Epigenetic alterations of gene expression are important in the development of cancer. In this study, we identified genes which are epigenetically altered in major lymphoma types. We used DNA microarray technology to assess changes in gene expression after treatment of 11 lymphoma cell lines with epigenetic drugs. We identified 233 genes with upregulated expression in treated cell lines and with downregulated expression in B-cell lymphoma patient samples (n = 480) when compared to normal B cells (n = 5). The top 30 genes were further analyzed by methylation specific PCR (MSP) in 18 lymphoma cell lines. Seven of the genes were methylated in more than 70% of the cell lines and were further subjected to quantitative MSP in 37 B-cell lymphoma patient samples (diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (activated B-cell like and germinal center B-cell like subtypes), follicular lymphoma and Burkitt`s lymphoma) and normal B lymphocytes from 10 healthy donors. The promoters of DSP, FZD8, KCNH2, and PPP1R14A were methylated in 28%, 67%, 22%, and 78% of the 36 tumor samples, respectively, but not in control samples. Validation using a second series of healthy donor controls (n = 42; normal B cells, peripheral blood mononuclear cells, bone marrow, tonsils and follicular hyperplasia) and fresh-frozen lymphoma biopsies (n = 25), confirmed the results. The DNA methylation biomarker panel consisting of DSP, FZD8, KCNH2, and PPP1R14A was positive in 89% (54/61) of all lymphomas. Receiver operating characteristic analysis to determine the discriminative power between lymphoma and healthy control samples showed a c-statistic of 0.96, indicating a possible role for the biomarker panel in monitoring of lymphoma patients.
Bethge, N., Honne, H., Hilden, V., Treøn, G., Eknsæ, M., Liestlø, K., … Lind, G. E. (2013). Identification of highly methylated genes across various types of B-cell non-hodgkin lymphoma. PLoS ONE, 8(11). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0079602