The relationship between methylation abnormality and autoimmune pancreatitis (AIP)-a representative IgG4-related disease-has not yet been elucidated. We identified SKI might have a significant methylation abnormality in AIP through methylation array analysis using the Illumina Infinium Human Methylation 450K BeadChip array, and investigated the relationship of SKI with AIP clinicopathological features. The methylation rate of SKI was assessed by quantitative SYBR green methylation-specific PCR, and the degree of SKI expression in tissue specimens was assessed by immunohistochemistry in 10 AIP cases, 14 cases of obstructive pancreatitis area in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA) without a history of AIP, and 9 normal pancreas (NP) cases. The SKI methylation ratio was significantly lower in AIP than in PDA and NP. Additionally, the immunohistochemical staining-index (SI) score for SKI was significantly higher in AIP than NP, although there was no significant difference between AIP and PDA. There was a strong negative correlation between SI score and SKI methylation ratio, and between the serum concentrations of IgG4 and the SKI methylation ratio. There was a moderate positive correlation between the serum concentrations of IgG4 and SI. SKI is thought to be an oncogene indicating that SKI hypomethylation and carcinogenesis might be linked to AIP. Furthermore, the correlation between serum concentrations of IgG4 and SKI methylation levels suggest SKI might be involved in the pathogenesis of AIP. However, the role of SKI has not been clearly elucidated. Further studies are needed to understand further the function of SKI.
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