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Abstract

Tumor suppressor genes (TSGs) are sometimes inactivated by transcriptional silencing through promoter hypermethylation. To identify novel methylated TSGs in melanoma, we carried out global mRNA expression profiling on a panel of 12 melanoma cell lines treated with a combination of 5-Aza-2-deoxycytidine (5AzadC) and an inhibitor of histone deacetylase, Trichostatin A. Reactivation of gene expression after drug treatment was assessed using Illumina whole-genome microarrays. After qRT-PCR confirmation, we followed up 8 genes (AKAP12, ARHGEF16, ARHGAP27, ENC1, PPP1R3C, PPP1R14C, RARRES1, and TP53INP1) by quantitative DNA methylation analysis using mass spectrometry of base-specific cleaved amplification products in panels of melanoma cell lines and fresh tumors. PPP1R3C, ENC1, RARRES1, and TP53INP1, showed reduced mRNA expression in 35–59% of the melanoma cell lines compared to melanocytes and which was correlated with a high proportion of promoter methylation (>40–60%). The same genes also showed extensive promoter methylation in 6–25% of the tumor samples, thus confirming them as novel candidate TSGs in melanoma. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.