Hypermethylated Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) promoter is associated with gastric cancer

Sci Rep. 2015 May 11:5:10154. doi: 10.1038/srep10154.


Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is a member of the receptor tyrosine kinases ErbB family and it is found to be overexpressed in gastric cancer. However, the mechanism of the regulation of the EGFR expression is still unknown. We used the Sequenom EpiTYPER assay to detect the methylation status of the EGFR promoter in normal and tumour tissues of 30 patients with gastric cancer. We also carried out quantitative real time PCR (qPCR) to detect the expression level of EGFR in our 30 patients. Notably, increased methylation level at EGFR promoter was found in tumour tissues than the corresponding adjacent noncancerous. In both Region I DMR and Region II DMR detected in our study, tumor tissues were significantly hypermethylated (P=2.7743E-10 and 2.1703E-05, respectively). Region I_⊿CpG_2 was also found to be associated with the presence of distant metastasis (P=0.0323). Furthermore, the results showed a strongly significant association between the relative EGFR expression and the EGFR methylation changes in both Region I and Region II (P=0.0004 and 0.0001, respectively). Our findings help to indicate the hypermethylation at EGFR promoter in gastric cancer and it could be a potential epigenetic biomarker for gastric cancer status and progression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • DNA Methylation / genetics*
  • ErbB Receptors / genetics*
  • ErbB Receptors / metabolism
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic*
  • Stomach Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Stomach Neoplasms / pathology


  • EGFR protein, human
  • ErbB Receptors