Purpose: In lung cancer, DNA hypermethylation is known to be a common event. Experimental Design: Gene expression and methylation status of GATA-4, GATA-5, and GATA-6 were analyzed with cell lines and primary human lung cancers. Methylation profiles of primary lung cancers were analyzed and correlated with clinical as well as histopathological data. Results: Complete methylation was detected by methylation-specific PCR for both GATA-4 and GATA-5 in four cell lines (H358, DMS-53, A549, and H1299), all of which had no expression by reverse transcription-PCR analysis. Demethylation with 5-aza-2′deoxycytidine restored expression in each case. GATA-6 was ubiquitously expressed in all of the six cell lines. GATA-4 bisulfite sequencing revealed complete methylation of the GATA-4 promoter in H358 cells, correlating well with its lack of expression at the mRNA level. Only a few CpG sites showed methylation by bisulfite sequencing within the GATA-4 promoter in a cell line that expressed the gene. In 63 cases of primary lung cancers, GATA-4 and GATA-5 promoter methylation was detected in (42 of 63) 67% and (26 of 63) 41%, respectively. GATA-6 remained unmethylated both in cell lines and primary tumors. Six autopsy specimens of normal lung tissue showed no aberrant promoter hypermethylation for the GATA genes. Correlation of concomitant GATA-4 and GATA-5 methylation with clinicopathological parameters only found a statistically significant increase in methylation frequency with increasing patient age (P < 0.001). Conclusions: These epigenetic changes in the GATA genes in lung cancer are tumor-specific, relate to the loss of GATA gene expression, and occur increasingly in the elderly.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research