Methylomic Signatures of High Grade Serous Ovarian Cancer

  • Horacio Cardenas (Creator)
  • Fang Fang (Creator)
  • Guanglong Jiang (Creator)
  • Susan M. Perkins (Creator)
  • Chi Zhang (Creator)
  • Robert Emerson (Creator)
  • George Hutchins (Creator)
  • Harold Keer (Creator)
  • Yunlong Liu (Creator)
  • Daniela Elena Matei (Creator)
  • Kenneth Nephew (Creator)



High-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC) harbours aberrant epigenetic features, including DNA methylation. In this study we delineate pathways and networks altered by DNA methylation and associated with HGSOC initiation and progression to a platinum-resistant state. By including tumours from patients who had been treated with the hypomethylating agent (HMA) guadecitabine, we also addressed the role of HMAs in treatment of HGSOC. Tumours from patients with primary (platinum-naïve) HGSOC (n = 20) were compared to patients with recurrent platinum-resistant HGSOC and enrolled in a recently completed clinical trial (NCT01696032). Human ovarian surface epithelial cells (HOSE; n = 5 samples) served as normal controls. Genome-wide methylation profiles were determined. DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) expression levels were examined by immunohistochemistry and correlated with clinical outcomes. Cancer-related and tumorigenesis networks were enriched among differentially methylated genes (DMGs) in primary OC vs. HOSE. When comparing platinum-resistant and primary tumours, 452 CpG island (CGI)-containing gene promoters acquired DNA methylation; of those loci, decreased (P < 0.01) methylation after HMA treatment was observed in 42% (n = 189 CGI). Stem cell pluripotency and cytokine networks were enriched in recurrent platinum-resistant OC tumours, while drug metabolism and transport-related networks were downregulated in tumours from HMA-treated patients compared to HOSE. Lower DNMT1 and 3B protein levels in pre-treatment tumours were associated with improved progression-free survival. The findings provide important insight into the DNA methylation landscape of HGSOC tumorigenesis, platinum resistance and epigenetic resensitization. Epigenetic reprogramming plays an important role in HGSOC aetiology and contributes to clinical outcomes.
Date made available2020
PublisherTaylor & Francis

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