Research Papers:

The epigenetic modifier CHD5 functions as a novel tumor suppressor for renal cell carcinoma and is predominantly inactivated by promoter CpG methylation

Zhenfang Du, Lili Li, Xin Huang, Jie Jin, Suming Huang, Qian Zhang and Qian Tao _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:21618-21630. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.7822

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Zhenfang Du1, Lili Li1, Xin Huang1, Jie Jin2, Suming Huang3, Qian Zhang2, Qian Tao1

1Cancer Epigenetics Laboratory, Department of Clinical Oncology, State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China, Sir YK Pao Center for Cancer and Li Ka Shing Institute of Health Sciences, The Chinese University of Hong Kong and CUHK-Shenzhen Research Institute, Shatin, Hong Kong

2Department of Urology, Peking University First Hospital and Institute of Urology, National Research Center for Genitourinary Oncology, Beijing, China

3Departments of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, Florida, USA

Correspondence to:

Qian Tao, e-mail: [email protected]

Qian Zhang, e-mail: [email protected]

Keywords: CHD5, tumor suppressor, methylation, renal cell carcinoma, oncogene

Received: September 18, 2015     Accepted: January 29, 2016     Published: March 01, 2016


Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is the most common urological cancer with steadily increasing incidence. A series of tumor suppressor genes (TSGs) have been identified methylated in RCC as potential epigenetic biomarkers. We identified a 1p36.3 TSG candidate CHD5 as a methylated target in RCC through epigenome study. As the role of CHD5 in RCC pathogenesis remains elusive, we further studied its expression and molecular functions in RCC cells. We found that CHD5 was broadly expressed in most normal genitourinary tissues including kidney, but frequently silenced or downregulated by promoter CpG methylation in 78% of RCC cell lines and 44% (24/55) of primary tumors. In addition, CHD5 mutations appear to be rare in RCC tumors through genome database mining. In methylated/silenced RCC cell lines, CHD5 expression could be restored with azacytidine demethylation treatment. Ectopic expression of CHD5 in RCC cells significantly inhibited their clonogenicity, migration and invasion. Moreover, we found that CHD5, as a chromatin remodeling factor, suppressed the expression of multiple targets including oncogenes (MYC, MDM2, STAT3, CCND1, YAP1), epigenetic master genes (Bmi-1, EZH2, JMJD2C), as well as epithelial-mesenchymal transition and stem cell markers (SNAI1, FN1, OCT4). Further chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays confirmed the binding of CHD5 to target gene promoters. Thus, we demonstrate that CHD5 functions as a novel TSG for RCC, but is predominantly inactivated by promoter methylation in primary tumors.

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