Promoter methylation of death-associated protein kinase and its role in irradiation response in cervical cancer

Oncol Rep. 2008 May;19(5):1339-45.


This study was aimed at investigating the death-associated protein kinase (DAPK) promoter methylation and its clinical relevance in cervical cancer. The DAPK promoter methylation was detected by methylation-specific PCR (MSP) and correlated with DAPK mRNA and protein expression. The effect of DAPK expression on the radiosensitivity of the cervical cancer cell line was assessed by overexpressing DAPK in the radioresistant cell line SiHa. DAPK hypermethylation was found in 56.08% of the cervical cancer samples and was associated with the tumor histological cell type of squamous cell carcinoma (p=0.002) and advanced tumor stage (p=0.005). Subsequently, DAPK protein expression was found to significantly decrease in cervical cancer samples when compared to normal tissues. The DAPK mRNA and protein expression levels were absent or remarkably reduced in SiHa and HeLa in which the DAPK promoter was hypermethylated. The expression levels of DAPK could be restored after demethylation treatment with 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine. Overexpressing DAPK in vitro had no significant influence to the survival of the radioresistant SiHa cell after being challenged by irradiation. Our findings suggest that DAPK might not directly be responsible for the cellular radiosensitivity, however, DAPK hypermethylation appeared to be of prognostic significance in the advanced stages of cervical cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins / genetics*
  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins / physiology*
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases / genetics*
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases / physiology*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • CpG Islands
  • DNA Methylation*
  • Death-Associated Protein Kinases
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic*
  • Radiation Tolerance
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / genetics*


  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins
  • Death-Associated Protein Kinases
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases