Background: Pancreatic cancer is closely related to epigenetic abnormality. The epithelial cell transforming sequence 2 gene (ECT2) plays a critical role in Rho activation during cytokinesis, and thus may play a role in the pathogenesis of pancreatic cancer. In this study, we investigated the relationships between aberrant expression and epigenetic changes of the ECT2 gene in pancreatic cancer.
Methods: Four cell lines (PANC-1, Colo357, T3M-4 and PancTuI) and pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) tissues were used for mRNA detection. After restriction isoschizomer endonucleases (MspI/HpaII) were used to digest the DNA sequence (5'-CCGG-3'), PCR was made to amplify the product. And RT-PCR was applied to determine the expression of the gene.
Results: The mRNA expression of the ECT2 gene was higher in pancreatic tumor tissue than in normal tissue. The gene was also expressed in the 4 PDAC cell lines. The methylation states of the upstream regions of the ECT2 gene were almost identical in normal, tumor pancreatic tissues, and the 4 PDAC cell lines. Some of the 5'-CCGG-3' areas in the upstream region of ECT2 were methylated, while others were unmethylated.
Conclusions: The oncogene ECT2 is overexpressed in pancreatic tumor tissues as verified by RT-PCR detection. The methylation status of DNA in promoter areas is involved in the gene expression, along with other factors, in pancreatic cancer.