Frequent DNA methylation changes in cancerous and noncancerous lung tissues from smokers with non-small cell lung cancer
Cancer deaths account for nearly 10 million deaths worldwide each year, with lung cancer (LCa) as the leading cause of cancer-related death. Smoking is one of the major LCa risk factors, and tobacco-related carcinogens are potent mutagens and epi-mutagens. In the present study, we aimed to analyse smoking-related epigenetic changes in lung tissues from LCa cases. The study cohort consisted of paired LCa and noncancerous lung tissues (NLT) from 104 patients, 90 of whom were smokers or ex-smokers
... (i.e. ever smokers) at the time of diagnosis. DNA methylation status of tumour suppressor genes DAPK1, MGMT, p16, RASSF1 and RARB was screened by means of methylation-specific PCR (MSP) and further analysed quantitatively by pyrosequencing. Methylation of at least one gene was detected in 59% (61 of 104) of LCa samples and in 39% (41 of 104) of NLT. DAPK1 and RASSF1 were more frequently methylated in LCa than in NLT (P = 0.022 and P = 0.041, respectively). The levels of DNA methylation were higher in LCa than NLT at most of the analysed CpG positions. More frequent methylation of at least one gene was observed in LCa samples of ever smokers (63%, 57 of 90) as compared with never smokers (36%, 5 of 14; P = 0.019). In the ever smokers group, methylation of the genes also occurred in NLT, but was rare or absent in the samples of never smokers. Among the current smokers, RASSF1 methylation in LCa showed association with the number of cigarettes smoked per day (P = 0.017), whereas in NLT it was positively associated with the duration of smoking (P = 0.039). Similarly, p16 methylation in LCa of current smokers correlated with the larger number of cigarettes smoked per day (P = 0.047). Overall, DNA methylation changes were present in both cancerous and noncancerous tissues of LCa patients and showed associations with smoking-related parameters.