Alterations of global histone H3K9 and H3K27 methylation levels in bladder cancer

Urol Int. 2014;93(1):113-8. doi: 10.1159/000355467. Epub 2014 Feb 18.


Background: Epigenetic alterations, including histone modifications, play an important role during carcinogenesis. This study was designed to systematically investigate histone H3K9 and H3K27 methylation levels in bladder cancer (BCa) tissue.

Methods: A tissue microarray with urothelial BCa (150 non-muscle-invasive BCa, NMIBC; 121 muscle-invasive BCa, MIBC; 31 metastatic BCa, MET) and normal urothelium (29, CTRL) specimen was used to determine the global levels of H3K9 and H3K27 mono-, di- and tri-methylation.

Results: Global levels of H3K9 and H3K27 methylation were significantly higher in CTRL than in BCa, and levels in NMIBC were higher compared to MIBC. Histone methylation levels of MET resembled MIBC. We observed furthermore a correlation of histone methylation levels with pT stage (H3K9me1, H3K9me2, H3K9me3, H3K27me1, H3K27me3) and grade (H3K9me2, H3K9me3, H3K27me1) in NMIBC. H3K9me1, H3K9me3, H3K27me1 and H3K27me3 levels were also correlated with pT stage in MIBC. Histone modifications were not associated with recurrence-free or cancer-specific survival.

Conclusions: Global histone H3K9 and H3K27 methylation levels are altered in BCa.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Histones / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Male
  • Methylation
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / pathology
  • Prognosis
  • Tissue Array Analysis
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Urothelium / pathology


  • Histones