CpG island arrays: An application toward deciphering epigenetic signatures of breast cancer

Pearlly S. Yan, Martin R. Perry, Douglas E. Laux, Adam L. Asare, Charles W. Caldwell, Tim Hui Ming Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

131 Scopus citations


CpG island hypermethylation is a frequent epigenetic event in cancer. We have recently developed an array-based method, called differential methylation hybridization (DMH), allowing for a genome-wide screening of CpG island hypermethylation in breast cancer cell lines (T. H-M. Huang et al., Hum. Mol. Genet., 8: 459-470, 1999). In the present study, DMH was applied to screen 28 paired primary breast tumor and normal samples and to determine whether patterns of specific epigenetic alterations correlate with pathological parameters in the patients analyzed. Amplicons, representing a pool of methylated CpG DNA derived from these samples, were used as hybridization probes in an array panel containing 1104 CpG island tags. Close to 9% of these tags exhibited extensive hypermethylation in the majority of breast tumors relative to their normal controls, whereas others had little or no detectable changes. Pattern analysis in a subset of CpG island tags revealed that CpG island hypermethylation is associated with histological grades of breast tumors. Poorly differentiated tumors appeared to exhibit more hypermethylated CpG islands than their moderately or well-differentiated counterparts (P = 0.041). This early finding lays the groundwork for a population-based DMH study and demonstrates the need to develop a database for examining large-scale methylation data and for associating specific epigenetic signatures with clinical parameters in breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1432-1438
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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