Indexed on: 02 Sep '15Published on: 02 Sep '15Published in: Molecular medicine reports
DNA methylation occurs in the displacement loop (D-loop) region of mammals; however, D-loop regions of certain tumor tissue types were found to be de‑methylated. Whether hypomethylation of the D‑loop region is involved in the regulation of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) copy number and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide subunit 2 (ND‑2) expressions in colorectal cancer has remained elusive. In the present study, the association between methylation status of the D‑loop region, mtDNA copy number and ND‑2 expression was investigated in 65 colorectal cancer specimens and their corresponding non‑cancerous tissues. In addition, a de‑methylation experiment was performed on the Caco‑2 colorectal cancer cell line by using 5‑aza-2'-deoxycytidine (5‑Aza). The methylation rate of the D‑loop region in all 65 colorectal cancer tissues was markedly reduced when compared with that of their corresponding non‑cancerous tissues (13.8 vs. 81.5%; P<0.05). Furthermore, the methylation rate of the D‑loop region in colorectal cancer tissues was markedly decreased in clinicopathological stages III and IV compared with that in clinicopathological stages I and II (7.1 and 0% vs. 25 and 16%; P<0.05). In addition, the mean relative mtDNA copy number and ND‑2 expression in colorectal cancer tissues were increased compared with those in the corresponding non‑cancerous tissues. De‑methylation of the D‑loop region was associated with an elevated mtDNA copy number and an increased ND‑2 expression. Furthermore, the mtDNA copy number and ND‑2 expression in Caco‑2 cells were significantly increased after 5‑Aza treatment. In conclusion, de‑methylation of the D‑loop region is likely to be involved in the regulation of the mtDNA copy number and ND-2 expression.