Background: The ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) degrades a variety of proteins which attach to specific signals. The ubiquitination pathway facilitates degradation of damaged proteins and regulates growth and stress responses. This pathway is altered in various cancers, including acute lymphoblastic leukemia, head and neck squamous cell carcinoma and breast cancer. Recently it has been reported that expression of newly characterized human genes, UBE2Q1 and UBE2Q2, putative members of ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme family (E2), has been also changed in colorectal cancer. Epigenetics is one of the fastest-growing areas of science and nowadays has become a central issue in biological studies of diseases. According to the lack of information about the role of epigenetic changes on gene expression profiling of UBE2Q1 and UBE2Q2, and the presence of CpG islands in the promoter of these two human genes, we decided to evaluate the promoter methylation status of these genes as a first step. Materials and
Methods: The promoter methylation status of UBE2Q1 and UBE2Q2 was studied by methylation-specific PCR (MSP) in tumor samples of 60 colorectal cancer patients compared to adjacent normal tissues and 20 non-malignant controls. The frequency of the methylation for each gene was analyzed by chi-square method.
Results: MSP results revealed that UBE2Q2 gene promoter were more unmethylated, while a higher level of methylated allele was observed for UBE2Q1 in tumor tissues compared to the adjacent normal tissues and the non malignant controls.
Conclusions: UBE2Q1 and UBE2Q2 genes show different methylation profiles in CRC cases.