Research Papers:

Decrease of 5hmC in gastric cancers is associated with TET1 silencing due to with DNA methylation and bivalent histone marks at TET1 CpG island 3′-shore

Jong-Lyul Park, Hee-Jin Kim, Eun-Hye Seo, Oh-Hyung Kwon, Byungho Lim, Mirang Kim, Seon-Young Kim, Kyu-Sang Song, Gyeong Hoon Kang, Hyun Ja Kim, Bo Youl Choi and Yong Sung Kim _

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Oncotarget. 2015; 6:37647-37662. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.6069

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Jong-Lyul Park1,2,*, Hee-Jin Kim1,2,*, Eun-Hye Seo1,2, Oh-Hyung Kwon1, Byungho Lim1, Mirang Kim1,2, Seon-Young Kim1,2, Kyu-Sang Song3, Gyeong Hoon Kang4, Hyun Ja Kim5, Bo Youl Choi5 and Yong Sung Kim1,2

1 Epigenome Research Center, Genome Institute, KRIBB, Daejeon, Republic of Korea

2 Department of Functional Genomics, Korea University of Science and Technology, Daejeon, Republic of Korea

3 Department of Pathology, College of Medicine, Chungnam National University, Daejeon, Republic of Korea

4 Department of Pathology, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea

5 Departments of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Hanyang University, Seoul, Republic of Korea

* These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Yong Sung Kim, email:

Keywords: gastric cancer, TET1, DNA methylation, 5-hydroxymethylcytosine, 3′-shore, bivalent mark

Received: May 10, 2015 Accepted: September 26, 2015 Published: October 10, 2015


Recent evidence has shown that the level of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC) in chromosomal DNA is aberrantly decreased in a variety of cancers, but whether this decrease is a cause or a consequence of tumorigenesis is unclear. Here we show that, in gastric cancers, the 5hmC decrease correlates with a decrease in ten-eleven translocation 1 (TET1) expression, which is strongly associated with metastasis and poor survival in patients with gastric cancer. In gastric cancer cells, TET1-targeted siRNA induced a decrease in 5hmC, whereas TET1 overexpression induced an increase in 5hmC and reduced cell proliferation, thus correlating decreased 5hmC with gastric carcinogenesis. We also report the epigenetic signatures responsible for regulating TET1 transcription. Methyl-CpG Binding Domain Sequencing and Reduced Representation Bisulfite Sequencing identified unique CpG methylation signatures at the CpG island 3′-shore region located 1.3 kb from the transcription start site of TET1 in gastric tumor cells but not in normal mucosa. The luciferase activity of constructs with a methylated 3′-shore sequence was greatly decreased compared with that of an unmethylated sequence in transformed gastric cancer cells. In gastric cancer cells, dense CpG methylation in the 3′-shore was strongly associated with TET1 silencing and bivalent histone marks. Thus, a decrease in 5hmC may be a cause of gastric tumorigenesis owing to a decrease in TET1 expression through DNA methylation coupled with bivalent marks in the 3′-shore of TET1.

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