Background: Promoter and 5' end methylation regulation of tumour suppressor genes is a common feature of many cancers. Such occurrences often lead to the silencing of these key genes and thus they may contribute to the development of cancer, including prostate cancer.
Methodology/principal findings: In order to identify methylation changes in prostate cancer, we performed a genome-wide analysis of DNA methylation using Agilent human CpG island arrays. Using computational and gene-specific validation approaches we have identified a large number of potential epigenetic biomarkers of prostate cancer. Further validation of candidate genes on a separate cohort of low and high grade prostate cancers by quantitative MethyLight analysis has allowed us to confirm DNA hypermethylation of HOXD3 and BMP7, two genes that may play a role in the development of high grade tumours. We also show that promoter hypermethylation is responsible for downregulated expression of these genes in the DU-145 PCa cell line.
Conclusions/significance: This study identifies novel epigenetic biomarkers of prostate cancer and prostate cancer progression, and provides a global assessment of DNA methylation in prostate cancer.