Spectrin repeat containing nuclear envelope 1 and forkhead box protein E1 are promising markers for the detection of colorectal cancer in blood

Veerle Melotte, Joo Mi Yi, Marjolein H.F.M. Lentjes, Kim M. Smits, Leander Van Neste, Hanneke E.C. Niessen, Kim A.D. Wouters, Joost Louwagie, Kornel E. Schuebel, James G. Herman, Stephen B. Baylin, Wim Van Criekinge, Gerrit A. Meijer, Nita Ahuja, Manon Van Engeland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Identifying biomarkers in body fluids may improve the noninvasive detection of colorectal cancer. Previously, we identified N-Myc downstream-regulated gene 4 (NDRG4) and GATA binding protein 5 (GATA5) methylation as promising biomarkers for colorectal cancer in stool DNA. Here, we examined the utility of NDRG4, GATA5, and two additional markers [Forkhead box protein E1 (FOXE1) and spectrin repeat containing nuclear envelope 1 (SYNE1)] promoter methylation as biomarkers in plasma DNA. Quantitative methylation-specific PCR was performed on plasma DNA from 220 patients with colorectal cancer and 684 noncancer controls, divided in a training set and a test set. Receiver operating characteristic analysis was performed to measure the area under the curve of GATA5, NDRG4, SYNE1, and FOXE1 methylation. Functional assays were performed in SYNE1 and FOXE1 stably transfected cell lines. The sensitivity of NDRG4, GATA5, FOXE1, and SYNE1 methylation in all stages of colorectal cancer (154 cases, 444 controls) was 27% [95% confidence interval (CI), 20%-34%), 18% (95% CI, 12%-24%), 46% (95% CI, 38%-54%), and 47% (95% CI, 39%-55%), with a specificity of 95% (95% CI, 93%-97%), 99% (95% CI, 98%-100%), 93% (95% CI, 91%-95%), and 96% (95% CI, 94%-98%), respectively. Combining SYNE1 and FOXE1, increased the sensitivity to 56% (95% CI, 48%-64%), while the specificity decreased to 90% (95% CI, 87%-93%) in the training set and to 58% sensitivity (95% CI, 46%-70%) and 91% specificity (95% CI, 80%-100%) in a test set (66 cases, 240 controls). SYNE1 overexpression showed no major differences in cell proliferation, migration, and invasion compared with controls. Overexpression of FOXE1 significantly decreased the number of colonies in SW480 and HCT116 cell lines. Overall, our data suggest that SYNE1 and FOXE1 are promising markers for colorectal cancer detection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-164
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Prevention Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Spectrin repeat containing nuclear envelope 1 and forkhead box protein E1 are promising markers for the detection of colorectal cancer in blood'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this