WIF1 was downregulated in cervical cancer due to promoter methylation
Wnt inhibitory factor 1 (WIF1) is frequently downregulated in a variety of cancer due to promoter methylation. However, the methylation status of the WIF1 promoter in cervical cancer remains unclear. This study aimed to elucidate the mechanism by which WIF1 promoter methylation contributes to cervical cancer development. The expression of WIF1 in cervical cancer tissues was examined by immunohistochemistry. The methylation status of the WIF1 promoter in cervical cancer cells was detected by methylation specific PCR. WIF1 mRNA levels and protein levels were detected by PCR and Western blot analysis. We found that WIF1 expression was low in cervical cancer tissues compared to adjacent normal cervical tissues. The WIF1 promoter was methylated in the cervical cancer SiHa cell line but not in the normal cervical epithelial cell line Ect1. Correspondingly, WIF1 mRNA levels and protein levels were significantly lower in SiHa cells than in Ect1 cells. Treatment with 5-aza-2-deoxycytidine (AZA) led to the upregulation of WIF1 mRNA and protein levels in SiHa cells, but the effects were abrogated by treatment with WIF1 siRNA. In addition, AZA treatment induced apoptosis and inhibited the invasion of SiHa cells, and the effects were abrogated by WIF1 siRNA. The protein levels of survivin, c-myc and cyclinD1 were significantly lower in SiHa cells treated with AZA, but their levels were upregulated after treatment with WIF1 siRNA. In conclusion, the methylation of the WIF1 promoter leads to the downregulation of WIF1 and the activation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling in cervical cancer cells. WIF1 is a tumor suppressor that is inactivated in cervical cancer.
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