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DNA methylation-mediated caspase-8 downregulation is associated with anti-apoptotic activity and human malignant glioma grade

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The methylation-mediated silencing of tumor suppressors, including key apoptosis-related genes plays an important role in the pathogenesis and therapeutic resistance in human cancer. In this study, we aimed to elucidate the role and mechanisms of resistance to apoptosis with caspase-8 gene downregulation in human malignant glioma. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and methylation-specific PCR (MSP) were used to examine caspase-8 expressoin at the mRNA level and gene methylation status in normal brain tissue, glioma tissue and cancer cell lines. Caspase-8 protein kinase activity was measured by caspase-8 colorimetric assays; cell apoptosis was examined by Annexin V/propidium iodide (PI) staining; the rates of tumor cell apoptosis were detected by flow cytometry. Our results revealed that caspase-8 gene silencing may result from the methylation of its gene promoter in human glioma tissues. The expression of caspase-8 at the mRNA level was significantly associated with the grade of human glioma. In certain human cancer cell lines, the expression at the mRNA level, protein kinase activity and tumor cell anti-apoptotic activity and resistance were related to the methylation status of the caspase-8 gene promoter. Thus, the caspase-8 gene methylation status may be used as an indicator for the early diagnosis of human malignant glioma. Combination therapy with demethylation reagents may overcome therapeutic resistance in the same malignancy.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Immunology, Harbin Medical University, Harbin, Heilongjiang 150081, P.R. China 2: Department of Neurosurgery, The Third Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, Harbin, Heilongjiang 150040, P.R. China 3: Central Laboratory of Blood Cancer, The First Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, Harbin, Heilongjiang 150001, P.R. China

Publication date: January 1, 2017

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  • The International Journal of Molecular Medicine is a monthly, peer-reviewed journal devoted to the publication of high quality studies related to the molecular mechanisms of human disease. The journal welcomes research on all aspects of molecular and clinical research, ranging from biochemistry to immunology, pathology, genetics, human genomics, microbiology, molecular pathogenesis, molecular cardiology, molecular surgery and molecular psychology.

    The International Journal of Molecular Medicine aims to provide an insight for researchers within the community in regard to developing molecular tools and identifying molecular targets for the diagnosis and treatment of a diverse number of human diseases.
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