Correlation of <it>SHOX2 </it>Gene Amplification and DNA Methylation in Lung Cancer Tumors

BMC Cancer. 2011;11(1):102 DOI 10.1186/1471-2407-11-102


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Journal Title: BMC Cancer

ISSN: 1471-2407 (Online)

Publisher: BMC

LCC Subject Category: Medicine: Internal medicine: Neoplasms. Tumors. Oncology. Including cancer and carcinogens

Country of publisher: United Kingdom

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF, HTML



Liebenberg Volker
Weickmann Sabine
Vossenaar Erik R
Schäper Frank
Stapert Henk R
Merk Johannes
Leschber Gunda
Fleischhacker Michael
Dietrich Dimo
Schneider Katja U
Kneip Christoph
Seegebarth Anke
Erdogan Fikret
Rappold Gudrun
Schmidt Bernd


Open peer review

Editorial Board

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Time From Submission to Publication: 19 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

<p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>DNA methylation in the <it>SHOX2 </it>locus was previously used to reliably detect lung cancer in a group of critical controls, including 'cytologically negative' samples with no visible tumor cell content, at a high specificity based on the analysis of bronchial lavage samples. This study aimed to investigate, if the methylation correlates with <it>SHOX2 </it>gene expression and/or copy number alterations. An amplification of the <it>SHOX2 </it>gene locus together with the observed tumor-specific hypermethylation might explain the good performance of this marker in bronchial lavage samples.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p><it>SHOX2 </it>expression, gene copy number and DNA methylation were determined in lung tumor tissues and matched morphologically normal adjacent tissues (NAT) from 55 lung cancer patients. Quantitative HeavyMethyl (HM) real-time PCR was used to detect <it>SHOX2 </it>DNA methylation levels. <it>SHOX2 </it>expression was assayed with quantitative real-time PCR, and copy numbers alterations were measured with conventional real-time PCR and array CGH.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>A hypermethylation of the <it>SHOX2 </it>locus in tumor tissue as compared to the matched NAT from the same patient was detected in 96% of tumors from a group of 55 lung cancer patients. This correlated highly significantly with the frequent occurrence of copy number amplification (p < 0.0001), while the expression of the <it>SHOX2 </it>gene showed no difference.</p> <p>Conclusions</p> <p>Frequent gene amplification correlated with hypermethylation of the <it>SHOX2 </it>gene locus. This concerted effect qualifies <it>SHOX2 </it>DNA methylation as a biomarker for lung cancer diagnosis, especially when sensitive detection is needed, i.e. in bronchial lavage or blood samples.</p>