Analysis of promoter methylation in GAS7, ALX4 genes for early detection of colorectal tumors in stool of patients with colorectal cancer
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: Colorectal cancer is one of the most prevalent cancers worldwide. On the other hand, mutations in epigenetic alterations are one of the most important factors in disrupting cell growth and eventually cancer. The two genes ALX4 and GAS7 are important genes whose expression and epigenetic alterations have so far been evaluated in several cancers. In this study, we aimed to investigate the relative level of methylation of these genes in the stool samples of patients with colorectal cancer. Methods: In this study, stool samples were collected from 40 colorectal cancer patients and 40 healthy controls. After collecting the DNA of the samples, the extracts were treated by sulfite method and the methylation of the target site was evaluated by met-HRM method. Differences in methylation level of the two groups were evaluated by appropriate statistical tests. P value <0.05 was considered significant. Results: The relative methylation rate of the studied genes in the tumor samples was higher than that of the healthy ones and this difference was significant in the confidence interval. Methylation changes of this gene were not associated with any of the clinicopathologic features of the patients. Conclusions: Our findings showed that relative methylation of ALX4, GAS7 can be used as a diagnostic or predictive biomarker in colorectal cancer. However, it is advisable to carry out further studies on the protein level.