Indexed on: 11 Jul '14Published on: 11 Jul '14Published in: World journal of gastroenterology
To explore the alteration of DNA methyltransferase expression in gastric cancer and to assess its prognostic value.From April 2000 to December 2010, 227 men and 73 women with gastric cancer were enrolled in the study. The expression of DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs), including DNMT1, DNMT3a and DNMT3b, in the 300 cases of gastric carcinoma, of which 85 had paired adjacent normal gastric mucus samples, was evaluated by immunohistochemistry using a tissue microarray. Serum anti-Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) IgG was detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The relationships between the above results and the clinicopathological characteristics were analyzed. Their prognostic value was evaluated using the Cox proportional hazards model.In gastric cancer, expression of DNMTs was mainly seen in the nucleus. Weak staining was also observed in the cytoplasm. Expression of DNMT1, DNMT3a and DNMT3b in gastric cancer was significantly higher compared to that in the paired control samples (60.0% vs 37.6%, 61.2% vs 4.7%, and 94.1% vs 71.8%, P < 0.01). The overall survival rate was significantly higher in the DNMT3a negative group than in the DNMT3a positive group in gastric cancer patients (Log-rank test, P = 0.032). No significant correlation was observed between DNMT1 and DNMT3b expression and the overall survival time (Log-rank test, P = 0.289, P = 0.347). Multivariate regression analysis indicated that DNMT3a expression (P = 0.025) and TNM stage (P < 0.001), but not DNMT1 (P = 0.54) or DNMT3b (P = 0.62), were independent prognostic factors in gastric cancer. H. pylori infection did not induce protein expression of DNMTs.The results suggest that expression of DNMT3a is an independent poor prognostic indicator in gastric cancer. DNMT3a might play an important role in gastric carcinogenesis.