Methylome differences in differentiated thyroid cancers and benign Adenomas
Stephen JK, Mei Chen K, Merritt J, Datta I, Chitale D, Divine G, and Worsham MJ. Methylome differences in differentiated thyroid cancers and benign Adenomas. Cancer Res 2017; 77(13).
Many recent studies examining aberrant DNA methylation in thyroid cancer are restricted to either candidate genes or genome-wide methylation in specific thyroid tumor subtypes. The goal of this study was to identify differentially methylated genes globally and their association with molecular pathways and signaling networks. Common mutations in papillary thyroid cancer (PTC), follicular thyroid cancer (FTC), follicular adenoma (FA) and normal thyroid were also examined. Genome-wide methylation profiling using the Infinium HumanMethylation450FFPE (formalin fixed paraffin embedded) BeadChip Array was performed on 24 thyroid cases (8 PTC, 8 FTC, 4 FA and 4 normal thyroid). Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA) was utilized to assess the roles of significantly differentially methylated genes in biological functions, signaling/metabolic pathways, and networks. Common mutations in 4 genes (BRAF, NRAS, HRAS, and KRAS) were assessed using TaqMan Mutation Detection assay. Twelve genes were significantly differentially methylated among 4 comparison groups: cancer vs normal, cancer vs adenoma, PTC vs normal, and PTC follicular variant (PTC-FV) vs PTC-Classic. CTU1 and HLA-DPB1 were significantly hypermethylated and AARS2, TMSB10, RNF216L, KIF15, KIAA1143, and SLC2A13 were significantly hypomethylated between cancer and normal. Significant differential hypermethylation was noted for PNPLA7 and NPC1L1 in cancer vs adenoma and SNX6 in PTC-FV vs PTC-Classic. NT5C1B was hypermethylated and AARS2 was hypomethylated in PTC vs normal. IPA identified 2 gene networks, involving 11/12 genes, characterized by 1) Cellular development, Cellular growth and proliferation, Connective tissue development and function and 2) Drug metabolism, Cell-mediated immune response, Cellular development. NT5C1B was involved in all 4 highly ranked canonical nucleotide degradation pathways. Several significant bio-functions involved NPC1L1. Mutations of NRAS codon 61 were identified in 1 sample each of FTC-Classic, PTC-FV and FA and BRAF V600E in one PTC-Classic sample. Differential methylation of AARS2, CTU1, HLA-DPB1, SLC2A13, PNPLA7, NPC1L1, NT5C1B and SNX6 suggest potential markers for discriminating thyroid cancers from adenomas and normal. NT5C1B was noted in highly ranked canonical pathways, suggesting a role in nucleotide degradation. Pathway analysis of differentially methylated genes support important biological processes in thyroid cancer pathogenesis.