Methylation and expression analysis of mismatch repair genes in extramammary Paget's disease


Extramammary Paget's disease (EMPD) is a rare skin cancer with relative high frequencies of germline and somatic mismatch repair (MMR) genes mutations. However, the methylation and expression of these genes have not been validated in EMPD.


This study aims to confirm the methylation and expression of MMR genes in EMPD.


Immunohistochemical (IHC) staining detection and Methylation‐specific PCR (MSP) were used to analyse MLH1, MSH2, MSH6 and PMS2 proteins’ expression and promoters’ methylation in 57 EMMD samples, and pyro‐sequence was used to find highly methylated CpG sites in MSH2 promoter.


Immunohistochemical detection displayed reduced expression of MSH2 in 38.6% EMPD cases but normal expression of MLH1, MSH6 and PMS2 in all tumour tissues. Hypermethylation also was found in the promoter of MSH2 but not in other MMR genes. Pyrosequencing of MSH2 promoter showed CpG6 (‐87) and CpG3 (‐98) were the most common two methylated CpG dinucleotides. There is a significant correlation between reduced MSH2 expression and MSH2 methylation.


Reduced MSH2 expression and hypermethylation in this gene promoter were common genetic changes in EMPD, which expands our understanding of the role of MMR function in this skin cancer.