BRD7 Promoter Hypermethylation as an Indicator of Well Differentiated Oral Squamous Cell Carcinomas

  • Balasubramanian, Anandh (Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Faculty of Dentistry, Sri Ramachandra University) ;
  • Subramaniam, Ramkumar (Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Faculty of Dentistry, Sri Ramachandra University) ;
  • Narayanan, Vivek (SRM Kattankulathur Dental College & Hospital) ;
  • Annamalai, Thangavelu (Rajah Muthiah Dental College and Hospital, Annamalai University) ;
  • Ramanathan, Arvind (Rajah Muthiah Dental College and Hospital, Annamalai University)
  • Published : 2015.03.09


Background: Promoter hypermethylation mediated gene silencing of tumor suppressor genes is considered as most frequent mechanism than genetic aberrations such as mutations in the development of cancers. BRD7 is a single bromodomain containing protein that functions as a subunit of SWI/SNF chromatin-remodeling complex to regulate transcription. It also interacts with the well know tumor suppressor protein p53 to trans-activate genes involved in cell cycle arrest. Loss of expression of BRD7 has been observed in breast cancers and nasopharyngeal carcinomas due to promoter hypermethylation. However, the genetic status of BRD7 in oral squamous cell carcinomas (OSCCs) is not known, although OSCC is one of the most common among all reported cancers in the Indian population. Hence, in the present study we investigated OSCC samples to determine the occurrence of hypermethylation in the promoter region of BRD7 and understand its prevalence. Materials and Methods: Genomic DNA extracted from biopsy tissues of twenty three oral squamous cell carcinomas were digested with methylation sensitive HpaII type2 restriction enzyme that recognizes and cuts unmethylated CCGG motifs. The digested DNA samples were amplified with primers flanking the CCGG motifs in promoter region of BRD7 gene. The PCR amplified products were analyzed by agarose gel electrophoresis along with undigested amplification control. Results: Methylation sensitive enzyme technique identified methylation of BRD7 promoter region seventeen out of twenty three (74%) well differentiated oral squamous cell carcinoma samples. Conclusions: The identification of BRD7 promoter hypermethylation in 74% of well differentiated oral squamous cell carcinomas indicates that the methylation dependent silencing of BRD7 gene is a frequent event in carcinogenesis. To the best of our knowledge, the present study is the first to report the occurrence of BRD7and its high prevalence in oral squamous cell carcinomas.


Oral carcinoma;BRD7 expression;hypermethylation;differentiation marker


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