Background: Aberrant methylation is a known cause of cancer initiation and/or progression. There are scant data on the genome-wide methylation pattern of nonfunctioning pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (NFPanNETs) and sporadic and hereditary NFPanNETs.
Methods: Thirty-three tissue samples were analyzed: they included samples from sporadic (n = 9), von Hippel-Lindau (VHL)-related (n = 10), and multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1)-related NFPanNETs (n = 10) as well as normal islet cells (n = 4) for comparison. Genome-wide CpG methylation profiling was performed with the Infinium MethylationEPIC BeadChip assay and was analyzed with R-based tools.
Results: In unsupervised hierarchical clustering, sporadic and MEN1-related NFPanNETs clustered together, and the VHL group was in a separate cluster. MEN1-related NFPanNETs had a higher rate of hypermethylated CpG sites in comparison with sporadic and VHL-related tumor groups. Differentially methylated region analysis confirmed the higher rate of hypermethylation in MEN1-related tumors. Moreover, in an integrated analysis of gene expression data for the same tumor samples, downregulated gene expression was found in most genes that were hypermethylated. In a CpG island methylator phenotype analysis, 3 genes were identified and confirmed to have downregulated gene expression: secreted frizzle-related protein 5 (SFRP5) in sporadic NFPanNETs and cell division cycle-associated 7-like (CDCA7L) and RNA binding motif 47 (RBM47) in MEN1-related NFPanNETs.
Conclusions: MEN1 NFPanNETs have a higher rate of geno me-wide hypermethylation than other NFPanNET subtypes. The similarity between the pathways enriched in a methylation analysis of known genes involved in NFPanNET tumorigenesis suggests a key role for aberrant methylation in the pathogenesis of NFPanNETs.
Keywords: DNA methylation; multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1); nonfunctioning; pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor; von Hippel-Lindau (VHL).
© 2019 American Cancer Society.