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Keywords:

  • hypermethylation;
  • NSCLC;
  • RGC32;
  • MSP;
  • overall survival

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Epigenetic inactivation of certain genes by aberrant promoter methylation is recognized as a crucial component in the initiation and progression of lung cancer. Response gene to complement 32 (RGC32) has been identified as a cell cycle regulator induced by activation of complements; however, its role in carcinogenesis is still controversial.

METHODS:

The authors examined the methylation status in the promoter region of RGC32 gene in nonsmall cell lung cancers (NSCLCs) using a methylation-specific PCR and correlated the results with clinicopathological features.

RESULTS:

RGC32 methylation was found in 45 of 173 NSCLCs (26.0%) and was related to the gene expression. RGC32 methylation was more frequent in females than in males (P<0.05). RGC32 methylation was not significantly associated with the prognosis of patients; however, when the patients were categorized by TP53 mutational status, the effect of RGC32 methylation on prognosis was significantly different between those with and without TP53 mutations (P = .005 [test for homogeneity]). Specifically, RGC32 methylation was associated with significantly worse survival in the cases with wild-type TP53, whereas it exhibited a better survival outcome in the cases with TP53 mutations.

CONCLUSIONS:

The current findings suggest that methylation-associated down-regulation of RGC32 plays an important role in the pathogenesis of NSCLC, particularly in females. However, further studies with a large number of cases are needed to confirm the authors' findings. Cancer 2011. © 2010 American Cancer Society.