Loss of the secreted Fzd-related protein 1 (SFRP1) and concurrent alteration of the SFRP1/WNT pathway are frequently observed in human cancers such as in renal cell cancer (RCC). Whether methylation of a SFRP1 CpG island locus in normal human solid tissues is associated with increased tissue specific cancer risk has not been determined to date. Here we measure the cancer risk attributable to SFRP1 DNA methylation in renal tissue. Pyrosequencing of bisulfite treated DNA was used for a case-control study including 120 normal-appearing renal tissues of autopsy specimens and 72 normal- appearing tissues obtained from tumor adjacent areas, and a cross sectional study of 96 RCCs. Association of methylation with demographic risk factor age, clinicopathological parameters and course of patients was investigated. We show significant hypermethylation of a SFRP1 CpG island locus in normal-appearing renal tissues from RCC patients compared with normal-appearing autopsy kidney tissues. Inter quartile analysis revealed a 6-, 13- and 11-fold increased cancer risk for the second, third and fourth quartiles of methylation in the age matched subgroup of tissues (p = 0.001, p = 1.3E - 6, p = 6.9E - 6). Methylation in autopsy tissues increased with age and methylation in tumors was an independent predictor of recurrence free survival. SFRP1 DNA methylation, accumulates with age in normal-appearing kidney tissues and is associated with increased renal cancer risk, suggesting this CGI sub region as an epigenetic susceptibility locus for RCC. Our data underline the need to further analyze the tissue specific risks conferred by methylated loci for the development of human cancers.
Research Areas and Centers
- Research Area: Luebeck Integrated Oncology Network (LION)