Focal CpG island hypermethylation and diffuse genomic hypomethylation signify the changes in the DNA methylation status in cancer cells. ALU and LINE-1 repetitive DNA elements comprise ∼28% of the human genome. PCR-based measurements of these repetitive DNA elements can be used as a surrogate marker of the genomewide methylation content. Our study aimed to identify the timing of ALU and LINE-1 hypomethylations during multistep gastric carcinogenesis and their prognostic implications in gastric cancer (GC). In our study, we analyzed the methylation statuses of ALU and LINE-1 in 249 cases of gastric biopsy samples and another independent set of 198 cases of advanced GC by pyrosequencing. Regardless of the Helicobacter pylori infection status, a significant decrease in the ALU methylation levels was noted during the transitions from chronic gastritis to intestinal metaplasia and from gastric adenoma to GC. LINE-1 methylation decreased during the transition from intestinal metaplasia to gastric adenoma and no further decrease occurred during the transition from gastric adenoma to GC. A low LINE-1 methylation status was strongly associated with poor prognosis in GC. A multivariate analysis revealed that LINE-1 methylation status was an independent prognostic factor. Our findings suggest that ALU and LINE-1 hypomethylations are early events during multistep gastric carcinogenesis. Furthermore, the LINE-1 methylation status can be used as a molecular biomarker to define a subset of GC patients with poor prognosis.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research