Hypermethylation of the GATA genes in lung cancer

Mingzhou Guo, Yoshimitsu Akiyama, Michael G. House, Craig M. Hooker, Elizabeth Heath, Edward Gabrielson, Stephen C. Yang, Yu Han, Stephen B. Baylin, James G. Herman, Malcolm V. Brock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

110 Scopus citations


Purpose: In lung cancer, DNA hypermethylation is known to be a common event. Experimental Design: Gene expression and methylation status of GATA-4, GATA-5, and GATA-6 were analyzed with cell lines and primary human lung cancers. Methylation profiles of primary lung cancers were analyzed and correlated with clinical as well as histopathological data. Results: Complete methylation was detected by methylation-specific PCR for both GATA-4 and GATA-5 in four cell lines (H358, DMS-53, A549, and H1299), all of which had no expression by reverse transcription-PCR analysis. Demethylation with 5-aza-2′deoxycytidine restored expression in each case. GATA-6 was ubiquitously expressed in all of the six cell lines. GATA-4 bisulfite sequencing revealed complete methylation of the GATA-4 promoter in H358 cells, correlating well with its lack of expression at the mRNA level. Only a few CpG sites showed methylation by bisulfite sequencing within the GATA-4 promoter in a cell line that expressed the gene. In 63 cases of primary lung cancers, GATA-4 and GATA-5 promoter methylation was detected in (42 of 63) 67% and (26 of 63) 41%, respectively. GATA-6 remained unmethylated both in cell lines and primary tumors. Six autopsy specimens of normal lung tissue showed no aberrant promoter hypermethylation for the GATA genes. Correlation of concomitant GATA-4 and GATA-5 methylation with clinicopathological parameters only found a statistically significant increase in methylation frequency with increasing patient age (P < 0.001). Conclusions: These epigenetic changes in the GATA genes in lung cancer are tumor-specific, relate to the loss of GATA gene expression, and occur increasingly in the elderly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7917-7924
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 1 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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