Oral Contraceptive Use May Modulate Global Genomic DNA Methylation and Promoter Methylation of APC1 and ESR1

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Biochemistry and Genetics Department, Faculty of Medicine, Lorestan University of Medical Sciences, Khorramabad, Iran.

2 Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Branch. Shiraz, Iran

3 Biochemistry Depatment, Medical School, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

4 Infertility Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.


Background: There are challenging reports in the public health sphere regarding associations between oral contraceptive (OC) use and cancer risk. Methods: To evaluate possible effects of OCs on cancer susceptibility, we quantified of global 5-methyl cytosine (5-mC) levels and assessed methylation patterns of CpG islands of two key tumor suppressor genes, APC1 and ESR1, in serum of users by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and methylation specific PCR methods, respectively. Results: Our results indicated that OCs significantly decrease the level of global DNA methylation in users relative to control non-users. However, our data revealed no significant differences between CpG island methylation patterns for ESR1 and APC1 in healthy control and OC-treated women. However, we did find a trend for hypermethylation of both tumor suppressor genes in OC users. Conclusion: Our data suggest that the level of 5-mC but not individual CpG island patterns is significantly influenced by OCs in our cross-section of adult users.


Main Subjects