Christine Lian

Focus of Research:

Currently Attending:
Harvard Medical School

View more Publications by Christine Lian

Loss of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine correlates with increasing morphologic dysplasia in melanocytic tumors.

Co-Authors Larson AR, Dresser KA, Zhan Q, Lezcano C, Woda BA, Yosufi B, Thompson JF, Scolyer RA, Mihm MC, Shi YG, Murphy GF, Lian CG

Abstract: DNA methylation is the most well-studied epigenetic modification in cancer biology. 5-hydroxymethylcytosine is an epigenetic mark that can be converted from 5-methylcytosine by the ten-eleven translocation gene family. We recently reported the loss of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine in melanoma compared with benign nevi and suggested that loss of this epigenetic marker is correlated with tumor virulence based on its association with a worse prognosis. In this study, we further characterize the immunoreactivity patterns of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine in the full spectrum of melanocytic lesions to further validate the potential practical application of this epigenetic marker. One hundred and seventy-five cases were evaluated: 18 benign nevi, 20 dysplastic nevi (10 low-grade and 10 high-grade lesions), 10 atypical Spitz nevi, 20 borderline tumors, 5 melanomas arising within nevi, and 102 primary melanomas. Progressive loss of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine from benign dermal nevi to high-grade dysplastic nevi to borderline melanocytic neoplasms to melanoma was observed. In addition, an analysis of the relationship of nuclear diameter with 5-hydroxymethylcytosine staining intensity within lesional cells revealed a significant correlation between larger nuclear diameter and decreased levels of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine. Furthermore, borderline lesions uniquely exhibited a diverse spectrum of staining of each individual case. This study further substantiates the association of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine loss with dysplastic cytomorphologic features and tumor progression and supports the classification of borderline lesions as a biologically distinct category of melanocytic lesions. View in: PubMed

Mod Pathol. 2014 Jul;27(7):936-44