Evaluation of Methylation Profiles of An Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Gene in a Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma Patient Group

Balkan J Med Genet. 2021 Mar 23;23(2):65-72. doi: 10.2478/bjmg-2020-0025. eCollection 2020 Nov.

Abstract

Upregulation of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene has shown an important impact on the development of head and neck cancers due to its important regulation role on multiple cell signaling pathways. The aim of this study was to investigate the methylation pattern of the promoter region of the EGFR gene between head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) patients and a control group. Forty-seven unrelated HNSCC patients, clinically diagnosed at the Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Dışkapı Yıldırım Beyazıt Training and Research Hospital, Ankara, Turkey, and 48 unrelated healthy volunteers from different geographic regions of Turkey, were included in this study. Methylation status of the promoter region of the EGFR gene was detected by methylation-specific-polymerase chain reaction (MS-PCR). The correlation between EGFR gene promoter methylation profiles and clinical characteristics were examined using the χ2 test. Methylation was observed in 79.0% of HNSCC patients, whereas this ratio was 90.0% in healthy individuals. The results show that promoter region methylation of the EGFR gene was not associated with HNSCC development in the studied Turkish patient group. In addition, the methylation status of the EGFR gene promoter was not found to be related to age, gender or tumor stage.

Keywords: Epidermal growth factor receptor (EFGR) gene; epigenetics; head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC); methylation; methylation-specific-polymerase chain reaction (MS-PCR).