Methylation of CHFR sensitizes esophageal squamous cell cancer to docetaxel and paclitaxel

Tianyang Yun, Yang Liu, Dan Gao, Enqiang Linghu, Malcolm V. Brock, Dongtao Yin, Qimin Zhan, James G. Herman, Mingzhou Guo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) is one of the most common malignancies worldwide. Both genetic and epigenetic changes are involved in esophageal carcinogenesis. CHFR methylation has been found frequently in different cancers and is regarded as a marker of taxane sensitivity. CHFR methylation was found in 0% (0/16) of normal mucosa, 2.9% (1/34) of grade I dysplasia, 0% (0/8) of grade II dysplasia, 12.5% (1/8) of grade III dysplasia and 45% (49/109) of invasive cancer. When treated with docetaxel or paclitaxel, cell viability was lower in CHFR methylated esophageal cancer cells than in unmethylated cells (p<0.05). No difference was found with either cisplatin or VP16 treatment in either group (p>0.05). In CHFR methylated cells, treatment with docetaxel or paclitaxel resulted in almost all cells being suspended in G0/G1 phase of the cell cycle. After 5-AZ treatment, there was an increased fraction of CHFR-methylated cells in S and G2/M phases (p<0.05). In conclusion, CHFR is frequently methylated in ESCC and the expression of CHFR is regulated by promoter region methylation. CHFR methylation is a late stage event in ESCC. Methylation of CHFR sensitized ESCC cells to taxanes. 5-AZ may re-sensitize chemotherapy resistant in refractory tumors by inducing cell cycle phase re-distribution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38-48
Number of pages11
JournalGenes and Cancer
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2015


  • 5-aza-2’-deoxycytidine
  • CHFR
  • Chemo-sensitivity
  • DNA methylation
  • Docetaxel
  • Esophageal squamous cell cancer
  • Paclitaxel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Methylation of CHFR sensitizes esophageal squamous cell cancer to docetaxel and paclitaxel'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this