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Clinical significance and association of RUNX3 hypermethylation frequency with colorectal cancer: a meta-analysis

Authors Mu W, Wang J, Niu Q, Shi N, Lian H

Received 7 February 2014

Accepted for publication 15 March 2014

Published 10 July 2014 Volume 2014:7 Pages 1237—1245


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Wei-Ping Mu, Jian Wang, Qiong Niu, Ning Shi, Hai-Feng Lian

Department of Gastroenterology, Affiliated Hospital of Binzhou Medical College, Binzhou, People's Republic of China

Background: The RUNX family, which is composed of RUNX1, RUNX2, and RUNX3, is a sequence-specific transcription factor family and is closely involved in a variety of cellular processes including development, differentiation, participation in the regulation of p53-dependent DNA damage response and/or tumorigenesis. Emerging evidence indicates that RUNX3 is a candidate tumor suppressor in several types of human tumors including colorectal cancer (CRC). However, the correlation of RUNX3 inactivation with CRC remains unclear. In the study reported here, we conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to quantitatively evaluate the effects of RUNX3 hypermethylation/expression on the incidence of CRC.
Methods: A detailed search of the literature was made using Medline® and Web of Science for related research publications written in English. The methodological quality of the studies was also evaluated. The data were extracted and assessed by two reviewers independently. Analyses of the pooled data were performed. Odds ratios (ORs) and hazard ratios were calculated and summarized, respectively.
Results: A final analysis of 1,427 CRC patients from eleven eligible studies was performed. We observed that RUNX3 hypermethylation was significantly higher in CRC than in normal colorectal mucosa. The pooled OR from six studies comprising 289 CRC and 188 normal colorectal mucosa was OR =0.07 (confidence interval [CI] =0.03–0.18, P<0.00001). Aberrant RUNX3 hypermethylation/expression was significantly higher in advanced CRC than in early staged CRC (OR =0.54, CI =0.41–0.71, P<0.0001). Aberrant RUNX3 hypermethylation/expression was also significantly higher in microsatellite instability (MSI)-positive CRC than in MSI-negative CRC (OR =0.44, CI =0.3–0.66, P<0.0001). In addition, CRC patients with RUNX3 hypermethylation or lacking RUNX3 protein expression had a lower survival rate than those without RUNX3 hypermethylation or those who did not express RUNX3 protein.
Conclusion: The results of this meta-analysis suggest that RUNX3 hypermethylation is associated with an increased risk of CRC, increased risk of progression of CRC, and a poorer CRC survival rate. RUNX3 hypermethylation, which induces the inactivation of RUNX3 gene, plays an important role in colorectal carcinogenesis, high levels of MSI, as well as CRC progression and development.

Keywords: methylation, tumor-suppressor gene, odds ratio, hazard ratio, microsatellite instability

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