The importance of enhancer methylation for epigenetic regulation of tumorigenesis in squamous lung cancer

Jae Won Cho, Hyo Sup Shim, Chang Young Lee, Seong Yong Park, Min Hee Hong, Insuk Lee, Hye Ryun Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Lung squamous cell carcinoma (LUSC) is a subtype of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). LUSC occurs at the bronchi, shows a squamous appearance, and often occurs in smokers. To determine the epigenetic regulatory mechanisms of tumorigenesis, we performed a genome-wide analysis of DNA methylation in tumor and adjacent normal tissues from LUSC patients. With the Infinium Methylation EPIC Array, > 850,000 CpG sites, including ~350,000 CpG sites for enhancer regions, were profiled, and the differentially methylated regions (DMRs) overlapping promoters (pDMRs) and enhancers (eDMRs) between tumor and normal tissues were identified. Dimension reduction based on DMR profiles revealed that eDMRs alone and not pDMRs alone can differentiate tumors from normal tissues with the equivalent performance of total DMRs. We observed a stronger negative correlation of LUSC-specific gene expression with methylation for enhancers than promoters. Target genes of eDMRs rather than pDMRs were found to be enriched for tumor-associated genes and pathways. Furthermore, DMR methylation associated with immune infiltration was more frequently observed among enhancers than promoters. Our results suggest that methylation of enhancer regions rather than promoters play more important roles in epigenetic regulation of tumorigenesis and immune infiltration in LUSC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-22
Number of pages11
JournalExperimental and Molecular Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jan

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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