Promoter methylation of SFRPs gene family in cervical cancer

Ming Tzeung Chung, Huey Kang Sytwu, Ming De Yan, Yu Lueng Shih, Cheng Chang Chang, Mu Hsien Yu, Tang Yuan Chu, Hung Cheng Lai, Ya Wen Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: Oncogenic activation of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway is common in human cancers, including cervical cancer. The secreted frizzled-related proteins (SFRPs) function as negative regulators of Wnt signaling and play an important role in carcinogenesis. Frequent promoter hypermethylation of SFRPs has been identified in human cancers; however, the precise role of SFRPs in cervical cancer is not clear. Methods: The methylation status of SFRPs gene family was analyzed in two cervical cancer cell lines and a full spectrum of cervical neoplasia, including 45 low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (LSIL), 49 high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (HSIL), 109 squamous cell carcinomas (SCC), and 45 normal controls. Results: The SFRP1 promoter was hypermethylated in 33.9% of SCC, 8.2% of HSIL, 2.2% of LSIL, but not in normal tissues. The SFRP2 promoter was hypermethylated in 80.7% of SCC, 16.3% of HSIL, 15.6% LSIL and 4.4% normal tissues. The SFRP4 promoter was hypermethylated in 67.9% of SCC, 36.7% of HSIL, 4.4% of LSIL, but not in normal tissues. The SFRP5 promoter was hypermethylated in 10.1% of SCC, 4.1% of HSIL, 13.3% of LSIL and 4.4% normal tissues. The frequency of SFRP1, SFRP2 and SFRP4 promoter methylation in tumors was significantly higher than in normal, LSIL, and HSIL samples (P < 0.0001). SFRP5 methylation was significantly different in patients with or without lymph-node metastases (0% vs 15.2%, respectively, P < 0.05). Conclusions: Our data suggest that promoter hypermethylation of SFRP1, SFRP2 and SFRP4 is associated with cervical carcinogenesis, which could be used for molecular screening of cervical neoplasias in future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-306
Number of pages6
JournalGynecologic Oncology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Cervical cancer
  • Epigenetic inactivation
  • SFRP genes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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