In order to assess whether N-Myc downstream regulated gene 4 (NDRG4) methylation was associated with the diagnosis and prognosis of gastric cancer, we measured the methylation of NDRG4 promoter and gene body regions among 110 gastric cancer patients using quantitative methods (MethyLight and pyrosequencing). Both NDRG4 promoter and gene body methylation levels were increased in tumor tissues than paired adjacent normal tissues (P < 0.001). NDRG4 gene body methylation was found to be significantly associated with age and tumor differentiation. NDRG4 promoter hypermethylation was proved to be a predictor of poor overall survival. However, opposite result was observed among The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) cohort. The findings from gastric cell lines and public databases have suggested that NDRG4 methylation level was inversely associated with NDRG4 transcription level. Subsequent luciferase reporter gene assay showed that promoter CpG island but not gene body CpG island was able to upregulate gene expression. Collectively, NDRG4 promoter hypermethylation contributed to the risk of gastric cancer and predicted a poor prognosis in Chinese gastric cancer patients. Moreover, the combined methylation levels of NDRG4 promoter and gene body served as diagnostic biomarkers in gastric cancer.
Chen, X., Yang, Y., Liu, J., Li, B., Xu, Y., Li, C., … Duan, S. (2017). NDRG4 hypermethylation is a potential biomarker for diagnosis and prognosis of gastric cancer in Chinese population. Oncotarget, 8(5), 8105–8119. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.14099