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 29, 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 29, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) — Aimed at reducing sexual assaults on college campuses, California has adopted a new law changing the standard of consent for sexual activity. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists May Have Found An Early Sign Of Pancreatic Cancer

Scientists May Have Found An Early Sign Of Pancreatic Cancer

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) — Researchers looked at 1,500 blood samples and determined people who developed pancreatic cancer had more branched chain amino acids. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Is Big Tobacco Voluntarily Warning You About E-Cigs?

Why Is Big Tobacco Voluntarily Warning You About E-Cigs?

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) — Big tobacco companies are voluntarily printing health warnings on their e-cigarette packages — a move some are calling part of a PR strategy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Pediatricians Endorse IUDs, Implants For Teens

Why Pediatricians Endorse IUDs, Implants For Teens

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) — New recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics point to intrauterine devices and implants as good forms of birth control for teens. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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