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Lukasz Krakowczyk, Slawomir Blamek, Joanna Katarzyna Strzelczyk, Anna Plachetka, Adam Maciejewski, Stanislaw Połtorak, Andrzej Wiczkowski
Med Sci Monit 2010; 16(10): CR469-474
Background: Colorectal cancer, one of the most aggressive cancers, occurs with a high incidence world-wide. Cancer development and progression is dictated by a series of alterations in a number genes, e.g., tumor suppressor genes, DNA repair genes, oncogenes and others. DNA methylation is an epigenetic modification that is profoundly altered in most cancers. Radiation is a well-known genotoxic agent and human carcinogen that gives rise to a variety of long-term effects. The inheritance of genomic instability suggests the possible involvement of epigenetic mechanisms, such as changes in methylation of the cytosine residues located within CpG dinucleotides. In the current study we evaluated the effect of X-ray irradiation on methylation levels of p16, MGMT and APC genes in colorectal cancers and normal colonic mucosa.
Material/Methods: Fresh tissue samples were obtained from 28 patients (ages 26 to 81 years) with primary colorectal adenocarcinoma and corresponding normal tissues. We used methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction (MSP) for analysis of the methylation status of p16, MGMT, APC1A and APC1B genes.
Results: Methylation of p16, MGMT, APC1A and APC1B was detected in 42%, 67%, 42% and 20% of tumors before X-ray irradiation and in 63%, 56%, 25% and 31% after radiotherapy, respectively. In corresponding normal colonic mucosa, methylation of p16, MGMT and APC1A was detected in 17%, 25% and 8% before and in 19%, 31% and 6% after irradiation, respectively.
Conclusions: Differences between groups, although noticeable, did not reach the level of statistical significance.