DNA methylation as mechanism of apoptotic resistance development in endometrial cancer patients

Gen Physiol Biophys. 2017 Dec;36(5):521-529. doi: 10.4149/gpb_2017032.


DNA methylation is a significant epigenetic modification which plays a key role in regulation of gene expression and influences functional changes in endometrial tissue. Aberrant DNA methylation changes result in deregulation of important apoptotic proteins during endometrial carcinogenesis and apoptosis resistance development. Evading apoptosis is still a major problem in the successful treatment of endometrial cancer patients. The aim of our study was to examine the promoter DNA methylation changes in 22 apoptosis-associated genes in endometrioid endometrial cancer patients, precancerous lesions and healthy tissue from various normal menstrual cycle phases using a unique pre-designed methylation platform. We observed as the first a significant difference in promoter DNA methylation status in genes: BCL2L11 (p < 0.001), CIDEB (p < 0.03) and GADD45A (p < 0.05) during endometrial carcinogenesis and BIK gene (p < 0.03) in different phases of normal menstrual cycle. The results of our study indicate that deregulation of mitochondrial apoptotic pathway can considerably contributes to the apoptosis resistance development and may be helpful in identifying of new potent biomarkers in endometrial cancer.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Apoptosis / genetics*
  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins / genetics*
  • Carcinogenesis / genetics
  • DNA Methylation / genetics*
  • DNA, Neoplasm / genetics*
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Epigenesis, Genetic / genetics*
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease / genetics
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide / genetics
  • Precancerous Conditions / genetics*
  • Slovakia


  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins
  • DNA, Neoplasm