Identification of novel DNA methylation markers in cervical cancer

Hung Cheng Lai, Ya Wen Lin, Tim H.M. Huang, Pearlly Yan, Rui Lan Huang, Hui Chen Wang, Joseph Liu, Michael W.Y. Chan, Tang Yuan Chu, Chien An Sun, Cheng Chang, Mu Hsien Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

164 Scopus citations


Testing for DNA methylation has potential in cancer screening. Most previous studies of DNA methylation in cervical cancer used a candidate gene approach. The aim our study was to identify novel genes that are methylated in cervical cancers and to test their potential in clinical applications. We did a differential methylation hybridization using a CpG island (CGI) microarray containing 8640 CGI tags to uncover methylated genes in squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) of the uterine cervix. Pooled DNA from cancer tissues and normal cervical swabs were used for comparison. Methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction, bisulfite sequencing and reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction were used to confirm the methylation status in cell lines, normal cervices (n = 45), low-grade lesions (n = 45), high-grade lesions (HSIL; n = 58) and invasive squamous cell carcinomas (SCC; n = 22 from swabs and n = 109 from tissues). Human papillomavirus (HPV) was detected using reverse line blots. We reported 6 genes (SOX1, PAX1, LMX1A, NKX6-1, WT1 and ONECUT1) more frequently methylated in SCC tissues (81.5, 94.4, 89.9, 80.4, 77.8 and 20.4%, respectively) than in their normal controls (2.2, 0, 6.7, 11.9, 11.1 and 0%, respectively; p < 0.0001). Parallel testing of HPV and PAXl methylation in cervical swabs confers an improved sensitivity than HPV testing alone (80% vs. 66%) without compromising specificity (63% vs. 64%) for HSIL/SCC. Testing PAXl methylation marker alone, the specificity for HSIL/SCC is 99%. The analysis of these novel DNA methylations may be a promising approach for the screening of cervical cancers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-167
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Cervical cancer
  • Epigenetics
  • Hpv
  • Methylation
  • Microarray

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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