Publications & Reports

Epigenetic downregulation of mitogen-activated protein kinase phosphatase MKP-2 relieves its growth suppressive activity in glioma cells.

Anke Waha, Jorg Felsberg, Wolfgang Hartmann, Anna von dem Knesebeck, Thomas Mikeska, Stefan Joos, Marietta Wolter, Arend Koch, Pearlly S Yan, Elmar Endl, Otmar D Wiestler, Guido Reifenberger, Torsten Pietsch, Andreas Waha
Department of Neuropathology, University of Bonn, D-53105 Bonn, Germany.


Critical tumor suppression pathways in brain tumors have yet to be fully defined. Along with mutational analyses, genome-wide epigenetic investigations may reveal novel suppressor elements. Using differential methylation hybridization, we identified a CpG-rich region of the promoter of the dual-specificity mitogen-activated protein kinase phosphatase-2 gene (DUSP4/MKP-2) that is hypermethylated in gliomas. In 83 astrocytic gliomas and 5 glioma cell lines examined, hypermethylation of the MKP-2 promoter was found to occur relatively more frequently in diffuse or anaplastic astrocytomas and secondary glioblastomas relative to primary glioblastomas. MKP-2 hypermethylation was associated with mutations in TP53 and IDH1, exclusive of EGFR amplification, and with prolonged survival of patients with primary glioblastoma. Expression analysis established that promoter hypermethylation correlated with reduced expression of MKP-2 mRNA and protein. Consistent with a regulatory role, reversing promoter hypermethylation by treating cells with 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine increased MKP-2 mRNA levels. Furthermore, we found that glioblastoma cell growth was inhibited by overexpression of exogenous MKP-2. Our findings reveal MKP-2 as a common epigenetically silenced gene in glioma, the inactivation of which may play a significant role in glioma development.


  • Journal: Cancer Research
  • Published: 15/02/2010
  • Volume: 70
  • Issue: 4
  • Pagination: 1689-1699