LOH 19q indicates shorter disease progression-free interval in low-grade oligodendrogliomas with EMP3 methylation

Alice Pasini, Paolo Iorio, Emanuela Bianchi, Serenella Cerasoli, Anna M. Cremonini, Marina Faedi, Carlo Guarnieri, Graziano Guiducci, Luca Riccioni, Chiara Molinari, Claudia Rengucci, Daniele Calistri, Emanuele Giordano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We previously described a cohort of grade II oligodendroglioma (OII) patients, in whom the loss of heterozygosity (LOH) 19q was present in the subgroup at a higher risk of relapse. In this study, we evaluated the CpG methylation of the putative tumor suppressor epithelial membrane protein 3 (EMP3, 19q13.3) gene promoter in the same OII cohort, to investigate whether a correlation could be found between EMP3 cytogenetic and epigenetic loss and higher risk of relapse. Twenty-three tumor samples from OII patients were collected over a period of 10 years. Seventeen glioblastoma (GBM) samples (2 of which were relapses) were collected from 15 patients. The EMP3, O 6-methylguanine methyltransferase (MGMT) and cyclooxygenase 2 (COX2) promoter methylation, evaluated by methylation-specific PCR, and the isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (I DH1) mutation, identified by sequencing, were compared between the OII and GBM histotypes. The EMP3 promoter methylation was correlated with the analysis of LOH 19q, performed by microsatellite amplification, in OII patients. Disease progression-free interval was evaluated in the OII patients with the EMP3 methylation with either LOH 19q or conserved chromosome 19 arms. The EMP3 and MGMT promoter methylation was more frequent in OII than in GBM patients, and the IDH1 mutation was absent in GBM. The COX2 promoter was unmethylated in both histotypes. Both LOH+/-19q OII patients showed EMP3 hypermethylation. Concomitant LOH 19q and EMP3 gene promoter methylation was observed in the OII patients at a higher risk of relapse. Our results suggest that a total (cytogenetic and epigenetic) functional loss of both EMP3 alleles accounts for the reduced disease progression-free interval in OII patients. Although the small sample size limits the strength of this study, our results support testing this hypothesis in larger cohorts of patients, considering the methylation of the EMP3 gene promoter together with LOH 19q as an indication for treatment with adjuvant therapy ab initio in order to improve the overall survival of OII patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2271-2277
Number of pages7
JournalOncology Reports
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012


  • Disease progression-free interval
  • Epithelial membrane protein 3
  • Gene promoter methylation
  • Loss of heterozygosity
  • Low-grade oligodendroglioma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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