Gene Summary

Gene:HIC1; HIC ZBTB transcriptional repressor 1
Aliases: hic-1, ZBTB29, ZNF901
Summary:This gene functions as a growth regulatory and tumor repressor gene. Hypermethylation or deletion of the region of this gene have been associated with tumors and the contiguous-gene syndrome, Miller-Dieker syndrome. Alternative splicing of this gene results in multiple transcript variants. [provided by RefSeq, Sep 2010]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:hypermethylated in cancer 1 protein
Source:NCBIAccessed: 30 August, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (18)
Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
Show (1)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 30 August 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

  • Cervical Cancer
  • Loss of Heterozygosity
  • Azacitidine
  • Kruppel-Like Transcription Factors
  • CpG Islands
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • CDKN2A Protein
  • Staging
  • Phenotype
  • Mutation
  • Cancer DNA
  • Breast Cancer
  • Disease Progression
  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Transcription Initiation Site
  • Tumor Suppressor Gene
  • Epigenetics
  • Messenger RNA
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Base Sequence
  • Cohort Studies
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Transcription
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Medulloblastoma
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Chromosome 17
  • Paranasal Sinus and Nasal Cavity Cancer
  • Stomach Cancer
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • DNA Methylation
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Transcription Factors
  • Gene Silencing
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
Tag cloud generated 30 August, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (6)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: HIC1 (cancer-related)

Chen CC, He BC, Chen YL, et al.
Int J Mol Sci. 2018; 19(10) [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Cell stiffness is a potential biomarker for monitoring cellular transformation, metastasis, and drug resistance development. Environmental factors relayed into the cell may result in formation of inheritable markers (e.g., DNA methylation), which provide selectable advantages (e.g., tumor development-favoring changes in cell stiffness). We previously demonstrated that targeted methylation of two tumor suppressor genes, hypermethylated in cancer 1 (

Rogeri CD, Silveira HCS, Causin RL, et al.
Methylation of the hsa-miR-124, SOX1, TERT, and LMX1A genes as biomarkers for precursor lesions in cervical cancer.
Gynecol Oncol. 2018; 150(3):545-551 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: The methylation profile of genes in precursor lesions in cervical cancer was characterized to improve screening techniques for high-grade intraepithelial neoplasia.
METHODS: A total of 447 cervical cytology samples obtained from women who underwent colposcopy were examined. The cases were distributed as follows: (1) cervices without cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN; n = 152); (2) cervices with a CIN grade of 1 (CIN 1; n = 147); and (3) cervices with a CIN grade of 2 or 3 (CIN 2/3; n = 148). The methylation pattern for a panel of 15 genes was analysed by quantitative methylation-specific PCR (qMSP) and compared between the groups (≤CIN 1 vs. CIN 2+).
RESULTS: In the validation set, seven genes presented significantly different methylation profiles according to diagnosis, namely, DAPK1 (p = 0.001), EPB41L3 (p = 0.001), HIC1 (p = 0.028), hsa-miR-124-2 (p = 0.001), LMX1A (p = 0.001), SOX1 (p = 0.001), and TERT (p = 0.001). Six genes showed a significant increase in the frequency of methylation in the presence of hr-HPV, namely, DAPK1 (p = 0.001), EPB41L3 (p = 0.001), hsa-miR-124-2 (p = 0.001), LMX1A (p = 0.001), SOX1 (p = 0.001), and TERT (p = 0.001). The methylation of the hsa-miR-124 gene showed sensitivity and specificity (86.7% and 61.3%, respectively) similar to that of the HPV test (91.3% and 50.0%, respectively). The independent factors associated with the diagnosis of CIN 2+ and the methylation of the hsa-miR-124-2 (OR = 5.1), SOX1 (OR = 2.8), TERT (OR = 2.2), and LMX1A (OR = 2.0) genes were a positive test for hr-HPV (odds ratio [OR] = 5.5).
CONCLUSIONS: Hypermethylation of the hsa-miR-124-2, SOX1, TERT, and LMX1A genes may be a promising biomarker for precursor lesions in cervical cancer regardless of the hr-HPV status.

Hamadneh L, Al-Majawleh M, Jarrar Y, et al.
Culturing conditions highly affect DNA methylation and gene expression levels in MCF7 breast cancer cell line.
In Vitro Cell Dev Biol Anim. 2018; 54(5):331-334 [PubMed] Related Publications
The levels of DNA methylation and their role in gene expression are key factors that could affect diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment options of different diseases. In this study, the methylation levels of 22 genes that are mostly correlated to breast cancer were determined using EpiTect methyl II PCR array. This analysis was performed to determine the effect of cells' passage number and the use of antibiotics in the culturing media on gene methylation levels in MCF7 cell line. DNA methylation levels of PTGS2, ADAM23, HIC1, and PYCARD were found to be significantly different among different passages. While the DNA methylation levels of CCNA1, RASSF1, and THBS1 were found to be affected by the use of 1% of penicillin/streptomycin in the culture media. Gene expression analysis after demethylation using 5-Aza-2'-deoxycytidine showed that the gene expression levels of the hypermethylated genes varied between different passage numbers. This study shows that the presence of antibiotic within cultured media and cell line's passage number could greatly affect the methylation levels that need to be considered in future studies on cell lines.

Szczepny A, Carey K, McKenzie L, et al.
The tumor suppressor Hic1 maintains chromosomal stability independent of Tp53.
Oncogene. 2018; 37(14):1939-1948 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Hypermethylated-in-Cancer 1 (Hic1) is a tumor suppressor gene frequently inactivated by epigenetic silencing and loss-of-heterozygosity in a broad range of cancers. Loss of HIC1, a sequence-specific zinc finger transcriptional repressor, results in deregulation of genes that promote a malignant phenotype in a lineage-specific manner. In particular, upregulation of the HIC1 target gene SIRT1, a histone deacetylase, can promote tumor growth by inactivating TP53. An alternate line of evidence suggests that HIC1 can promote the repair of DNA double strand breaks through an interaction with MTA1, a component of the nucleosome remodeling and deacetylase (NuRD) complex. Using a conditional knockout mouse model of tumor initiation, we now show that inactivation of Hic1 results in cell cycle arrest, premature senescence, chromosomal instability and spontaneous transformation in vitro. This phenocopies the effects of deleting Brca1, a component of the homologous recombination DNA repair pathway, in mouse embryonic fibroblasts. These effects did not appear to be mediated by deregulation of Hic1 target gene expression or loss of Tp53 function, and rather support a role for Hic1 in maintaining genome integrity during sustained replicative stress. Loss of Hic1 function also cooperated with activation of oncogenic KRas in the adult airway epithelium of mice, resulting in the formation of highly pleomorphic adenocarcinomas with a micropapillary phenotype in vivo. These results suggest that loss of Hic1 expression in the early stages of tumor formation may contribute to malignant transformation through the acquisition of chromosomal instability.

Laco J, Kovarikova H, Chmelarova M, et al.
Analysis of DNA methylation and microRNA expression in NUT (nuclear protein in testis) midline carcinoma of the sinonasal tract: a clinicopathological, immunohistochemical and molecular genetic study.
Neoplasma. 2018; 65(1):113-123 [PubMed] Related Publications
The aim of this study was a detailed clinicopathological investigation of sinonasal NUT midline carcinoma (NMC), including analysis of DNA methylation and microRNA (miRNA) expression. Three (5%) cases of NMC were detected among 56 sinonasal carcinomas using immunohistochemical screening and confirmed by fluorescence in situ hybridization. The series comprised 2 males and 1 female, aged 46, 60, and 65 years. Two tumors arose in the nasal cavity and one in the maxillary sinus. The neoplasms were staged pT1, pT3, and pT4a (all cN0M0). All patients were treated by radical resection with adjuvant radiotherapy. Two patients died 3 and 8 months after operation, but one patient (pT1 stage; R0 resection) experienced no evidence of disease at 108 months. Microscopically, all tumors consisted of infiltrating nests of polygonal cells with vesicular nuclei, prominent nucleoli and basophilic cytoplasm. Abrupt keratinization was present in only one case. Immunohistochemically, there was a diffuse expression of cytokeratin (CK) cocktail, CK7, p40, p63, and SMARCB1/INI1. All NMCs tested negative for EBV and HPV infection. Two NMCs showed methylation of RASSF1 gene. All other genes (APC, ATM, BRCA1, BRCA2, CADM1, CASP8, CD44, CDH13, CDKN1B, CDKN2A, CDKN2B, CHFR, DAPK1, ESR1, FHIT, GSTP1, HIC1, KLLN, MLH1a, MLH1b, RARB, TIMP3, and VHL) were unmethylated. All NMCs showed upregulation of miR-9 and downregulation of miR-99a and miR-145 and two cases featured also upregulation of miR-21, miR-143, and miR-484. In summary, we described three cases of sinonasal NMCs with novel findings on DNA methylation and miRNA expression, which might be important for new therapeutic strategies in the future.

Saunderson EA, Stepper P, Gomm JJ, et al.
Hit-and-run epigenetic editing prevents senescence entry in primary breast cells from healthy donors.
Nat Commun. 2017; 8(1):1450 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Aberrant promoter DNA hypermethylation is a hallmark of cancer; however, whether this is sufficient to drive cellular transformation is not clear. To investigate this question, we use a CRISPR-dCas9 epigenetic editing tool, where an inactive form of Cas9 is fused to DNA methyltransferase effectors. Using this system, here we show simultaneous de novo DNA methylation of genes commonly methylated in cancer, CDKN2A, RASSF1, HIC1 and PTEN in primary breast cells isolated from healthy human breast tissue. We find that promoter methylation is maintained in this system, even in the absence of the fusion construct, and this prevents cells from engaging senescence arrest. Our data show that the key driver of this phenotype is repression of CDKN2A transcript p16 where myoepithelial cells harbour cancer-like gene expression but do not exhibit anchorage-independent growth. This work demonstrates that hit-and-run epigenetic events can prevent senescence entry, which may facilitate tumour initiation.

Huang Q, Yang Q, Mo M, et al.
Screening of exon methylation biomarkers for colorectal cancer via LC-MS/MS strategy.
J Mass Spectrom. 2017; 52(12):860-866 [PubMed] Related Publications
The identification of biomarkers would be of benefit for the diagnosis and treatment of colorectal cancer. DNA methylation in specific genomic regions, which had shown strongly association with disease genotypes, was an effective indicator to reveal the occurrence and development of cancers. To screen out methylation biomarkers for colorectal cancer (CRC), genomic DNA was isolated from colorectal cancerous and corresponding cancer-adjacent tissues collected from 30 CRC patients and then bisulfite-converted. The exon regions of 5 targeted genes (CNRIP1, HIC1, RUNX3, p15, and SFRP2) were amplified by using nested polymerase chain reaction with specific primers, and the amplicon was purified and hydrolyzed. The methylation levels of these specific regions were detected by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). The results showed that 5 targeted exon regions were successfully amplified and confirmed by sequencing. The methodological validations indicated that LC-MS/MS was highly sensitive and accurate. The methylation levels of CNRIP1 and RUNX3 were remarkably high in CRC tissues with statistical difference when compared with corresponding cancer-adjacent individuals, while that of HIC1, p15, and SFRP2 had no difference between 2 subjects. These findings supported CNRIP1 and RUNX3 as potential DNA methylation biomarkers for CRC diagnosis and treatment, and our LC-MS/MS approach exhibited great advantages in the identification of regional DNA methylation biomarkers.

Henriksen SD, Madsen PH, Larsen AC, et al.
Promoter hypermethylation in plasma-derived cell-free DNA as a prognostic marker for pancreatic adenocarcinoma staging.
Int J Cancer. 2017; 141(12):2489-2497 [PubMed] Related Publications
Correct staging of pancreatic cancer is paramount, as treatment is stage specific. However, minimally invasive tools to facilitate staging are lacking. DNA promoter hypermethylation is a hallmark of cancer. The aim of this study is to evaluate promoter hypermethylation in cell-free DNA as a prognostic marker for stage classification of pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Consecutive patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma were prospectively included. Plasma samples were obtained before diagnostic work-up and treatment. Patients were staged according to the TNM classification. Methylation-specific PCR of 28 genes was performed. Prognostic prediction models for staging of pancreatic adenocarcinoma were developed by multivariable logistic regression analysis using stepwise backwards elimination. Ninety-five patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma were included. The mean number of hypermethylated genes was identical for stage I, II and III disease (7.09 (95% CI; 5.51-8.66), 7.00 (95% CI; 5.93-8.07) and 6.77 (95% CI; 5.08-8.46)), respectively, and highly significantly different from stage IV disease (10.24 (95% CI; 8.88-11.60)). The prediction model (SEPT9v2, SST, ALX4, CDKN2B, HIC1, MLH1, NEUROG1, and BNC1) enabled the differentiation of stage IV from stage I-III disease (AUC of 0.87 (cut point 0.55; sensitivity 74%, specificity 87%)). Model (MLH1, SEPT9v2, BNC1, ALX4, CDKN2B, NEUROG1, WNT5A, and TFPI2) enabled the differentiation of stage I-II from stage III-IV disease (AUC of 0.82 (cut point 0.66; sensitivity 73%, specificity 80%)). Cell-free DNA promoter hypermethylation has the potential to be blood-based prognostic markers for pancreatic adenocarcinoma, as panels of hypermethylated genes enables the differentiation according to cancer stage. However, further validation is required.

Okazaki S, Schirripa M, Loupakis F, et al.
Tandem repeat variation near the HIC1 (hypermethylated in cancer 1) promoter predicts outcome of oxaliplatin-based chemotherapy in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer.
Cancer. 2017; 123(22):4506-4514 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The hypermethylated in cancer 1/sirtuin 1 (HIC1/SIRT1) axis plays an important role in regulating the nucleotide excision repair pathway, which is the main oxaliplatin-induced damage-repair system. On the basis of prior evidence that the variable number of tandem repeat (VNTR) sequence located near the promoter lesion of HIC1 is associated with HIC1 gene expression, the authors tested the hypothesis that this VNTR is associated with clinical outcome in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer who receive oxaliplatin-based chemotherapy.
METHODS: Four independent cohorts were tested. Patients who received oxaliplatin-based chemotherapy served as the training cohort (n = 218), and those who received treatment without oxaliplatin served as the control cohort (n = 215). Two cohorts of patients who received oxaliplatin-based chemotherapy were used for validation studies (n = 176 and n = 73). The VNTR sequence near HIC1 was analyzed by polymerase chain reaction analysis and gel electrophoresis and was tested for associations with the response rate, progression-free survival, and overall survival.
RESULTS: In the training cohort, patients who harbored at least 5 tandem repeats (TRs) in both alleles had a significantly shorter PFS compared with those who had fewer than 4 TRs in at least 1 allele (9.5 vs 11.6 months; hazard ratio, 1.93; P = .012), and these findings remained statistically significant after multivariate analysis (hazard ratio, 2.00; 95% confidence interval, 1.13-3.54; P = .018). This preliminary association was confirmed in the validation cohort, and patients who had at least 5 TRs in both alleles had a worse PFS compared with the other cohort (7.9 vs 9.8 months; hazard ratio, 1.85; P = .044).
CONCLUSIONS: The current findings suggest that the VNTR sequence near HIC1 could be a predictive marker for oxaliplatin-based chemotherapy in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer. Cancer 2017;123:4506-14. © 2017 American Cancer Society.

Hao M, Li Y, Wang J, et al.
HIC1 loss promotes prostate cancer metastasis by triggering epithelial-mesenchymal transition.
J Pathol. 2017; 242(4):409-420 [PubMed] Related Publications
Metastatic disease is the leading cause of death due to prostate cancer (PCa). Although the hypermethylated in cancer 1 (HIC1) gene has been observed to be epigenetically modified in PCa, its intrinsic role and mechanism in PCa metastasis still remain uncertain. Here, we show that hypermethylation of the HIC1 promoter markedly reduces its suppressive function in metastatic PCa tissues as compared with primary and adjacent normal prostate tissues, and is associated with poor patient survival. PCas in cancer-prone mice homozygous for a prostate-targeted Hic1 conditional knockout showed stronger metastatic behaviour than those in heterozygous mice, as a result of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Moreover, impairment of HIC1 expression in PCa cells induced their migration and metastasis through EMT, by enhancing expression of Slug and CXCR4, both of which are critical to PCa metastasis; the CXCL12-CXCR4 axis promotes EMT by activating the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) 1/2 pathway. Taken together, our results suggest that evaluation of HIC1-CXCR4-Slug signalling may provide a potential predictor for PCa aggressiveness. Copyright © 2017 Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Laco J, Chmelařová M, Vošmiková H, et al.
SMARCB1/INI1-deficient sinonasal carcinoma shows methylation of RASSF1 gene: A clinicopathological, immunohistochemical and molecular genetic study of a recently described entity.
Pathol Res Pract. 2017; 213(2):133-142 [PubMed] Related Publications
The aim of the study was detailed clinicopathological investigation of SMARCB1/INI1-deficient sinonasal carcinomas, including molecular genetic analysis of mutational status and DNA methylation of selected protooncogenes and tumor suppressor genes by means of next generation sequencing (NGS) and methylation-specific multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MS-MLPA). A total of 4/56 (7%) cases of SMARCB1/INI1-deficient carcinomas were detected among 56 sinonasal carcinomas diagnosed over a 19year period using immunohistochemical screening. The series comprised 3 males and 1 female, aged 27-76 years (median 64 years). All tumors arose in the nasal cavity. Three neoplasms were diagnosed in advanced stage pT4. During the follow-up period (range 14-111 months (median 72 months)), three tumors recurred locally, but none of the patients developed regional or distant metastases. Ultimately, two patients died due to the tumor. Microscopically, all tumors consisted of infiltrating nests of polygonal basaloid cells with a variable component of rhabdoid cells with eosinophilic cytoplasm. Immunohistochemically, there was almost diffuse expression of cytokeratins (CK), p16, p40 and p63 in all cases, while expression of CK5/6, CK7 and vimentin was only focal or absent. The detection of NUT gave negative results. In three cases, the absence of SMARCB1/INI1 expression was due to deletion of SMARCB1/INI1 gene. Methylation of SMARCB1/INI1 gene was not found. One tumor harbored HPV18 E6/E7 mRNA. All 12 genes (BRAF, BRCA1, BRCA2, KIT, EGFR, KRAS, NRAS, PDGFRA, PIK3CA, PTEN, RET, and ROS1) tested for mutations using NGS were wild-type. Regarding DNA methylation, all four SMARCB1/INI1-deficient tumors showed methylation of RASSF1 gene by means of MS-MLPA. There was a statistically significant difference in RASSF1 gene methylation between SMARCB1/INI1-deficient and SMARCB1/INI1-positive tumors (p=0.0095). All other examined genes (ATM, BRCA1, BRCA2, CADM1, CASP8, CD44, CDKN1B, CDKN2A, CDKN2B, CHFR, DAPK1, ESR1, FHIT, GSTP1, HIC1, KLLN, MLH1a, MLH1b, RARB, and VLH) were unmethylated. In summary, we described four cases of SMARCB1/INI1-deficient sinonasal carcinoma with detailed clinicopathological data indicating that these tumors can be regarded as a distinct entity with aggressive behaviour. For the first time, we performed analysis of DNA methylation in SMARCB1/INI1-deficient sinonasal carcinomas, reporting on significantly higher methylation of RASSF1 gene in this neoplasm.

Wang Y, Liang H, Zhou G, et al.
HIC1 and miR-23~27~24 clusters form a double-negative feedback loop in breast cancer.
Cell Death Differ. 2017; 24(3):421-432 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have emerged as a major regulator of the initiation and progression of human cancers, including breast cancer. However, the cooperative effects and transcriptional regulation of multiple miRNAs, especially miRNAs that are present in clusters, remain largely undiscovered. Here we showed that all members of the miR-23~27~24 clusters are upregulated and function as oncogenes in breast cancer and simultaneously target HIC1. Furthermore, we found that HIC1 functions as a transcriptional repressor to negatively control the expression of miR-23~27~24 clusters and forms a double-negative (overall positive) feedback loop. This feedback regulatory pathway is important because overexpression of miR-23~27~24 clusters can remarkably accelerate tumor growth, whereas restoration of HIC1 significantly blocks tumor growth in vivo. A mathematical model was created to quantitatively illustrate the regulatory circuit. Our finding highlights the cooperative effects of miRNAs in a cluster and adds another layer of complexity to the miRNA regulatory network. This study may also provide insight into the molecular mechanisms of breast cancer progression.

Paget S, Dubuissez M, Dehennaut V, et al.
HIC1 (hypermethylated in cancer 1) SUMOylation is dispensable for DNA repair but is essential for the apoptotic DNA damage response (DDR) to irreparable DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs).
Oncotarget. 2017; 8(2):2916-2935 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The tumor suppressor gene HIC1 (Hypermethylated In Cancer 1) encodes a transcriptional repressor mediating the p53-dependent apoptotic response to irreparable DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) through direct transcriptional repression of SIRT1. HIC1 is also essential for DSB repair as silencing of endogenous HIC1 in BJ-hTERT fibroblasts significantly delays DNA repair in functional Comet assays. HIC1 SUMOylation favours its interaction with MTA1, a component of NuRD complexes. In contrast with irreparable DSBs induced by 16-hours of etoposide treatment, we show that repairable DSBs induced by 1 h etoposide treatment do not increase HIC1 SUMOylation or its interaction with MTA1. Furthermore, HIC1 SUMOylation is dispensable for DNA repair since the non-SUMOylatable E316A mutant is as efficient as wt HIC1 in Comet assays. Upon induction of irreparable DSBs, the ATM-mediated increase of HIC1 SUMOylation is independent of its effector kinase Chk2. Moreover, irreparable DSBs strongly increase both the interaction of HIC1 with MTA1 and MTA3 and their binding to the SIRT1 promoter. To characterize the molecular mechanisms sustained by this increased repression potential, we established global expression profiles of BJ-hTERT fibroblasts transfected with HIC1-siRNA or control siRNA and treated or not with etoposide. We identified 475 genes potentially repressed by HIC1 with cell death and cell cycle as the main cellular functions identified by pathway analysis. Among them, CXCL12, EPHA4, TGFβR3 and TRIB2, also known as MTA1 target-genes, were validated by qRT-PCR analyses. Thus, our data demonstrate that HIC1 SUMOylation is important for the transcriptional response to non-repairable DSBs but dispensable for DNA repair.

Costales M, López-Hernández A, García-Inclán C, et al.
Gene Methylation Profiling in Sinonasal Adenocarcinoma and Squamous Cell Carcinoma.
Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2016; 155(5):808-815 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: To identify epigenetic events in intestinal-type sinonasal adenocarcinoma (ITAC) and sinonasal squamous cell carcinoma (SNSCC) and to evaluate their relation to clinicopathologic features and follow-up data.
STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective study.
SETTING: Academic research hospital.
SUBJECTS AND METHODS: The methylation status of 23 genes in 50 ITACs and 32 SNSCCs was analyzed by methylation-specific multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification and its relation to clinicopathologic features and follow-up data.
RESULTS: Gene methylation was observed in 50% of all tumors. Recurrent methylated genes in SNSCC were RASSF1 and CDH13 (for both, 6 of 32 cases), CHFR (4 of 32 cases), and TIMP3 (2 of 32 cases). None of these genes showed significant correlation to clinicopathologic features or overall survival. In ITAC, recurrent methylated genes were CDH13 (18 of 50 cases), ESR1 (13 of 50 cases), APC (7 of 50 cases), TIMP3 (5 of 50 cases), CASP8 (3 of 50 cases), and HIC1 and RASSF1 (for both, 2 of 50 cases). Papillary and colonic ITAC subtypes carried a mean of 1.26 gene methylations per tumor versus 0.63 in solid and mucinous subtypes. Methylation of TIMP3 was associated with a significantly worse survival in ITAC patients.
CONCLUSION: ITAC carries a higher number and a different profile of gene methylations as compared with SNSCC. Gene methylation plays a greater role in papillary and colonic ITAC subtypes, which may indicate a different tumorigenic pathway for these ITAC subtypes. These findings could be used as prognosticators and may have implications for future individualized therapies based on epigenetic changes.

Juodzbalys G, Kasradze D, Cicciù M, et al.
Modern molecular biomarkers of head and neck cancer. Part I. Epigenetic diagnostics and prognostics: Systematic review.
Cancer Biomark. 2016; 17(4):487-502 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Nearly half of the head and neck cancer cases are diagnosed in late stages. Traditional screening modalities have many disadvantages. The aim of the present article was to review the scientific literature about novel head and neck cancer diagnostics - epigenetic biomarkers.
EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: A comprehensive review of the current literature was conducted according to the PRISMA guidelines by accessing the NCBI PubMed database. Authors conducted the search of articles in English language published from 2004 to 2015.
EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: A total of thirty three relevant studies were included in the review. Fifteen of them concerned DNA methylation alterations, nine evaluation of abundancies in histone expressions and nine miRNA expression changes in HNC.
CONCLUSIONS: Considerable number of epigenetic biomarkers have been identified in both tumor tissue and salivary samples. Genes with best diagnostic effectiveness rates and further studying prospects were: TIMP3, DCC, DAPK, CDH1, CCNA1, AIM1, MGMT, HIC1, PAX1, PAX5, ZIC4, p16, EDNRB, KIF1A, MINT31, CD44, RARβ , ECAD. Individual histone and miRNA alterations tend to be hnc specific. Prognostic values of separate biomarkers are ambiguous. No established standards for molecular assay of head and neck cancer was found in order to elude the paradoxical results and discrepancies in separate trials.

Wu W, Zhang L, Lin J, et al.
Hypermethylation of the HIC1 promoter and aberrant expression of HIC1/SIRT1 contribute to the development of thyroid papillary carcinoma.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(51):84416-84427 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Hypermethylation leading to the loss of hypermethylated in cancer-1 (HIC1) gene expression occurs in many different types of human cancer. HIC1 is a transcriptional repressor that directly binds to the promoter region of NAD-dependent deacetylase sirtuin-1 (SIRT1). SIRT1 functions in cell growth, is anti-apoptotic, protect neurons, functions in senescence, and regulates energy restriction. Epigenetic modification and dysregulation affecting the HIC1/SIRT1 axis is potentially important for the development of malignancies. However, the importance of HIC1 expression in the development of papillary thyroid carcinoma, especially in Chinese patients, is uncertain. Therefore, we assessed the level of methylation in the HIC1 promoter and the mRNA and protein expression levels of HIC1 and SIRT1 in human thyroid papillary carcinoma and tumor adjacent control tissues. The demethylation reagent 5-aza-2'-deoxyctidine (5-aza-dc) and an HIC1 overexpression plasmid were used to manipulate the HIC1/SIRT1 pathway, and the effects on cell senescence, apoptosis, and cell cycle progression were assessed. Compared to normal thyroid tissue, thyroid tumors had lower expression of HIC1 and higher SIRT1 expression. The level of HIC1 methylation was also higher in thyroid carcinoma tissues than adjacent tissues. HIC1 expression was closely correlated with patient age and tumor progression. Restoration of HIC1 expression through an overexpression plasmid or 5-aza-dC treatment reduced SIRT1 expression and cell proliferation, and led to senescence, cell cycle arrest, and apoptosis. Aberrant expression of HIC1/SIRT1 and hypermethylation of the HIC1 promoter may be critical for the development and progression of papillary thyroid cancer.

Cheng G, He J, Zhang L, et al.
HIC1 modulates uveal melanoma progression by activating lncRNA-numb.
Tumour Biol. 2016; 37(9):12779-12789 [PubMed] Related Publications
Uveal melanoma (UM) is the most common primary intraocular cancer in adults. Although the diagnosis modality of primary UM was improved significantly, there are currently no effective therapies for metastatic UM. Hypermethylated in cancer 1 (HIC1) is frequently deleted or epigenetically silenced in various human cancers. However, the role and mechanism of HIC1 in UM is still unclear. In this study, we found that HIC1 acted as a tumor suppressor and that its expression was downregulated in UM. Functional studies demonstrated that ectopic expression of HIC1 in UM cells inhibited cell proliferation and invasion. Moreover, through long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) microarray and real-time PCR, we found that expression of lncRNA-numb was activated by HIC1 in UM. The results provide evidence that lncRNA-numb is a newly proposed tumor suppressor that is involved in HIC1-induced phenotypes. Taken together, our studies of UM reveal a critical role of HIC1 in the regulation of tumorigenesis, at least partly through its downstream target, lncRNA-numb, and provide a potential therapeutic target for UM.

Lee CH, Chung CK, Kim CH
Genetic differences on intracranial versus spinal cord ependymal tumors: a meta-analysis of genetic researches.
Eur Spine J. 2016; 25(12):3942-3951 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Although ependymomas occur in both the brain and the spine, the prognosis is quite varied by tumor location. Spinal ependymomas usually follow a relatively benign course with more favorable prognosis than that of the intracranial ependymomas. The aim of this study is to evaluate the genetic differences between spinal ependymomas and their intracranial counterparts using a meta-analysis.
METHODS: We searched PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, and the Cochrane library. Comparative or single arm genetic studies that enrolled patients with both intracranial and spinal ependymoma were included. The frequency of genetic aberration was calculated in each group. We calculated the odds ratio (OR) with 95 % confidence intervals (CIs) for direct comparative studies and the logit event rate (LER) and 95 % CI for single arm studies.
RESULTS: Twenty-five studies comprising of 380 spinal ependymomas and 964 intracranial ependymomas were compared to determine the association of the genetic differences of ependymomas at different locations. There were 25 comparable genetic aberrations between spinal and intracranial ependymomas. Among the genes, the NF2 mutation was significantly associated with the spinal ependymomas rather than with the intracranial ependymomas (spinal tumor: LER -0.750, 95 % CI -1.233 to -0.266, intracranial tumor: LER -3.080, 95 % CI -3.983 to -2.177). Intracranial ependymomas were found to be significantly associated with EPB41L3 deletion (OR 0.34; 95 % CI 0.14-0.80) and HIC1 methylation (OR 0.12; 95 % CI 0.02-0.68).
CONCLUSION: The genetic aberrations of spinal ependymomas are quite different from those of intracranial ependymomas. The difference in prognosis of ependymoma by location may be associated with genetic difference. A more detailed understanding of them may enable the development of targeted therapy and the estimation of prognosis.

Bagci B, Sari M, Karadayi K, et al.
KRAS, BRAF oncogene mutations and tissue specific promoter hypermethylation of tumor suppressor SFRP2, DAPK1, MGMT, HIC1 and p16 genes in colorectal cancer patients.
Cancer Biomark. 2016; 17(2):133-43 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Colorectal cancer is a serious disease that causes significant morbidity and mortality in developed countries. Genetic changes, such as mutations in proto-oncogenes and DNA repair genes, and loss of function in the tumor suppressor genes cause colorectal cancer development. Abnormal DNA methylation is also known to play a crucial role in colorectal carcinogenesis.
OBJECTIVE: In this study, frequencies of KRAS and BRAF mutations, promoter hypermethylation profiles of SFRP2, DAPK1, MGMT, HIC1 and p16 genes, and possible associations between hypermethylation of these genes and KRAS and BRAF mutations were aimed to find out.
METHODS: Ninety three colorectal cancer tissues and 14 normal colon mucosas were included in the study. Common twelve KRAS gene mutation were investigated with using reverse-hybridization strip assay method. BRAF V600E mutations were investigated with RFLP method. Hypermethylation status of five tumor suppressor genes were detected by using reverse-hybridization strip assay method after bisulfite modification of DNA.
RESULTS: KRAS and BRAF mutation frequencies were determined as 54.84% and 12.9%, respectively. Promoter hypermethylation frequencies of tumor suppressor genes SFRP2, DAPK1, MGMT, HIC1 and p16 were determined as 66.7%, 45.2%, 40.9%, 40.9% and 15.1%, respectively. Statistically significant associations were found between BRAF mutation and SFRP2 and p16 tumor suppressor genes hypermethylation (SFRP2; p= 0.005, p16; p= 0.016). Compared to rectum, SFRP2 (p= 0.017) and MGMT (p= 0.013) genes have statistically significantly higher promoter hypermethylation in colon.
CONCLUSIONS: Results of the current study have confirmed that KRAS mutations and SFRP2 hypermethylation can be used as genetic markers in colorectal cancer.

Serrano-Morales JM, Vázquez-Carretero MD, Peral MJ, et al.
Reelin-Dab1 signaling system in human colorectal cancer.
Mol Carcinog. 2017; 56(2):712-721 [PubMed] Related Publications
Reelin is an extracellular matrix protein that plays a critical role in neuronal migration. Here we show that the mucosa of human colon expresses reelin, its receptors ApoER2 and VLDLR, and its effector protein Dab1. Immunohistochemical analyses reveal that reelin expression is restricted to pericryptal myofibroblasts; Dab1 is detected at myofibroblasts, the apical domain of surface epithelial and crypt cells, and a strong linear staining is observed at the basement membrane; VLDLR and ApoER2 are in the cytoplasm of surface epithelium and myofibroblasts, and VLDLR is also detected in the cytoplasm of the crypt cells. Human colorectal cancer downregulates reelin without change in vimentin or N-cadherin mRNA levels. Decreased Reelin mRNA expression is accompanied by decreased HIC1 mRNA levels, increased mRNA levels of ApoER2 and DNMT1, increased reelin hypermethylation and no change in either Cask or TGF-β1 mRNAs, suggesting that reelin repression results from a DNMT1-mediated hypermethylation of the reelin gene promoter. Decreased HIC1 expression may repress reelin transcription via increasing ApoER2 transcription. We conclude that the mucosa of human colon expresses the reelin-Dab1 signaling system and that reelin is repressed in colorectal cancer before epithelial-mesenchymal transition has occurred. The significant down-regulation of reelin expression makes this gene a promising biomarker for colorectal cancers. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Wijetunga NA, Belbin TJ, Burk RD, et al.
Novel epigenetic changes in CDKN2A are associated with progression of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia.
Gynecol Oncol. 2016; 142(3):566-73 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: To conduct a comprehensive mapping of the genomic DNA methylation in CDKN2A, which codes for the p16(INK4A) and p14(ARF) proteins, and 14 of the most promising DNA methylation marker candidates previously reported to be associated with progression of low-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN1) to cervical cancer.
METHODS: We analyzed DNA methylation in 68 HIV-seropositive and negative women with incident CIN1, CIN2, CIN3 and invasive cervical cancer, assaying 120 CpG dinucleotide sites spanning APC, CDH1, CDH13, CDKN2A, CDKN2B, DAPK1, FHIT, GSTP1, HIC1, MGMT, MLH1, RARB, RASSF1, TERT and TIMP3 using the Illumina Infinium array. Validation was performed using high resolution mapping of the target genes with HELP-tagging for 286 CpGs, followed by fine mapping of candidate genes with targeted bisulfite sequencing. We assessed for statistical differences in DNA methylation levels for each CpG loci assayed using univariate and multivariate methods correcting for multiple comparisons.
RESULTS: In our discovery sample set, we identified dose dependent differences in DNA methylation with grade of disease in CDKN2A, APC, MGMT, MLH1 and HIC1, whereas single CpG locus differences between CIN2/3 and cancer groups were seen for CDH13, DAPK1 and TERT. Only those CpGs in the gene body of CDKN2A showed a monotonic increase in methylation between persistent CIN1, CIN2, CIN3 and cancers.
CONCLUSION: Our data suggests a novel link between early cervical disease progression and DNA methylation in a region downstream of the CDKN2A transcription start site that may lead to increased p16(INK4A)/p14(ARF) expression prior to development of malignant disease.

Zhang Q, Yan HB, Wang J, et al.
Chromatin remodeling gene AT-rich interactive domain-containing protein 1A suppresses gastric cancer cell proliferation by targeting PIK3CA and PDK1.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(29):46127-46141 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The tumor suppressor gene AT-rich interactive domain-containing protein 1A (ARID1A) was frequently mutated in cancers. The modulation mechanism of ARID1A for PI3K/AKT signaling in gastric cancer (GC) remains elusive. Here, we found that depletion of endogenous ARID1A enhanced the in vitro proliferation, colony formation, cellular growth, nutrient uptake and in vivo xenograft tumor growth of GC cells. PI3K/AKT activation by ARID1A-silencing was profiled using a phospho-protein antibody array. The phosphorylation of PDK1, AKT, GSK3β and 70S6K, and the protein and mRNA expressions of PI3K and PDK1, were upregulated by ARID1A-silencing. Chromatin immunoprecipitation and luciferase reporter assay revealed that ARID1A-involved SWI/SNF complex inhibited PIK3CA and PDK1 transcription by direct binding to their promoters. Serial deletion mutation analyses revealed that the ARID1A central region containing the HIC1-binding domain, but not the ARID DNA-binding domain and the C-terminal domain, was essential for the inhibition of GC cell growth, PI3K/AKT pathway phosphorylation and its transcriptional modulation activity of PIK3CA and PDK1. The proliferation, cellular growth and glucose consumption of ARID1A-deficient GC cells were efficiently prohibited by allosteric inhibitors mk2206 and LY294002, which targeting AKT and PI3K, respectively. Both inhibitors also downregulated the phosphorylation of PI3K/AKT pathway in ARID1A-deficient GC cells. Such cells were sensitized to the treatment of LY294002, and AT7867, another inhibitor of AKT and p70S6K. The administration of LY294002 alone inhibited the in vivo growth of ARID1A- deficient GC cells in mouse xenograft model. Our study provides a novel insight into the modulatory function and mechanism of ARID1A in PI3K/AKT signaling in GC.

Wang X, Wang Y, Xiao G, et al.
Hypermethylated in cancer 1(HIC1) suppresses non-small cell lung cancer progression by targeting interleukin-6/Stat3 pathway.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(21):30350-64 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), which accounts for more than 80% of lung cancers, is a leading cause of cancer mortality worldwide. However, the mechanism underlying its progression remains unclear. Here we found that HIC1 promoter was heavily methylated in NSCLC cell lines and tissues contributing to its low expression compared to normal controls. Restoring HIC1 expression inhibited migration, invasion and promoted inducible apoptosis of NSCLC cells. Notably, HIC1 is a tumor suppressor through inhibiting the transcription of IL-6 by sequence-specific binding on its promoter. Restoring IL-6 expression could partially rescue these phenotypes induced by HIC1 in vitro and in vivo. Mechanistic analyses show that autocrine secretion of IL-6 induced by loss of HIC1 activated STAT3 through IL-6/JAK pathway and was associated with NSCLC progression. The HIC1/IL-6 axis may serve as a prognostic biomarker and provide an attractive therapeutic target for NSCLC.

Hu B, Zhang K, Li S, et al.
HIC1 attenuates invasion and metastasis by inhibiting the IL-6/STAT3 signalling pathway in human pancreatic cancer.
Cancer Lett. 2016; 376(2):387-98 [PubMed] Related Publications
Hypermethylated in cancer 1 (HIC1) is a tumour suppressor gene that is frequently deleted or epigenetically silenced in many human cancers. However, the molecular function of HIC1 in pancreatic cancer has not been fully elucidated, especially in cancer invasion and metastasis. We aimed to clarify the clinical relevance of HIC1 and human pancreatic cancer and the mechanism of its effect on invasion and metastasis .HIC1 was downregulated in pancreatic cancer patient cancer tissue and pancreatic cancer cell lines. A tissue microarray analysis demonstrated that negative HIC1 expression predicted advanced pathological stages and worse patient survival. In addition, HIC1 inhibited the invasion and metastasis of pancreatic cancer cells both in vitro and in vivo. Finally, HIC1 repressed the expression of STAT3 target genes, including c-Myc, VEGF, CyclinD1, MMP2 and MMP9, by binding and interacting with STAT3 to impede its DNA-binding ability but without affecting the protein levels of STAT3 and p-STAT3. Therefore, HIC1 appears to function as a STAT3 inhibitor and may be a promising target for cancer research and for the development of an optimal treatment approach for pancreatic cancer.

Westin G
Molecular genetics and epigenetics of nonfamilial (sporadic) parathyroid tumours.
J Intern Med. 2016; 280(6):551-558 [PubMed] Related Publications
Primary hyperparathyroidism (pHPT) is a common endocrine disease characterized by excessive secretion of parathyroid hormone and an increased level of serum calcium. Overall, 80-85% of pHPT cases are due to a benign, single parathyroid adenoma (PA), and 15% to multiglandular disease (multiple adenomas/hyperplasia). Parathyroid carcinoma (PC) is rare, accounting for <0.5-1% of pHPT cases. Secondary hyperparathyroidism (sHPT) is a complication of renal failure, with the development of parathyroid tumours and hypercalcaemia. Recurrent mutations in the MEN1 gene have been confirmed by the whole-exome sequencing in 35% of PAs, suggesting that non-protein-coding genes, regulatory elements or epigenetic derangements may also have roles in the majority of PAs. DNA translocations with cyclin D1 overexpression occur in PAs (8%). In PCs, mutations in CDC73/HRPT2 are common. Activation of the WNT/β-catenin signalling pathway (accumulation of nonphosphorylated β-catenin) by an aberrantly truncated LRP5 receptor has been seen for the majority of investigated PAs and sHPT tumours, and possibly by APC inactivation through promoter methylation in PCs. Promoter methylation of several other genes and repressive histone H3 lysine 27 trimethylation by EZH2 of the HIC1 gene may also contribute to parathyroid tumorigenesis. It is possible that a common pathway exists for parathyroid tumour development. CCND1 (cyclin D1) and EZH2 overexpression, accumulation of nonphosphorylated β-catenin and repression of HIC1 have all been observed to occur in PAs, PCs and sHPT tumours. In addition, hypermethylation has been observed for the same genes in PAs and PCs (e.g. SFRP1, CDKN2A and WT1). Whether β-catenin represents a 'hub' in parathyroid tumour development will be discussed.

Nishida N, Yada N, Hagiwara S, et al.
Unique features associated with hepatic oxidative DNA damage and DNA methylation in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2016; 31(9):1646-53 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND AND AIM: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is an increasing cause of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Previously, we reported that DNA oxidation induced epigenetic alteration of tumor suppressor genes (TSGs) and contributed to HCC emergence. Here, we examine the associations between clinicopathological characteristics of NAFLD and advanced oxidative DNA damage that is associated with TSG methylation in the NAFLD liver.
METHODS: Liver biopsies from 65 NAFLD patients were analyzed for clinicopathological features and oxidative DNA damage using immunohistochemistry of 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8-OHdG). Abnormal DNA methylation in the promoters of 6 TSGs, HIC1, GSTP1, SOCS1, RASSF1, CDKN2A, and APC, was examined using MethyLight. Associations between clinicopathological characteristics, methylation of TSGs, and accumulation of 8-OHdG were analyzed.
RESULTS: We found that aspartate aminotransferase/alanine aminotransferase ratio, the fibrosis-4 index, and serum α-fetoprotein (AFP) level were associated with degree of 8-OHdG, and AFP was an independent factor among them (P = 0.0271). Regarding pathological findings, hepatocellular ballooning and stage of fibrosis were also associated with oxidative DNA damage (P = 0.0021 and 0.0054); ballooning was an independent risk for detecting high degree of 8-OHdG in hepatocytes (odds ratio 7.38, 95% confidence interval 1.41-49.13, P = 0.0171). Accumulation of methylated TSGs was significantly associated with deposition of 8-OHdG (P = 0.0362).
CONCLUSIONS: Patients with high serum AFP and high degree of ballooning showed accumulation of oxidative DNA damage that could be a seed of DNA methylation responsible for hepatocarcinogenesis. These characteristics could be risk of HCC; such patients require urgent intervention such as lifestyle modification.

Achille NJ, Othus M, Phelan K, et al.
Association between early promoter-specific DNA methylation changes and outcome in older acute myeloid leukemia patients.
Leuk Res. 2016; 42:68-74 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Treatment options for older patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) range from supportive care alone to full-dose chemotherapy. Identifying factors that predict response to therapy may help increase efficacy and avoid toxicity. The phase II SWOG S0703 study investigated the use of hydroxyurea and azacitidine with gemtuzumab ozogamicin in the elderly AML population and found survival rates similar to those expected with standard AML regimens, with less toxicity. As part of this study, global DNA methylation along with promoter DNA methylation and expression analysis of six candidate genes (CDKN2A, CDKN2B, HIC1, RARB, CDH1 and APAF1) were determined before and during therapy to investigate whether very early changes are prognostic for clinical response. Global DNA methylation was not associated with a clinical response. Samples after 3 or 4 days of treatment with azacitidine showed significantly decreased CDKN2A promoter DNA methylation in patients achieving complete remission (CR) compared to those who did not. Samples from day 7 of treatment showed significantly decreased RARB, CDKN2B and CDH1 promoter DNA methylation in responders compared to nonresponders. Gene-specific DNA methylation analysis of peripheral blood samples may help early identification of those older AML patients most likely to benefit from demethylating agent therapy.

Chen HC, Huang HY, Chen YL, et al.
Methylation of the Tumor Suppressor Genes HIC1 and RassF1A Clusters Independently From the Methylation of Polycomb Target Genes in Colon Cancer.
Ann Surg Oncol. 2017; 24(2):578-585 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Methylation changes within tumor suppressor (TS) genes or polycomb group target (PcG) genes alter cell fates. Chromatin associated with PcG targets is bivalent in stem cells, while TS genes are not normally bivalent. PcG target methylation changes have been identified in tumor stem cells, and abnormal methylation is found in TS genes in cancers. If the epigenetic states of genes influence DNA methylation, then methylation of PcG targets and TS genes may evolve differently during cancer development. More importantly, methylation changes may be part of a sequence in tumorigenesis.
METHODS: Chromatin and methylation states of 4 PcG targets and 2 TS genes were determined in colon cancer cells. The methylation states were also detected in 100 pairs of colon cancer samples. Principle component analysis (PCA) was used to reveal whether TS methylation or PcG methylation was the main methylation change associated with colon cancers.
RESULTS: Chromatin and methylation states differ in colon cancer cell lines. The methylation states within PcG targets clustered independently from the methylation states in TS genes, a finding we previously reported in liver cancers. PCA in colon cancers revealed the strongest association with methylation changes in 2 TS genes, HIC1 and RassF1A. Loss of HIC1 methylation correlated with decreased tumor migration.
CONCLUSIONS: PcG and TS methylation states cluster independently from each other. The deduced principle component correlated better with TS methylation than PcG methylation in colon cancer. Abnormal methylation changes may represent a sequential biomarker profile to identify developing colon cancer.

Li P, Liu X, Dong ZM, Ling ZQ
Epigenetic silencing of HIC1 promotes epithelial-mesenchymal transition and drives progression in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(35):38151-65 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Downregulation of the novel tumor suppressor gene HIC1 (hypermethylated in cancer 1) occurs frequently in various tumors where it causes tumor progression and metastasis. In this study, we investigated a role of HIC1 in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) and the underlying mechanisms. Downregulation of HIC1 occurred in approximately 70% of primary ESCCs at both mRNA and protein level where it was associated significantly with vascular invasion, advanced clinical stage, lymph node metastasis, and poor disease free survival (DFS). The promoter methylation analyses suggested that loss of HIC1 expression was mediated by epigenetic mechanisms. Functional studies established that ectopic re-expression of HIC1 in ESCC cells inhibited cell proliferation, clonogenicity, cell motility, tumor formation and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Our results decipher the mechanism through which HIC1 deficiency induce ESCC cells to undergo EMT and promote tumor progression and metastasis through activation of EphA2 signaling pathway. Together, loss of the regulation of EphA2 pathway through HIC1 epigenetic silencing could be an important mechanism in the ESCC progression. We identify a novel pathway that linking HIC1 downregulation to EphA2-inducing EMT in ESCC cells and may shed light on the development of novel anti-tumor therapeutics.

Duan K, Gomez Hernandez K, Mete O
Clinicopathological correlates of hyperparathyroidism.
J Clin Pathol. 2015; 68(10):771-87 [PubMed] Related Publications
Hyperparathyroidism is a common endocrine disorder with potential complications on the skeletal, renal, neurocognitive and cardiovascular systems. While most cases (95%) occur sporadically, about 5% are associated with a hereditary syndrome: multiple endocrine neoplasia syndromes (MEN-1, MEN-2A, MEN-4), hyperparathyroidism-jaw tumour syndrome (HPT-JT), familial hypocalciuric hypercalcaemia (FHH-1, FHH-2, FHH-3), familial hypercalciuric hypercalcaemia, neonatal severe hyperparathyroidism and isolated familial hyperparathyroidism. Recently, molecular mechanisms underlying possible tumour suppressor genes (MEN1, CDC73/HRPT2, CDKIs, APC, SFRPs, GSK3β, RASSF1A, HIC1, RIZ1, WT1, CaSR, GNA11, AP2S1) and proto-oncogenes (CCND1/PRAD1, RET, ZFX, CTNNB1, EZH2) have been uncovered in the pathogenesis of hyperparathyroidism. While bi-allelic inactivation of CDC73/HRPT2 seems unique to parathyroid malignancy, aberrant activation of cyclin D1 and Wnt/β-catenin signalling has been reported in benign and malignant parathyroid tumours. Clinicopathological correlates of primary hyperparathyroidism include parathyroid adenoma (80-85%), hyperplasia (10-15%) and carcinoma (<1-5%). Secondary hyperparathyroidism generally presents with diffuse parathyroid hyperplasia, whereas tertiary hyperparathyroidism reflects the emergence of autonomous parathyroid hormone (PTH)-producing neoplasm(s) from secondary parathyroid hyperplasia. Surgical resection of abnormal parathyroid tissue remains the only curative treatment in primary hyperparathyroidism, and parathyroidectomy specimens are frequently encountered in this setting. Clinical and biochemical features, including intraoperative PTH levels, number, weight and size of the affected parathyroid gland(s), are crucial parameters to consider when rendering an accurate diagnosis of parathyroid proliferations. This review provides an update on the expanding knowledge of hyperparathyroidism and highlights the clinicopathological correlations of this prevalent disease.

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