The detection of the p16INK4a promoter methylation status has a good value for the prognosis, early detection, and individualized management of patients with non-small cell lung cancer. A novel method detecting the p16INK4a promoter methylation status of primary carcinoma tissue samples by a fluorescence polarization assay was developed in this research. A pair of general primers was used to amplify a 305-basepair fragment in the promoter region of p16INK4a. Two probes specific for either methylated p16INK4a or unmethylated p16INK4a DNA labeled with either tetramethyl 6-carboxyrhodamine or 6-carboxy-fluorescein hybridized, respectively, with their target amplicons, and the hybridization increased the fluorescence polarization values. The p16INK4a promoter methylation status was determined by the analysis of the fluorescence polarization values. One hundred and twenty-nine non-small cell lung cancer samples were analyzed in parallel with a fluorescence polarization assay and a gel-based methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay. There was no significant difference between the results of the p16INK4a promoter methylation status obtained with the fluorescence polarization assay and the results obtained with the gel-based methylation-specific PCR assay. The minimum detection level of the fluorescence polarization assay was 25 copies/μL. The fluorescence polarization assay allowed the semiautomated detection of the methylated p16INK4a and unmethylated p16INK4a promoters directly in the solution with 1 PCR cycle, and it was much simpler than methylation-specific PCR and methylation-specific multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification assays.
*Department of Emergency, The 309th Hospital of Chinese People's Liberation Army
‡Department of Emergency, The Military General Hospital of Beijing PLA, Beijing
†Department of Oncology, Xijing Hospital
§Institute of Gene Diagnosis, State Key Laboratory of Cancer Biology, School of Pharmacy, The Fourth Military Medical University, Xian, China
Supported by National High-Tech R and D Program (2008AA02Z444).
Reprints: Ju Zhang, PhD, Institute of Gene Diagnosis, State Key Laboratory of Cancer Biology, School of Pharmacy, The Fourth Military Medical University, 17 Changle West Road, Xian, 710032, China (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
The authors declare no conflict of interest.