• E-cadherin;
  • Connexin26;
  • choline-deficient L-Amino Acid defined diet;
  • hepatocellular carcinoma;
  • rat


We investigated DNA methylation patterns of E-cadherin and Connexin26 (Cx26) genes in rat hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs) induced by a choline-deficient L-Amino Acid-defined (CDAA) diet. Six-wks-old F344 male rats were continuously fed with a CDAA diet for 75 wks, and were then killed. A total of five HCCs were obtained, and genomic DNA was extracted from each HCC for assessment of methylation status in the 5′ upstream regions of E-cadherin and Cx26 genes by bisulfite sequencing, comparing to two normal liver tissues. The five HCCs showed highly methylated E-cadherin and Cx26 genes, while these genes in two normal liver tissues were all unmethylated. For analysis of gene expression, real-time quantitative reverse transcription (RT)-polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was performed. Expressions of E-cadherin and Cx26 genes were significantly reduced in the five HCCs (P < 0.0001 and P < 0.001, respectively) compared to normal liver tissues, correlating with their methylation statuses. These results suggested that hypermethylation of E-cadherin and Cx26 genes may be involved in the development of HCCs induced by a CDAA diet in rats. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.