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Comparative Study
, 34 (10), 1470-5

Promoter Methylation and Loss of p16(INK4a) Gene Expression in Head and Neck Cancer

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Comparative Study

Promoter Methylation and Loss of p16(INK4a) Gene Expression in Head and Neck Cancer

Semra Demokan et al. Head Neck.

Abstract

Background: Silencing of tumor suppressor genes plays a vital role in head and neck carcinogenesis. In this study we aimed to evaluate aberrant p16(INK4a) gene promoter methylation in patients with head and neck cancer.

Methods: Methylation of the gene was investigated by bisulfite modification/methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction and gene expression levels were analyzed by quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction in tumors and matched normal tissue samples from Turkish patients with head and neck cancer.

Results: The promoter region of the p16(INK4a) gene was methylated in 67.5% and 28.6% of the primary tumors and the corresponding normal tissue, respectively. This difference was highly significant. In concordance, p16(INK4a) gene expression was downregulated in 67.5% of the tumor samples. Methylation and the absence of expression in the tumors were observed in 48% of the patients.

Conclusions: Our data indicate that methylation of the p16(INK4a) gene is a frequent event in primary head and neck cancer and that it plays a major role in the silencing of p16(INK4a) gene expression during tumor development.

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