Promoter Methylation Status of the DNA Repair Genes hMLH1 and MGMT in Gastric Carcinoma and Metaplastic MucosaOue N.a · Sentani K.a · Yokozaki H.a · Kitadai Y.b · Ito R.a · Yasui W.a
First Departments of aPathology and bInternal Medicine, Hiroshima University School of Medicine, Hiroshima,Japan
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Hypermethylation of CpG islands in the promoter region is associated with the silencing of a variety of tumor suppressor genes. DNA repair genes human Mut L homologue 1 (hMLH1) and O6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) have been shown to be hypermethylated in certain carcinomas. We studied DNA methylation of CpG islands in hMLH1 and MGMT in 50 gastric carcinomas and 10 intestinal metaplastic mucosa samples. We analyzed the methylation status of hMLH1 and MGMT using methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction and DNA sequencing analysis. We measured protein levels of hMLH1 using Western blot and immunohistochemical analysis. CpG island hypermethylation of hMLH1 and MGMT was detected in 11 (22%) and 8 (16%) of the 50 gastric tumors, respectively. Hypermethylation of the promoter was more common in intestinal-type gastric carcinomas than in poorly diffuse-type gastric carcinomas (p = 0.016 and 0.021, respectively; Fisher’s exact test). However, hMLH1 promoter hypermethylation did not coincide with MGMT promoter hypermethylation except in 1 patient. Hypermethylation of the hMLH1 promoter but not the MGMT promoter occurred in intestinal metaplastic mucosae. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed a corresponding reduction in hMLH1 protein expression in some of the intestinal metaplastic mucosae. Our results suggest that at least two types of promoter methylation participate in the development of gastric carcinoma. Tumor-specific promoter hypermethylation of hMLH1 may be an early event in carcinogenesis in the stomach.
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