Abnormal histone acetylation and methylation levels in esophageal squamous cell carcinomas

Cancer Invest. 2011 Oct;29(8):548-56. doi: 10.3109/07357907.2011.597810. Epub 2011 Aug 15.


To investigate whether alterations in histone modifications occur in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC), we measured histone H3/ H4 acetylation and H3K4/H3K27 methylation levels, as well as the expression of chromatin modifier genes in tumor and healthy esophageal tissue from ESCC patients. We found evidence of global H3 and H4 hypoacetylation, H3K4 and H3K27 hypermethylation in ESCC tissue. Both H3 hypoacetylation and H3K27 hypermethylation correlated with the severity and histological differentiation of the tumor, and H3K4 hypermethylation also correlated with tumor differentiation. Our results suggest that aberrant histone modifications may play an important role in the development and progression of ESCC.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetylation
  • Aged
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / metabolism*
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Histone Deacetylase 1 / physiology
  • Histones / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methylation
  • Middle Aged
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational


  • Histones
  • Histone Deacetylase 1