4 years ago

Silencing of interferon regulatory factor gene 6 in melanoma

Hidemi Nakagawa, Yoshimasa Nobeyama

by Yoshimasa Nobeyama, Hidemi Nakagawa


Methylation of a CpG island (CGI; a dense cluster of CpGs) located in the 5' region of a gene suppresses transcription of that gene. Interferon regulatory factor 6 (IRF6) is associated with the expression of interferon, which is used as an effective adjuvant therapy for melanoma, and is regarded as a tumor suppressor. However, little is known about the methylation status of the IRF6 gene in melanoma.


The purpose was to determine the methylation status of the CGI located in the 5' region of IRF6 (5' IRF6 CGI) in melanoma.


Quantitative real-time methylation-specific PCR (RT-MSP) and bisulfite sequencing were performed to examine IRF6 gene methylation status. Quantitative real-time reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) was performed to examine IRF6 expression.


The methylation level of the 5' IRF6 CGI was completely inversely correlated with cell sensitivity to interferon-β in eight examined melanoma cell lines. These methylation levels were high in the melanoma cell lines with suppression of IRF6 expression and were low in the cell lines with IRF6 expression. The methylation levels of the 5' IRF6 CGI ranged widely from 0.0% to 65.4% in 21 clinical melanoma samples but showed a narrow range of low levels between 0.0% to 7.2% in 24 clinical melanocytic nevus samples. These methylation levels were not associated with clinical parameters except for melanoma subtypes.


IRF6 is aberrantly silenced by DNA methylation of the 5' IRF6 CGI in melanoma. The methylation status of IRF6 is potentially associated with the sensitivity of melanoma to interferon.

Publisher URL: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0184444

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