Folate Deficiency and FHIT Hypermethylation and HPV 16 Infection Promote Cervical Cancerization

  • Bai, Li-Xia (Maternal and Children Health care of Shanxi Province affiliated to Shanxi Medical University) ;
  • Wang, Jin-Tao (Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Shanxi Medical University) ;
  • Ding, Ling (Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Shanxi Medical University) ;
  • Jiang, Shi-Wen (Department of Biomedical Science, Mercer University School of Medicine) ;
  • Kang, Hui-Jie (Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Shanxi Medical University) ;
  • Gao, Chen-Fei (Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Shanxi Medical University) ;
  • Chen, Xiao (Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Shanxi Medical University) ;
  • Chen, Chen (Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Shanxi Medical University) ;
  • Zhou, Qin (Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Shanxi Medical University)
  • Published : 2014.11.28


Fragile histidine triad (FHIT) is a suppressor gene related to cervical cancer through CpG island hypermethylation. Folate is a water-soluble B-vitamin and an important cofactor in one-carbon metabolism. It may play an essential role in cervical lesions through effects on DNA methylation. The purpose of this study was to observe effects of folate and FHIT methylation and HPV 16 on cervical cancer progression. In this study, DNA methylation of FHIT, serum folate level and HPV16 status were measured using methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction (MSP), radioimmunoassay (RIA) and polymerase chain reaction (PCR), respectively, in 310 women with a diagnosis of normal cervix (NC, n=109), cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN, n=101) and squamous cell carcinoma of the cervix (SCC, n=101). There were significant differences in HPV16 status (${\chi}^2=36.64$, P<0.001), CpG island methylation of FHIT (${\chi}^2=71.31$, P<0.001) and serum folate level (F=4.57, P=0.011) across the cervical histologic groups. Interaction analysis showed that the ORs only with FHIT methylation (OR=11.47) or only with HPV 16 positive (OR=4.63) or with serum folate level lower than 3.19ng/ml (OR=1.68) in SCC group were all higher than the control status of HPV 16 negative and FHIT unmethylation and serum folate level more than 3.19ng/ml (OR=1). The ORs only with HPV 16 positive (OR=2.58) or with serum folate level lower than 3.19ng/ml (OR=1.28) in CIN group were all higher than the control status, but the OR only with FHIT methylation (OR=0.53) in CIN group was lower than the control status. HPV 16 positivity was associated with a 7.60-fold increased risk of SCC with folate deficiency and with a 1.84-fold increased risk of CIN. The patients with FHIT methylation and folate deficiency or with FHIT methylation and HPV 16 positive were SCC or CIN, and the patients with HPV 16 positive and FHIT methylation and folate deficiency were all SCC. In conclusion, HPV 16 infection, FHIT methylation and folate deficiency might promote cervical cancer progression. This suggests that FHIT may be an effective target for prevention and treatment of cervical cancer.


Supported by : National Natural Science Foundation of China, Natural Science Foundation of Shanxi Province


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