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Abstract

To elucidate the relationship between genomewide DNA hypomethylation and chromosome instability, 55 prostate carcinoma specimens were analyzed for extent of hypomethylation by Southern blot analysis of LINE-1 sequence methylation and for loss or gain of chromosomal material by comparative genomic hybridization. Seventeen (31%) tumors showed strong hypomethylation of DNA, whereas four (7%) displayed slight hypomethylation and the rest of the tumors normal-level methylation. Chromosomal aberrations were observed in 34 carcinomas. The most frequent chromosomal alterations were loss of 13q in 18 cases and aberrations in 8p (loss) or 8q (gain) in 16 cases. The presence of chromosomal loss or gain was significantly associated with the presence of strong hypomethylation. A striking correlation (P = 0.00001) was observed between aberrations on chromosome 8 and hypomethylation, whereas no association was seen between DNA hypomethylation and loss of 13q. The association between DNA hypomethylation and the presence of metastases was statistically significant (P = 0.044), and both chromosomal alterations and DNA hypomethylation tended to be more frequent in higher-stage tumors. In conclusion, the data indicate that hypomethylation is associated with chromosomal instability in prostate cancer. Specifically, a surprisingly strong association between alterations on chromosome 8 and genomewide hypomethylation was found. This association suggests that DNA hypomethylation and alterations in chromosome 8 may be mechanistically linked to each other in prostate carcinoma. © 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.