Publications & Reports

Aberrant DNA methylation but not mutation of CITED4 is associated with alteration of HIF-regulated genes in breast cancer.

Katie T Huang, Elena A Takano, Thomas Mikeska, David J Byrne, Alexander Dobrovic, Stephen B Fox
Molecular Pathology Research and Development Laboratory, Department of Pathology, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne, VIC, 8006, Australia. [email protected]


CBP/p300-interacting transactivator with ED-rich carboxy-terminal domain 4 (CITED4) inhibits HIF-1alpha transactivation by binding to CBP/p300. We hypothesised that either somatic mutation or hypermethylation of the CITED4 gene underlies CITED4 down-regulation and thus enhanced HIF-1alpha expression in some breast tumours. DNA sequencing was used to screen for somatic mutations. Methylation-sensitive high resolution melting was performed to identify CITED4 methylation. RT-qPCR was carried out to measure the expression of CITED4 and selected HIF downstream targets. HIF-1alpha and downstream gene expression was assessed with immunohistochemistry. No somatic mutations of CITED4 were identified in 10 tumour cell lines and 100 breast carcinomas. However, CITED4 promoter methylation was identified in 5/168 breast carcinomas (four infiltrating ductal carcinomas and one infiltrating lobular carcinoma) and in 3/10 breast cancer cell lines (MDA-MB-453, MDA-MB-231 and Hs578T). CITED4 mRNA expression in cell lines was inversely correlated with DNA methylation. CITED4 mRNA expression was significantly increased in all three cell lines after 5-aza-2-deoxycytidine (DAC) treatment. Treatment of the MDA-MB-231 cell line with DAC followed by hypoxia (0.1% O(2)) resulted in down-regulation of expression of the HIF-1alpha downstream genes VEGFA and SLC2A1 (P = 0.0029). HIF-1alpha downstream SLC2A1 was decreased (P = 0.021) after CITED4 was re-expressed under hypoxia. Loss of expression of CITED4 in breast cancer may be due to DNA methylation but is unlikely to be due to mutation. Demethylation and histone modification can potentially reactivate CITED4 gene expression in some breast cancers and lead to changes in tumour behaviour. Strategies such as HDAC inhibitors may overcome this effect.


  • Journal: Breast Cancer Research and Treatment
  • Published: 01/11/2011
  • Volume: 130
  • Issue: 1
  • Pagination: 319-329