Promoter Methylation Status of DNA Repair Gene (hMLH1) in Gastric Carcinoma Patients of the Kashmir Valley

  • Wani, Majid (Department of General Surgery, Sher I Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences) ;
  • Afroze, Dil (Department of Immunology and Molecular Medicine, Sher I Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences) ;
  • Makhdoomi, Muzamil (Department of Biochemistry, All India Institute of Medical Sciences) ;
  • Hamid, Iqra (Department of Immunology and Molecular Medicine, Sher I Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences) ;
  • Wani, Bilal (Department of Biochemistry, University of Kashmir) ;
  • Bhat, Gulzar (Department of Biochemistry, University of Kashmir) ;
  • Wani, Rauf (Department of General Surgery, Sher I Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences) ;
  • Wani, Khursheed (Department of General Surgery, Sher I Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences)
  • Published : 2012.08.31


Cancer is a multi-factorial disease and variation in genetic susceptibility, due to inherited differences in the capacity to repair mismatches in the genome, is an important factor in the development of gastric cancer (GC), for example. Epigenetic changes, including aberrant methylation of 5/CpG islands in the promoter regions of mismatch repair (MMR) genes like hMLH1, have been implicated in the development of various types of GC. In the present study we evaluated the role of hMLH1 promoter hypermethylation in Kashmiri GC patients and controls, and assessed correlations with various dietary and lifestyle factors. The study included 70 GC patients (56 males and 14 females; age ($mean{\pm}S.D$) $50{\pm}11.4$ years). Distinction between methylated and unmethylated was achieved with MS-PCR and DNA band patterns. The Chi-square test was applied to assess the risk due to promoter hypermethylation. We found a strikingly high frequency of promoter hypermethylation in GC cases than in normal samples (72.9% (51/70) in GC cases vs 20% (14/70) in normal samples (p=0.0001).We also observed a statistically significant association between methylated hMLH1 gene promoter and smoking, consumption of sundried vegetables and hot salted tea with the risk of GC. This study revealed that hMLH1 hypermethylation is strongly associated with GC and suggested roles for epigenetic changes in stomach cancer causation in the Kashmir valley.


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