Combined Effects Methylation of FHIT, RASSF1A and RARβ Genes on Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer in the Chinese Population


Epigenetic modifications of tumour suppressor genes are involved in all kinds of human cancer. Aberrant promoter methylation is also considered to play an essential role in development of lung cancer, but the pathogenesis remains unclear.We collected the data of 112 subjects, including 56 diagnosed patients with lung cancer and 56 controls without cancer. Methylation of the FHIT, RASSF1A and RAR-β genes in DNA from all samples and the corresponding gene methylation status were assessed using the methylation-specific polymerasechain reaction (PCR, MSP). The results showed that the total frequency of separate gene methylation was significantly higher in lung cancer compared with controls (33.9-85.7 vs 0 %) (p<0.01).Similar outcomes were obtained from the aberrant methylation of combinations of any two or three genes (p<0.01). There was a tendency that the frequency of combinations of any two or three genes was higher in stageⅠ+Ⅱ than that in stage Ⅲ+Ⅳ with lung cancer. However, no significant difference was found across various clinical stages and clinic pathological gradings of lung cancer (p>0.05).These observations suggest that there is a significant association of promoter methylation of individual genes with lung cancer risk, and that aberrant methylation of combination of any two or three genes may be associated with clinical stage in lung cancer patients and involved in the initiation of lung cancer tumorigenesis. Methylation of FHIT, RASSF1A and RARβ genes may be related to progression of lung oncogenesis.