Aberrant gene methylation in non-neoplastic mucosa as a predictive marker of ulcerative colitis-associated CRC

Marco Scarpa, Melania Scarpa, Ignazio Castagliuolo, Francesca Erroi, Andromachi Kotsafti, Silvia Basato, Paola Brun, Renata D'Incà, Massimo Rugge, Imerio Angriman, Carlo Castoro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Promoter: Hypermethylation plays a major role in cancer through transcriptional silencing of critical genes. The aim of our study is to evaluate the methylation status of these genes in the colonic mucosa without dysplasia or adenocarcinoma at the different steps of sporadic and UC-related carcinogenesis and to investigate the possible role of genomic methylation as a marker of CRC. Results: The expression of Dnmts 1 and 3A was significantly increased in UC-related carcinogenesis compared to non inflammatory colorectal carcinogenesis. In non-neoplastic colonic mucosa, the number of methylated genes resulted significantly higher in patients with CRC and in those with UC-related CRC compared to the HC and UC patients and patients with dysplastic lesion of the colon. The number of methylated genes in non-neoplastic colonic mucosa predicted the presence of CRC with good accuracy either in non inflammatory and inflammatory related CRC. Methods: Colonic mucosal samples were collected from healthy subjects (HC) (n = 30) and from patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) (n = 29), UC and dysplasia (n = 14), UC and cancer (n = 10), dysplastic adenoma (n = 14), and colon adenocarcinoma (n = 10). DNA methyltransferases-1, -3a, -3b, mRNA expression were quantified by real time qRT-PCR. The methylation status of CDH13, APC, MLH1, MGMT1 and RUNX3 gene promoters was assessed by methylation-specific PCR. Conclusions: Methylation status of APC, CDH13, MGMT, MLH1 and RUNX3 in the non-neoplastic mucosa may be used as a marker of CRC: These preliminary results could allow for the adjustment of a patient's surveillance interval and to select UC patients who should undergo intensive surveillance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10322-10331
Number of pages10
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • APC
  • Biomarker
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Promoter methylation
  • Ulcerative colitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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