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Epigenomic analysis of lung adenocarcinoma reveals novel DNA methylation patterns associated with smoking

Authors Tan Q, Wang G, Huang J, Ding Z, Luo Q, Mok T, Tao Q, Lu S

Received 4 July 2013

Accepted for publication 13 August 2013

Published 21 October 2013 Volume 2013:6 Pages 1471—1479


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Qiang Tan,1,* Guan Wang,1,* Jia Huang,1 Zhengping Ding,1 Qingquan Luo,1 Tony Mok,2 Qian Tao,2 Shun Lu1

1Department of Shanghai Lung Cancer Center, Shanghai Chest Hospital, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, People's Republic of China; 2Cancer Epigenetics Laboratory, Department of Clinical Oncology, State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China, Sir YK Pao Center for Cancer and Li Ka Shing Institute of Health Sciences, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

*These authors contributed equally to this paper

Abstract: The importance of epigenetic regulation has been increasingly recognized in the development of cancer. In this study, we investigated the impact of smoking, a major risk factor of lung cancer, on DNA methylation by comparing the genome-wide DNA methylation patterns between lung adenocarcinoma samples from six smokers and six nonsmokers. We identified that smoking-induced DNA methylations were enriched in the calcium signaling and neuroactive ligand receptor signaling pathways, which are closely related to smoking-induced lung cancers. Interestingly, we discovered that two genes in the mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling pathway (RPS6KA3 and ARAF) were hypomethylated in smokers but not in nonsmokers. In addition, we found that the smoking-induced lung cancer-specific DNA methylations were mostly enriched in nuclear activities, including regulation of gene expression and chromatin remodeling. Moreover, the smoking-induced hypermethylation could only be seen in lung adenocarcinoma tissue but not in adjacent normal lung tissue. We also used differentially methylated DNA loci to construct a diagnostic model to distinguish smoking-associated lung cancer from nonsmoking lung cancer with a sensitivity of 88.9% and specificity of 83.2%. Our results provided novel evidence to support that smoking can cause dramatic changes in the DNA methylation landscape of lung cancer, suggesting that epigenetic regulation of specific oncogenic signaling pathways plays an important role in the development of lung cancer.

Keywords: lung cancer, epigenome, methylation, tumor suppressor gene, smoking

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