Aberrant hypomethylation of solute carrier family 6 member 12 promoter induces metastasis of Ovarian cancer

Hye Youn Sung, San Duk Yang, Ae Kyung Park, Woong Ju, Jung Hyuck Ahn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Purpose: Ovarian cancer (OC) is the most fatal of gynecological malignancies with a high rate of recurrence. We aimed to evaluate the expression of solute carrier family 6, member 12 (SLC6A12) and methylation of its promoter CpG sites in a xenograft mouse model of metastatic OC, and to investigate the regulatory mechanisms that promote aggressive properties during OC progression. Materials and Methods: Expression of SLC6A12 mRNA was determined by reverse-transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR), and DNA methylation status of its promoter CpGs was detected by quantitative methylation-specific PCR. The metastatic potential of SLC6A12 was evaluated by in vitro migration/invasion transwell assays. Gene expression and DNA methylation of SLC6A12 and clinical outcomes were further investigated from publicly available databases from curatedOvarianData and The Cancer Genome Atlas. Results: SLC6A12 expression was 8.1-14.0-fold upregulated and its DNA methylation of promoter CpG sites was 41-62% decreased in tumor metastases. After treatment with DNA methyltransferase inhibitor and/or histone deacetylase inhibitor, the expression of SLC6A12 was profoundly enhanced (~8.0-fold), strongly supporting DNA methylation-dependent epigenetic regulation of SLC6A12. Overexpression of SLC6A12 led to increased migration and invasion of ovarian carcinoma cells in vitro, approximately 2.0-fold and 3.3-fold, respectively. The meta-analysis showed that high expression of SLC6A12 was significantly associated with poor overall survival [hazard ratio (HR)=1.07, p value=0.016] and that low DNA methylation levels of SLC6A12 at specific promoter CpG site negatively affected patient survival. Conclusion: Our findings provide novel evidence for the biological and clinical significance of SLC6A12 as a metastasis-promoting gene.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-34
Number of pages8
JournalYonsei Medical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Yonsei University College of Medicine 2017.


  • DNA methylation
  • Metastasis
  • Mouse xenograft
  • Ovarian cancer
  • SLC6A12


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