When left does not seem right: epigenetic and bioelectric differencesbetween left- and right-sided breast cancer.

Sofía, Masuelli and Sebastián, Real and Emanuel, Campoy andBranham, María Teresita and Marzese, Diego Matías andMatthew, Salomon and De Blas, Gerardo and Rodolfo, Arias andMichael, Levin and María, Roqué

BACKGROUND: During embryogenesis lateral symmetry is broken, giving rise to Left/Right (L/R) breast tissues with distinct identity. L/R-sided breast tumors exhibit consistently-biased incidence, gene expression, and DNA methylation. We postulate that a differential L/R tumor-microenvironment crosstalk generates different tumorigenesis mechanisms. METHODS: We performed in-silico analyses on breast tumors of public datasets, developed xenografted tumors, and conditioned MDA-MB-231 cells with L/R mammary extracts. RESULTS: We found L/R differential DNA methylation involved in embryogenic and neuron-like functions. Focusing on ion-channels, we discovered significant L/R epigenetic and bioelectric differences. Specifically, L-sided cells presented increased methylation of hyperpolarizing ion channel genes and increased Ca concentration and depolarized membrane potential, compared to R-ones. Functional consequences were associated with increased proliferation in left tumors, assessed by KI67 expression and mitotic count. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings reveal considerable L/R asymmetry in cancer processes, and suggest specific L/R epigenetic and bioelectric differences as future targets for cancer therapeutic approaches in the breast and many other paired organs.

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February, 2022


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