LINE-1 and Alu Methylation in hrHPV-Associated Precancerous Cervical Samples

Document Type : Research Articles

Authors

1 Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, 10330, Thailand.

2 Center of Excellence in Applied Medical Virology, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, 10330, Thailand.

3 Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Department of Medicine, King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, Thai Red Cross Society, Bangkok 10330, Thailand.

4 Center of Excellence in Vaccine Research and Development (Chula Vaccine Research Center-Chula VRC), Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok 10330, Thailand.

5 Thai Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Immunology (TPGHAI) Research Unit, King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, The Thai Red Cross Society, Bangkok 10330, Thailand.

6 Laboratory of Pharmacology, Chulabhorn Research Institute, Bangkok 10210, Thailand.

7 Department of Oral Biology, Faculty of Dentistry, Mahidol University, Bangkok 10400, Thailand.

Abstract

Objective: This study was conducted to determine global DNA methylation patterns in cervical cells cytologically identified as atypical squamous cells of unknown significance (ASCUS) with a normal, LSIL, or HSIL histopathological result. Methods: Methylation patterns of long interspersed nuclear elements (LINE-1) and short interspersed element (Alu) sequences were assessed using the combined bisulfite restriction analysis (COBRA) method in cervical samples with cytology-diagnosed cervical lesions. Results: In cervical precancerous lesions with hrHPV positive, the percentage of overall (mC) and mCmC LINE-1 methylation levels showed a stepwise increase from hrHPV positive normal to HSIL with significant differences (p<0.001). However, both methylation levels were significantly higher in hrHPV negative normal than in hrHPV positive normal (p<0.001). The overall (mC) Alu methylation in hrHPV positive LSIL and HSIL was lower than in hrHPV positive normal, with a significant difference (p<0.05). Remarkably, the percentage of uCmC and mCuC of LINE-1 and Alu in three different hrHPV positive cervical lesions showed a stepwise decrease from hrHPV positive normal, LSIL and HSIL, respectively. Furthermore, receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analyses revealed that the LINE-1 mC and mCmC patterns have high sensitivity and specificity for distinguishing HSIL from normal/LSIL in hrHPV positive cases at the appropriate cutoff levels. Conclusion: We have demonstrated the LINE-1 and Alu methylation data in normal and premalignant cervical epithelia. LINE-1 hypomethylation was found in hrHPV positive normal cells, with lower methylation levels associated with cancer features. In cytologically diagnosed Atypical Squamous Cells of Unknown Significance (ASCUS), the levels of mC and the mCmC pattern could be utilized in concert with hrHPV detection to classify the ASCUS sample prior to colposcopy.

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Volume 23, Issue 10
October 2022
Pages 3443-3448
  • Receive Date: 18 May 2022
  • Revise Date: 19 July 2022
  • Accept Date: 03 October 2022
  • First Publish Date: 03 October 2022