Stage-specific alterations of DNA methyltransferase expression, DNA hypermethylation, and DNA hypomethylation during prostate cancer progression in the transgenic adenocarcinoma of mouse prostate model

Shannon R. Morey Kinney, Dominic J. Smiraglia, Smitha R. James, Michael T. Moser, Barbara A. Foster, Adam R. Karpf

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54 Scopus citations


We analyzed DNA methyltransferase (Dnmt) protein expression and DNA methylation patterns during four progressive stages of prostate cancer in the transgenic adenocarcinoma of mouse prostate (TRAMP) model, including prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia, well-differentiated tumors, early poorly differentiated tumors, and late poorly differentiated tumors. Dnmt1, Dnmt3a, and Dnmt3b protein expression were increased in all stages; however, after normalization to cyclin A to account for cell cycle regulation, Dnmt proteins remained overexpressed in prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia and well-differentiated tumors, but not in poorly differentiated tumors. Restriction landmark genomic scanning analysis of locus-specific methylation revealed a high incidence of hypermethylation only in poorly differentiated (early and late) tumors. Several genes identified by restriction landmark genomic scanning showed hypermethylation of downstream regions correlating with mRNA overexpression, including p16INK4a, p19ARF, and Cacna1a. Parallel gene expression and DNA methylation analyses suggests that gene overexpression precedes downstream hypermethylation during prostate tumor progression. In contrast to gene hypermethylation, genomic DNA hypomethylation, including hypomethylation of repetitive elements and loss of genomic 5- methyldeoxycytidine, occurred in both early and late stages of prostate cancer. DNA hypermethylation and DNA hypomethylation did not correlate in TRAMP, and Dnmt protein expression did not correlate with either variable, with the exception of a borderline significant association between Dnmt1 expression and DNA hypermethylation. In summary, our data reveal the relative timing of and relationship between key alterations of the DNA methylation pathway occurring during prostate tumor progression in an in vivo model system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1365-1374
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular Cancer Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2008


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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