylation of these genes was 81%, 50%, 39%, 26%, and 14%, respectively, and did not differ by smoking status or age at diagnosis. Transcription of SYNE1, AKAP12, and IL20RA was completely silenced by hypermethylation and could be restored after treatment with 5-aza-2-deoxycytidine. Significant associations were found between methylation of SYNE1 and TCF21, SYNE1 and AKAP12, and AKAP12 and IL20RA, indicating a coordinated inactivation of these genes in tumors. A higher prevalence for methylation of these genes was not associated with early-onset lung cancer cases, most likely precluding their involvement in familial susceptibility to this disease. Together, our results indicate that frequent inactivation of multiple candidate tumor suppressor genes within chromosome 6q likely contributes to development of sporadic lung cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / genetics*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 6*
  • CpG Islands
  • DNA Methylation*
  • Gene Dosage
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Gene Silencing
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Humans
  • Loss of Heterozygosity
  • Lung Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Smoking / genetics