Egyptian Journal of Medical Human Genetics

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Clinical Utility of promoter methylation of the tumor suppressor genes DKK3, and RASSF1A in breast cancer patients

Marwa H. Saied, Aya Samy Rady, Galal Mustafa Abo El Naga, Ola A. Sharaki


Background: DNA methylation is the commonest known epigenetic change that results in silencing of tumor suppressor genes. Promoter methylation of tumor suppressor genes has the potential for early detection of breast cancer.

Aim: Aim is to examine the potential usefulness of blood based methylation specific polymerase chain reaction (MSP) of methylated DKK3 and RASSF1A genes in early detection of breast cancer.

Method: Methylation status of DKK3 and RASSF1 was investigated in forty breast cancer patients, twenty fibroadenoma patients and twenty healthy ladies as control group using MSP.

Results: Methylation of DKK3 promoter was found in 22.5% of breast cancer patients, while DKK3 methylation was absent in both fibroadenoma patients and control group. Similarly, methylation of RASSF1 promoter was found in 17.5% of breast cancer patients and in none of fibroadenoma and control group.

Conclusion: Promoter methylation of DKK3 and RASSF1 was found in breast cancer patients while absent in control group suggesting that tumorspecific methylation of the two genes (DKK3 and RASSF1A) might be a valuable biomarker for the early detection of breast cancer.

Keywords: DNA methylation, Breast cancer, DKK3, RASSF1

AJOL African Journals Online