Epigenetic DNA methylations plays an important role in oral carcinogenesis. The soluble frizzled receptor protein (SFRP) family together with WIF-1 and DKK-3 encodes antagonists of the WNT pathway. Silencing of these genes leads to constitutive WNT signalling. Because aberrant expression of ß-catenin might be associated with the epigenetic inactivation of WNT inhibitors, we analyzed, in a collection of primary OSCC with matched normal oral mucosa, the methylation status of a complete panel of genes, SFRP-1, SFRP-2, SFRP-4, SFRP-5, WIF-1, DKK-3, that are involved directly and indirectly in WNT pathway, in order to demonstrate WNT-pathway activation in the absence of ß-catenin and/or APC/Axin mutations during oral carcinogenesis. Methylation-specific PCR (MSP) was performed to study inactivation of SFRP-1, SFRP-2, SFRP-4, SFRP-5, WIF-1, DKK-3 genes in 37 cases of paraffin embedded oral cancer. This study showed that the methylation is an important epigenetic alteration in oral cancer. In particular, SFRP-2, SFRP-4, SFRP-5, WIF-1, DKK-3 revealed methylation status of their promoter in OSCC, whereas SFRP-1 showed emethylation in cancer. Fisher's exact test revealed statistically significant results (p<0.05) for all genes. The Wald test confirmed the statistically significant association between SFRP2-4-5 gene methylation and OSCC (p<0.05). SFRP-1 was also characterized by a different statistically significant epigenetic behaviour, because of it was demethylated in cancer (p<0.05). Statistical regression test showed high levels of sensitivity, specificity and accuracy for SFRP genes, while WIF-1 and DKK-3 have reportedly high specificity, moderate accuracy but low sensitivity. This study suggests that a cause of catenin delocalization in oral cancer could be due to WNT pathway activation, by epigenetic alterations of SFRP, WIF-1 and DKK-3 genes.

WNT pathway in oral cancer: Epigenetic inactivation of WNT-inhibitors

PANNONE, GIUSEPPE;BUFO, PANTALEO;CAFARELLI, BARBARA;LO MUZIO, LORENZO
2010

Abstract

Epigenetic DNA methylations plays an important role in oral carcinogenesis. The soluble frizzled receptor protein (SFRP) family together with WIF-1 and DKK-3 encodes antagonists of the WNT pathway. Silencing of these genes leads to constitutive WNT signalling. Because aberrant expression of ß-catenin might be associated with the epigenetic inactivation of WNT inhibitors, we analyzed, in a collection of primary OSCC with matched normal oral mucosa, the methylation status of a complete panel of genes, SFRP-1, SFRP-2, SFRP-4, SFRP-5, WIF-1, DKK-3, that are involved directly and indirectly in WNT pathway, in order to demonstrate WNT-pathway activation in the absence of ß-catenin and/or APC/Axin mutations during oral carcinogenesis. Methylation-specific PCR (MSP) was performed to study inactivation of SFRP-1, SFRP-2, SFRP-4, SFRP-5, WIF-1, DKK-3 genes in 37 cases of paraffin embedded oral cancer. This study showed that the methylation is an important epigenetic alteration in oral cancer. In particular, SFRP-2, SFRP-4, SFRP-5, WIF-1, DKK-3 revealed methylation status of their promoter in OSCC, whereas SFRP-1 showed emethylation in cancer. Fisher's exact test revealed statistically significant results (p<0.05) for all genes. The Wald test confirmed the statistically significant association between SFRP2-4-5 gene methylation and OSCC (p<0.05). SFRP-1 was also characterized by a different statistically significant epigenetic behaviour, because of it was demethylated in cancer (p<0.05). Statistical regression test showed high levels of sensitivity, specificity and accuracy for SFRP genes, while WIF-1 and DKK-3 have reportedly high specificity, moderate accuracy but low sensitivity. This study suggests that a cause of catenin delocalization in oral cancer could be due to WNT pathway activation, by epigenetic alterations of SFRP, WIF-1 and DKK-3 genes.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11369/8232
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