Nishida N, Arizumi T, Takita M, Kitai S, Yada N, Hagiwara S, Inoue T, Minami Y, Ueshima K, Sakurai T, Kudo M
Chronic hepatitis C (CHC) triggers oxidative stress and contributes to the emergence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). We previously reported that tumor suppressor gene (TSG) methylation is a critical factor during the early stages of hepatocarcinogenesis. In this study, we clarify the association between oxidative stress and epigenetic alterations during hepatocarcinogenesis. We examined DNA oxidation and methylation profiles in 128 liver biopsy samples from CHC patients. The DNA oxidation and methylated TSG numbers were quantified using immunohistochemical analysis of 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) and quantitative PCR for 11 TSGs, respectively. The quantitative chromatin immunoprecipitation-PCR (ChIP-qPCR) assay in HepG2 and fetal liver Hc cells treated with H2O2 was used to quantify trimethyl-H3K4, acetylated-H4K16 (an active chromatin marker), trimethyl-H3K27 (a repressive chromatin marker) and 8-OHdG. We analyzed 30 promoters of 25 different TSGs by qPCR. The high levels of 8-OHdG was the only variable that was significantly associated with the increased number of methylated TSGs in CHC (p < 0.0001). The ChIP-qPCR revealed that after H2O2 treatment of the cell lines, the 8-OHdG-bound promoters showed a modification from an active chromatin (trimethyl-H3K4 and acetylated-H4K16 dominant) to a repressive chromatin (trimethyl-H3K27 dominant) status. We conclude that oxidative stress alters the chromatin status, which leads to abnormal methylation of TSGs, and contributes to hepatocarcinogenesis in CHC patients. © 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel.