Enhanced CXCR4 expression associates with increased gene body 5-hydroxymethylcytosine modification but not decreased promoter methylation in colorectal cancer

Alexei J. Stuckel, Wei Zhang, Xu Zhang, Shuai Zeng, Urszula Dougherty, Reba Mustafi, Qiong Zhang, Elsa Perreand, Tripti Khare, Trupti Joshi, Diana C. West-Szymanski, Marc Bissonnette, Sharad Khare*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In colorectal cancer (CRC), upregulation of the C-X-C motif chemokine receptor 4 (CXCR4) is correlated with metastasis and poor prognosis, highlighting the need to further elucidate CXCR4’s regulation in CRC. For the first time, DNA methylation and 5-hydroxymethylcytosine aberrations were investigated to better understand the epigenetic regulation of CXCR4 in CRC. CXCR4 expression levels were measured using qPCR and immunoblotting in normal colon tissues, primary colon cancer tissues and CRC cell lines. Publicly available RNA-seq and methylation data from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) were extracted from tumors from CRC patients. The DNA methylation status spanning CXCR4 gene was evaluated using combined bisulfite restriction analysis (COBRA). The methylation status in the CXCR4 gene body was analyzed using previously performed nano-hmC-seal data from colon cancers and adjacent normal colonic mucosa. CXCR4 expression levels were significantly increased in tumor stromal cells and in tumor colonocytes, compared to matched cell types from adjacent normal-appearing mucosa. CXCR4 promoter methylation was detected in a minority of colorectal tumors in the TCGA. The CpG island of the CXCR4 promoter showed increased methylation in three of four CRC cell lines. CXCR4 protein expression differences were also notable between microsatellite stable (MSS) and microsatellite instable (MSI) tumor cell lines. While differential methylation was not detected in CXCR4, enrichment of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC) in CXCR4 gene bodies in CRC was observed compared to adjacent mucosa.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number539
JournalCancers
Volume12
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2020

Keywords

  • 5-hydroxymethylcytosine
  • CXCR4 gene expression
  • Colorectal cancer
  • DNA methylation
  • Epigenetic regulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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  • Cite this

    Stuckel, A. J., Zhang, W., Zhang, X., Zeng, S., Dougherty, U., Mustafi, R., Zhang, Q., Perreand, E., Khare, T., Joshi, T., West-Szymanski, D. C., Bissonnette, M., & Khare, S. (2020). Enhanced CXCR4 expression associates with increased gene body 5-hydroxymethylcytosine modification but not decreased promoter methylation in colorectal cancer. Cancers, 12(3), [539]. https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12030539