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Detection of hypermethylated vimentin in urine of patients with colorectal cancer.

22251609

J Mol Diagn. 14 (2).

We demonstrated previously that urine contains low-molecular-weight (LMW) (<300 bp), circulation-derived DNA that can be used to detect cancer-specific mutations if a tumor is present. The goal of this study was to develop an assay to detect the colorectal cancer (CRC)-associated, circulation-derived, epigenetic DNA marker hypermethylated vimentin gene (mVIM) in the urine of patients with CRC. An artificial 18-nucleotide DNA sequence was tagged at the 5' end of the primers of the first PCR cycle to increase the amplicon size, which was then integrated into the primers of the second PCR cycle. A quantitative MethyLight PCR-based assay targeting a 39-nucleotide template was developed and used to quantify mVIM in CRC tissues and matched urine samples. mVIM was detected in 75% of LMW urine DNA samples from patients with CRC (n = 20) and in 10% of urine samples of control subjects with no known neoplasia (n = 20); 12 of 17 LMW urine DNA samples (71%) but only 2 of 17 high-molecular-weight urine DNA samples (12%) from patients with mVIM-positive tissues contained detectable mVIM, suggesting that the mVIM detected in LMW urine DNA is derived from the circulation. The detection of mVIM in urine was significantly associated with CRC compared with controls (P < 0.0001, by Fisher's exact test). A potential urine test for CRC screening using epigenetic markers is discussed.