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Genetic and epigenetic aberrations of p16 in feline primary neoplastic diseases and tumor cell lines of lymphoid and non-lymphoid origins

Mochizuki, H., Fujiwara-Igarashi, A., Sato, M., Goto-Koshino, Y., Ohno, K., Tsujimoto, H.
The veterinary journal 2017 v.219 pp. 27-33
cats, cell cycle, dogs, epigenetics, gene expression, genes, germ cells, homozygosity, humans, loci, lymphoma, mammary glands, messenger RNA, methylation, missense mutation, neoplasm cells, polymerase chain reaction, promoter regions, sequence analysis
The p16 gene acts as a tumor suppressor by regulating the cell cycle and is frequently inactivated in human and canine cancers. The aim of this study was to characterize genetic and epigenetic alterations of the p16 in feline lymphoid and non-lymphoid malignancies, using 74 primary tumors and 11 tumor cell lines. Cloning of feline p16 and subsequent sequence analysis revealed 11 germline sequence polymorphisms in control cats. Bisulfite sequencing analysis of the p16 promoter region in a feline lymphoma cell line revealed that promoter methylation was associated with decreased mRNA expression. Treatment with a demethylating agent restored mRNA expression of the silenced p16. PCR amplification and sequencing analysis detected homozygous loss (five tumors, 6.7%) and a missense mutation (one tumor, 1.4%) in the 74 primary tumors analyzed. Methylation-specific PCR analysis revealed promoter methylation in 10 primary tumors (14%). Promoter methylation was frequent in B cell lymphoid tumors (7/21 tumors, 33%). These genetic and epigenetic alterations were also observed in lymphoma and mammary gland carcinoma cell lines, but not detected in non-neoplastic control specimens. These data indicate that molecular alterations of the p16 locus may be involved in the development of specific types of feline cancer, and warrant further studies to evaluate the clinical value of this evolutionarily-conserved molecular alteration in feline cancers.