Maria Panagopoulou, Maria Lambropoulou , Ioanna Balgkouranidou, Evangelia Nena, Makrina Karaglani , Christina Nicolaidou , Anthi Asimaki , Theocharis Konstantinidis , Theodoros C Constantinidis , George Kolios , Stylianos Kakolyris, Theodoros Agorastos , Ekaterini Chatzaki
Cervical cancer is strongly related to certain high-risk types of human papilloma virus infection. Breast cancer metastasis suppressor 1 (BRMS1) is a tumor suppressor gene, its expression being regulated by DNA promoter methylation in several types of cancers. This study aims to evaluate the methylation status of BRMS1 promoter in relation to high-risk types of human papilloma virus infection and the development of pre-cancerous lesions and describe the pattern of BRMS1 protein expression in normal, high-risk types of human papilloma virus-infected pre-cancerous and malignant cervical epithelium. We compared the methylation status of BRMS1 in cervical smears of 64 women with no infection by high-risk types of human papilloma virus to 70 women with proven high-risk types of human papilloma virus infection, using real-time methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction. The expression of BRMS1 protein was described by immunohistochemistry in biopsies from cervical cancer, pre-cancerous lesions, and normal cervices. Methylation of BRMS1 promoter was detected in 37.5% of women with no high-risk types of human papilloma virus infection and was less frequent in smears with high-risk types of human papilloma virus (11.4%) and in women with pathological histology (cervical intraepithelial neoplasia) (11.9%). Methylation was detected also in HeLa cervical cancer cells. Immunohistochemistry revealed nuclear BRMS1 protein staining in normal high-risk types of human papilloma virus-free cervix, in cervical intraepithelial neoplasias, and in malignant tissues, where staining was occasionally also cytoplasmic. In cancer, expression was stronger in the more differentiated cancer blasts. In conclusion, BRMS1 promoter methylation and aberrant protein expression seem to be related to high-risk types of human papilloma virus-induced carcinogenesis in uterine cervix and is worthy of further investigation.
Keywords: BRMS1; Methylation; cancer; epigenetic; human papilloma virus; uterine cervix.