Soft tissue sarcomas (STSs) are a rare and fascinating group of diseases that can be subdivided into specific reciprocal translocations in STSs (SRTSs) and nonspecific reciprocal translocations in STSs (NRTSs). PTEN mutations are rare in STSs, suggesting that PTEN expression may be lost by alternative mechanisms such as methylation. In order to reveal whether aberrant PTEN methylation occurs in STSs, MassARRAY Spectrometry was carried to detect methylation patterns of PTEN in STSs. We evaluated methylation levels in 41 CpG sites from -2,515 to -2,186 bp (amplicon A) and -1,786 to -1,416 bp (amplicon B) relative to the translation initiation site in 110 different cases (46 cases of SRTSs, 40 cases of NRTSs, and 24 cases of normal controls). In addition, immunohistochemistry (IHC) was used to detect the loss of PTEN to determine whether PTEN alterations were responsible for decreased PTEN expression. Our data showed that expression of PTEN was diminished in 49 (57%) STSs, whereas the remaining cases (43%) were classified as high expression. Our previous results found that only 2 of 86 cases (2.3%) had a PTEN mutation suggesting that PTEN may be mainly downregulated in STSs by methylation, but not by mutation of PTEN itself. We observed that amplicon A was hypermethylated in STSs with low PTEN expression, whereas normal controls had low methylation levels (P<0.0001), which was not present in amplicon B (P>0.05), nor were there significant differences in the methylation levels in PTEN between SRTS and NRTS cases. The majority of individual CpG units within two amplicons was demonstrated to be hypermethylated. These findings indicate that PTEN hypermethylation is a common event in STSs suggesting that the inactivation of PTEN may be due to hypermethylation in the promoter of PTEN. The aberrant methylation of the CpG sites within PTEN promoter may serve as a potential candidate biomarker for STSs. © 2013 Yin et al.
Yin, L., Cai, W. J., Liu, C. X., Chen, Y. Z., Hu, J. M., Jiang, J. F., … Li, F. (2013). Analysis of PTEN Methylation Patterns in Soft Tissue Sarcomas by MassARRAY Spectrometry. PLoS ONE, 8(5). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0062971