During the last decades it has been established that breast cancer arises through the accumulation of genetic and epigenetic alterations in different cancer related genes. These alterations confer the tumor oncogenic abilities, which can be resumed as cancer hallmarks (CH). The purpose of this study was to establish the methylation profile of CpG sites located in cancer genes in breast tumors so as to infer their potential impact on 6 CH: i.e. sustained proliferative signaling, evasion of growth suppressors, resistance to cell death, induction of angiogenesis, genome instability and invasion and metastasis. For 51 breast carcinomas, MS-MLPA derived-methylation profiles of 81 CpG sites were converted into 6 CH profiles. CH profiles distribution was tested by different statistical methods and correlated with clinical-pathological data. Unsupervised Hierarchical Cluster Analysis revealed that CH profiles segregate in two main groups (bootstrapping 90-100%), which correlate with breast laterality (p = 0.05). For validating these observations, gene expression data was obtained by RealTime-PCR in a different cohort of 25 tumors and converted into CH profiles. This analyses confirmed the same clustering and a tendency of association with breast laterality (p = 0.15). In silico analyses on gene expression data from TCGA Breast dataset from left and right breast tumors showed that they differed significantly when data was previously converted into CH profiles (p = 0.033). We show here for the first time, that breast carcinomas arising on different sides of the body present differential cancer traits inferred from methylation and expression profiles. Our results indicate that by converting methylation or expression profiles in terms of Cancer Hallmarks, it would allow to uncover veiled associations with clinical features. These results contribute with a new finding to the better understanding of breast tumor behavior, and can moreover serve as proof of principle for other bilateral cancers like lung, testes or kidney.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)