Glutathione peroxidase 7 suppresses cancer cell growth and is hypermethylated in gastric cancer

Zheng Chen, Tianling Hu, Shoumin Zhu, Kenichi Mukaisho, Wael El-Rifai, Dun Fa Peng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Gastric cancer (GC) is one of the most common cancers in the world, and remains the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Glutathione peroxidase 7 (GPX7) is a member of GPX family which is downregulated in some cancer types. In this study, we investigated the expression, regulation, and molecular function of GPX7 in gastric cancer using 2D and 3D in vitro models and de-identified human tissue samples. Quantitative real-time RT-PCR, immunofluorescence, Western blot, 3D organotypic cultures, and pyrosequencing assays were used. We detected downregulation of GPX7 in all 7 gastric cancer cell lines that we tested and in approximately half (22/45) of human gastric cancer samples, as compared to histologically normal gastric tissues. Quantitative bisulfite pyrosequencing methylation analysis demonstrated DNA hypermethylation (> 10% methylation level) of GPX7 promoter in all 7 gastric cancer cell lines and in 56% (25/45) of gastric cancer samples, as compared to only 13% (6/45) in normal samples (p < 0.0001). Treatment of AGS and SNU1 cells with 5-Aza-2'-deoxycytidine led to a significant demethylation of GPX7 promoter and restored the expression of GPX7. In vitro assays showed that reconstitution of GPX7 significantly suppressed gastric cancer cell growth in both 2D and 3D organotypic cell culture models. This growth suppression was associated with inhibition of cell proliferation and induction of cell death. We detected significant upregulation of p27 and cleaved PARP and downregulation of Cyclin D1 upon reconstitution of GPX7. Taken together, we conclude that epigenetic silencing of GPX7 could play an important role in gastric tumorigenesis and progression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)54345-54356
Number of pages12
Issue number33
StatePublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Cancer
  • DNA methylation
  • GPX7
  • Stomach
  • Tumor suppressor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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