Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Epigenetic silencing of tumor suppressor promotes endometrial cancer

Date:
November 12, 2013
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
A study published this week suggests that epigenetic modification of the HAND2 gene plays a critical role in the development of endometrial cancer. HAND2 is active in the healthy endometrium (the tissue lining the uterus) where it antagonizes the growth-inducing effects of estrogen. By contrast, in more than 90 percent of endometrial cancers, the gene has undergone hypermethylation, an epigenetic modification that doesn't change its DNA sequence but renders it inactive.

A study published this week in PLOS Medicine suggests that epigenetic modification of the HAND2 gene plays a critical role in the development of endometrial cancer. HAND2 is active in the healthy endometrium (the tissue lining the uterus) where it antagonizes the growth-inducing effects of estrogen. By contrast, in more than 90% of endometrial cancers, the gene has undergone hypermethylation, an epigenetic modification that doesn't change its DNA sequence but renders it inactive.

Martin Widschwendter from the University College London Women's Cancer Department and colleagues, the authors of the work, systematically compared methylation patterns in endometrial cancers and normal endometrium. Using a new bioinformatics tool, they identified HAND2 as a differential methylation hotspot in endometrial cancer. By comparing with other already known factors, HAND2 methylation is by far the most common molecular alteration in endometrial cancer.

The researchers found that HAND2 methylation is already increased in premalignant endometrial lesions (cancer-prone, abnormal-looking tissue) compared to normal endometrium, and that a high level of methylation predicted a poor response to progesterone treatment (which stops the growth of some pre-cancerous endometrial lesions).

Moreover, analysis of HAND2 methylation in endometrial secretions collected from women with postmenopausal bleeding (which can be a symptom of endometrial cancer) accurately identified individuals with early stage cancer. Finally, mice in which the Hand2 gene was specifically deleted in the endometrium developed precancerous endometrial lesions with age. Widschwendter, who led the study, said: "Our work provides clear evidence that it is not only genetic alterations which trigger and lead to cancer but that epigenetic alteration can also be the initiating step." Endometrial cancer is the most common gynecological cancer, and its incidence is continuing to rise in an older and more obese population. The authors suggest that HAND2 methylation "could be applied to triage women who present with postmenopausal bleeding (currently ~90% of women who present with this symptom and are cancer-free must undergo endometrial biopsy for a definitive diagnosis) and could be further employed as a test to early detect or even predict the risk for endometrial cancer and response to preventative treatment."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Allison Jones, Andrew E. Teschendorff, Quanxi Li, Jane D. Hayward, Athilakshmi Kannan, Tim Mould, James West, Michal Zikan, David Cibula, Heidi Fiegl, Shih-Han Lee, Elisabeth Wik, Richard Hadwin, Rupali Arora, Charlotte Lemech, Henna Turunen, Päivi Pakarinen, Ian J. Jacobs, Helga B. Salvesen, Milan K. Bagchi, Indrani C. Bagchi, Martin Widschwendter. Role of DNA Methylation and Epigenetic Silencing of HAND2 in Endometrial Cancer Development. PLoS Medicine, 2013; 10 (11): e1001551 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1001551

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Epigenetic silencing of tumor suppressor promotes endometrial cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131112200629.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2013, November 12). Epigenetic silencing of tumor suppressor promotes endometrial cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131112200629.htm
Public Library of Science. "Epigenetic silencing of tumor suppressor promotes endometrial cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131112200629.htm (accessed September 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) — Doctors once thought artificial sweeteners lacked the health risks of sugar, but a new study says they can impact blood sugar levels the same way. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Vaccine Trial Gets Underway at Oxford University

Ebola Vaccine Trial Gets Underway at Oxford University

AFP (Sep. 17, 2014) — A healthy British volunteer is to become the first person to receive a new vaccine for the Ebola virus after US President Barack Obama called for action against the epidemic and warned it was "spiralling out of control." Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) — Researchers are puzzled as to why obesity rates remain relatively stable as average waistlines continue to expand. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) — President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins