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The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism


PURPOSE: Glial cells missing 2 (GCM2), a zinc finger-transcription factor, is essentially required for the development of parathyroid glands. We sought to identify if the epigenetic alterations in the GCM2 transcription are involved in the pathogenesis of sporadic parathyroid adenoma. In addition, we examined the association between promoter methylation and histone modifications with disease indices.

EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: mRNA and protein expression of GCM2 were analyzed by RT-qPCR and immunohistochemistry in 33 adenomatous and 10 control parathyroid tissues. DNA methylation and histone methylation/acetylation of GCM2 promoter were measured by bisulfite sequencing and ChIP-qPCR. Additionally, we investigated the role of epigenetic modifications on GCM2 and DNA methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1) expression in PTH-C1 cells by treating with 5-aza 2'deoxycytidine (DAC) and BRD4770 and assessed for GCM2 mRNA and DNMT1 protein levels.

RESULTS: mRNA and protein expression of GCM2 were lower in sporadic adenomatous than in control parathyroid tissues. This reduction correlated with hypermethylation (P<0.001) and higher H3K9me3 levels in GCM2 promoter (P<0.04) in adenomas. In PTH-C1 cells, DAC treatment resulted in increased GCM2 transcription and decreased DNMT1 protein expression, while cells treated with the BRD4770 showed reduced H3K9me3 levels but a non-significant change in GCM2 transcription.

CONCLUSION: These findings suggest the concurrent association of promoter hypermethylation and higher H3K9me3 with the repression of GCM2 expression in parathyroid adenomas. Treatment with DAC restored GCM2 expression in PTH-C1 cells. Our results showed a possible epigenetic landscape in the tumorigenesis of parathyroid adenoma and also that DAC may be promising avenues of research for parathyroid adenoma therapeutics.

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ePub ahead of print



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