Genome-Wide Methylation Mapping Using Nanopore Sequencing Technology Identifies Novel Tumor Suppressor Genes in Hepatocellular Carcinoma.
Downregulation of multiple tumor suppressor genes (TSGs) plays an important role in cancer formation. Recent evidence has accumulated that cancer progression involves genome-wide alteration of epigenetic modifications, which may cause downregulation of the tumor suppressor gene. Using hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) as a system, we mapped 5-methylcytosine signal at a genome-wide scale using nanopore sequencing technology to identify novel TSGs. Integration of methylation data with gene transcription profile of regenerated liver and primary HCCs allowed us to identify 10 potential tumor suppressor gene candidates. Subsequent validation led us to focus on functionally characterizing one candidate-glucokinase (GCK). We show here that overexpression of GCK inhibits the proliferation of HCC cells via induction of intracellular lactate accumulation and subsequently causes energy crisis due to NAD+ depletion. This suggests GCK functions as a tumor suppressor gene and may be involved in HCC development. In conclusion, these data provide valuable clues for further investigations of the process of tumorigenesis in human cancer.