Aberrant PTPRO methylation in tumor tissues as a potential biomarker that predicts clinical outcomes in breast cancer patients
1 Department of Breast Surgery, Bao’an Maternal and Child Health Hospital, Shenzhen, People’s Republic of China
2 TCM-Integrated Cancer Center of Southern Medical University, 510515 Guangzhou, People’s Republic of China
3 Department of Women’s Health, Bao’an Maternal and Child Health Hospital, Shenzhen, People’s Republic of China
4 Central Lab, Bao’an Maternal and Child Health Hospital, Shenzhen, People’s Republic of China
5 Department of Breast Surgery, ShenZhen Maternal and Child Health Hospital, Shenzhen, People’s Republic of China
BMC Genetics 2014, 15:67 doi:10.1186/1471-2156-15-67Published: 11 June 2014
Aberrant hypermethylation of gene promoter regions is a primary mechanism by which tumor suppressor genes become inactivated in breast cancer. Epigenetic inactivation of the protein tyrosine phosphatase receptor-type O gene (PTPRO) has been described in several types of cancer.
We screened primary breast cancer tissues for PTPRO promoter hypermethylation and assessed potential associations with pathological features and patient outcome. We also evaluated its potential as a breast cancer biomarker. PTPRO methylation was observed in 53 of 98 (54%) breast cancer tissues but not in adjacent normal tissue. Among matched peripheral blood samples from breast cancer patients, 33 of 98 (34%) exhibited methylated PTPRO in plasma. In contrast, no methylated PTPRO was observed in normal peripheral blood from 30 healthy individuals. PTPRO methylation was positively associated with lymph node involvement (P = 0.014), poorly differentiated histology (P = 0.037), depth of invasion (P = 0.004), and HER2 amplification (P = 0.001). Multivariate analysis indicated that aberrant PTPRO methylation could serve as an independent predictor for overall survival hazard ratio (HR): 2.7; 95% CI: 1.1-6.2; P = 0.023), especially for patients with HER2-positive (hazard ratio (HR): 7.5; 95% CI: 1.8-31.3; P = 0.006), but not in ER + and PR + subpopulation. In addition, demethylation induced by 5-azacytidine led to gene reactivation in PTPRO-methylated and -silenced breast cancer cell lines.
Here, we report that tumor PTPRO methylation is a strong prognostic factor in breast cancer. Methylation of PTPRO silences its expression and plays an important role in breast carcinogenesis. The data we present here may provide insight into the development of novel therapies for breast cancer treatment. Additionally, detection of PTPRO methylation in peripheral blood of breast cancer patients may provide a noninvasive means to diagnose and monitor the disease.