Indan Journal of Medical Research Indan Journal of Medical Research Indan Journal of Medical Research Indan Journal of Medical Research
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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 151  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 311-318

Epigenetic downregulation of desmin in gall bladder cancer reveals its potential role in disease progression

1 Department of Molecular & Human Genetics, Centre for Genomics, Jiwaji University, Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh, India
2 Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, PA, USA
3 Department of Pathology, Cancer Hospital & Research Institute, Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr Pramod Kumar Tiwari
Department of Molecular & Human Genetics, Centre for Genomics, Jiwaji University, Gwalior 474 011, Madhya Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijmr.IJMR_501_18

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Background & objectives: Gall bladder cancer (GBC) is a fatal neoplasm, with a globally variable incidence rates. To improve the survival rate of patients, a newer set of biomarkers needs to be discovered for its early detection and better prognosis. Our earlier studies on GBC proteomics and whole-genome methylome data revealed expression of desmin to be significantly downregulated with correlated promoter hypermethylation during gall bladder carcinogenesis. Thus, to evaluate desmin as a potential biomarker for GBC, we carried out a detailed follow up study. Methods: Methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction (MS-PCR) (n=17, GBC and n=23, non-tumour control), real-time quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) [n=14, GBC and n=14, adjacent non-tumour (ANT)], immunohistochemistry (n=27, GBC and n=14, non-tumour) and immunoblotting (n=13, GBC and n=13, ANT) were performed in surgically removed gall bladder tissue samples. Results: MS-PCR analysis showed methylation of desmin in 88.23 per cent (15/17) gall bladder tumour samples as compared to non-tumour tissues (39.13%, 9/23). Real-time qRT-PCR analysis revealed a significant downregulation of desmin expression in GBC as compared to ANT tissue. This was further confirmed by western blot, showing reduced expression of desmin protein in GBC, as compared to non-tumour tissue. Immunohistochemical analysis also showed a decreased level of desmin i.e., more than 95 per cent (26/27) in tumour cells compared to non-tumours (35.71%, 5/14). Interpretation & conclusions: The increased frequency of desmin promoter methylation which could be responsible for its significant downregulation, indicates its potential as a candidate biomarker for GBC. This requires further validation in a large group of patients to evaluate its clinical utility.

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