Promoter hypermethylation of CDH13 is a common, early event in human esophageal adenocarcinogenesis and correlates with clinical risk factors.


Although the CDH13 gene has been shown to undergo epigenetic silencing by promoter methylation in many types of tumors, hypermethylation of this gene in Barrett's-associated esophageal adenocarcinogenesis has not been studied. Two hundred fifty-nine human esophageal tissues were therefore examined for CDH13 promoter hypermethylation by real-time methylation-specific PCR. CDH13 hypermethylation showed discriminative receiver-operator characteristic curve profiles, sharply demarcating esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) from esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) and normal esophagus (NE) (p < 0.0001). CDH13 normalized methylation values (NMV) were significantly higher in Barrett's esophagus (BE), dysplastic BE (D) and EAC than in NE (p < 0.0000001). CDH13 hypermethylation frequency was 0% in NE but increased early during neoplastic progression, rising to 70% in BE, 77.5% in D and 76.1% in EAC. Both CDH13 hypermethylation frequency and its mean NMV were significantly higher in BE with than without accompanying EAC. In contrast, only 5 (19.2%) of 26 ESCCs exhibited CDH13 hypermethylation. Furthermore, both CDH13 hypermethylation frequency and its mean NMV were significantly higher in EAC than in ESCC, as well as in BE or D vs. ESCC. Interestingly, mean CDH13 NMV was significantly lower in short-segment than in long-segment BE, a known clinical risk factor for neoplastic progression. Similarly, BE segment length was significantly lower in specimens with unmethylated than with methylated CDH13 promoters. 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine treatment of OE33 EAC and KYSE220 ESCC cells reduced CDH13 methylation and increased CDH13 mRNA expression. These findings suggest that hypermethylation of CDH13 is a common, tissue-specific event in human EAC, occurs early during BE-associated neoplastic progression, and correlates with known clinical neoplastic progression risk factors.


The following biomarkers make reference to this publication:

  • Abraham JM
  • Agarwal R
  • Beer DG
  • Cheng Y
  • David S
  • Hamilton JP
  • Ito T
  • Jin Z
  • Kan T
  • Meltzer SJ
  • Mori Y
  • Olaru A
  • Paun B
  • Sato F
  • Selaru FM
  • Shimada Y
  • Yang J
PubMed ID
Appears In
Int J Cancer, 2008, 123 (10)