Methylation of p16 and Ras association domain family protein 1a during colorectal malignant transformation

Naoyuki Umetani, Michiel F G De Maat, Eiji Sunami, Suzanne Hiramatsu, Steve Martinez, Dave S B Hoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Accurate assessment of gene methylation in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded archived tissue (FF-PEAT) by microdissection remains challenging because the tissue volume is small and DNA is damaged. In addition, methods for methylation assessment, such as methylation-specific PCR (MSP), require sodium bisulfite modification (SBM) on purified DNA, which causes major loss of DNA. On-slide SBM, in which DNA is modified in situ before isolation of tumor cells, eliminates DNA purification steps and allows histology-oriented assessment of gene methylation. This study describes a protocol and use of on-slide SBM using 20 FF-PEAT of colorectal cancers with intratumoral adenoma components to detect accumulation of gene methylation during colorectal malignant transformation. Deparaffinized tissue sections were incubated in sodium bisulfite solution for 8 hours at 60°C, stained with hematoxylin, and then microdissected. Proteinase K lysate was directly used as a template in subsequent PCR. Using on-slide SBM, 282-bp-long bisulfite direct sequencing was possible. Yield of modified DNA was 2.6-fold greater than standard SBM on average. The mean conversion rate was 97%, and false-positive or false-negative results were not observed in subsequent MSP. Intratumoral heterogeneity by accumulation of p16 and Ras association domain family protein 1a methylation during malignant transformation were shown by MSP comparing cancer with adenoma parts within a single section. On-slide SBM is applicable in most methylation studies using FF-PEAT. It allows detailed, intratumoral analysis of methylation heterogeneity within solid tumors. On-slide SBM will significantly improve our approach and understanding of epigenetic events in minimal disease and the carcinogenic process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)303-309
Number of pages7
JournalMolecular Cancer Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cancer Research


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