Chronic inflammation induces a novel epigenetic program that is conserved in intestinal adenomas and in colorectal cancer

Monther Abu-Remaileh, Sebastian Bender, Günter Raddatz, Ihab Ansari, Daphne Cohen, Julian Gutekunst, Tanja Musch, Heinz Linhart, Achim Breiling, Eli Pikarsky, Yehudit Bergman, Frank Lyko*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations

Abstract

Chronic inflammation represents a major risk factor for tumor formation, but the underlying mechanisms have remained largely unknown. Epigenetic mechanisms can record the effects of environmental challenges on the genome level and could therefore play an important role in the pathogenesis of inflammation-associated tumors. Using single-base methylation maps and transcriptome analyses of a colitis-induced mouse colon cancer model, we identified a novel epigenetic program that is characterized by hypermethylation of DNA methylation valleys that are characterized by low CpG density and active chromatin marks. This program is conserved and functional in mouse intestinal adenomas and results in silencing of active intestinal genes that are involved in gastrointestinal homeostasis and injury response. Further analyses reveal that the program represents a prominent feature of human colorectal cancer and can be used to correctly classify colorectal cancer samples with high accuracy. Together, our results show that inflammatory signals establish a novel epigenetic program that silences a specific set of genes that contribute to inflammation-induced cellular transformation.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)2120-2130
Number of pages11
JournalCancer Research
Volume75
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - 15 May 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 American Association for Cancer Research.

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