Interaction between Microsatellite Instability (MSI) and Tumor DNA Methylation in the Pathogenesis of Colorectal Carcinoma
In colorectal cancer (CRC), mutations may occur in short, repeated DNA sequences, known as microsatellite instability (MSI). Tumor DNA methylation is another molecular change now recognized as an important biomarker in CRC. In a genome-wide scale, for the first time, we explored whether DNA methylation is associated with MSI status in CRC. We analyzed 250 paired samples (tumor and corresponding normal) from 125 CRC patients (m = 72, f = 53) at different stages. We found that many genes were methylated in tumor tissue compared to normal tissue. However, almost four times more genes showed such methylation changes in the tumor if the patient who also had MSI compared to patients without MSI. Our study shows an association of MSI and DNA methylation in CRC. The study also indicates an opportunity for potential use of certain immune checkpoint inhibitors (CTLA4 and HAVCR2 inhibitors) in CRC with MSI.
In colorectal cancer (CRC), the role of microsatellite instability (MSI) is well known. In a genome-wide scale, for the first time, we explored whether differential methylation is associated with MSI. We analyzed 250 paired samples from 125 CRC patients (m = 72, f = 53) at different stages. Of them, 101 had left-sided CRC, 30 had MSI, 34 had somatic mutation in KRAS proto-oncogene (KRAS), and 6 had B-Raf proto-oncogene (BRAF) exon 15p.V600E mutation. MSI was more frequent in right-sided tumors (54% vs. 17%, p = 0.003). Among the microsatellite stable (MSS) CRC, a paired comparison revealed 1641 differentially methylated loci (DML) covering 686 genes at FDR 0.001 with delta beta ≥ 20%. Similar analysis in MSI revealed 6209 DML covering 2316 genes. ANOVA model including interaction (Tumor*MSI) revealed 23,322 loci, where the delta beta was different among MSI and MSS patients. Our study shows an association between MSI and tumor DNA methylation in the pathogenesis of CRC. Given the interaction seen in this study, it may be worth considering the MSI status while looking for methylation markers in CRC. The study also indicates an opportunity for potential use of certain immune checkpoint inhibitors (CTLA4 and HAVCR2 inhibitors) in CRC with MSI.
Keywords: MSI; colorectal cancer; interaction; CIMP; MMR; immune checkpoint inhibitor; CTLA4; HAVCR2