Research Papers:

Large-scale DNA methylation expression analysis across 12 solid cancers reveals hypermethylation in the calcium-signaling pathway

Xiao-Xiong Wang _, Fu-Hui Xiao, Qi-Gang Li, Jia Liu, Qing-Peng Kong and Yong-Han He

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:11868-11876. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.14417

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Xiao-Xiong Wang1,2, Fu-Hui Xiao1,2, Qi-Gang Li1, Jia Liu1, Yong-Han He1, Qing-Peng Kong1

1State Key Laboratory of Genetic Resources and Evolution, Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650223, China

2Kunming College of Life Science, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650204, China

Correspondence to:

Qing-Peng Kong, email: [email protected]

Yong-Han He, email: [email protected]

Keywords: DNA methylation, gene expression, pan-cancer, calcium-signaling pathway

Received: July 15, 2016     Accepted: December 16, 2016     Published: January 02, 2017


Tumorigenesis is linked to the role of DNA methylation in gene expression regulation. Yet, cancer is a highly heterogeneous disease in which the global pattern of DNA methylation and gene expression, especially across diverse cancers, is not well understood. We investigated DNA methylation status and its association with gene expressions across 12 solid cancer types obtained from The Cancer Genome Atlas. Results showed that global hypermethylation was an important characteristic across all 12 cancer types. Moreover, there were more epigenetically silenced than epigenetically activated genes across the cancers. Further analysis identified epigenetically silenced genes shared in the calcium-signaling pathway across the different cancer types. Reversing the aberrant DNA methylation of genes involved in the calcium-signaling pathway could be an effective strategy for suppressing cancers and developing anti-cancer drugs.

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PII: 14417