European Journal of Gynaecological Oncology (EJGO) is published by IMR Press from Volume 40 Issue 1 (2019). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with S.O.G.
Aberrant DNA hypermethylation of hMLH-1 and CDKN2A/p16 genes in benign, premalignant and malignant endometrial lesions
Purpose of investigation: aberrant gene function and transcriptional silencing by CpG island hypermethylation have become a critical component in the initiation and progression of endometrial cancer. The aim of this study was to investigate the methylation status of genes associated with aberrant DNA hypermethylation in benign, premalignant and malignant endometrial lesions. Methods: using nested methylation-specific PCR, we assessed the methylation of the promoter regions of two genes, hMLH1 and CDKN2A/p16, in tissue samples from endometrial polyps (EP), atypical hyperplasia (AH) and endometrial cancer (EC). Results: the promoter region of at least one of the two genes was aberrantly methylated in EP (hMLH1 42%, CDKN2A/p16 16%), AH (hMLH1 16%, CDKN2A/p16 50%), EC (hMLH1 50%, CDKN2A/p16 75%). Interestingly, hypermethylation of both genes was found with significant increased frequence in AH and EC, but not in benign lesions. Conclusions: our preliminary findings seem to suggest that the association of the two genes hMLH1 and CDKN2A/p16 may allow a differential diagnosis between benign and pre-malignant/malignant endometrial lesions; this further supports the hypothesis that methylation of such DNA mismatch repair and tumour-suppressor genes may be associated with endometrial carcinogenesis thus representing a valuable target for selective phar-macologic therapy.