Transcription factors, which represent an important class of proteins that play key roles in controlling cellular proliferation and cell cycle modulation, are attractive targets for cancer therapy. Previous researches have shown that the expression level of activating transcription factor 5 (ATF5) was frequently increased in glioma and its acetylation level was related to glioma. The purposes of this study were to explore the methylation level of ATF5 in clinical glioma tissues and to explore the effect of ATF5 methylation on the expression of ATF5 in glioma. Methylation of the promoter region of ATF5 was assayed by bisulfite-specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR) sequencing analysis in 35 cases of glioma and 5 normal tissues. Quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) was also performed to detect ATF5 mRNA expression in 35 cases of glioma and 5 normal tissues. Clinical data were collected from the patients and analyzed. The percentages of methylation of the ATF5 gene in the promoter region in healthy control, patients with well-differentiated glioma, and those with poorly differentiated glioma were 87.78%, 73.89%, and 47.70%, respectively. Analysis of the methylation status of the promoter region of the ATF5 gene showed a gradually decreased methylation level in poorly differentiated glioma, well-differentiated glioma, and normal tissues (P<0.05). There was also a significant difference between well-differentiated glioma and poorly differentiated glioma (P<0.05). ATF5 mRNA expression in glioma was significantly higher than that in the normal tissues (P<0.05). This study provides the first evidence that the methylation level of ATF5 decreased, and its mRNA expression was evidently up-regulated in glioma.
Keywords: Activating transcription factor; DNA methylation; Epigenetic; Glioma; Promoter region.