Large-scale analysis of DFNA5 methylation reveals its potential as biomarker for breast cancer
Background: Breast cancer is the most frequent cancer among women worldwide. Biomarkers for early detection and prognosis of these patients are needed. We hypothesized that deafness, autosomal dominant 5 (DFNA5) may be a valuable biomarker, based upon strong indications for its role as tumor suppressor gene and its function in regulated cell death. In this study, we aimed to analyze DFNA5 methylation and expression in the largest breast cancer cohort to date using publicly available data from TCGA, in order to further unravel the role of DFNA5 as detection and/or prognostic marker in breast cancer. We analyzed Infinium HumanMethylation450k data, covering 22 different CpGs in the DFNA5 gene (668 breast adenocarcinomas and 85 normal breast samples) and DFNA5 expression (Agilent 244K Custom Gene Expression: 476 breast adenocarcinomas and 56 normal breast samples; RNA-sequencing: 666 breast adenocarcinomas and 71 normal breast samples). Results: DFNA5 methylation and expression were significantly different between breast cancer and normal breast samples. Overall, breast cancer samples showed higher DFNA5 methylation in the putative gene promoter compared to normal breast samples, whereas in the gene body and upstream of the putative gene promoter, the opposite is true. Furthermore, DFNA5 methylation, in 10 out of 22 CpGs, and expression were significantly higher in lobular compared to ductal breast cancers. An important result of this study was the identification of a combination of one CpG in the gene promoter (CpG07504598) and one CpG in the gene body (CpG12922093) of DFNA5, which was able to discriminate between breast cancer and normal breast samples (AUC = 0.93). This model was externally validated in three independent datasets. Moreover, we showed that estrogen receptor state is associated with DFNA5 methylation and expression. Finally, we were able to find a significant effect of DFNA5 gene body methylation on a 5-year overall survival time. Conclusions: We conclude that DFNA5 methylation shows strong potential as detection and prognostic biomarker for breast cancer.
Source (journal)
Clinical epigenetics. - London, 2010, currens
London : 2018
1868-7075 [print]
1868-7083 [online]
10 (2018) , 13 p.
Article Reference
Pubmed ID
E-only publicatie
Full text (Publisher's DOI)
Research group
Project info
Investigation of DFNA5 as potential biomarker and tumour suppressor gene in 4 solid tumour types.
Publication type
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
Web of Science
Creation 04.05.2018
Last edited 15.11.2022
To cite this reference