Ph.D. Biochemistry, University of Minnesota
Identification and functional analysis of genes from genetically altered chromosomal regions would suggest new molecular targets for cancer diagnosis and treatment. Here we performed a genome-wide analysis of chromosomal copy number alterations (CNAs) in matching sets of colon mucosa-adenoma-carcinoma samples using high-throughput oligonucleotide microarray analysis. In silico analysis of NCBI GEO and TCGA datasets allowed us to uncover the significantly altered genes (p ≤ 0.001) associated with the identified CNAs. We performed quantitative PCR analysis of the genomic and complementary DNA derived from primary mucosa, adenoma, and carcinoma samples, and confirmed the recurrent loss and down-regulation of PTPRM in colon adenomas and carcinomas. Functional characterization demonstrated that PTPRM negatively regulates cell growth and colony formation, whereas loss ofPTPRM promotes oncogenic cell growth. We further showed that, in accordance to Knudson's two-hit hypothesis, inactivation of PTPRM in colon cancer was mainly attributed to loss of heterozygosity and promoter hypermethylation. Taken together, this study demonstrates a putative tumor suppressive role for PTPRM and that genetic and epigenetic alterations of PTPRM may contribute to early step of colorectal tumorigenesis.