Gene Summary

Gene:C2orf40; chromosome 2 open reading frame 40
Aliases: ECRG4
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Source:NCBIAccessed: 06 August, 2015


What does this gene/protein do?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
Graph generated 06 August 2015 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 06 August, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (4)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: C2orf40 (cancer-related)

Chen J, Liu C, Yin L, Zhang W
The tumor-promoting function of ECRG4 in papillary thyroid carcinoma and its related mechanism.
Tumour Biol. 2015; 36(2):1081-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
This study aimed to explore the tumor-promoting function of esophageal cancer-related gene 4 (ECRG4) in the papillary thyroid cancer and its related mechanism. ECRG4 Messenger RNA (mRNA) and protein expression analysis in papillary thyroid cancer tissues was performed by quantitative real-time PCR (Q-RT-PCR), Western blot, and immunohistochemistry methods. Ten pairs of fresh samples from the papillary thyroid carcinoma patients were analyzed for ECRG4 promoter CpG island methylation status by bisulfite sequencing analysis. We also transfected ECRG4 into papillary thyroid cancer cell lines W3 and K1 with lentivirus and analyzed ECRG4 functions through evaluating the changes of the proliferation activity, the cell cycle, and the cell apoptosis rate of these transformed cells. We found that ECRG4 expression was upregulated in most papillary thyroid cancer samples (70.0%, 28 out of 40 papillary thyroid cancer samples) on the protein level, and the ECRG4 mRNA level was also enhanced in tumor tissues compared to their matched nontumor tissues. CpG islands around the ECRG4 promoter region were demethylated in the papillary thyroid cancer samples. At the same time, the upregulated expression of ECRG4 in papillary thyroid cancer cell lines W3 and K1 could promote both the proliferation activity and the cell cycle transition from the G1 phase into the G2 but could not affect the cell apoptosis rate. The expression of ECRG4 is frequently upregulated in a papillary thyroid carcinoma through the demethylation mechanism of CpG islands in the gene promoter region, and the ECRG4 has a tumor-promoting function through inducing the cell cycle transition from the G1 phase to the G2 in papillary thyroid carcinoma cells.

Scheil-Bertram S, Kappler R, von Baer A, et al.
Molecular profiling of chordoma.
Int J Oncol. 2014; 44(4):1041-55 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The molecular basis of chordoma is still poorly understood, particularly with respect to differentially expressed genes involved in the primary origin of chordoma. In this study, therefore, we compared the transcriptional expression profile of one sacral chordoma recurrence, two chordoma cell lines (U-CH1 and U-CH2) and one chondrosarcoma cell line (U-CS2) with vertebral disc using a high-density oligonucleotide array. The expression of 65 genes whose mRNA levels differed significantly (p<0.001; ≥6-fold change) between chordoma and control (vertebral disc) was identified. Genes with increased expression in chordoma compared to control and chondrosarcoma were most frequently located on chromosomes 2 (11%), 5 (8%), 1 and 7 (each 6%), whereas interphase cytogenetics of 33 chordomas demonstrated gains of chromosomal material most prevalent on 7q (42%), 12q (21%), 17q (21%), 20q (27%) and 22q (21%). The microarray data were confirmed for selected genes by quantitative polymerase chain reaction analysis. As in other studies, we showed the expression of brachyury. We demonstrate the expression of new potential candidates for chordoma tumorigenesis, such as CD24, ECRG4, RARRES2, IGFBP2, RAP1, HAI2, RAB38, osteopontin, GalNAc-T3, VAMP8 and others. Thus, we identified and validated a set of interesting candidate genes whose differential expression likely plays a role in chordoma.

Matsuzaki J, Torigoe T, Hirohashi Y, et al.
Expression of ECRG4 is associated with lower proliferative potential of esophageal cancer cells.
Pathol Int. 2013; 63(8):391-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
We have shown that ECRG4 suppressed Fas-induced apoptosis in Jurkat cells. ECRG4 mRNA expression was ubiquitously detected in normal adult human tissues, suggesting that ECRG4 plays a major role in human tissues. ECRG4 mRNA expression was down-regulated in tumor cells. Expression of ECRG4 suppressed cell growth. We established an anti-ECRG4 monoclonal antibody. Our immunohistochemical analysis demonstrated that ECRG4-positive cells tended to be distributed in the region that was negative for Ki-67 in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma tissues. There was a significant inverse correlation between ECRG4 expression and Ki-67 labeling index in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma. This study provides the first functional evidence for an association of endogenous expression of ECRG4 with cell proliferation. ECRG4 is a candidate tumor suppressor gene that might be involved in the proliferation of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.

Lu J, Wen M, Huang Y, et al.
C2ORF40 suppresses breast cancer cell proliferation and invasion through modulating expression of M phase cell cycle genes.
Epigenetics. 2013; 8(6):571-83 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Recently, it has been suggested that C2ORF40 is a candidate tumor suppressor gene in breast cancer. However, the mechanism for reduced expression of C2ORF40 and its functional role in breast cancers remain unclear. Here we show that C2ORF40 is frequently silenced in human primary breast cancers and cell lines through promoter hypermethylation. C2ORF40 mRNA level is significantly associated with patient disease-free survival and distant cancer metastasis. Overexpression of C2ORF4 0 inhibits breast cancer cell proliferation, migration and invasion. By contrast, silencing C2ORF40 expression promotes these biological phenotypes. Bioinformatics and FACS analysis reveal C2ORF40 functions at G2/M phase by downregulation of mitotic genes expression, including UBE2C. Our results suggest that C2ORF40 acts as a tumor suppressor gene in breast cancer pathogenesis and progression and is a candidate prognostic marker for this disease.

Qu Y, Dang S, Hou P
Gene methylation in gastric cancer.
Clin Chim Acta. 2013; 424:53-65 [PubMed] Related Publications
Gastric cancer is one of the most common malignancies and remains the second leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide. Over 70% of new cases and deaths occur in developing countries. In the early years of the molecular biology revolution, cancer research mainly focuses on genetic alterations, including gastric cancer. Epigenetic mechanisms are essential for normal development and maintenance of tissue-specific gene expression patterns in mammals. Disruption of epigenetic processes can lead to altered gene function and malignant cellular transformation. Recent advancements in the rapidly evolving field of cancer epigenetics have shown extensive reprogramming of every component of the epigenetic machinery in cancer, including DNA methylation, histone modifications, nucleosome positioning, noncoding RNAs, and microRNAs. Aberrant DNA methylation in the promoter regions of gene, which leads to inactivation of tumor suppressor and other cancer-related genes in cancer cells, is the most well-defined epigenetic hallmark in gastric cancer. The advantages of gene methylation as a target for detection and diagnosis of cancer in biopsy specimens and non-invasive body fluids such as serum and gastric washes have led to many studies of application in gastric cancer. This review focuses on the most common and important phenomenon of epigenetics, DNA methylation, in gastric cancer and illustrates the impact epigenetics has had on this field.

Jiang CP, Wu BH, Wang BQ, et al.
Overexpression of ECRG4 enhances chemosensitivity to 5-fluorouracil in the human gastric cancer SGC-7901 cell line.
Tumour Biol. 2013; 34(4):2269-73 [PubMed] Related Publications
The aim of this study was to examine the effects of esophageal cancer-related gene 4 (ECRG4) expression levels on chemotherapeutic sensitivity of gastric cancer cells. A SGC-7901 cell system with tetracycline-inducible ECRG4 expression (SGC-7901/ECRG4) was successfully established. ECRG4 mRNA and protein expression levels were detected using quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and Western blotting, respectively. Chemosensitivity to 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) was examined by cell proliferation assay and cell apoptosis assay. ECRG4 mRNA and protein expression levels were significantly upregulated in SGC-7901/ECRG4 cells induced with tetracycline. Compared with control cells, the growth inhibition rate of cells with ECRG4 overexpression was significantly increased when treated with 5-FU. Treatment with 5 μmol/l 5-FU resulted in 15.2 % apoptotic cells, whereas such treatment after overexpression of ECRG4 resulted in 44.5 % apoptotic cells. In conclusion, overexpression of ECRG4 enhanced the chemosensitivity of gastric cancer SGC-7901 cells to 5-FU through induction of apoptosis.

Camões MJ, Paulo P, Ribeiro FR, et al.
Potential downstream target genes of aberrant ETS transcription factors are differentially affected in Ewing's sarcoma and prostate carcinoma.
PLoS One. 2012; 7(11):e49819 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
FLI1 and ERG, the major ETS transcription factors involved in rearrangements in the Ewing's sarcoma family of tumors (ESFT) and in prostate carcinomas (PCa), respectively, belong to the same subfamily, having 98% sequence identity in the DNA binding domain. We therefore decided to investigate whether the aberrant transcription factors in both malignancies have some common downstream targets. We crossed a publicly available list of all putative EWSR1-FLI1 target genes in ESFT with our microarray expression data on 24 PCa and 6 non-malignant prostate tissues (NPT) and choose four genes among the top-most differentially expressed between PCa with (PCa ERG+) and without (PCa ETS-) ETS fusion genes (HIST1H4L, KCNN2, ECRG4 and LDOC1), as well as four well-validated direct targets of the EWSR1-FLI1 chimeric protein in ESFT (NR0B1, CAV1, IGFBP3 and TGFBR2). Using quantitative expression analysis in 16 ESFT and seven alveolar rhabdomyosarcomas (ARMS), we were able to validate the four genes previously described as direct targets of the EWSR1-FLI1 oncoprotein, showing overexpression of CAV1 and NR0B1 and underexpression of IGFBP3 and TGFBR2 in ESFT as compared to ARMS. Although none of these four genes showed significant expression differences between PCa ERG+ and PCa ETS-, CAV1, IGFBP3 and TGFBR2 were less expressed in PCa in an independent series of 56 PCa and 15 NPT, as also observed for ECRG4 and LDOC1, suggesting a role in prostate carcinogenesis in general. On the other hand, we demonstrate for the first time that both HIST1H4L and KCNN2 are significantly overexpressed in PCa ERG+ and that ERG binds to the promoter of these genes. Conversely, KCNN2 was found underexpressed in ESFT relative to ARMS, suggesting that the EWSR1-ETS oncoprotein may have the opposite effect of ERG rearrangements in PCa. We conclude that aberrant ETS transcription factors modulate target genes differently in ESFT and PCa.

Fang WJ, Zheng Y, Wu LM, et al.
Genome-wide analysis of aberrant DNA methylation for identification of potential biomarkers in colorectal cancer patients.
Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2012; 13(5):1917-21 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Colorectal cancer is one of the leading causes of mortality worldwide. Genome wide analysis studies have identified sequence mutations causing loss-of-function that are associated with disease occurrence and severity. Epigenetic modifications, such DNA methylation, have also been implicated in many cancers but have yet to be examined in the East Asian population of colorectal cancer patients.
METHODS: Biopsies of tumors and matched non-cancerous tissue types were obtained and genomic DNA was isolated and subjected to the bisulphite conversion method for comparative DNA methylation analysis on the Illumina Infinium HumanMethylation27 BeadChip.
RESULTS: Totals of 258 and 74 genes were found to be hyper- and hypo-methylated as compared to the individual's matched control tissue. Interestingly, three genes that exhibited hypermethylation in their promoter regions, CMTM2, ECRG4, and SH3GL3, were shown to be significantly associated with colorectal cancer in previous studies. Using heatmap cluster analysis, eight hypermethylated and 10 hypomethylated genes were identified as significantly differentially methylated genes in the tumour tissues.
CONCLUSIONS: Genome-wide methylation profiling facilitates rapid and simultaneous analysis of cancerous cells which may help to identify methylation markers with high sensitivity and specificity for diagnosis and prognosis. Our results show the promise of the microarray technology in identification of potential methylation biomarkers for colorectal cancers.

Wang YB, Ba CF
Promoter methylation of esophageal cancer-related gene 4 in gastric cancer tissue and its clinical significance.
Hepatogastroenterology. 2012; 59(118):1696-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIMS: To observe the promoter methylation of esophageal cancer-related gene 4 (ECRG4) in gastric cancer tissues and explore its clinical significance.
METHODOLOGY: ECRG4 promoter methylation was detected with methylation-specific PCR in 49 samples of gastric cancer tissues, 30 samples of peri-cancerous tissues and 15 samples of normal tissues. The relations of ECRG4 promoter methylation to pathology, age, gender and lymph node metastasis were analyzed.
RESULTS: The rate of ECRG4 promoter methylation was higher in gastric cancer tissues (69.4% (34/49)) and peri-cancerous tissues (53.3% (16/30)) than in normal tissues (6.7% (1/15)) (p<0.01). The rate of ECRG4 promoter methylation was higher in stage III+IV (80% (24/30)) than in stage I+II gastric cancer tissues (52.6% (10/19)) (p<0.05). The rate of ECRG4 promoter methylation was not related to age, gender and lymph node metastasis (all p>0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: Aberrant ECRG4 promoter methylation may be used to monitor early gastric cancer and predict pathological staging. ECRG4 may become a molecular therapeutic target against gastric cancer.

Matsuzaki J, Torigoe T, Hirohashi Y, et al.
ECRG4 is a negative regulator of caspase-8-mediated apoptosis in human T-leukemia cells.
Carcinogenesis. 2012; 33(5):996-1003 [PubMed] Related Publications
We previously established Fas-resistant variant clones from the human T-cell leukemia lines Jurkat and SUP-T13. Comparative gene expression analysis of the Fas-resistant and Fas-sensitive clones revealed several genes that were aberrantly expressed in the Fas-resistant clones. One of the genes, esophageal cancer-related gene 4 (ECRG4), contained a VDAC2-like domain that might be associated with apoptotic signals. In the present study, we examined the subcellular localization and function of ECRG4 in Fas-mediated apoptosis. By confocal fluorescence microscopy, ECRG4-EGFP fusion protein was detected in mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum and the Golgi apparatus in gene-transfected HeLa cells. Overexpression of ECRG4 in Fas-sensitive Jurkat cells inhibited mitochondrial membrane permeability transition, leading to resistance against Fas-induced apoptosis. Tumor necrosis factor-alpha-induced apoptosis was also suppressed in ECRG4-overexpressing Jurkat cells. Immunoprecipitation assay demonstrated that ECRG4 is associated with procaspase-8. The inhibitory mechanism included the inhibition of caspase-8 activity and Bid cleavage. Since ECRG4 expression is downregulated in activated T cells, our results suggest that ECRG4 is a novel antiapoptotic gene which is involved in the negative regulation of caspase-8-mediated apoptosis in T cells.

Sabatier R, Finetti P, Adelaide J, et al.
Down-regulation of ECRG4, a candidate tumor suppressor gene, in human breast cancer.
PLoS One. 2011; 6(11):e27656 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: ECRG4/C2ORF40 is a potential tumor suppressor gene (TSG) recently identified in esophageal carcinoma. Its expression, gene copy number and prognostic value have never been explored in breast cancer.
METHODS: Using DNA microarray and array-based comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH), we examined ECRG4 mRNA expression and copy number alterations in 353 invasive breast cancer samples and normal breast (NB) samples. A meta-analysis was done on a large public retrospective gene expression dataset (n = 1,387) in search of correlations between ECRG4 expression and histo-clinical features including survival.
RESULTS: ECRG4 was underexpressed in 94.3% of cancers when compared to NB. aCGH data revealed ECRG4 loss in 18% of tumors, suggesting that DNA loss is not the main mechanism of underexpression. Meta-analysis showed that ECRG4 expression was significantly higher in tumors displaying earlier stage, smaller size, negative axillary lymph node status, lower grade, and normal-like subtype. Higher expression was also associated with disease-free survival (DFS; HR = 0.84 [0.76-0.92], p = 0.0002) and overall survival (OS; HR = 0.72 [0.63-0.83], p = 5.0E-06). In multivariate analysis including the other histo-clinical prognostic features, ECRG4 expression remained the only prognostic factor for DFS and OS.
CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggest that ECRG4 is a candidate TSG in breast cancer, the expression of which may help improve the prognostication. If functional analyses confirm this TSG role, restoring ECRG4 expression in the tumor may represent a promising therapeutic approach.

Li LW, Li YY, Li XY, et al.
A novel tumor suppressor gene ECRG4 interacts directly with TMPRSS11A (ECRG1) to inhibit cancer cell growth in esophageal carcinoma.
BMC Cancer. 2011; 11:52 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The esophageal carcinoma related gene 4 (ECRG4) was initially identified and cloned from human normal esophageal epithelium in our laboratory (GenBank accession no.AF325503). ECRG4 has been described as a novel tumor suppressor gene associated with prognosis in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC).
METHODS: In this study, binding affinity assay in vitro and co-immunoprecipitation experiment in vivo were utilized to verify the physical interaction between ECRG4 and transmembrane protease, serine 11A (TMPRSS11A, also known as ECRG1, GenBank accession no. AF 071882). Then, p21 protein expression, cell cycle and cell proliferation regulations were examined after ECRG4 and ECRG1 co-transfection in ESCC cells.
RESULTS: We revealed for the first time that ECRG4 interacted directly with ECRG1 to inhibit cancer cell proliferation and induce cell cycle G1 phase block in ESCC. Binding affinity and co-immunoprecipitation assays demonstrated that ECRG4 interacted directly with ECRG1 in ESCC cells. Furthermore, the ECRG4 and ECRG1 co-expression remarkably upregulatd p21 protein level by Western blot (P < 0.001), induced cell cycle G1 phase block by flow cytometric analysis (P < 0.001) and suppressed cell proliferation by MTT and BrdU assay (both P < 0.01) in ESCC cells.
CONCLUSIONS: ECRG4 interacts directly with ECRG1 to upregulate p21 protein expression, induce cell cycle G1 phase block and inhibit cancer cells proliferation in ESCC.

Li L, Zhang C, Li X, et al.
The candidate tumor suppressor gene ECRG4 inhibits cancer cells migration and invasion in esophageal carcinoma.
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2010; 29:133 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The esophageal cancer related gene 4 (ECRG4) was initially identified and cloned in our laboratory from human normal esophageal epithelium (GenBank accession no.AF325503). ECRG4 was a new tumor suppressor gene in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) associated with prognosis. In this study, we investigated the novel tumor-suppressing function of ECRG4 in cancer cell migration, invasion, adhesion and cell cycle regulation in ESCC.
METHODS: Transwell and Boyden chamber experiments were utilized to examined the effects of ECRG4 expression on ESCC cells migration, invasion and adhesion. And flow cytometric analysis was used to observe the impact of ECRG4 expression on cell cycle regulation. Finally, the expression levels of cell cycle regulating proteins p53 and p21 in human ESCC cells transfected with ECRG4 gene were evaluated by Western blotting.
RESULTS: The restoration of ECRG4 expression in ESCC cells inhibited cancer cells migration and invasion (P < 0.05), which did not affect cell adhesion capacity (P > 0.05). Furthermore, ECRG4 could cause cell cycle G1 phase arrest in ESCC (P < 0.05), through inducing the increased expression of p53 and p21 proteins.
CONCLUSION: ECRG4 is a candidate tumor suppressor gene which suppressed tumor cells migration and invasion without affecting cell adhesion ability in ESCC. Furthermore, ECRG4 might cause cell cycle G1 phase block possibly through inducing the increased expression of p53 and p21 proteins in ESCC.

Li W, Liu X, Zhang B, et al.
Overexpression of candidate tumor suppressor ECRG4 inhibits glioma proliferation and invasion.
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2010; 29:89 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: ECRG4 has been shown to be a candidate tumor suppressor in several tumors, but its role in glioma remains poorly understood. In this study, we examined the mRNA expression of ECRG4 and investigated its biological role in glioma cells.
METHODS: Real-time PCR was used to examine expression of ECRG4 in gliomas and their matched brain tissues. The effect of ECRG4 expression on cell proliferation, invasion, and migration was investigated in human U251 glioma cells. Finally, the regulation of transcription factor NF-kB by ECRG4 was evaluated by western blotting.
RESULTS: Of the 10 paired samples analyzed, 9 glioma tissues displayed the decreased expression of ECRG4 compared to matched normal brain tissues. Cells transfected with ECRG4 showed significantly decreased cell proliferation as evaluated by MTT and colony formation assays. Furthermore, overexpression inhibited cell migration and invasion in transwell and Boyden chamber experiments and retarded the cell cycle progression from G1 to S phase by FACSCaliber cytometry. Protein levels of nuclear transcription factor NF-kB, which is involved in cell proliferation, inversely correlated with ECRG4 expression.
CONCLUSION: Our data suggest that ECRG4 serves as a tumor suppressor in glioma.

Götze S, Feldhaus V, Traska T, et al.
ECRG4 is a candidate tumor suppressor gene frequently hypermethylated in colorectal carcinoma and glioma.
BMC Cancer. 2009; 9:447 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Cancer cells display widespread changes in DNA methylation that may lead to genetic instability by global hypomethylation and aberrant silencing of tumor suppressor genes by focal hypermethylation. In turn, altered DNA methylation patterns have been used to identify putative tumor suppressor genes.
METHODS: In a methylation screening approach, we identified ECRG4 as a differentially methylated gene. We analyzed different cancer cells for ECRG4 promoter methylation by COBRA and bisulfite sequencing. Gene expression analysis was carried out by semi-quantitative RT-PCR. The ECRG4 coding region was cloned and transfected into colorectal carcinoma cells. Cell growth was assessed by MTT and BrdU assays. ECRG4 localization was analyzed by fluorescence microscopy and Western blotting after transfection of an ECRG4-eGFP fusion gene.
RESULTS: We found a high frequency of ECRG4 promoter methylation in various cancer cell lines. Remarkably, aberrant methylation of ECRG4 was also found in primary human tumor tissues, including samples from colorectal carcinoma and from malignant gliomas. ECRG4 hypermethylation associated strongly with transcriptional silencing and its expression could be re-activated in vitro by demethylating treatment with 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine. Overexpression of ECRG4 in colorectal carcinoma cells led to a significant decrease in cell growth. In transfected cells, ECRG4 protein was detectable within the Golgi secretion machinery as well as in the culture medium.
CONCLUSIONS: ECRG4 is silenced via promoter hypermethylation in different types of human cancer cells. Its gene product may act as inhibitor of cell proliferation in colorectal carcinoma cells and may play a role as extracellular signaling molecule.

Li LW, Yu XY, Yang Y, et al.
Expression of esophageal cancer related gene 4 (ECRG4), a novel tumor suppressor gene, in esophageal cancer and its inhibitory effect on the tumor growth in vitro and in vivo.
Int J Cancer. 2009; 125(7):1505-13 [PubMed] Related Publications
The ECRG4 gene was initially identified and cloned in our laboratory from human normal esophageal epithelium (GenBank accession no. AF325503). We revealed the expression of ECRG4 protein was downregulated in 68.5% (89/130) ESCC samples using tissue microarray. The low ECRG4 protein expression was significantly associated with regional lymph node metastasis, primary tumor size, and tumor stage in ESCC (p < 0.05). ECRG4 mRNA expression was downregulated in ESCC due to the hypermethylation in the gene promoter. The treatment with 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine, which is a DNA methyltransferase inhibitor restored ECRG4 mRNA expression in ESCC cells. The result indicated that promoter hypermethylation may be 1 main mechanism leading to the silencing of ECRG4. The high expression of ECRG4 in patients with ESCC was associated with longer survival compared with those with low ECRG4 expression by Kaplan-Meier survival analysis (p < 0.05). ECRG4 protein was an independent prognostic factor for ESCC by multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression analysis (p < 0.05). The restoration of ECRG4 expression in ESCC cells inhibited cell proliferation, colony formation, anchorage-independent growth, cell cycle progression and tumor growth in vivo (p < 0.05). The transfection of ECRG4 gene in ESCC cells inhibited the expression of NF-kappaB and nuclear translocation, in addition to the expression of COX-2, a NF-kappaB target gene, was attenuated. Taken together, ECRG4 is a novel candidate tumor suppressor gene in ESCC, and ECRG4 protein is a candidate prognostic marker for ESCC.

Vanaja DK, Ehrich M, Van den Boom D, et al.
Hypermethylation of genes for diagnosis and risk stratification of prostate cancer.
Cancer Invest. 2009; 27(5):549-60 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
To identify the relevant CpG sites as molecular markers, for the diagnosis and to distinguish the indolent and aggressive prostate tumors, we have determined the methylation status of 8 genes, including FLNC, EFS, ECRG4, RARB2, PITX2, GSTP1, PDLIM4, and KCNMA1 in 32 nonrecurrent, 32 recurrent primary prostate tumors, and 32 benign prostate tissues using EpiTYPER technology. Specific CpG site hypermethylation of RARB2 and GSTP1 CpG sites were useful for diagnosis of prostate cancer. Furthermore, CpG site hypermethylation of genes FLNC, EFS, ECRG4, PITX2, PDLIM4, and KCNMA1 were associated with prediction of biochemical, local, and systemic recurrence of prostate cancer.

Mori Y, Ishiguro H, Kuwabara Y, et al.
Expression of ECRG4 is an independent prognostic factor for poor survival in patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.
Oncol Rep. 2007; 18(4):981-5 [PubMed] Related Publications
In this study, we examined the expression of esophageal cancer-related gene 4 (ECRG4) mRNA and evaluated its clinical significance in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). ECRG4 mRNA expression was quantified by real-time RT-PCR in 63 ESCC and corresponding normal esophageal mucosal samples. ECRG4 mRNA expression levels were significantly lower in ESCC tissues compared with corresponding normal esophageal mucosa (P<0.0001), in patients with locally invasive T2-4 tumors compared with less invasive T1 tumors (P=0.0229) and in stage 4 tumors compared with stage 0-3 tumors (P=0.0120). Furthermore, low ECRG4 mRNA expression levels were associated with significantly shorter survival after surgery compared with high ECRG4 mRNA expression levels (P=0.0150) in ESCC patients. On the basis of multivariate analysis, we conclude that ECRG4 mRNA expression level could be a candidate for an independent prognostic factor for ESCC patients.

Yue CM, Deng DJ, Bi MX, et al.
Expression of ECRG4, a novel esophageal cancer-related gene, downregulated by CpG island hypermethylation in human esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.
World J Gastroenterol. 2003; 9(6):1174-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: To study the mechanisms responsible for inactivation of a novel esophageal cancer related gene 4 (ECRG4) in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC).
METHODS: A pair of primers was designed to amplify a 220 bp fragment, which contains 16 CpG sites in the core promoter region of the ECRG 4 gene. PCR products of bisulfite-modified CpG islands were analyzed by denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography (DHPLC), which were confirmed by DNA sequencing. The methylation status of ECRG 4 promoter in 20 cases of esophageal cancer and the adjacent normal tissues, 5 human tumor cell lines (esophageal cancer cell line-NEC, EC109, EC9706; gastric cancer cell line- GLC; human embryo kidney cell line-Hek293) and 2 normal esophagus tissues were detected. The expression level of the ECRG 4 gene in these samples was examined by RT-PCR.
RESULTS: The expression level of ECRG 4 gene was varied. Of 20 esophageal cancer tissues, nine were unexpressed, six were lowly expressed and five were highly expressed compared with the adjacent tissues and the 2 normal esophageal epithelia. In addition, 4 out of the 5 human cell lines were also unexpressed. A high frequency of methylation was revealed in 12 (8 unexpressed and 4 lowly expressed) of the 15 (80 %) downregulated cancer tissues and 3 of the 4 unexpressed cell lines. No methylation peak was observed in the two highly expressed normal esophageal epithelia and the methylation frequency was low (3/20) among the 20 cases in the highly expressed adjacent tissues. The methylation status of the samples was consistent with the result of DNA sequencing.
CONCLUSION: These results indicate that the inactivation of ECRG 4 gene by hypermethylation is a frequent molecular event in ESCC and may be involved in the carcinogenesis of this cancer.

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