Focus of Research:
Harvard Medical School
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
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