Characteristic patterns of altered DNA methylation predict emergence of human hepatocellular carcinoma

Naoshi Nishida, Masatoshi Kudo, Takeshi Nagasaka, Iwao Ikai, Ajay Goel


132 被引用数 (Scopus)


We aimed to identify the specific subset of tumor suppressor genes (TSGs) that are methylation-silenced during the earliest steps of hepatocarcinogenesis, and to further evaluate whether these genes can serve as predictive biomarkers of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) emergence. A total of 482 liver tissues including 177 pairs of HCCs and matched nontumor livers and 128 liver biopsies from chronic hepatitis C (CHC) patients were analyzed for quantitative methylation analysis in 24 TSG promoters and three MINT loci. The tumors were classified as early, less-progressed, and highly progressed HCCs using histology and radiological approaches. A subset of TSGs that harbored distinctly high levels of methylation in early HCCs were selected. Based on the methylation profiles of these genes, Kaplan-Meier analyses were performed to determine time-to-HCC occurrence in CHC patients. Subsequently, multivariate analysis was performed using age, gender, fibrosis stage, and number of methylated TSGs as covariates. Among TSGs analyzed, a subset of eight TSGs (HIC1, GSTP1, SOCS1, RASSF1, CDKN2A, APC, RUNX3, and PRDM2) demonstrated a distinct cluster by hierarchical clustering and receiver operating characteristic analyses. This subset of TSGs showed significantly higher methylation levels in the early HCCs (P < 0.0001). In the CHC patients, methylation frequencies in these TSGs were associated with shorter time-to-HCC occurrence (P < 0.0001), and number of methylated genes was an independent risk factor for HCC (hazard ratio = 5.21, 95% confidence interval = 2.25-11.76, P = 0.0002). Conclusion: Epigenetic inactivation of a subset of TSGs plays a critical role in the earliest steps of hepatocarcinogenesis. Furthermore, epigenetic inactivation of these genes in CHC provides a prognostic value for determining the risk for developing HCC later in life.

出版ステータスPublished - 9月 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • 肝臓学


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