E-cadherin expression is silenced by DNA hypermethylation in human breast and prostate carcinomas

J R Graff, J G Herman, R G Lapidus, H Chopra, R Xu, D F Jarrard, W B Isaacs, P M Pitha, N E Davidson, S B Baylin
1995 Cancer Research  
Expression of the Ca(2+)-dependent, homotypic cell:cell adhesion molecule, E-cadherin (E-cad), suppresses tumor cell invasion and metastasis in experimental tumor models. Decreased E-cad expression is common in poorly differentiated, advanced-stage carcinomas. These data implicate E-cad as an "invasion suppressor" gene. The mechanism by which E-cad is silenced in advanced stage carcinomas is unclear. In this report, we show that: (a) the 5' CpG island of E-cad is densely methylated in
more » ... tive breast and prostate carcinoma cell lines and primary breast carcinoma tissue but is unmethylated in normal breast tissue; (b) treatment with the demethylating agent, 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine, partially restores E-cad RNA and protein levels in E-cad-negative breast and prostate carcinoma cell lines; and (c) and E-cad promoter/CAT construct is expressed in both E-cad-positive and -negative breast and prostate carcinoma cell lines, indicating that these cells have the active transcriptional machinery necessary for E-cad expression. Our data demonstrate that frequent loss of E-cad expression in human breast and prostate carcinomas results from hypermethylation of the E-cad promoter region.
pmid:7585573 fatcat:5dcha6tfwvhy5eaeye76pjdn2m