A Comprehensive DNA Methylation Profile of Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition.

Cancer Research

PubMedID: 25106427

Carmona FJ, Davalos V, Vidal E, Gomez A, Heyn H, Hashimoto Y, Vizoso M, Martinez-Cardus A, Sayols S, Ferreira H, Sanchez-Mut J, Moran S, Margeli M, Castella E, Berdasco M, Stefansson OA, Eyfjord JE, Gonzalez-Suarez E, Dopazo J, Orozco M, Gut I, Esteller M. A Comprehensive DNA Methylation Profile of Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition. Cancer Res. 2014;74(19):5608-19.
Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a plastic process in which fully differentiated epithelial cells are converted into poorly differentiated, migratory and invasive mesenchymal cells and it has been related to the metastasis potential of tumors. This is a reversible process and cells can also eventually undergo mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition (MET). The existence of a dynamic EMT process suggests the involvement of epigenetic shifts in the phenotype. Herein, we obtained the DNA methylomes at single-base resolution of MDCK cells undergoing epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and translated the identified differentially methylated regions (DMRs) to human breast cancer cells undergoing a gain of migratory and invasive capabilities associated with the EMT phenotype. We noticed dynamic and reversible changes of DNA methylation, both on promoter sequences and gene-bodies in association with transcription regulation of EMT-related genes. Most importantly, the identified DNA methylation markers of EMT were present in primary mammary tumors in association with the epithelial or the mesenchymal phenotype of the studied breast cancer samples.