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DNA methylation-mediated Klotho silencing is an independent prognostic biomarker of head and neck squamous carcinoma

Authors Zhu Y, Cao X, Zhang X, Chen Q, Wen L, Wang P

Received 22 September 2018

Accepted for publication 16 December 2018

Published 12 February 2019 Volume 2019:11 Pages 1383—1390

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CMAR.S188415

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 1

Editor who approved publication: Professor Nakshatri


Yun Zhu,1 Xuehong Cao,2 Xiaomeng Zhang,1 Quan Chen,3 Lei Wen,2 Ping Wang4

1Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, Hubei 430022, China; 2Department of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Medical College, Xiamen University, Xiamen, Fujian Province 361102, China; 3Department of Radiology, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, Hubei 430022, China; 4Department of Pediatrics, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430022, China

Purpose: To study the prognostic value of klotho (KL) and its promoter DNA methylation in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) and to assess their associations with the autophagy gene LC3 and the RNA transferase gene NSUN2.
Materials and methods: Upper quartile normalized RNA-seq V2 RSEM values of KL mRNA and beta value for KL methylation were retrieved from The Cancer Genome Atlas HNSCC dataset. Kaplan–Meier survival curves were used to assess the associations of KL expression and methylation with patient survival; multivariate Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to estimate the HRs and their 95% CIs.
Results: There is a negative relationship between KL gene expression and its promoter DNA methylation in HNSCC. KL gene expression was positively correlated with overall survival, while KL methylation was inversely correlated with the overall survival of HNSCC patients. Furthermore, KL methylation was significantly associated with gender (P=0.012), tumor grade (P=0.0009) and tumor site (P<0.0001). Finally, HNSCC patients with high KL gene expression or low KL DNA methylation had high LC3 but low NSUN2.
Conclusion: KL methylation silenced its gene expression in HNSCC. Low KL expression and high KL methylation can be potential biomarkers for worse prognosis in HNSCC. As the downstream targets, LC3 and NSUN2 could be responsible for the KL expression in HNSCC.

Keywords: biomarkers, gene silencing, head neoplasms, neck neoplasms, predictive values, prognosis


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