Promoter Hypermethylation of Wnt/β-catenin Signaling Pathway Inhibitor WIF-1 Gene and its Association with MTHFR C677T Polymorphism in Patients with Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal Cancer

Jalilvand A and Soltanpour MS. Oman Med J 2020.


OBJECTIVES: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a common malignancy with a high rate of mortality. The dysregulation of genes involved in the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway is a common finding in cancers. Wnt-inhibitory factor-1 (WIF-1) suppresses the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway and its inactivation by genetics and epigenetic changes may cause cancer. We investigated the DNA methylation status of the WIF-1 gene in patients with CRC and its interaction with MTHFR C677T polymorphism, a known modifier of methylation reaction.

METHODS: We investigated 50 cancerous tissues and the adjacent non-cancerous tissue. Genomic DNA was extracted using a commercial kit and was treated by sodium bisulfite. Methylation-specific PCR was used for methylation analysis, and restriction fragment length polymorphism PCR to analyze the C677T polymorphism of the MTHFR gene.

RESULTS: The frequency of WIF1 promoter DNA methylation was significantly higher in cancerous tissue than adjacent non-cancerous tissue (52.0% vs. 8.0%; p < 0.001). WIF1 promoter DNA methylation status showed a significant association only with tumor location (p = 0.009). Carriers of TT genotype and T allele of MTHFR C677T polymorphism had a significantly higher frequency of unmethylated WIF1 gene than methylated WIF-1 gene in cancerous tissue (p = 0.025 and p = 0.001, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS: Promoter DNA hypermethylation of the WIF-1 gene is a significant risk factor for CRC development, which was significantly associated with tumor location only. The significant association of TT genotype and T allele of MTHFR C677T polymorphism with unmethylated WIF-1 gene suggests a protective role for this common polymorphism against methylation-induced development of CRC.