Epithelial ovarian carcinoma is usually present at the advanced stage, during which the patients generally have poor prognosis. Our study aimed to evaluate the correlation of gene methylation and the clinical outcome of patients with advanced-stage, high-grade ovarian serous carcinoma. The methylation status of eight candidate genes was first evaluated by methylation-specific PCR and capillary electrophoresis to select three potential genes including DAPK, CDH1, and BLU (ZMYND10) from the exercise group of 40 patients. The methylation status of these three genes was further investigated in the validation group consisting of 136 patients. Patients with methylated BLU had significantly shorter progression-free survival (PFS; hazard ratio (HR) 1.48, 95% CI 1.01-2.56, PZ0.013) and overall survival (OS; HR 1.83, 95% CI 1.07-3.11, PZ0.027) in the multivariate analysis. Methylation of BLU was also an independent risk factor for 58 patients undergoing optimal debulking surgery for PFS (HR 2.37, 95% CI 1.03-5.42, PZ0.043) and OS (HR 3.96, 95% CI 1.45-10.81, PZ0.007) in the multivariate analysis. A possible mechanism of BLU in chemoresistance was investigated in ovarian cancer cell lines by in vitro apoptotic assays. In vitro studies have shown that BLU could upregulate the expression of BAX and enhance the effect of paclitaxel-induced apoptosis in ovarian cancer cells. Our study suggested that methylation of BLU could be a potential prognostic biomarker for advanced ovarian serous carcinoma.
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