FBXL7 body hypomethylation is frequent in tumors from the digestive and respiratory tracts and is associated with risk-factor exposure

Diego Camuzi, Luisa Aguirre Buexm, Simone de Queiroz Chaves Lourenço, Rachele Grazziotin, Simone Guaraldi, Priscila Valverde, Davy Rapozo, Jill M. Brooks, Hisham Mehanna, Luis Felipe Ribeiro Pinto, Sheila Coelho Soares-Lima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Squamous cell carcinoma is the main histological tumor type in the upper aerodigestive tract (UADT), including the esophagus (ESCC) and the head and neck sites, as well as the oral cavity (OCSCC), larynx (LSCC) and oropharynx (OPSCC). These tumors are induced by alcohol and tobacco exposure, with the exception of a subgroup of OPSCC linked to human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. Few genes are frequently mutated in UADT tumors, pointing to other molecular mechanisms being involved during carcinogenesis. The F-box and leucine-rich repeat protein 7 (FBXL7) is a potential tumor-suppressing gene, one that is frequently hypermethylated in pancreatic cancer and where the encoded protein promotes the degradation of AURKA, BIRC5 and c-SRC. Thus, the aim of this study was to evaluate the methylation and expression profile of FBXL7 in the UADT and the gene’s association with the clinical, etiological and pathological characteristics of patients, as well as the expression of its degradation targets. Here we show that the FBXL7 gene’s body is hypomethylated in the UADT, independently of histology, but not in virus-associated tumors. FBXL7 body methylation and gene expression levels were correlated in the ESCC, LSCC, OCSCC and OPSCC. Immunohistochemistry analysis showed that FBXL7 protein levels are not correlated with the levels of its degradation targets, AURKA and BIRC5, in the UADT. The high discriminatory potential of FBXL7 body hypomethylation between non-tumor and tumor tissues makes it a promising biomarker.
Original languageEnglish
Article number7801
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Volume23
Issue number14
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2022

Keywords

  • DNA methylation
  • cancer
  • squamous cell carcinoma
  • esophagus
  • head and neck
  • FBXL7
  • AURKA
  • Survivin
  • HPV

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