Methylation Status and Expression of BRCA2 in Epithelial Ovarian Cancers in Indonesia


Ovarian cancer is the main cause of mortality in gynecological malignancy and extensive studies have been conducted to study the underlying molecular mechanisms. The BRCA2 gene is known to be an important tumor suppressor in ovarian cancer, thereby BRCA2 alterations may lead to cancer progression. However, the BRCA2 gene is rarely mutated, and loss of function is suspected to be mediated by epigenetic regulation. In this study we investigated the methylation status and gene expression of BRCA2 in ovarian cancer patients. Ovarian cancer pateints (n=69) were recruited and monitored for 54 months in this prospective cohort study. Clinical specimens were used to study the in situ expression of aberrant BRCA2 proteins and the methylation status of BRCA2. These parameters were then compared with clinical parameters and overall survival rate. We found that BRCA2 methylation was found in the majority of cases (98.7%). However,  the methylationstatus was not associated with protein level expression of BRCA2 (49.3%). Therefore in addition to DNA methylation, other epigenetic mechanisms may regulate BRCA2 expresison. Our findings may become evidence of BRCA2 inactivation mechanism through DNA methylation in the Indonesian population. More importantly, from multivariate analysis, BRCA2 expression was correlated with better overall survival (HR 0.32; p=0.05). High percentage of BRCA2 methylation and correlation of BRCA2 expression with overall survival in epithelial ovarian cancer cases may lead to development of treatment modalities specifically to target methylation of BRCA genes.