Klotho is silenced through promoter hypermethylation in gastric cancer

Am J Cancer Res. 2011;1(1):111-119. Epub 2010 Nov 10.


As one of major epigenetic changes to inactivate tumor suppressor genes in human carcinogenesis, promoter hypermethylation was proposed as a marker to define novel tumor suppressor genes and predict the prognosis of cancer patients. In the present study, we found KL (klotho) as a novel tumor suppressor gene silenced through promoter hypermethylation in gastric cancer, the second leading cause of cancer death worldwide. KL expression was downregulated in primary gastric carcinoma tissues (n=22, p<0.05) and all of gastric cancer cells lines examined. Ectopic expression of KL inhibited the growth of gastric cancer cells partially through the induction of apoptosis, demonstrating a tumor suppressive role of KL in gastric cancer. Demethylation with 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (Aza) increased KL expression and KL promoter was hypermethylated in gastric cancer cell lines as well as some of primary gastric carcinoma tissues (47/99) but none of normal gastric tissues. Importantly, promoter methylation of KL was significantly associated with the poor outcome of gastric cancer patients (p=0.025, Log-rank test), highlighting the relevance of epigenetic inactivation of KL in gastric carcinogenesis. As a summary, we found that KL is a novel tumor suppressor gene epigenetically inactivated in gastric cancer and promoter methylation of KL could be used to predict the prognosis of gastric cancer patients.