Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is the most common malignancy of the kidney. Since RCC is curable when it is confined to the renal capsule, early diagnosis is extremely important. Promoter hypermethylation is the most common mechanism for the inactivation of the tumor suppressor genes (TSG) in the development of human cancer. This study aimed to investigate the methylation profiles of 7 TSG (RASSF1A, ECAD, TIMP3, APC, MGMT, p16 and RARβ2) in 3 different tissue samples (normal, premalign, malign) of patients with RCC. Twenty-one patients diagnosed with RCC were included in the study. Methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction was performed to detect the methylation patterns of the 7 TSG. High methylation rates for the genes RASSF1A (76%), p16 (80%), ECAD (42%), TIMP3 (33%) and MGMT (33%) were observed in the patients with RCC. The APC (14%) and RARβ2 (19%) genes showed low methylation rates. In conclusion, 5 TSG (RASSF1A, ECAD, TIMP3, MGMT and p16) showed high methylation rates in RCC patients. A methylation-based gene test including these genes may be useful in the early detection of RCC.

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