Authors: L. Pignata, O. Palumbo, F. Cerrato, B. Acurzio, E. de Álava, J. Roma, S. Gallego, J. Mora, M. Carella, A. Riccio, G. Verde


  • Department of Environmental Biological and Pharmaceutical Sciences and Technologies, University of Campania ‘Luigi Vanvitelli’, 81100 Caserta, Italy
  • Institute of Genetics and Biophysics ‘Adriano Buzzati-Traverso’ CNR, 80131 Napoli, Italy
  • Division of Medical Genetics, Fondazione IRCCS “Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza”, 71013 San Giovanni Rotondo (FG), Italy; (O.P.)
  • Department of Pathology, Institute of Biomedicine of Sevilla (IBiS), Virgen del Rocio University Hospital/CSIC/University of Sevilla/CIBERONC, 41013 Seville, Spain
  • Department of Normal and Pathological Cytology and Histology, School of Medicine, University of Seville, 08035 Seville, Spain 6
  • Group of Translational Research in Child and Adolescent Cancer, Vall d’Hebron Research Institute-Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08193 Barcelona, Spain; (J.R.)
  • Pediatric Cancer Center Barcelona (PCCB), Hospital Sant Joan de Déu, Esplugues de Llobregat, 08950 Barcelona, Spain

Publication: MDPI

Date: November, 2020

Link: Both Epimutations and Chromosome Aberrations Affect Multiple Imprinted Loci in Aggressive Wilms Tumors


The embryonal renal cancer Wilms tumor (WT) accounts for 7% of all children’s malignancies. Its most frequent molecular defect is represented by DNA methylation abnormalities at the imprinted 11p15.5 region. Multiple imprinted methylation alterations dictated by chromosome copy-number variations have been recently demonstrated in adult cancers, raising the question of whether multiple imprinted loci were also affected in WT. To address this issue, we analyzed DNA methylation and chromosome profiles of 7 imprinted loci in 48 WT samples. The results demonstrated that methylation abnormalities of multiple imprinted loci occurred in 35% of the cases, but that they were associated with either chromosome aberrations or normal chromosome profiles. Multiple imprinted methylation changes were correlated with tumor stage and presence of metastasis, indicating that these epimutations were more frequent in highly aggressive tumors. When chromosome profiles were affected, these alterations were extended to flanking cancer driver genes. Overall, this study demonstrates the presence of multiple imprinted methylation defects in aggressive WTs and suggests that the mechanism by which they arise in embryonal and adult cancers is different.