Published online Aug 7, 2014. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v20.i29.10050
Revised: March 1, 2014
Accepted: April 21, 2014
Published online: August 7, 2014
AIM: To investigate insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF2) differentially methylated region (DMR)0 hypomethylation in relation to clinicopathological and molecular features in colorectal serrated lesions.
METHODS: To accurately analyze the association between the histological types and molecular features of each type of serrated lesion, we consecutively collected 1386 formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue specimens that comprised all histological types [hyperplastic polyps (HPs, n = 121), sessile serrated adenomas (SSAs, n = 132), traditional serrated adenomas (TSAs, n = 111), non-serrated adenomas (n = 195), and colorectal cancers (CRCs, n = 827)]. We evaluated the methylation levels of IGF2 DMR0 and long interspersed nucleotide element-1 (LINE-1) in HPs (n = 115), SSAs (n = 120), SSAs with cytological dysplasia (n = 10), TSAs (n = 91), TSAs with high-grade dysplasia (HGD) (n = 15), non-serrated adenomas (n = 80), non-serrated adenomas with HGD (n = 105), and CRCs (n = 794). For the accurate quantification of the relative methylation levels (scale 0%-100%) of IGF2 DMR0 and LINE-1, we used bisulfite pyrosequencing method. Tumor specimens were analyzed for microsatellite instability, KRAS (codons 12 and 13), BRAF (V600E), and PIK3CA (exons 9 and 20) mutations; MLH1 and MGMT methylation; and IGF2 expression by immunohistochemistry.
RESULTS: The distribution of the IGF2 DMR0 methylation level in 351 serrated lesions and 185 non-serrated adenomas (with or without HGD) was as follows: mean 61.7, median 62.5, SD 18.0, range 5.0-99.0, interquartile range 49.5-74.4. The IGF2 DMR0 methylation level was divided into quartiles (Q1 ≥ 74.5, Q2 62.6-74.4, Q3 49.6-62.5, Q4 ≤ 49.5) for further analysis. With regard to the histological type, the IGF2 DMR0 methylation levels of SSAs (mean ± SD, 73.1 ± 12.3) were significantly higher than those of HPs (61.9 ± 20.5), TSAs (61.6 ± 19.6), and non-serrated adenomas (59.0 ± 15.8) (P < 0.0001). The IGF2 DMR0 methylation level was inversely correlated with the IGF2 expression level (r = -0.21, P = 0.0051). IGF2 DMR0 hypomethylation was less frequently detected in SSAs compared with HPs, TSAs, and non-serrated adenomas (P < 0.0001). Multivariate logistic regression analysis also showed that IGF2 DMR0 hypomethylation was inversely associated with SSAs (P < 0.0001). The methylation levels of IGF2 DMR0 and LINE-1 in TSAs with HGD (50.2 ± 18.7 and 55.7 ± 5.4, respectively) were significantly lower than those in TSAs (61.6 ± 19.6 and 58.8 ± 4.7, respectively) (IGF2 DMR0, P = 0.038; LINE-1, P = 0.024).
CONCLUSION: IGF2 DMR0 hypomethylation may be an infrequent epigenetic alteration in the SSA pathway. Hypomethylation of IGF2 DMR0 and LINE-1 may play a role in TSA pathway progression.
Core tip: The serrated pathway attracts considerable attention as an alternative colorectal cancer (CRC) pathway. We previously reported the association of insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF2) differentially methylated region (DMR)0 hypomethylation with prognosis and its link to LINE-1 hypomethylation in CRC; however, there have been no studies describing its role in the serrated pathway. Therefore, we evaluated the methylation levels of IGF2 DMR0 and long interspersed nucleotide element-1 (LINE-1) in 351 serrated lesions and 185 non-serrated adenomas. Our results suggest that the IGF2 DMR0 may be an infrequent epigenetic alteration in the sessile serrated adenoma pathway. Moreover, we found that the hypomethylation of IGF2 DMR0 and LINE-1 may play an important role in the progression of traditional serrated adenoma.