CONTEXT: DNA methylation has been identified among putative regulatory mechanisms for CYP11B2 expression in primary aldosteronism. OBJECTIVE: The objective of this work is to investigate DNA methylation and expression of genes encoding steroidogenic enzymes in benign adrenocortical tumors. DESIGN AND SETTING: This cross-sectional study took place at university hospitals. PATIENTS: We collected fresh-frozen tissues from patients with benign adrenocortical adenomas (n = 48) (nonfunctioning n = 9, autonomous cortisol secretion n = 9, Cushing syndrome n = 17, aldosterone-producing [APA] n = 13) and adrenal cortex adjacent to APA (n = 12). We collected formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) specimens of paired APA and concurrent aldosterone-producing cell clusters (APCCs) (n = 6). INTERVENTION: DNA methylation levels were evaluated by quantitative bisulfite next-generation sequencing in fresh-frozen tissues (CYP11A1, CYP11B1, CYP11B2, CYP17A1, CYP21A2, HSD3B1, HSD3B2, NR5A1, STAR, and TSPO) and FFPE APA/APCC paired samples (CYP11B2). CYP11B1, CYP11B2, CYP17, CYP21, and STAR gene expressions were examined by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: The main outcome measure was DNA methylation. RESULTS: CYP11B2 methylation levels were significantly lower in APA than in other adrenal tissues (P < .001). Methylation levels of the remaining genes were comparable among groups. Overall, CYP11B2 expression and DNA methylation were negatively correlated (ρ = -0.379; P = .003). In FFPE-paired APA/APCC samples, CYP11B2 methylation level was significantly lower in APA than in concurrent APCCs (P = .028). CONCLUSIONS: DNA methylation plays a regulatory role for CYP11B2 expression and may contribute to aldosterone hypersecretion in APA. Lower CYP11B2 methylation levels in APA than in APCCs may suggest an APCC-to-APA switch via progressive CYP11B2 demethylation. Conversely, DNA methylation seems not to be relevant in regulating the expression of genes encoding steroidogenic enzymes other than CYP11B2.

DNA Methylation of Steroidogenic Enzymes in Benign Adrenocortical Tumors: New Insights in Aldosterone-Producing Adenomas

Di Dalmazi G.;Morandi L.;Asioli S.;Vicennati V.;De Leo A.;Ambrosi F.;Santini D.;Pagotto U.;
2020

Abstract

CONTEXT: DNA methylation has been identified among putative regulatory mechanisms for CYP11B2 expression in primary aldosteronism. OBJECTIVE: The objective of this work is to investigate DNA methylation and expression of genes encoding steroidogenic enzymes in benign adrenocortical tumors. DESIGN AND SETTING: This cross-sectional study took place at university hospitals. PATIENTS: We collected fresh-frozen tissues from patients with benign adrenocortical adenomas (n = 48) (nonfunctioning n = 9, autonomous cortisol secretion n = 9, Cushing syndrome n = 17, aldosterone-producing [APA] n = 13) and adrenal cortex adjacent to APA (n = 12). We collected formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) specimens of paired APA and concurrent aldosterone-producing cell clusters (APCCs) (n = 6). INTERVENTION: DNA methylation levels were evaluated by quantitative bisulfite next-generation sequencing in fresh-frozen tissues (CYP11A1, CYP11B1, CYP11B2, CYP17A1, CYP21A2, HSD3B1, HSD3B2, NR5A1, STAR, and TSPO) and FFPE APA/APCC paired samples (CYP11B2). CYP11B1, CYP11B2, CYP17, CYP21, and STAR gene expressions were examined by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: The main outcome measure was DNA methylation. RESULTS: CYP11B2 methylation levels were significantly lower in APA than in other adrenal tissues (P < .001). Methylation levels of the remaining genes were comparable among groups. Overall, CYP11B2 expression and DNA methylation were negatively correlated (ρ = -0.379; P = .003). In FFPE-paired APA/APCC samples, CYP11B2 methylation level was significantly lower in APA than in concurrent APCCs (P = .028). CONCLUSIONS: DNA methylation plays a regulatory role for CYP11B2 expression and may contribute to aldosterone hypersecretion in APA. Lower CYP11B2 methylation levels in APA than in APCCs may suggest an APCC-to-APA switch via progressive CYP11B2 demethylation. Conversely, DNA methylation seems not to be relevant in regulating the expression of genes encoding steroidogenic enzymes other than CYP11B2.
Di Dalmazi G.; Morandi L.; Rubin B.; Pilon C.; Asioli S.; Vicennati V.; De Leo A.; Ambrosi F.; Santini D.; Pagotto U.; Maffeis V.; Fassina A.; Fallo F.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/778365
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