Background: Epigenetics has been playing an increasingly important role in the study of the origin and development of bladder cancer (BC). This study aimed to investigate the correlation between promoter hypomethylation of the heparanase (HPSE) gene and clinicopathologic characteristics of bladder cancer (BC).
Materials and Methods: The promoter hypomethylation profile was evaluated by methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using 27 BC tissue specimens and 15 normal control specimens. The aim was to help decipher the underlying relationship between the clinicopathologic characteristics and the hypomethylation status.
Results: Experimental results showed that 16 (59.26%) BC specimens demonstrated the promoter hypomethylation of HPSE, including 2 cases with complete demethylation. For normal control groups, only 3 specimens (20%) indicated hypomethylation (P<0.05). In addition, the occurrence of hypomethylation increased with the metastasis of positive lymph nodes (P<0.05). Importantly, no significant correlation was found between the hypomethylation of HPSE and the profile of patients including gender, age, tumor size, cancer stage, or histologic grade (P>0.05).
Conclusion: The promoter hypomethylation of HPSE gene is a common epigenetic event occurring in BC and is positively correlated with a poor prognosis. This study suggested that the promoter hypomethylation could be used as a potential biological marker for the early screening of BC.