Novel epigenetic changes in CDKN2A are associated with progression of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia

N. Ari Wijetunga, Thomas J. Belbin, Robert D. Burk, Kathleen Whitney, Maria Abadi, John M. Greally, Mark H. Einstein, Nicolas F. Schlecht

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Objective To conduct a comprehensive mapping of the genomic DNA methylation in CDKN2A, which codes for the p16INK4A and p14ARF proteins, and 14 of the most promising DNA methylation marker candidates previously reported to be associated with progression of low-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN1) to cervical cancer. Methods We analyzed DNA methylation in 68 HIV-seropositive and negative women with incident CIN1, CIN2, CIN3 and invasive cervical cancer, assaying 120 CpG dinucleotide sites spanning APC, CDH1, CDH13, CDKN2A, CDKN2B, DAPK1, FHIT, GSTP1, HIC1, MGMT, MLH1, RARB, RASSF1, TERT and TIMP3 using the Illumina Infinium array. Validation was performed using high resolution mapping of the target genes with HELP-tagging for 286 CpGs, followed by fine mapping of candidate genes with targeted bisulfite sequencing. We assessed for statistical differences in DNA methylation levels for each CpG loci assayed using univariate and multivariate methods correcting for multiple comparisons. Results In our discovery sample set, we identified dose dependent differences in DNA methylation with grade of disease in CDKN2A, APC, MGMT, MLH1 and HIC1, whereas single CpG locus differences between CIN2/3 and cancer groups were seen for CDH13, DAPK1 and TERT. Only those CpGs in the gene body of CDKN2A showed a monotonic increase in methylation between persistent CIN1, CIN2, CIN3 and cancers. Conclusion Our data suggests a novel link between early cervical disease progression and DNA methylation in a region downstream of the CDKN2A transcription start site that may lead to increased p16INK4A/p14ARF expression prior to development of malignant disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)566-573
Number of pages8
JournalGynecologic Oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016


  • Biomarker
  • CIN
  • Cervical cancer
  • Methylation
  • p14
  • p16

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


Dive into the research topics of 'Novel epigenetic changes in CDKN2A are associated with progression of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this