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Sample records for epigenetic enhancer silencing

  1. Nickel and epigenetic gene silencing.

    PubMed

    Sun, Hong; Shamy, Magdy; Costa, Max

    2013-01-01

    Insoluble nickel compounds are well-established human carcinogens. Occupational exposure to these compounds leads to increased incidence of lung and nasal cancer in nickel refinery workers. Apart from its weak mutagenic activity and hypoxia mimicking effect there is mounting experimental evidence indicating that epigenetic alteration plays an important role in nickel-induced carcinogenesis. Multiple epigenetic mechanisms have been identified to mediate nickel-induced gene silencing. Nickel ion is able to induce heterochromatinization by binding to DNA-histone complexes and initiating chromatin condensation. The enzymes required for establishing or removing epigenetic marks can be targeted by nickel, leading to altered DNA methylation and histone modification landscapes. The current review will focus on the epigenetic changes that contribute to nickel-induced gene silencing. PMID:24705264

  2. Localized epigenetic silencing of a damage-activated WNT enhancer limits regeneration in mature Drosophila imaginal discs

    PubMed Central

    Harris, Robin E; Setiawan, Linda; Saul, Josh; Hariharan, Iswar K

    2016-01-01

    Many organisms lose the capacity to regenerate damaged tissues as they mature. Damaged Drosophila imaginal discs regenerate efficiently early in the third larval instar (L3) but progressively lose this ability. This correlates with reduced damage-responsive expression of multiple genes, including the WNT genes wingless (wg) and Wnt6. We demonstrate that damage-responsive expression of both genes requires a bipartite enhancer whose activity declines during L3. Within this enhancer, a damage-responsive module stays active throughout L3, while an adjacent silencing element nucleates increasing levels of epigenetic silencing restricted to this enhancer. Cas9-mediated deletion of the silencing element alleviates WNT repression, but is, in itself, insufficient to promote regeneration. However, directing Myc expression to the blastema overcomes repression of multiple genes, including wg, and restores cellular responses necessary for regeneration. Localized epigenetic silencing of damage-responsive enhancers can therefore restrict regenerative capacity in maturing organisms without compromising gene functions regulated by developmental signals. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.11588.001 PMID:26840050

  3. Inheritance of epigenetic chromatin silencing

    PubMed Central

    David-Rus, Diana; Mukhopadhyay, Swagatam; Lebowitz, Joel L.; Sengupta, Anirvan M.

    2010-01-01

    Maintenance of alternative chromatin states through cell divisions pose some fundamental constraints on the dynamics of histone modifications. In this paper, we study the systems biology of epigenetic inheritance by defining and analyzing general classes of mathematical models. We discuss how the number of modification states involved plays an essential role in the stability of epigenetic states. In addition, DNA duplication and the consequent dilution of marked histones act as a large perturbation for a stable state of histone modifications. The requirement that this large perturbation falls into the basin of attraction of the original state sometimes leads to additional constraints on effective models. Two such models, inspired by two different biological systems, are compared in their fulfilling the requirements of multistability and of recovery after DNA duplication. We conclude that in the presence of multiple histone modifications that characterize alternative epigenetic stable states, these requirements are more easily fulfilled. PMID:19174167

  4. Epigenetic chromatin silencing: bistability and front propagation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sedighi, Mohammad; Sengupta, Anirvan M.

    2007-12-01

    The role of post-translational modification of histones in eukaryotic gene regulation is well recognized. Epigenetic silencing of genes via heritable chromatin modifications plays a major role in cell fate specification in higher organisms. We formulate a coarse-grained model of chromatin silencing in yeast and study the conditions under which the system becomes bistable, allowing for different epigenetic states. We also study the dynamics of the boundary between the two locally stable states of chromatin: silenced and unsilenced. The model could be of use in guiding the discussion on chromatin silencing in general. In the context of silencing in budding yeast, it helps us understand the phenotype of various mutants, some of which may be non-trivial to see without the help of a mathematical model. One such example is a mutation that reduces the rate of background acetylation of particular histone side chains that competes with the deacetylation by Sir2p. The resulting negative feedback due to a Sir protein depletion effect gives rise to interesting counter-intuitive consequences. Our mathematical analysis brings forth the different dynamical behaviors possible within the same molecular model and guides the formulation of more refined hypotheses that could be addressed experimentally.

  5. Epigenetic chromatin silencing: bistability and front propagation

    PubMed Central

    Sedighi, Mohammad; Sengupta, Anirvan M

    2008-01-01

    The role of post-translational modification of histones in eukaryotic gene regulation is well recognized. Epigenetic silencing of genes via heritable chromatin modifications plays a major role in cell fate specification in higher organisms. We formulate a coarse-grained model of chromatin silencing in yeast and study the conditions under which the system becomes bistable, allowing for different epigenetic states. We also study the dynamics of the boundary between the two locally stable states of chromatin: silenced and unsilenced. The model could be of use in guiding the discussion on chromatin silencing in general. In the context of silencing in budding yeast, it helps us understand the phenotype of various mutants, some of which may be non-trivial to see without the help of a mathematical model. One such example is a mutation that reduces the rate of background acetylation of particular histone side chains that competes with the deacetylation by Sir2p. The resulting negative feedback due to a Sir protein depletion effect gives rise to interesting counter-intuitive consequences. Our mathematical analysis brings forth the different dynamical behaviors possible within the same molecular model and guides the formulation of more refined hypotheses that could be addressed experimentally. PMID:17991991

  6. DICER/AGO-dependent epigenetic silencing of D4Z4 repeats enhanced by exogenous siRNA suggests mechanisms and therapies for FSHD

    PubMed Central

    Lim, Jong-Won; Snider, Lauren; Yao, Zizhen; Tawil, Rabi; Van Der Maarel, Silvère M.; Rigo, Frank; Bennett, C. Frank; Filippova, Galina N.; Tapscott, Stephen J.

    2015-01-01

    Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) is caused by the aberrant expression of the DUX4 transcription factor in skeletal muscle. The DUX4 retrogene is encoded in the D4Z4 macrosatellite repeat array, and smaller array size or a mutation in the SMCHD1 gene results in inefficient epigenetic repression of DUX4 in skeletal muscle, causing FSHD1 and FSHD2, respectively. Previously we showed that the entire D4Z4 repeat is bi-directionally transcribed with the generation of small si- or miRNA-like fragments and suggested that these might suppress DUX4 expression through the endogenous RNAi pathway. Here we show that exogenous siRNA targeting the region upstream of the DUX4 transcription start site suppressed DUX4 mRNA expression and increased both H3K9 methylation and AGO2 recruitment. In contrast, similarly targeted MOE-gapmer antisense oligonucleotides that degrade RNA but do not engage the RNAi pathway did not repress DUX4 expression. In addition, knockdown of DICER or AGO2 using either siRNA or MOE-gapmer chemistries resulted in the induction of DUX4 expression in control muscle cells that normally do not express DUX4, indicating that the endogenous RNAi pathway is necessary to maintain repression of DUX4 in control muscle cells. Together these data demonstrate a role of the endogenous RNAi pathway in repeat-mediated epigenetic repression of the D4Z4 macrosatellite repeat, and show that enhancing the activity of this pathway by supplying exogenous siRNA oligonucleotides represents a potential therapeutic approach to silencing DUX4 in FSHD. PMID:26041815

  7. DICER/AGO-dependent epigenetic silencing of D4Z4 repeats enhanced by exogenous siRNA suggests mechanisms and therapies for FSHD.

    PubMed

    Lim, Jong-Won; Snider, Lauren; Yao, Zizhen; Tawil, Rabi; Van Der Maarel, Silvère M; Rigo, Frank; Bennett, C Frank; Filippova, Galina N; Tapscott, Stephen J

    2015-09-01

    Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) is caused by the aberrant expression of the DUX4 transcription factor in skeletal muscle. The DUX4 retrogene is encoded in the D4Z4 macrosatellite repeat array, and smaller array size or a mutation in the SMCHD1 gene results in inefficient epigenetic repression of DUX4 in skeletal muscle, causing FSHD1 and FSHD2, respectively. Previously we showed that the entire D4Z4 repeat is bi-directionally transcribed with the generation of small si- or miRNA-like fragments and suggested that these might suppress DUX4 expression through the endogenous RNAi pathway. Here we show that exogenous siRNA targeting the region upstream of the DUX4 transcription start site suppressed DUX4 mRNA expression and increased both H3K9 methylation and AGO2 recruitment. In contrast, similarly targeted MOE-gapmer antisense oligonucleotides that degrade RNA but do not engage the RNAi pathway did not repress DUX4 expression. In addition, knockdown of DICER or AGO2 using either siRNA or MOE-gapmer chemistries resulted in the induction of DUX4 expression in control muscle cells that normally do not express DUX4, indicating that the endogenous RNAi pathway is necessary to maintain repression of DUX4 in control muscle cells. Together these data demonstrate a role of the endogenous RNAi pathway in repeat-mediated epigenetic repression of the D4Z4 macrosatellite repeat, and show that enhancing the activity of this pathway by supplying exogenous siRNA oligonucleotides represents a potential therapeutic approach to silencing DUX4 in FSHD. PMID:26041815

  8. PIAS1 Regulates Breast Tumorigenesis through Selective Epigenetic Gene Silencing

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Bin; Tahk, Samuel; Yee, Kathleen M.; Yang, Randy; Yang, Yonghui; Mackie, Ryan; Hsu, Cary; Chernishof, Vasili; O'Brien, Neil; Jin, Yusheng; Fan, Guoping; Lane, Timothy F.; Rao, Jianyu; Slamon, Dennis; Shuai, Ke

    2014-01-01

    Epigenetic gene silencing by histone modifications and DNA methylation is essential for cancer development. The molecular mechanism that promotes selective epigenetic changes during tumorigenesis is not understood. We report here that the PIAS1 SUMO ligase is involved in the progression of breast tumorigenesis. Elevated PIAS1 expression was observed in breast tumor samples. PIAS1 knockdown in breast cancer cells reduced the subpopulation of tumor-initiating cells, and inhibited breast tumor growth in vivo. PIAS1 acts by delineating histone modifications and DNA methylation to silence the expression of a subset of clinically relevant genes, including breast cancer DNA methylation signature genes such as cyclin D2 and estrogen receptor, and breast tumor suppressor WNT5A. Our studies identify a novel epigenetic mechanism that regulates breast tumorigenesis through selective gene silencing. PMID:24586797

  9. Epigenetic Silencing Mediates Mitochondria Stress-induced Longevity

    PubMed Central

    Schroeder, Elizabeth A.; Raimundo, Nuno; Shadel, Gerald S.

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY Reactive oxygen species (ROS) play complex roles in aging, having both damaging effects and signaling functions. Transiently elevating mitochondrial stress, including mitochondrial ROS (mtROS), elicits beneficial responses that extend lifespan. However, these adaptive, longevity-signaling pathways remain poorly understood. We show here that Tel1p and Rad53p, homologs of the mammalian DNA-damage-response kinases ATM and Chk2, mediate a hormetic mtROS longevity signal that extends yeast chronological lifespan. This pathway senses mtROS in a manner distinct from the nuclear DNA-damage response and ultimately imparts longevity by inactivating the histone demethylase Rph1p specifically at subtelomeric heterochromatin, enhancing binding of the silencing protein Sir3p, and repressing subtelomeric transcription. These results demonstrate the existence of conserved mitochondria-to-nucleus stress-signaling pathways that regulate aging through epigenetic modulation of nuclear gene expression. PMID:23747251

  10. Epigenetic Silencing of DKK3 in Medulloblastoma

    PubMed Central

    Valdora, Francesca; Banelli, Barbara; Stigliani, Sara; Pfister, Stefan M.; Moretti, Stefano; Kool, Marcel; Remke, Marc; Bai, Alfa H.C.; Brigati, Claudio; Hielscher, Thomas; Romani, Massimo; Servidei, Tiziana; Zollo, Massimo; Cinalli, Giuseppe; Oberthuer, André; Tonini, Gian Paolo; Coco, Simona

    2013-01-01

    Medulloblastoma (MB) is a malignant pediatric brain tumor arising in the cerebellum consisting of four distinct subgroups: WNT, SHH, Group 3 and Group 4, which exhibit different molecular phenotypes. We studied the expression of Dickkopf (DKK) 1–4 family genes, inhibitors of the Wnt signaling cascade, in MB by screening 355 expression profiles derived from four independent datasets. Upregulation of DKK1, DKK2 and DKK4 mRNA was observed in the WNT subgroup, whereas DKK3 was downregulated in 80% MBs across subgroups with respect to the normal cerebellum (p < 0.001). Since copy number aberrations targeting the DKK3 locus (11p15.3) are rare events, we hypothesized that epigenetic factors could play a role in DKK3 regulation. Accordingly, we studied 77 miRNAs predicting to repress DKK3; however, no significant inverse correlation between miRNA/mRNA expression was observed. Moreover, the low methylation levels in the DKK3 promoters (median: 3%, 5% and 5% for promoter 1, 2 and 3, respectively) excluded the downregulation of gene expression by methylation. On the other hand, the treatment of MB cells with Trichostatin A (TSA), a potent inhibitor of histone deacetylases (HDAC), was able to restore both DKK3 mRNA and protein. In conclusion, DKK3 downregulation across all MB subgroups may be due to epigenetic mechanisms, in particular, through chromatin condensation. PMID:23567267

  11. Epigenetic silencing of tumor suppressor genes: Paradigms, puzzles, and potential.

    PubMed

    Kazanets, Anna; Shorstova, Tatiana; Hilmi, Khalid; Marques, Maud; Witcher, Michael

    2016-04-01

    Cancer constitutes a set of diseases with heterogeneous molecular pathologies. However, there are a number of universal aberrations common to all cancers, one of these being the epigenetic silencing of tumor suppressor genes (TSGs). The silencing of TSGs is thought to be an early, driving event in the oncogenic process. With this in consideration, great efforts have been made to develop small molecules aimed at the restoration of TSGs in order to limit tumor cell proliferation and survival. However, the molecular forces that drive the broad epigenetic reprogramming and transcriptional repression of these genes remain ill-defined. Undoubtedly, understanding the molecular underpinnings of transcriptionally silenced TSGs will aid us in our ability to reactivate these key anti-cancer targets. Here, we describe what we consider to be the five most logical molecular mechanisms that may account for this widely observed phenomenon: 1) ablation of transcription factor binding, 2) overexpression of DNA methyltransferases, 3) disruption of CTCF binding, 4) elevation of EZH2 activity, 5) aberrant expression of long non-coding RNAs. The strengths and weaknesses of each proposed mechanism is highlighted, followed by an overview of clinical efforts to target these processes.

  12. Epigenetic silencing of CYP24 in the tumor microenvironment

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Candace S.; Chung, Ivy; Trump, Donald L.

    2010-01-01

    Calcitriol (1,25 dihydroxycholecalciferol) has significant antitumor activity in vitro and in vivo in a number of tumor model systems. We developed a system for isolation of fresh endothelial cells from tumors and Matrigel environments which demonstrate that CYP24, the catabolic enzyme involved in vitamin D signaling, is epigenetically silenced selectively in tumor-derived endothelial cells (TDEC). TDEC maintain phenotypic characteristics which are distinct from endothelial cells isolated from normal tissues and from Matrigel plugs (MDEC). In TDEC, calcitriol induces G0/G1 arrest, modulates p27 and p21, and induces apoptotic cell death and decreases P-Erk and P-Akt. In contrast, endothelial cells isolated from normal tissues and MDEC are unresponsive to calcitriol-mediated anti-proliferative effects despite intact signaling through the vitamin D receptor (VDR). In TDEC, which is sensitive to calcitriol, the CYP24 promoter is hypermethylated in two CpG island regions located at the 5′end; this hypermethylation may contribute to gene silencing of CYP24. The extent of methylation in these two regions is significantly less in MDEC. Lastly, treatment of TDEC with a DNA methyltransferase inhibitor restores calcitriol-mediated induction of CYP24 and resistance to calcitriol. These data suggest that epigenetic silencing of CYP24 modulates cellular responses to calcitriol. PMID:20304059

  13. Epigenetic silencing of tumor suppressor genes: Paradigms, puzzles, and potential.

    PubMed

    Kazanets, Anna; Shorstova, Tatiana; Hilmi, Khalid; Marques, Maud; Witcher, Michael

    2016-04-01

    Cancer constitutes a set of diseases with heterogeneous molecular pathologies. However, there are a number of universal aberrations common to all cancers, one of these being the epigenetic silencing of tumor suppressor genes (TSGs). The silencing of TSGs is thought to be an early, driving event in the oncogenic process. With this in consideration, great efforts have been made to develop small molecules aimed at the restoration of TSGs in order to limit tumor cell proliferation and survival. However, the molecular forces that drive the broad epigenetic reprogramming and transcriptional repression of these genes remain ill-defined. Undoubtedly, understanding the molecular underpinnings of transcriptionally silenced TSGs will aid us in our ability to reactivate these key anti-cancer targets. Here, we describe what we consider to be the five most logical molecular mechanisms that may account for this widely observed phenomenon: 1) ablation of transcription factor binding, 2) overexpression of DNA methyltransferases, 3) disruption of CTCF binding, 4) elevation of EZH2 activity, 5) aberrant expression of long non-coding RNAs. The strengths and weaknesses of each proposed mechanism is highlighted, followed by an overview of clinical efforts to target these processes. PMID:27085853

  14. Epigenetic silencing of AKAP12 in juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia.

    PubMed

    Wilhelm, Thomas; Lipka, Daniel B; Witte, Tania; Wierzbinska, Justyna A; Fluhr, Silvia; Helf, Monika; Mücke, Oliver; Claus, Rainer; Konermann, Carolin; Nöllke, Peter; Niemeyer, Charlotte M; Flotho, Christian; Plass, Christoph

    2016-01-01

    A-kinase anchor protein 12 (AKAP12) is a regulator of protein kinase A and protein kinase C signaling, acting downstream of RAS. Epigenetic silencing of AKAP12 has been demonstrated in different cancer entities and this has been linked to the process of tumorigenesis. Here, we used quantitative high-resolution DNA methylation measurement by MassARRAY to investigate epigenetic regulation of all three AKAP12 promoters (i.e., α, β, and γ) within a large cohort of juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML) patient samples. The AKAP12α promoter shows DNA hypermethylation in JMML samples, which is associated with decreased AKAP12α expression. Promoter methylation of AKAP12α correlates with older age at diagnosis, elevated levels of fetal hemoglobin and poor prognosis. In silico screening for transcription factor binding motifs around the sites of most pronounced methylation changes in the AKAP12α promoter revealed highly significant scores for GATA-2/-1 sequence motifs. Both transcription factors are known to be involved in the haematopoietic differentiation process. Methylation of a reporter construct containing this region resulted in strong suppression of AKAP12 promoter activity, suggesting that DNA methylation might be involved in the aberrant silencing of the AKAP12 promoter in JMML. Exposure to DNMT- and HDAC-inhibitors reactivates AKAP12α expression in vitro, which could potentially be a mechanism underlying clinical treatment responses upon demethylating therapy. Together, these data provide evidence for epigenetic silencing of AKAP12α in JMML and further emphasize the importance of dysregulated RAS signaling in JMML pathogenesis.

  15. Epigenetic transitions leading to heritable, RNA-mediated de novo silencing in Arabidopsis thaliana

    PubMed Central

    Bond, Donna M.; Baulcombe, David C.

    2015-01-01

    In plants, RNA-directed DNA methylation (RdDM), a mechanism where epigenetic modifiers are guided to target loci by small RNAs, plays a major role in silencing of transposable elements (TEs) to maintain genome integrity. So far, two RdDM pathways have been identified: RNA Polymerase IV (PolIV)-RdDM and RNA-dependent RNA Polymerase 6 (RDR6)-RdDM. PolIV-RdDM involves a self-reinforcing feedback mechanism that maintains TE silencing, but cannot explain how epigenetic silencing is first initiated. A function of RDR6-RdDM is to reestablish epigenetic silencing of active TEs, but it is unknown if this pathway can induce DNA methylation at naïve, non-TE loci. To investigate de novo establishment of RdDM, we have used virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) of an active FLOWERING WAGENINGEN epiallele. Using genetic mutants we show that unlike PolIV-RdDM, but like RDR6-RdDM, establishment of VIGS-mediated RdDM requires PolV and DRM2 but not Dicer like-3 and other PolIV pathway components. DNA methylation in VIGS is likely initiated by a process guided by virus-derived small (s) RNAs that are 21/22-nt in length and reinforced or maintained by 24-nt sRNAs. We demonstrate that VIGS-RdDM as a tool for gene silencing can be enhanced by use of mutant plants with increased production of 24-nt sRNAs to reinforce the level of RdDM. PMID:25561534

  16. GENE SILENCING. Epigenetic silencing by the HUSH complex mediates position-effect variegation in human cells.

    PubMed

    Tchasovnikarova, Iva A; Timms, Richard T; Matheson, Nicholas J; Wals, Kim; Antrobus, Robin; Göttgens, Berthold; Dougan, Gordon; Dawson, Mark A; Lehner, Paul J

    2015-06-26

    Forward genetic screens in Drosophila melanogaster for modifiers of position-effect variegation have revealed the basis of much of our understanding of heterochromatin. We took an analogous approach to identify genes required for epigenetic repression in human cells. A nonlethal forward genetic screen in near-haploid KBM7 cells identified the HUSH (human silencing hub) complex, comprising three poorly characterized proteins, TASOR, MPP8, and periphilin; this complex is absent from Drosophila but is conserved from fish to humans. Loss of HUSH components resulted in decreased H3K9me3 both at endogenous genomic loci and at retroviruses integrated into heterochromatin. Our results suggest that the HUSH complex is recruited to genomic loci rich in H3K9me3, where subsequent recruitment of the methyltransferase SETDB1 is required for further H3K9me3 deposition to maintain transcriptional silencing.

  17. Inheritable Silencing of Endogenous Genes by Hit-and-Run Targeted Epigenetic Editing.

    PubMed

    Amabile, Angelo; Migliara, Alessandro; Capasso, Paola; Biffi, Mauro; Cittaro, Davide; Naldini, Luigi; Lombardo, Angelo

    2016-09-22

    Gene silencing is instrumental to interrogate gene function and holds promise for therapeutic applications. Here, we repurpose the endogenous retroviruses' silencing machinery of embryonic stem cells to stably silence three highly expressed genes in somatic cells by epigenetics. This was achieved by transiently expressing combinations of engineered transcriptional repressors that bind to and synergize at the target locus to instruct repressive histone marks and de novo DNA methylation, thus ensuring long-term memory of the repressive epigenetic state. Silencing was highly specific, as shown by genome-wide analyses, sharply confined to the targeted locus without spreading to nearby genes, resistant to activation induced by cytokine stimulation, and relieved only by targeted DNA demethylation. We demonstrate the portability of this technology by multiplex gene silencing, adopting different DNA binding platforms and interrogating thousands of genomic loci in different cell types, including primary T lymphocytes. Targeted epigenome editing might have broad application in research and medicine. PMID:27662090

  18. Induction of stable epigenetic gene silencing in plants using a virus vector.

    PubMed

    Kanazawa, Akira; Kasai, Megumi

    2015-01-01

    Gene silencing through transcriptional repression can be induced by double-stranded RNA targeted to a gene promoter, a process known as RNA-mediated transcriptional gene silencing (TGS). This phenomenon is associated with epigenetic changes involving cytosine methylation of the promoter. Plant virus vectors have been used to induce RNA-mediated TGS. Here, we describe methods relevant to the induction of epigenetic changes and RNA-mediated TGS in plants using a virus vector, which include inoculation of recombinant virus, detection of short interfering RNAs, bisulfite sequencing analysis, and nuclear run-on transcription assay. PMID:25740361

  19. Breaking an Epigenetic Chromatin Switch: Curious Features of Hysteresis in Saccharomyces cerevisiae Telomeric Silencing

    PubMed Central

    Nagaraj, Vijayalakshmi H.; Mukhopadhyay, Swagatam; Dayarian, Adel; Sengupta, Anirvan M.

    2014-01-01

    In addition to gene network switches, local epigenetic modifications to DNA and histones play an important role in all-or-none cellular decision-making. Here, we study the dynamical design of a well-characterized epigenetic chromatin switch: the yeast SIR system, in order to understand the origin of the stability of epigenetic states. We study hysteresis in this system by perturbing it with a histone deacetylase inhibitor. We find that SIR silencing has many characteristics of a non-linear bistable system, as observed in conventional genetic switches, which are based on activities of a few promoters affecting each other through the abundance of their gene products. Quite remarkably, our experiments in yeast telomeric silencing show a very distinctive pattern when it comes to the transition from bistability to monostability. In particular, the loss of the stable silenced state, upon increasing the inhibitor concentration, does not seem to show the expected saddle node behavior, instead looking like a supercritical pitchfork bifurcation. In other words, the ‘off’ state merges with the ‘on’ state at a threshold concentration leading to a single state, as opposed to the two states remaining distinct up to the threshold and exhibiting a discontinuous jump from the ‘off’ to the ‘on’ state. We argue that this is an inevitable consequence of silenced and active regions coexisting with dynamic domain boundaries. The experimental observations in our study therefore have broad implications for the understanding of chromatin silencing in yeast and beyond. PMID:25536038

  20. Epigenetic Inheritance of Transcriptional Silencing and Switching Competence in Fission Yeast

    PubMed Central

    Thon, G.; Friis, T.

    1997-01-01

    Epigenetic events allow the inheritance of phenotypic changes that are not caused by an alteration in DNA sequence. Here we characterize an epigenetic phenomenon occuring in the mating-type region of fission yeast. Cells of fission yeast switch between the P and M mating-type by interconverting their expressed mating-type cassette between two allelic forms, mat1-P and mat1-M. The switch results from gene conversions of mat1 by two silent cassettes, mat2-P and mat3-M, which are linked to each other and to mat1. GREWAL and KLAR observed that the ability to both switch mat1 and repress transcription near mat2-P and mat3-M was maintained epigenetically in a strain with an 8-kb deletion between mat2 and mat3. Using a strain very similar to theirs, we determined that interconversions between the switching-and silencing-proficient state and the switching and silencing-deficient state occurred less frequently than once per 1000 cell divisions. Although transcriptional silencing was alleviated by the 8-kb deletion, it was not abolished. We performed a mutant search and obtained a class of trans-acting mutations that displayed a strong cumulative effect with the 8-kb deletion. These mutations allow to assess the extent to which silencing is affected by the deletion and provide new insights on the redundancy of the silencing mechanism. PMID:9055078

  1. Polycomb PRC2 complex mediates epigenetic silencing of a critical osteogenic master regulator in the hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Aguilar, Rodrigo; Bustos, Fernando J; Saez, Mauricio; Rojas, Adriana; Allende, Miguel L; van Wijnen, Andre J; van Zundert, Brigitte; Montecino, Martin

    2016-08-01

    During hippocampal neuron differentiation, the expression of critical inducers of non-neuronal cell lineages must be efficiently silenced. Runx2 transcription factor is the master regulator of mesenchymal cells responsible for intramembranous osteoblast differentiation and formation of the craniofacial bone tissue that surrounds and protects the central nervous system (CNS) in mammalian embryos. The molecular mechanisms that mediate silencing of the Runx2 gene and its downstream target osteogenic-related genes in neuronal cells have not been explored. Here, we assess the epigenetic mechanisms that mediate silencing of osteoblast-specific genes in CNS neurons. In particular, we address the contribution of histone epigenetic marks and histone modifiers on the silencing of the Runx2/p57 bone-related isoform in rat hippocampal tissues at embryonic to adult stages. Our results indicate enrichment of repressive chromatin histone marks and of the Polycomb PRC2 complex at the Runx2/p57 promoter region. Knockdown of PRC2 H3K27-methyltransferases Ezh2 and Ezh1, or forced expression of the Trithorax/COMPASS subunit Wdr5 activates Runx2/p57 mRNA expression in both immature and mature hippocampal cells. Together these results indicate that complementary epigenetic mechanisms progressively and efficiently silence critical osteoblastic genes during hippocampal neuron differentiation. PMID:27216774

  2. Trans-Reactivation: A New Epigenetic Phenomenon Underlying Transcriptional Reactivation of Silenced Genes.

    PubMed

    Onorati, Maria Cristina; Arancio, Walter; Cavalieri, Vincenzo; Ingrassia, Antonia M R; Pavesi, Giulio; Corona, Davide F V

    2015-08-01

    In order to study the role played by cellular RNA pools produced by homologous genomic loci in defining the transcriptional state of a silenced gene, we tested the effect of non-functional alleles of the white gene in the presence of a functional copy of white, silenced by heterochromatin. We found that non-functional alleles of white, unable to produce a coding transcript, could reactivate in trans the expression of a wild type copy of the same gene silenced by heterochromatin. This new epigenetic phenomenon of transcriptional trans-reactivation is heritable, relies on the presence of homologous RNA's and is affected by mutations in genes involved in post-transcriptional gene silencing. Our data suggest a general new unexpected level of gene expression control mediated by homologous RNA molecules in the context of heterochromatic genes. PMID:26292210

  3. ABCB4 is frequently epigenetically silenced in human cancers and inhibits tumor growth

    PubMed Central

    Kiehl, Steffen; Herkt, Stefanie C.; Richter, Antje M.; Fuhrmann, Liesa; El-Nikhely, Nefertiti; Seeger, Werner; Savai, Rajkumar; Dammann, Reinhard H.

    2014-01-01

    Epigenetic silencing through promoter hypermethylation is an important hallmark for the inactivation of tumor-related genes in carcinogenesis. Here we identified the ATP-binding cassette sub-family B member 4 (ABCB4) as a novel epigenetically silenced target gene. We investigated the epigenetic regulation of ABCB4 in 26 human lung, breast, skin, liver, head and neck cancer cells lines and in primary cancers by methylation and expression analysis. Hypermethylation of the ABCB4 CpG island promoter occurred in 16 out of 26 (62%) human cancer cell lines. Aberrant methylation of ABCB4 was also revealed in 39% of primary lung cancer and in 20% of head and neck cancer tissues. In 37% of primary lung cancer samples, ABCB4 expression was absent. For breast cancer a significant hypermethylation occurred in tumor tissues (41%) compared to matching normal samples (0%, p = 0.002). Silencing of ABCB4 was reversed by 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine and zebularine treatments leading to its reexpression in cancer cells. Overexpression of ABCB4 significantly suppressed colony formation and proliferation of lung cancer cells. Hypermethylation of Abcb4 occurred also in murine cancer, but was not found in normal tissues. Our findings suggest that ABCB4 is a frequently silenced gene in different cancers and it may act tumor suppressivly in lung cancer. PMID:25367630

  4. Biological and clinical significance of epigenetic silencing of MARVELD1 gene in lung cancer

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Ming; Wang, Shan; Yao, Yuanfei; Li, Yiqun; Zhang, Hao; Han, Fang; Nie, Huan; Su, Jie; Wang, Zeyu; Yue, Lei; Cao, Jingyan; Li, Yu

    2014-01-01

    Epigenetic silence in cancer frequently altered signal-transduction pathways during the early stages of tumor development. Recent progress in the field of cancer epigenetics has led to new opportunities for diagnosis and treatment of cancer. We previously demonstrated that novel identified nuclear factor MARVELD1 was widely expressed in human tissues, but down-regulated by promoter methylation in multiple cancers. This study was carried out to determine the biological and clinical significance of MARVELD1 gene silencing in lung cancer. Here, we found the reduced MARVELD1 expression significantly correlated with diagnostic histopathology and malignant degree of lung cancers. DNA hypermethylation and histone deacetylation synergistically inactivated MARVELD1 gene in lung cancer cells. Moreover, MARVELD1 modulated the efficiency of nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) through interaction with NMD core factor SMG1. The decreased MARVELD1 level in lung cancer reduces NMD efficiency through diminishing the association between NMD complex component UPF1/SMG1 and premature termination codons containing mRNA (PTC-mRNA). The results suggested that MARVELD1 silencing is an appealing diagnostic biomarker for lung cancer and epigenetic silencing of MARVELD1 gene links with the regulatory mechanism of NMD pathway in lung cancer, which may be required for tumorigenesis. PMID:25520033

  5. Common BRAF(V600E)-directed pathway mediates widespread epigenetic silencing in colorectal cancer and melanoma

    PubMed Central

    Fang, Minggang; Hutchinson, Lloyd; Deng, April

    2016-01-01

    During cancer development, it is well established that many genes, including tumor suppressor genes, are hypermethylated and transcriptionally repressed, a phenomenon referred to as epigenetic silencing. In general, the factors involved in, and the mechanistic basis of, epigenetic silencing during cancer development are not well understood. We have recently described an epigenetic silencing pathway, directed by the oncogenic B-Raf proto-oncogene (BRAF) variant BRAF(V600E), that mediates widespread epigenetic silencing in colorectal cancer (CRC). Notably, the BRAF(V600E) mutation is also present in 50–70% of melanomas. Here, we show that the same pathway we identified in CRC also directs epigenetic silencing of a similar set of genes in BRAF-positive melanoma. In both CRC and melanoma, BRAF(V600E) promotes epigenetic silencing through up-regulation of v-maf avian musculoaponeurotic fibrosarcoma oncogene homolog G (MAFG), a transcriptional repressor with sequence-specific DNA-binding activity. The elevated concentration of MAFG drives DNA binding on the promoter. Promoter-bound MAFG recruits a set of corepressors that includes its heterodimeric partner BTB and CNC homology 1, basic leucine zipper transcription factor 1 (BACH1), the chromatin remodeling factor chromodomain helicase DNA-binding protein 8 (CHD8), and the DNA methyltransferase DNMT3B, resulting in hypermethylation and transcriptional silencing. Our results reveal a common BRAF(V600E)-directed transcriptional regulatory pathway that mediates epigenetic silencing in unrelated solid tumors and provide strong support for an instructive model of oncoprotein-directed epigenetic silencing. PMID:26787892

  6. Epigenetic silencing mechanisms in budding yeast and fruit fly: different paths, same destinations.

    PubMed

    Pirrotta, Vincenzo; Gross, David S

    2005-05-13

    Transcriptional silencing in budding yeast and fruit fly is mediated by fundamentally unrelated proteins that assemble very different chromatin structures. Surprisingly, the repressive mechanisms evolved from these very different materials have similar features, including an epigenetic mode of inheritance and a block to transcription based on interference with the assembly or function of the promoter complex rather than with the binding of gene-specific activators. PMID:15893722

  7. Epigenetic silencing mechanisms in budding yeast and fruit fly: different paths, same destinations.

    PubMed

    Pirrotta, Vincenzo; Gross, David S

    2005-05-13

    Transcriptional silencing in budding yeast and fruit fly is mediated by fundamentally unrelated proteins that assemble very different chromatin structures. Surprisingly, the repressive mechanisms evolved from these very different materials have similar features, including an epigenetic mode of inheritance and a block to transcription based on interference with the assembly or function of the promoter complex rather than with the binding of gene-specific activators.

  8. Arabidopsis DNA polymerase ϵ recruits components of Polycomb repressor complex to mediate epigenetic gene silencing.

    PubMed

    Del Olmo, Iván; López, Juan A; Vázquez, Jesús; Raynaud, Cécile; Piñeiro, Manuel; Jarillo, José A

    2016-07-01

    Arabidopsis ESD7 locus encodes the catalytic subunit of the DNA Pol ϵ involved in the synthesis of the DNA leading strand and is essential for embryo viability. The hypomorphic allele esd7-1 is viable but displays a number of pleiotropic phenotypic alterations including an acceleration of flowering time. Furthermore, Pol ϵ is involved in the epigenetic silencing of the floral integrator genes FT and SOC1, but the molecular nature of the transcriptional gene silencing mechanisms involved remains elusive. Here we reveal that ESD7 interacts with components of the PRC2 such as CLF, EMF2 and MSI1, and that mutations in ESD7 cause a decrease in the levels of the H3K27me3 mark present in the chromatin of FT and SOC1 We also demonstrate that a domain of the C-terminal region of ESD7 mediates the binding to the different PRC2 components and this interaction is necessary for the proper recruitment of PRC2 to FT and SOC1 chromatin. We unveil the existence of interplay between the DNA replication machinery and the PcG complexes in epigenetic transcriptional silencing. These observations provide an insight into the mechanisms ensuring that the epigenetic code at pivotal loci in developmental control is faithfully transmitted to the progeny of eukaryotic cells.

  9. Arabidopsis DNA polymerase ϵ recruits components of Polycomb repressor complex to mediate epigenetic gene silencing

    PubMed Central

    del Olmo, Iván; López, Juan A.; Vázquez, Jesús; Raynaud, Cécile; Piñeiro, Manuel; Jarillo, José A.

    2016-01-01

    Arabidopsis ESD7 locus encodes the catalytic subunit of the DNA Pol ϵ involved in the synthesis of the DNA leading strand and is essential for embryo viability. The hypomorphic allele esd7-1 is viable but displays a number of pleiotropic phenotypic alterations including an acceleration of flowering time. Furthermore, Pol ϵ is involved in the epigenetic silencing of the floral integrator genes FT and SOC1, but the molecular nature of the transcriptional gene silencing mechanisms involved remains elusive. Here we reveal that ESD7 interacts with components of the PRC2 such as CLF, EMF2 and MSI1, and that mutations in ESD7 cause a decrease in the levels of the H3K27me3 mark present in the chromatin of FT and SOC1. We also demonstrate that a domain of the C-terminal region of ESD7 mediates the binding to the different PRC2 components and this interaction is necessary for the proper recruitment of PRC2 to FT and SOC1 chromatin. We unveil the existence of interplay between the DNA replication machinery and the PcG complexes in epigenetic transcriptional silencing. These observations provide an insight into the mechanisms ensuring that the epigenetic code at pivotal loci in developmental control is faithfully transmitted to the progeny of eukaryotic cells. PMID:26980282

  10. Epigenetic gene silencing underlies C-fiber dysfunctions in neuropathic pain.

    PubMed

    Uchida, Hitoshi; Ma, Lin; Ueda, Hiroshi

    2010-03-31

    Peripheral nerve injury causes neuropathic pain, which is characterized by the paradoxical sensations of positive and negative symptoms. Clinically, negative signs are frequently observed; however, their underlying molecular mechanisms are largely unknown. Dysfunction of C-fibers is assumed to underlie negative symptoms and is accompanied by long-lasting downregulation of Na(v)1.8 sodium channel and mu-opioid receptor (MOP) in the dorsal root ganglion (DRG). In the present study, we found that nerve injury upregulates neuron-restrictive silencer factor (NRSF) expression in the DRG neurons mediated through epigenetic mechanisms. In addition, chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis revealed that nerve injury promotes NRSF binding to the neuron-restrictive silencer element within MOP and Na(v)1.8 genes, thereby causing epigenetic silencing. Furthermore, NRSF knockdown significantly blocked nerve injury-induced downregulations of MOP and Na(v)1.8 gene expressions, C-fiber hypoesthesia, and the losses of peripheral morphine analgesia and Na(v)1.8-selective blocker-induced hypoesthesia. Together, these data suggest that NRSF causes pathological and pharmacological dysfunction of C-fibers, which underlies the negative symptoms in neuropathic pain. PMID:20357131

  11. The C. elegans CSR-1 argonaute pathway counteracts epigenetic silencing to promote germline gene expression.

    PubMed

    Seth, Meetu; Shirayama, Masaki; Gu, Weifeng; Ishidate, Takao; Conte, Darryl; Mello, Craig C

    2013-12-23

    Organisms can develop adaptive sequence-specific immunity by reexpressing pathogen-specific small RNAs that guide gene silencing. For example, the C. elegans PIWI-Argonaute/piwi-interacting RNA (piRNA) pathway recruits RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRP) to foreign sequences to amplify a transgenerational small-RNA-induced epigenetic silencing signal (termed RNAe). Here, we provide evidence that, in addition to an adaptive memory of silenced sequences, C. elegans can also develop an opposing adaptive memory of expressed/self-mRNAs. We refer to this mechanism, which can prevent or reverse RNAe, as RNA-induced epigenetic gene activation (RNAa). We show that CSR-1, which engages RdRP-amplified small RNAs complementary to germline-expressed mRNAs, is required for RNAa. We show that a transgene with RNAa activity also exhibits accumulation of cognate CSR-1 small RNAs. Our findings suggest that C. elegans adaptively acquires and maintains a transgenerational CSR-1 memory that recognizes and protects self-mRNAs, allowing piRNAs to recognize foreign sequences innately, without the need for prior exposure

  12. RASSF10 is epigenetically silenced and functions as a tumor suppressor in gastric cancer

    SciTech Connect

    Wei, Ziran; Chen, Xia; Chen, Ji; Wang, Weimin; Xu, Xudong; Cai, Qingping

    2013-03-22

    Highlights: ► Epigenetic silencing of RASSF10 gene expression in GC cells. ► RASSF10 overexpression inhibits cell growth in vitro and in vivo. ► RASSF10 induces apoptosis in GC cells. ► RASSF10 inhibits Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway. -- Abstract: Ras association domain family (RASSF) proteins are encoded by several tumor suppressor genes that are frequently silenced in human cancers. In this study, we investigated RASSF10 as a target of epigenetic inactivation and examined its functions as a tumor suppressor in gastric cancer. RASSF10 was silenced in six out of eight gastric cancer cell lines. Loss or downregulation of RASSF10 expression was associated with promoter hypermethylation, and could be restored by a demethylating agent. Overexpression of RASSF10 in gastric cancer cell lines (JRST, BGC823) suppressed cell growth and colony formation, and induced apoptosis, whereas RASSF10 depletion promoted cell growth. In xenograft animal experiments, RASSF10 overexpression effectively repressed tumor growth. Mechanistic investigations revealed that RASSF10 inhibited tumor growth by blocking activation of β-catenin and its downstream targets including c-Myc, cyclinD1, cyclinE1, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor δ, transcription factor 4, transcription factor 1 and CD44. In conclusion, the results of this study provide insight into the role of RASSF10 as a novel functional tumor suppressor in gastric cancer through inhibition of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway.

  13. Epigenetic silencing by the HUSH complex mediates position-effect variegation in human cells*

    PubMed Central

    Matheson, Nicholas J.; Wals, Kim; Antrobus, Robin; Göttgens, Berthold; Dougan, Gordon; Dawson, Mark A.; Lehner, Paul J.

    2015-01-01

    Forward genetic screens in Drosophila melanogaster for modifiers of position-effect variegation have revealed the basis of much of our understanding of heterochromatin. We took an analogous approach to identify genes required for epigenetic repression in human cells. A non-lethal forward genetic screen in near-haploid KBM7 cells identified the Human Silencing Hub (HUSH), a complex of three poorly-characterised proteins, TASOR, MPP8, and periphilin, which is absent from Drosophila but conserved from fish to humans. Loss of HUSH subunits resulted in decreased H3K9me3 at both endogenous genomic loci and retroviruses integrated into heterochromatin. Our results suggest that the HUSH complex is recruited to genomic loci rich in H3K9me3, where subsequent recruitment of the methyltransferase SETDB1 is required for further H3K9me3 deposition to maintain transcriptional silencing. PMID:26022416

  14. Cytosine Methylation Associated with Repeat-Induced Point Mutation Causes Epigenetic Gene Silencing in Neurospora Crassa

    PubMed Central

    Irelan, J. T.; Selker, E. U.

    1997-01-01

    Repeated DNA sequences are frequently mutated during the sexual cycle in Neurospora crassa by a process named repeat-induced point mutation (RIP). RIP is often associated with methylation of cytosine residues in and around the mutated sequences. Here we demonstrate that this methylation can silence a gene located in nearby, unique sequences. A large proportion of strains that had undergone RIP of a linked duplication flanking a single-copy transgene, hph (hygromycin B phosphotransferase), showed partial silencing of hph. These strains were all heavily methylated throughout the single-copy hph sequences and the flanking sequences. Silencing was alleviated by preventing methylation, either by 5-azacytidine (5AC) treatment or by introduction of a mutation (eth-1) known to reduce intracellular levels of S-adenosylmethionine. Silenced strains exhibited spontaneous reactivation of hph at frequencies of 10(-4) to 0.5. Reactivated strains, as well as cells that were treated with 5AC, gave rise to cultures that were hypomethylated and partially hygromycin resistant, indicating that some of the original methylation was propagated by a maintenance mechanism. Gene expression levels were found to be variable within a population of clonally related cells, and this variation was correlated with epigenetically propagated differences in methylation patterns. PMID:9178002

  15. Demethylation and re-expression of epigenetically silenced tumor suppressor genes: sensitization of cancer cells by combination therapy.

    PubMed

    Sarkar, Sibaji; Goldgar, Sarah; Byler, Shannon; Rosenthal, Shoshana; Heerboth, Sarah

    2013-02-01

    Epigenetic regulation in eukaryotic and mammalian systems is a complex and emerging field of study. While histone modifications create an open chromatin conformation allowing for gene transcription, CpG methylation adds a further dimension to the expression of specific genes in developmental pathways and carcinogenesis. In this review, we will highlight DNA methylation as one of the distinct mechanisms for gene silencing and try to provide insight into the role of epigenetics in cancer progenitor cell formation and carcinogenesis. We will also introduce the concept of a dynamic methylation-demethylation system and the potential for the existence of a demethylating enzyme in this process. Finally, we will explain how re-expression of epigenetically silenced tumor suppressor genes could be exploited to develop effective drug therapies. In particular, we will consider how a combination therapy that includes epigenetic drugs could possibly kill cancer progenitor cells and reduce the chance of relapse following chemotherapy. PMID:23414323

  16. Carcinogenic nickel silences gene expression by chromatin condensation and DNA methylation: a new model for epigenetic carcinogens.

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Y W; Klein, C B; Kargacin, B; Salnikow, K; Kitahara, J; Dowjat, K; Zhitkovich, A; Christie, N T; Costa, M

    1995-01-01

    A transgenic gpt+ Chinese hamster cell line (G12) was found to be susceptible to carcinogenic nickel-induced inactivation of gpt expression without mutagenesis or deletion of the transgene. Many nickel-induced 6-thioguanine-resistant variants spontaneously reverted to actively express gpt, as indicated by both reversion assays and direct enzyme measurements. Since reversion was enhanced in many of the nickel-induced variant cell lines following 24-h treatment with the demethylating agent 5-azacytidine, the involvement of DNA methylation in silencing gpt expression was suspected. This was confirmed by demonstrations of increased DNA methylation, as well as by evidence indicating condensed chromatin and heterochromatinization of the gpt integration site in 6-thioguanine-resistant cells. Upon reversion to active gpt expression, DNA methylation and condensation are lost. We propose that DNA condensation and methylation result in heterochromatinization of the gpt sequence with subsequent inheritance of the now silenced gene. This mechanism is supported by direct evidence showing that acute nickel treatment of cultured cells, and of isolated nuclei in vitro, can indeed facilitate gpt sequence-specific chromatin condensation. Epigenetic mechanisms have been implicated in the actions of some nonmutagenic carcinogens, and DNA methylation changes are now known to be important in carcinogenesis. This paper further supports the emerging theory that nickel is a human carcinogen that can alter gene expression by enhanced DNA methylation and compaction, rather than by mutagenic mechanisms. PMID:7537850

  17. DNA methylation epigenetically silences crossover hot spots and controls chromosomal domains of meiotic recombination in Arabidopsis

    PubMed Central

    Yelina, Nataliya E.; Lambing, Christophe; Hardcastle, Thomas J.; Zhao, Xiaohui; Santos, Bruno; Henderson, Ian R.

    2015-01-01

    During meiosis, homologous chromosomes undergo crossover recombination, which is typically concentrated in narrow hot spots that are controlled by genetic and epigenetic information. Arabidopsis chromosomes are highly DNA methylated in the repetitive centromeres, which are also crossover-suppressed. Here we demonstrate that RNA-directed DNA methylation is sufficient to locally silence Arabidopsis euchromatic crossover hot spots and is associated with increased nucleosome density and H3K9me2. However, loss of CG DNA methylation maintenance in met1 triggers epigenetic crossover remodeling at the chromosome scale, with pericentromeric decreases and euchromatic increases in recombination. We used recombination mutants that alter interfering and noninterfering crossover repair pathways (fancm and zip4) to demonstrate that remodeling primarily involves redistribution of interfering crossovers. Using whole-genome bisulfite sequencing, we show that crossover remodeling is driven by loss of CG methylation within the centromeric regions. Using cytogenetics, we profiled meiotic DNA double-strand break (DSB) foci in met1 and found them unchanged relative to wild type. We propose that met1 chromosome structure is altered, causing centromere-proximal DSBs to be inhibited from maturation into interfering crossovers. These data demonstrate that DNA methylation is sufficient to silence crossover hot spots and plays a key role in establishing domains of meiotic recombination along chromosomes. PMID:26494791

  18. Epigenetic silencing of monoallelically methylated miRNA loci in precancerous colorectal lesions

    PubMed Central

    Menigatti, M; Staiano, T; Manser, C N; Bauerfeind, P; Komljenovic, A; Robinson, M; Jiricny, J; Buffoli, F; Marra, G

    2013-01-01

    Epigenetic silencing of protein-encoding genes is common in early-stage colorectal tumorigenesis. Less is known about the methylation-mediated silencing of genes encoding microRNAs (miRNAs), which are also important epigenetic modulators of gene expression. Using quantitative PCR, we identified 56 miRNAs that were expressed in normal colorectal mucosa and in HT29 colorectal cancer cells treated with demethylating agents but not in untreated HT29 cells, suggesting that they probably undergo methylation-induced silencing during colorectal tumorigenesis. One of these, miR-195, had recently been reported to be underexpressed in colorectal cancers and to exert tumor-suppressor effects in colorectal cancer cells. We identified the transcription start site (TSS) for primary miRNA (pri-miR)-497/195, the primary precursor that yields miR-195 and another candidate on our list, miR-497, and a single CpG island upstream to the TSS, which controls expression of both miRNAs. Combined bisulfite restriction analysis and bisulfite genomic sequencing studies revealed monoallelic methylation of this island in normal colorectal mucosa (50/50 samples) and full methylation in most colorectal adenomas (38/50; 76%). The hypermethylated precancerous lesions displayed significantly downregulated expression of both miRNAs. Similar methylation patterns were observed at two known imprinted genes, MEG3 and GNAS-AS1, which encode several of the 56 miRNAs on our list. Imprinting at these loci was lost in over half the adenomas (62% at MEG3 and 52% at GNAS-AS1). Copy-number alterations at MEG3, GNAS-AS1 and pri-miR-497/195, which are frequent in colorectal cancers, were less common in adenomas and confined to tumors displaying differential methylation at the involved locus. Our data show that somatically acquired, epigenetic changes at monoallelically methylated regions encoding miRNAs are relatively frequent in sporadic colorectal adenomas and might contribute to the onset and progression of

  19. Epigenetic silencing of monoallelically methylated miRNA loci in precancerous colorectal lesions.

    PubMed

    Menigatti, M; Staiano, T; Manser, C N; Bauerfeind, P; Komljenovic, A; Robinson, M; Jiricny, J; Buffoli, F; Marra, G

    2013-01-01

    Epigenetic silencing of protein-encoding genes is common in early-stage colorectal tumorigenesis. Less is known about the methylation-mediated silencing of genes encoding microRNAs (miRNAs), which are also important epigenetic modulators of gene expression. Using quantitative PCR, we identified 56 miRNAs that were expressed in normal colorectal mucosa and in HT29 colorectal cancer cells treated with demethylating agents but not in untreated HT29 cells, suggesting that they probably undergo methylation-induced silencing during colorectal tumorigenesis. One of these, miR-195, had recently been reported to be underexpressed in colorectal cancers and to exert tumor-suppressor effects in colorectal cancer cells. We identified the transcription start site (TSS) for primary miRNA (pri-miR)-497/195, the primary precursor that yields miR-195 and another candidate on our list, miR-497, and a single CpG island upstream to the TSS, which controls expression of both miRNAs. Combined bisulfite restriction analysis and bisulfite genomic sequencing studies revealed monoallelic methylation of this island in normal colorectal mucosa (50/50 samples) and full methylation in most colorectal adenomas (38/50; 76%). The hypermethylated precancerous lesions displayed significantly downregulated expression of both miRNAs. Similar methylation patterns were observed at two known imprinted genes, MEG3 and GNAS-AS1, which encode several of the 56 miRNAs on our list. Imprinting at these loci was lost in over half the adenomas (62% at MEG3 and 52% at GNAS-AS1). Copy-number alterations at MEG3, GNAS-AS1 and pri-miR-497/195, which are frequent in colorectal cancers, were less common in adenomas and confined to tumors displaying differential methylation at the involved locus. Our data show that somatically acquired, epigenetic changes at monoallelically methylated regions encoding miRNAs are relatively frequent in sporadic colorectal adenomas and might contribute to the onset and progression of

  20. Deletion or epigenetic silencing of AJAP1 on 1p36 in glioblastoma.

    PubMed

    Lin, Ningjing; Di, Chunhui; Bortoff, Kathy; Fu, Jinrong; Truszkowski, Peter; Killela, Patrick; Duncan, Chris; McLendon, Roger; Bigner, Darell; Gregory, Simon; Adamson, David Cory

    2012-02-01

    Glioblastoma is universally fatal because of its propensity for rapid recurrence due to highly migratory tumor cells. Unraveling the genomic complexity that underlies this migratory characteristic could provide therapeutic targets that would greatly complement current surgical therapy. Using multiple high-resolution genomic screening methods, we identified a single locus, adherens junctional associated protein 1 (AJAP1) on chromosome 1p36 that is lost or epigenetically silenced in many glioblastomas. We found AJAP1 expression absent or reduced in 86% and 100% of primary glioblastoma tumors and cell lines, respectively, and the loss of expression correlates with AJAP1 methylation. Restoration of AJAP1 gene expression by transfection or demethylation agents results in decreased tumor cell migration in glioblastoma cell lines. This work shows the significant loss of expression of AJAP1 in glioblastoma and provides evidence of its role in the highly migratory characteristic of these tumors.

  1. Identification and functional analysis of epigenetically silenced microRNAs in colorectal cancer cells.

    PubMed

    Yan, Hongli; Choi, Ae-Jin; Lee, Byron H; Ting, Angela H

    2011-01-01

    Abnormal microRNA (miRNA) expression has been linked to the development and progression of several human cancers, and such dysregulation can result from aberrant DNA methylation. While a small number of miRNAs is known to be regulated by DNA methylation, we postulated that such epigenetic regulation is more prevalent. By combining MBD-isolated Genome Sequencing (MiGS) to evaluate genome-wide DNA methylation patterns and microarray analysis to determine miRNA expression levels, we systematically searched for candidate miRNAs regulated by DNA methylation in colorectal cancer cell lines. We found 64 miRNAs to be robustly methylated in HCT116 cells; eighteen of them were located in imprinting regions or already reported to be regulated by DNA methylation. For the remaining 46 miRNAs, expression levels of 18 were consistent with their DNA methylation status. Finally, 8 miRNAs were up-regulated by 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine treatment and identified to be novel miRNAs regulated by DNA methylation. Moreover, we demonstrated the functional relevance of these epigenetically silenced miRNAs by ectopically expressing select candidates, which resulted in inhibition of growth and migration of cancer cells. In addition to reporting these findings, our study also provides a reliable, systematic strategy to identify DNA methylation-regulated miRNAs by combining DNA methylation profiles and expression data.

  2. MicroRNA 665 Regulates Dentinogenesis through MicroRNA-Mediated Silencing and Epigenetic Mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Heair, Hannah M.; Kemper, Austin G.; Roy, Bhaskar; Lopes, Helena B.; Rashid, Harunur; Clarke, John C.; Afreen, Lubana K.; Ferraz, Emanuela P.; Kim, Eddy; Javed, Amjad; Beloti, Marcio M.; MacDougall, Mary

    2015-01-01

    Studies of proteins involved in microRNA (miRNA) processing, maturation, and silencing have indicated the importance of miRNAs in skeletogenesis, but the specific miRNAs involved in this process are incompletely defined. Here, we identified miRNA 665 (miR-665) as a potential repressor of odontoblast maturation. Studies with cultured cell lines and primary embryonic cells showed that miR-665 represses the expression of early and late odontoblast marker genes and stage-specific proteases involved in dentin maturation. Notably, miR-665 directly targeted Dlx3 mRNA and decreased Dlx3 expression. Furthermore, RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC) immunoprecipitation and biotin-labeled miR-665 pulldown studies identified Kat6a as another potential target of miR-665. KAT6A interacted physically and functionally with RUNX2, activating tissue-specific promoter activity and prompting odontoblast differentiation. Overexpression of miR-665 reduced the recruitment of KAT6A to Dspp and Dmp1 promoters and prevented KAT6A-induced chromatin remodeling, repressing gene transcription. Taken together, our results provide novel molecular evidence that miR-665 functions in an miRNA-epigenetic regulatory network to control dentinogenesis. PMID:26124283

  3. Epigenetic silencing of neurofilament genes promotes an aggressive phenotype in breast cancer

    PubMed Central

    Calmon, Marilia Freitas; Jeschke, Jana; Zhang, Wei; Dhir, Mashaal; Siebenkäs, Cornelia; Herrera, Alexander; Tsai, Hsing-Chen; O'Hagan, Heather M; Pappou, Emmanouil P; Hooker, Craig M; Fu, Tao; Schuebel, Kornel E; Gabrielson, Edward; Rahal, Paula; Herman, James G; Baylin, Stephen B; Ahuja, Nita

    2015-01-01

    Neurofilament heavy polypeptide (NEFH) has recently been identified as a candidate DNA hypermethylated gene within the functional breast cancer hypermethylome. NEFH exists in a complex with neurofilament medium polypeptide (NEFM) and neurofilament light polypeptide (NEFL) to form neurofilaments, which are structural components of the cytoskeleton in mature neurons. Recent studies reported the deregulation of these proteins in several malignancies, suggesting that neurofilaments may have a role in other cell types as well. Using a comprehensive approach, we studied the epigenetic inactivation of neurofilament genes in breast cancer and the functional significance of this event. We report that DNA methylation-associated silencing of NEFH, NEFL, and NEFM in breast cancer is frequent, cancer-specific, and correlates with clinical features of disease progression. DNA methylation-mediated inactivation of these genes occurs also in multiple other cancer histologies including pancreas, gastric, and colon. Restoration of NEFH function, the major subunit of the neurofilament complex, reduces proliferation and growth of breast cancer cells and arrests them in Go/G1 phase of the cell cycle along with a reduction in migration and invasion. These findings suggest that DNA methylation-mediated silencing of the neurofilament genes NEFH, NEFM, and NEFL are frequent events that may contribute to the progression of breast cancer and possibly other malignancies. PMID:25985363

  4. Epigenetic silencing of neurofilament genes promotes an aggressive phenotype in breast cancer.

    PubMed

    Calmon, Marilia Freitas; Jeschke, Jana; Zhang, Wei; Dhir, Mashaal; Siebenkäs, Cornelia; Herrera, Alexander; Tsai, Hsing-Chen; O'Hagan, Heather M; Pappou, Emmanouil P; Hooker, Craig M; Fu, Tao; Schuebel, Kornel E; Gabrielson, Edward; Rahal, Paula; Herman, James G; Baylin, Stephen B; Ahuja, Nita

    2015-01-01

    Neurofilament heavy polypeptide (NEFH) has recently been identified as a candidate DNA hypermethylated gene within the functional breast cancer hypermethylome. NEFH exists in a complex with neurofilament medium polypeptide (NEFM) and neurofilament light polypeptide (NEFL) to form neurofilaments, which are structural components of the cytoskeleton in mature neurons. Recent studies reported the deregulation of these proteins in several malignancies, suggesting that neurofilaments may have a role in other cell types as well. Using a comprehensive approach, we studied the epigenetic inactivation of neurofilament genes in breast cancer and the functional significance of this event. We report that DNA methylation-associated silencing of NEFH, NEFL, and NEFM in breast cancer is frequent, cancer-specific, and correlates with clinical features of disease progression. DNA methylation-mediated inactivation of these genes occurs also in multiple other cancer histologies including pancreas, gastric, and colon. Restoration of NEFH function, the major subunit of the neurofilament complex, reduces proliferation and growth of breast cancer cells and arrests them in Go/G1 phase of the cell cycle along with a reduction in migration and invasion. These findings suggest that DNA methylation-mediated silencing of the neurofilament genes NEFH, NEFM, and NEFL are frequent events that may contribute to the progression of breast cancer and possibly other malignancies.

  5. miR-196b Is Epigenetically Silenced during the Premalignant Stage of Lung Carcinogenesis.

    PubMed

    Tellez, Carmen S; Juri, Daniel E; Do, Kieu; Picchi, Maria A; Wang, Teresa; Liu, Gang; Spira, Avrum; Belinsky, Steven A

    2016-08-15

    miRNA silencing by promoter hypermethylation may represent a mechanism by which lung cancer develops and progresses, but the miRNAs involved during malignant transformation are unknown. We previously established a model of premalignant lung cancer wherein we treated human bronchial epithelial cells (HBEC) with low doses of tobacco carcinogens. Here, we demonstrate that next-generation sequencing of carcinogen-transformed HBECs treated with the demethylating agent 5-aza-2'deoxycytidine revealed miR-196b and miR-34c-5p to be epigenetic targets. Bisulfite sequencing confirmed dense promoter hypermethylation indicative of silencing in multiple malignant cell lines and primary tumors. Chromatin immunoprecipitation studies further demonstrated an enrichment in repressive histone marks on the miR-196b promoter during HBEC transformation. Restoration of miR-196b expression by transfecting transformed HBECs with specific mimics led to cell-cycle arrest mediated in part through transcriptional regulation of the FOS oncogene, and miR-196b reexpression also significantly reduced the growth of tumor xenografts. Luciferase assays demonstrated that forced expression of miR-196b inhibited the FOS promoter and AP-1 reporter activity. Finally, a case-control study revealed that methylation of miR-196b in sputum was strongly associated with lung cancer (OR = 4.7, P < 0.001). Collectively, these studies highlight miR-196b as a tumor suppressor whose silencing early in lung carcinogenesis may provide a selective growth advantage to premalignant cells. Targeted delivery of miR-196b could therefore serve as a preventive or therapeutic strategy for the management of lung cancer. Cancer Res; 76(16); 4741-51. ©2016 AACR. PMID:27302168

  6. Epigenetic Silencing of TFPI-2 in Canine Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma

    PubMed Central

    Ferraresso, Serena; Bresolin, Silvia; Aricò, Arianna; Comazzi, Stefano; Gelain, Maria Elena; Riondato, Fulvio; Bargelloni, Luca; Marconato, Laura; te Kronnie, Geertruy; Aresu, Luca

    2014-01-01

    Epigenetic modifications are important early events during carcinogenesis. In particular, hypermethylation of CpG islands in the promoter region of tumor suppressor genes is a well-known mechanism of gene silencing that contributes to cancer development and progression. Tissue factor pathway inhibitor 2 (TFPI-2) is a tumor suppressor involved in invasiveness inhibition. Although TFPI-2 transcriptional silencing, through promoter hypermethylation, has been widely reported in several human malignancies, it has never been explored in lymphoma. In the present study TFPI-2 methylation and gene expression have been investigated in canine Diffuse Large B-cell lymphomas (cDLBCL). The methylation level of 23 CpGs located within the TFPI-2 promoter was investigated by bisulfite-specific PCR and next generation amplicon deep sequencing (GS Junior 454, Roche) in 22 cDLBCLs and 9 controls. For the same specimens, TFPI-2 gene expression was assessed by means of Real-time RT-PCR. Sequence analysis clearly demonstrated that TFPI2 is frequently hypermethylated in cDLBCL. Hypermethylation of the TFPI-2 promoter was found in 77% of DLBCLs (17 out of 22) and in one normal lymph node. Globally, dogs with DLBCL showed a mean methylation level significantly increased compared to controls (p<0.01) and analysis of hypermethylation by site identified 19 loci out of 23 (82%) with mean methylation levels from 2- to 120-fold higher in cDLBCL. Gene expression analysis confirmed a significant down-regulation of TFPI-2 (p<0.05) in DLBCLs compared with normal lymph nodes, suggesting that TFPI-2 hypermethylation negatively regulates its transcription. In addition, a significant positive correlation (p<0.01) was found between TFPI-2 methylation levels and age providing the first indication of age-associated epigenetic modifications in canine DLBCL. To conclude, our findings demonstrated that epigenetic dysregulation of TFPI-2, leading to its reduced expression, is frequently detected in canine DLBCL

  7. Epigenetic silencing of ITGA2 by MiR-373 promotes cell migration in breast cancer.

    PubMed

    Ding, Wen; Fan, Xiao-Lu; Xu, Xuan; Huang, Jin-Zhou; Xu, Song-Hui; Geng, Qian; Li, Rong; Chen, De; Yan, Guang-Rong

    2015-01-01

    The loss of ITGA2 plays an important role in cancer metastasis in several solid cancers. However, the molecular mechanism of ITGA2 loss in primary cancers remains unclear. In this study, we found that a lower ITGA2 protein level was observed in breast cancers compared to adjacent non-cancerous breast tissues. Interestingly, the reduction degree of ITGA2 at the protein level was far more than that at the mRNA level. We further showed that the translation of ITGA2 mRNA was directly inhibited by miR-373 through binding to ITGA2-3'UTR. Silencing of ITGA2 detached cell-cell interactions, induced the deploymerization of stress fiber F-actin and stimulated cancer cell migration, similar to the effect of miR-373 over-expression. The co-expression of ITGA2, not ITGA2-3'UTR, could abrogate miR-373-induced cancer cell migration because that the expression of ITGA2-3'UTR was inhibited by co-transfected miR-373. ITGA2 protein level was inversely associated with miR-373 level in breast cancers (r = -0.663, P<0.001). 73.33% of breast cancer patients with high miR-373 and low ITGA2 expression exhibited the lymph node-positive metastases. Together, our results show that epigenetic silencing of ITGA2 by miR-373 stimulates breast cancer migration, and miR-373high/ITGA2low may be as a prognosis biomarker for breast cancer patients.

  8. Dietary and genetic effects on age-related loss of gene silencing reveal epigenetic plasticity of chromatin repression during aging.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Nan; Du, Guyu; Tobias, Ethan; Wood, Jason G; Whitaker, Rachel; Neretti, Nicola; Helfand, Stephen L

    2013-11-01

    During aging, changes in chromatin state that alter gene transcription have been postulated to result in expression of genes that are normally silenced, leading to deleterious age-related effects on cellular physiology. Despite the prevalence of this hypothesis, it is primarily in yeast that loss of gene silencing with age has been well documented. We use a novel position effect variegation (PEV) reporter in Drosophila melanogaster to show that age-related loss of repressive heterochromatin is associated with loss of gene silencing in metazoans and is affected by Sir2, as it is in yeast. The life span-extending intervention, calorie restriction (CR), delays the age-related loss of gene silencing, indicating that loss of gene silencing is a component of normal aging. Diet switch experiments show that such flies undergo a rapid change in their level of gene silencing, demonstrating the epigenetic plasticity of chromatin during aging and highlighting the potential role of diet and metabolism in chromatin maintenance, Thus, diet and related interventions may be of therapeutic importance for age-related diseases, such as cancer.

  9. Thrombomodulin Is Silenced in Malignant Mesothelioma by a Poly(ADP-ribose) Polymerase-1-mediated Epigenetic Mechanism*

    PubMed Central

    Nocchi, Linda; Tomasetti, Marco; Amati, Monica; Neuzil, Jiri; Santarelli, Lory; Saccucci, Franca

    2011-01-01

    Malignant mesothelioma (MM) is often complicated by thromboembolic episodes, with thrombomodulin (TM) playing a critical role in the anticoagulant process. Heterogeneous expression of TM has been observed in cancer, and low or no TM expression in cancer cells is associated with poor prognosis. In this study, we analyzed TM expression in biopsies of MM patients and compared them with normal mesothelial tissue. The role of DNA methylation-associated gene silencing in TM expression was investigated. To evaluate poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 (PARP1) as responsible for gene promoter epigenetic modifications, nonmalignant mesothelial cells (Met-5A) and MM cells (H28) were silenced for PARP1 and the DNA methylation/acetylation-associated TM expression evaluated. A correlation between low TM expression and high level of TM promoter methylation was found in MM biopsies. Low expression of TM was restored in MM cells by their treatment with 5-aza-2′-deoxycytidine and, to a lesser extent, with trichostatin, whereas the epigenetic agents did not affect TM expression in Met-5A cells. Silencing of PARP1 resulted in a strong down-regulation of TM expression in Met-5A cells, while restoring TM expression in H28 cells. PARP1 silencing induced TM promoter methylation in Met-5A cells and demethylation in MM cells, and this was paralleled by corresponding changes in the DNA methyltransferase activity. We propose that methylation of the TM promoter is responsible for silencing of TM expression in MM tissue, a process that is regulated by PARP1. PMID:21489980

  10. Aberrant JAK/STAT Signaling Suppresses TFF1 and TFF2 through Epigenetic Silencing of GATA6 in Gastric Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Cheng-Shyong; Wei, Kuo-Liang; Chou, Jian-Liang; Lu, Chung-Kuang; Hsieh, Ching-Chuan; Lin, Jora M. J.; Deng, Yi-Fang; Hsu, Wan-Ting; Wang, Hui-Min David; Leung, Chung-Hang; Ma, Dik-Lung; Li, Chin; Chan, Michael W. Y.

    2016-01-01

    Aberrant Janus kinase (JAK)/signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) signaling is crucial to the development of gastric cancer. In this study, we examined the role of STAT3 in the expression and methylation of its targets in gastric cancer patients. Results from RNA sequencing identified an inverse correlation between the expression of STAT3 and GATA6 in 23 pairs of gastric cancer patient samples. We discovered that the expression of GATA6 is epigenetically silenced through promoter methylation in gastric cancer cell lines. Interestingly, the inhibition of STAT3 using a novel STAT3 inhibitor restored the expression of GATA6 and its targets, trefoil factors 1 and 2 (TFF1/2). Moreover, disruption of STAT3 binding to GATA6 promoter by small hairpin RNA restored GATA6 expression in AGS cells. A clinically significant correlation was also observed between the expression of GATA6 and TFF1/2 among tissue samples from 60 gastric cancer patients. Finally, bisulfite pyrosequencing revealed GATA6 methylation in 65% (39/60) of the patients, and those with higher GATA6 methylation tended to have shorter overall survival. In conclusion, we demonstrated that aberrant JAK/STAT signaling suppresses TFF1/2 partially through the epigenetic silencing of GATA6. Therapeutic intervention of STAT3 in reversing the epigenetic status of GATA6 could benefit the treatment of gastric cancer and is worthy of further investigation. PMID:27598141

  11. Breast Cancer-associated Fibroblasts Confer AKT1-mediated Epigenetic Silencing of Cystatin M in Epithelial Cells

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Huey-Jen L.; Zuo, Tao; Lin, Ching-Hung; Kuo, Chieh Ti; Liyanarachchi, Sandya; Sun, Shuying; Shen, Rulong; Deatherage, Daniel E.; Potter, Dustin; Asamoto, Lisa; Lin, Shili; Yan, Pearlly S.; Cheng, Ann-Lii; Ostrowski, Michael C.; Huang, Tim H.-M.

    2010-01-01

    The interplay between histone modifications and promoter hypermethylation provides a causative explanation for epigenetic gene silencing in cancer. Less is known about the upstream initiators that direct this process. Here, we report that the Cystatin M (CST6) tumor suppressor gene is concurrently down-regulated with other loci in breast epithelial cells co-cultured with cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs). Promoter hypermethylation of CST6 is associated with aberrant AKT1 activation in epithelial cells, as well as the disabled INNP4B regulator resulted from the suppression by CAFs. Repressive chromatin, marked by trimethyl-H3K27 and dimethyl-H3K9, and de novo DNA methylation is established at the promoter. The findings suggest that microenvironmental stimuli are triggers in this epigenetic cascade, leading to the long-term silencing of CST6 in breast tumors. Our present findings implicate a causal mechanism defining how tumor stromal fibroblasts support neoplastic progression by manipulating the epigenome of mammary epithelial cells. The result also highlights the importance of direct cell-cell contract between epithelial cells and the surrounding fibroblasts that confer this epigenetic perturbation. Since this two-way interaction is anticipated, the described co-culture system can be used to determine the effect of epithelial factors on fibroblasts in future studies. PMID:19074894

  12. Aberrant JAK/STAT Signaling Suppresses TFF1 and TFF2 through Epigenetic Silencing of GATA6 in Gastric Cancer.

    PubMed

    Wu, Cheng-Shyong; Wei, Kuo-Liang; Chou, Jian-Liang; Lu, Chung-Kuang; Hsieh, Ching-Chuan; Lin, Jora M J; Deng, Yi-Fang; Hsu, Wan-Ting; Wang, Hui-Min David; Leung, Chung-Hang; Ma, Dik-Lung; Li, Chin; Chan, Michael W Y

    2016-01-01

    Aberrant Janus kinase (JAK)/signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) signaling is crucial to the development of gastric cancer. In this study, we examined the role of STAT3 in the expression and methylation of its targets in gastric cancer patients. Results from RNA sequencing identified an inverse correlation between the expression of STAT3 and GATA6 in 23 pairs of gastric cancer patient samples. We discovered that the expression of GATA6 is epigenetically silenced through promoter methylation in gastric cancer cell lines. Interestingly, the inhibition of STAT3 using a novel STAT3 inhibitor restored the expression of GATA6 and its targets, trefoil factors 1 and 2 (TFF1/2). Moreover, disruption of STAT3 binding to GATA6 promoter by small hairpin RNA restored GATA6 expression in AGS cells. A clinically significant correlation was also observed between the expression of GATA6 and TFF1/2 among tissue samples from 60 gastric cancer patients. Finally, bisulfite pyrosequencing revealed GATA6 methylation in 65% (39/60) of the patients, and those with higher GATA6 methylation tended to have shorter overall survival. In conclusion, we demonstrated that aberrant JAK/STAT signaling suppresses TFF1/2 partially through the epigenetic silencing of GATA6. Therapeutic intervention of STAT3 in reversing the epigenetic status of GATA6 could benefit the treatment of gastric cancer and is worthy of further investigation. PMID:27598141

  13. Epigenetic silencing of miR-210 increases the proliferation of gastric epithelium during chronic Helicobacter pylori infection

    PubMed Central

    Kiga, Kotaro; Mimuro, Hitomi; Suzuki, Masato; Shinozaki-Ushiku, Aya; Kobayashi, Taira; Sanada, Takahito; Kim, Minsoo; Ogawa, Michinaga; Iwasaki, Yuka W.; Kayo, Hiroyuki; Fukuda-Yuzawa, Yoko; Yashiro, Masakazu; Fukayama, Masashi; Fukao, Taro; Sasakawa, Chihiro

    2014-01-01

    Persistent colonization of the gastric mucosa by Helicobacter pylori (Hp) elicits chronic inflammation and aberrant epithelial cell proliferation, which increases the risk of gastric cancer. Here we examine the ability of microRNAs to modulate gastric cell proliferation in response to persistent Hp infection and find that epigenetic silencing of miR-210 plays a key role in gastric disease progression. Importantly, DNA methylation of the miR-210 gene is increased in Hp-positive human gastric biopsies as compared with Hp-negative controls. Moreover, silencing of miR-210 in gastric epithelial cells promotes proliferation. We identify STMN1 and DIMT1 as miR-210 target genes and demonstrate that inhibition of miR-210 expression augments cell proliferation by activating STMN1 and DIMT1 . Together, our results highlight inflammation-induced epigenetic silencing of miR-210 as a mechanism of induction of chronic gastric diseases, including cancer, during Hp infection. PMID:25187177

  14. Expression of sprouty2 inhibits B-cell proliferation and is epigenetically silenced in mouse and human B-cell lymphomas

    PubMed Central

    Frank, Matthew J.; Dawson, David W.; Bensinger, Steven J.; Hong, Jason S.; Knosp, Wendy M.; Xu, Lizhong; Balatoni, Cynthia E.; Allen, Eric L.; Shen, Rhine R.; Bar-Sagi, Dafna; Martin, Gail R.

    2009-01-01

    B-cell lymphoma is the most common immune system malignancy. TCL1 transgenic mice (TCL1-tg), in which TCL1 is ectopically expressed in mature lymphocytes, develop multiple B- and T-cell leukemia and lymphoma subtypes, supporting an oncogenic role for TCL1 that probably involves AKT and MAPK-ERK signaling pathway augmentation. Additional, largely unknown genetic and epigenetic alterations cooperate with TCL1 during lymphoma progression. We examined DNA methylation patterns in TCL1-tg B-cell tumors to discover tumor-associated epigenetic changes, and identified hypermethylation of sprouty2 (Spry2). Sprouty proteins are context-dependent negative or positive regulators of MAPK-ERK pathway signaling, but their role(s) in B-cell physiology or pathology are unknown. Here we show that repression of Spry2 expression in TCL1-tg mouse and human B-cell lymphomas and cell lines is associated with dense DNA hypermethylation and was reversed by inhibition of DNA methylation. Spry2 expression was induced in normal splenic B cells by CD40/B-cell receptor costimulation and regulated a negative feedback loop that repressed MAPK-ERK signaling and decreased B-cell viability. Conversely, loss of Spry2 function hyperactivated MAPK-ERK signaling and caused increased B-cell proliferation. Combined, these results implicate epigenetic silencing of Spry2 expression in B lymphoma progression and suggest it as a companion lesion to ectopic TCL1 expression in enhancing MAPK-ERK pathway signaling. PMID:19147787

  15. A Novel Epigenetic Silencing Pathway Involving the Highly Conserved 5'-3' Exoribonuclease Dhp1/Rat1/Xrn2 in Schizosaccharomyces pombe.

    PubMed

    Tucker, James Franklin; Ohle, Corina; Schermann, Géza; Bendrin, Katja; Zhang, Wei; Fischer, Tamás; Zhang, Ke

    2016-02-01

    Epigenetic gene silencing plays a critical role in regulating gene expression and contributes to organismal development and cell fate acquisition in eukaryotes. In fission yeast, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, heterochromatin-associated gene silencing is known to be mediated by RNA processing pathways including RNA interference (RNAi) and a 3'-5' exoribonuclease complex, the exosome. Here, we report a new RNA-processing pathway that contributes to epigenetic gene silencing and assembly of heterochromatin mediated by 5'-3' exoribonuclease Dhp1/Rat1/Xrn2. Dhp1 mutation causes defective gene silencing both at peri-centromeric regions and at the silent mating type locus. Intriguingly, mutation in either of the two well-characterized Dhp1-interacting proteins, the Din1 pyrophosphohydrolase or the Rhn1 transcription termination factor, does not result in silencing defects at the main heterochromatic regions. We demonstrate that Dhp1 interacts with heterochromatic factors and is essential in the sequential steps of establishing silencing in a manner independent of both RNAi and the exosome. Genomic and genetic analyses suggest that Dhp1 is involved in post-transcriptional silencing of repetitive regions through its RNA processing activity. The results describe the unexpected role of Dhp1/Rat1/Xrn2 in chromatin-based silencing and elucidate how various RNA-processing pathways, acting together or independently, contribute to epigenetic regulation of the eukaryotic genome.

  16. A Novel Epigenetic Silencing Pathway Involving the Highly Conserved 5’-3’ Exoribonuclease Dhp1/Rat1/Xrn2 in Schizosaccharomyces pombe

    PubMed Central

    Tucker, James Franklin; Ohle, Corina; Schermann, Géza; Bendrin, Katja; Zhang, Wei; Fischer, Tamás; Zhang, Ke

    2016-01-01

    Epigenetic gene silencing plays a critical role in regulating gene expression and contributes to organismal development and cell fate acquisition in eukaryotes. In fission yeast, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, heterochromatin-associated gene silencing is known to be mediated by RNA processing pathways including RNA interference (RNAi) and a 3’-5’ exoribonuclease complex, the exosome. Here, we report a new RNA-processing pathway that contributes to epigenetic gene silencing and assembly of heterochromatin mediated by 5’-3’ exoribonuclease Dhp1/Rat1/Xrn2. Dhp1 mutation causes defective gene silencing both at peri-centromeric regions and at the silent mating type locus. Intriguingly, mutation in either of the two well-characterized Dhp1-interacting proteins, the Din1 pyrophosphohydrolase or the Rhn1 transcription termination factor, does not result in silencing defects at the main heterochromatic regions. We demonstrate that Dhp1 interacts with heterochromatic factors and is essential in the sequential steps of establishing silencing in a manner independent of both RNAi and the exosome. Genomic and genetic analyses suggest that Dhp1 is involved in post-transcriptional silencing of repetitive regions through its RNA processing activity. The results describe the unexpected role of Dhp1/Rat1/Xrn2 in chromatin-based silencing and elucidate how various RNA-processing pathways, acting together or independently, contribute to epigenetic regulation of the eukaryotic genome. PMID:26889830

  17. Epigenetic signature and enhancer activity of the human APOE gene.

    PubMed

    Yu, Chang-En; Cudaback, Eiron; Foraker, Jessica; Thomson, Zachary; Leong, Lesley; Lutz, Franziska; Gill, James Anthony; Saxton, Aleen; Kraemer, Brian; Navas, Patrick; Keene, C Dirk; Montine, Thomas; Bekris, Lynn M

    2013-12-15

    The human apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene plays an important role in lipid metabolism. It has three common genetic variants, alleles ε2/ε3/ε4, which translate into three protein isoforms of apoE2, E3 and E4. These isoforms can differentially influence total serum cholesterol levels; therefore, APOE has been linked with cardiovascular disease. Additionally, its ε4 allele is strongly associated with the risk of Alzheimer's disease (AD), whereas the ε2 allele appears to have a modest protective effect for AD. Despite decades of research having illuminated multiple functional differences among the three apoE isoforms, the precise mechanisms through which different APOE alleles modify diseases risk remain incompletely understood. In this study, we examined the genomic structure of APOE in search for properties that may contribute novel biological consequences to the risk of disease. We identify one such element in the ε2/ε3/ε4 allele-carrying 3'-exon of APOE. We show that this exon is imbedded in a well-defined CpG island (CGI) that is highly methylated in the human postmortem brain. We demonstrate that this APOE CGI exhibits transcriptional enhancer/silencer activity. We provide evidence that this APOE CGI differentially modulates expression of genes at the APOE locus in a cell type-, DNA methylation- and ε2/ε3/ε4 allele-specific manner. These findings implicate a novel functional role for a 3'-exon CGI and support a modified mechanism of action for APOE in disease risk, involving not only the protein isoforms but also an epigenetically regulated transcriptional program at the APOE locus driven by the APOE CGI.

  18. Epigenetic signature and enhancer activity of the human APOE gene

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Chang-En; Cudaback, Eiron; Foraker, Jessica; Thomson, Zachary; Leong, Lesley; Lutz, Franziska; Gill, James Anthony; Saxton, Aleen; Kraemer, Brian; Navas, Patrick; Keene, C. Dirk; Montine, Thomas; Bekris, Lynn M.

    2013-01-01

    The human apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene plays an important role in lipid metabolism. It has three common genetic variants, alleles ɛ2/ɛ3/ɛ4, which translate into three protein isoforms of apoE2, E3 and E4. These isoforms can differentially influence total serum cholesterol levels; therefore, APOE has been linked with cardiovascular disease. Additionally, its ɛ4 allele is strongly associated with the risk of Alzheimer's disease (AD), whereas the ɛ2 allele appears to have a modest protective effect for AD. Despite decades of research having illuminated multiple functional differences among the three apoE isoforms, the precise mechanisms through which different APOE alleles modify diseases risk remain incompletely understood. In this study, we examined the genomic structure of APOE in search for properties that may contribute novel biological consequences to the risk of disease. We identify one such element in the ɛ2/ɛ3/ɛ4 allele-carrying 3′-exon of APOE. We show that this exon is imbedded in a well-defined CpG island (CGI) that is highly methylated in the human postmortem brain. We demonstrate that this APOE CGI exhibits transcriptional enhancer/silencer activity. We provide evidence that this APOE CGI differentially modulates expression of genes at the APOE locus in a cell type-, DNA methylation- and ɛ2/ɛ3/ɛ4 allele-specific manner. These findings implicate a novel functional role for a 3′-exon CGI and support a modified mechanism of action for APOE in disease risk, involving not only the protein isoforms but also an epigenetically regulated transcriptional program at the APOE locus driven by the APOE CGI. PMID:23892237

  19. A lincRNA connected to cell mortality and epigenetically-silenced in most common human cancers.

    PubMed

    Vrba, Lukas; Garbe, James C; Stampfer, Martha R; Futscher, Bernard W

    2015-01-01

    Immortality is an essential characteristic of human carcinoma cells. We recently developed an efficient, reproducible method that immortalizes human mammary epithelial cells (HMEC) in the absence of gross genomic changes by targeting 2 critical senescence barriers. Consistent transcriptomic changes associated with immortality were identified using microarray analysis of isogenic normal finite pre-stasis, abnormal finite post-stasis, and immortal HMECs from 4 individuals. A total of 277 genes consistently changed in cells that transitioned from post-stasis to immortal. Gene ontology analysis of affected genes revealed biological processes significantly altered in the immortalization process. These immortalization-associated changes showed striking similarity to the gene expression changes seen in The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) clinical breast cancer data. The most dramatic change in gene expression seen during the immortalization step was the downregulation of an unnamed, incompletely annotated transcript that we called MORT, for mortality, since its expression was closely associated with the mortal, finite lifespan phenotype. We show here that MORT (ZNF667-AS1) is expressed in all normal finite lifespan human cells examined to date and is lost in immortalized HMEC. MORT gene silencing at the mortal/immortal boundary was due to DNA hypermethylation of its CpG island promoter. This epigenetic silencing is also seen in human breast cancer cell lines and in a majority of human breast tumor tissues. The functional importance of DNA hypermethylation in MORT gene silencing is supported by the ability of 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine to reactivate MORT expression. Analysis of TCGA data revealed deregulation of MORT expression due to DNA hypermethylation in 15 out of the 17 most common human cancers. The epigenetic silencing of MORT in a large majority of the common human cancers suggests a potential fundamental role in cellular immortalization during human carcinogenesis.

  20. A lincRNA connected to cell mortality and epigenetically-silenced in most common human cancers

    PubMed Central

    Vrba, Lukas; Garbe, James C; Stampfer, Martha R; Futscher, Bernard W

    2015-01-01

    Immortality is an essential characteristic of human carcinoma cells. We recently developed an efficient, reproducible method that immortalizes human mammary epithelial cells (HMEC) in the absence of gross genomic changes by targeting 2 critical senescence barriers. Consistent transcriptomic changes associated with immortality were identified using microarray analysis of isogenic normal finite pre-stasis, abnormal finite post-stasis, and immortal HMECs from 4 individuals. A total of 277 genes consistently changed in cells that transitioned from post-stasis to immortal. Gene ontology analysis of affected genes revealed biological processes significantly altered in the immortalization process. These immortalization-associated changes showed striking similarity to the gene expression changes seen in The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) clinical breast cancer data. The most dramatic change in gene expression seen during the immortalization step was the downregulation of an unnamed, incompletely annotated transcript that we called MORT, for mortality, since its expression was closely associated with the mortal, finite lifespan phenotype. We show here that MORT (ZNF667-AS1) is expressed in all normal finite lifespan human cells examined to date and is lost in immortalized HMEC. MORT gene silencing at the mortal/immortal boundary was due to DNA hypermethylation of its CpG island promoter. This epigenetic silencing is also seen in human breast cancer cell lines and in a majority of human breast tumor tissues. The functional importance of DNA hypermethylation in MORT gene silencing is supported by the ability of 5-aza-2′-deoxycytidine to reactivate MORT expression. Analysis of TCGA data revealed deregulation of MORT expression due to DNA hypermethylation in 15 out of the 17 most common human cancers. The epigenetic silencing of MORT in a large majority of the common human cancers suggests a potential fundamental role in cellular immortalization during human carcinogenesis. PMID

  1. A lincRNA connected to cell mortality and epigenetically-silenced in most common human cancers

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Vrba, Lukas; Garbe, James C.; Stampfer, Martha R.; Futscher, Bernard W.

    2015-10-19

    Immortality is an essential characteristic of human carcinoma cells. We recently developed an efficient, reproducible method that immortalizes human mammary epithelial cells (HMEC) in the absence of gross genomic changes by targeting 2 critical senescence barriers. Consistent transcriptomic changes associated with immortality were identified using microarray analysis of isogenic normal finite pre-stasis, abnormal finite post-stasis, and immortal HMECs from 4 individuals. A total of 277 genes consistently changed in cells that transitioned from post-stasis to immortal. Gene ontology analysis of affected genes revealed biological processes significantly altered in the immortalization process. These immortalization-associated changes showed striking similarity to the genemore » expression changes seen in The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) clinical breast cancer data. The most dramatic change in gene expression seen during the immortalization step was the downregulation of an unnamed, incompletely annotated transcript that we called MORT, for mortality, since its expression was closely associated with the mortal, finite lifespan phenotype. We show here that MORT (ZNF667-AS1) is expressed in all normal finite lifespan human cells examined to date and is lost in immortalized HMEC. MORT gene silencing at the mortal/immortal boundary was due to DNA hypermethylation of its CpG island promoter. This epigenetic silencing is also seen in human breast cancer cell lines and in a majority of human breast tumor tissues. The functional importance of DNA hypermethylation in MORT gene silencing is supported by the ability of 5-aza-2'- deoxycytidine to reactivate MORT expression. Analysis of TCGA data revealed deregulation of MORT expression due to DNA hypermethylation in 15 out of the 17 most common human cancers. In conclusion, the epigenetic silencing of MORT in a large majority of the common human cancers suggests a potential fundamental role in cellular immortalization during human

  2. A lincRNA connected to cell mortality and epigenetically-silenced in most common human cancers

    SciTech Connect

    Vrba, Lukas; Garbe, James C.; Stampfer, Martha R.; Futscher, Bernard W.

    2015-10-19

    Immortality is an essential characteristic of human carcinoma cells. We recently developed an efficient, reproducible method that immortalizes human mammary epithelial cells (HMEC) in the absence of gross genomic changes by targeting 2 critical senescence barriers. Consistent transcriptomic changes associated with immortality were identified using microarray analysis of isogenic normal finite pre-stasis, abnormal finite post-stasis, and immortal HMECs from 4 individuals. A total of 277 genes consistently changed in cells that transitioned from post-stasis to immortal. Gene ontology analysis of affected genes revealed biological processes significantly altered in the immortalization process. These immortalization-associated changes showed striking similarity to the gene expression changes seen in The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) clinical breast cancer data. The most dramatic change in gene expression seen during the immortalization step was the downregulation of an unnamed, incompletely annotated transcript that we called MORT, for mortality, since its expression was closely associated with the mortal, finite lifespan phenotype. We show here that MORT (ZNF667-AS1) is expressed in all normal finite lifespan human cells examined to date and is lost in immortalized HMEC. MORT gene silencing at the mortal/immortal boundary was due to DNA hypermethylation of its CpG island promoter. This epigenetic silencing is also seen in human breast cancer cell lines and in a majority of human breast tumor tissues. The functional importance of DNA hypermethylation in MORT gene silencing is supported by the ability of 5-aza-2'- deoxycytidine to reactivate MORT expression. Analysis of TCGA data revealed deregulation of MORT expression due to DNA hypermethylation in 15 out of the 17 most common human cancers. In conclusion, the epigenetic silencing of MORT in a large majority of the common human cancers suggests a potential fundamental role in cellular immortalization during human

  3. Grape seed proanthocyanidins reactivate silenced tumor suppressor genes in human skin cancer cells by targeting epigenetic regulators

    SciTech Connect

    Vaid, Mudit; Prasad, Ram; Singh, Tripti; Jones, Virginia; Katiyar, Santosh K.

    2012-08-15

    Grape seed proanthocyanidins (GSPs) have been shown to have anti-skin carcinogenic effects in in vitro and in vivo models. However, the precise epigenetic molecular mechanisms remain unexplored. This study was designed to investigate whether GSPs reactivate silenced tumor suppressor genes following epigenetic modifications in skin cancer cells. For this purpose, A431 and SCC13 human squamous cell carcinoma cell lines were used as in vitro models. The effects of GSPs on DNA methylation, histone modifications and tumor suppressor gene expressions were studied in these cell lines using enzyme activity assays, western blotting, dot-blot analysis and real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). We found that treatment of A431 and SCC13 cells with GSPs decreased the levels of: (i) global DNA methylation, (ii) 5-methylcytosine, (iii) DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) activity and (iv) messenger RNA (mRNA) and protein levels of DNMT1, DNMT3a and DNMT3b in these cells. Similar effects were noted when these cancer cells were treated identically with 5-aza-2′-deoxycytidine, an inhibitor of DNA methylation. GSPs decreased histone deacetylase activity, increased levels of acetylated lysines 9 and 14 on histone H3 (H3-Lys 9 and 14) and acetylated lysines 5, 12 and 16 on histone H4, and reduced the levels of methylated H3-Lys 9. Further, GSP treatment resulted in re-expression of the mRNA and proteins of silenced tumor suppressor genes, RASSF1A, p16{sup INK4a} and Cip1/p21. Together, this study provides a new insight into the epigenetic mechanisms of GSPs and may have significant implications for epigenetic therapy in the treatment/prevention of skin cancers in humans. -- Highlights: ►Epigenetic modulations have been shown to have a role in cancer risk. ►Proanthocyanidins decrease the levels of DNA methylation and histone deacetylation. ►Proanthocyanidins inhibit histone deacetylase activity in skin cancer cells. ►Proanthocyanidins reactivate tumor suppressor genes in skin

  4. Kinetics and Epigenetics of Retroviral Silencing in Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells Defined by Deletion of the D4Z4 Element

    PubMed Central

    Rival-Gervier, Sylvie; Lo, Mandy YM; Khattak, Shahryar; Pasceri, Peter; Lorincz, Matthew C; Ellis, James

    2013-01-01

    Retroviral vectors are silenced in embryonic stem (ES) cells by epigenetic mechanisms whose kinetics are poorly understood. We show here that a 3′D4Z4 insulator directs retroviral expression with persistent but variable expression for up to 5 months. Combining an internal 3′D4Z4 with HS4 insulators in the long terminal repeats (LTRs) shows that these elements cooperate, and defines the first retroviral vector that fully escapes long-term silencing. Using FLP recombinase to induce deletion of 3′D4Z4 from the provirus in ES cell clones, we established retroviral silencing at many but not all integration sites. This finding shows that 3′D4Z4 does not target retrovirus integration into favorable epigenomic domains but rather protects the transgene from silencing. Chromatin analyses demonstrate that 3′D4Z4 blocks the spread of heterochromatin marks including DNA methylation and repressive histone modifications such as H3K9 methylation. In addition, our deletion system reveals three distinct kinetic classes of silencing (rapid, gradual or not silenced), in which multiple epigenetic pathways participate in silencing at different integration sites. We conclude that vectors with both 3′D4Z4 and HS4 insulator elements fully block silencing, and may have unprecedented utility for gene transfer applications that require long-term gene expression in pluripotent stem (PS) cells. PMID:23752310

  5. A genomic screen for long noncoding RNA genes epigenetically silenced by aberrant DNA methylation in colorectal cancer

    PubMed Central

    Kumegawa, Kohei; Maruyama, Reo; Yamamoto, Eiichiro; Ashida, Masami; Kitajima, Hiroshi; Tsuyada, Akihiro; Niinuma, Takeshi; Kai, Masahiro; Yamano, Hiro-o; Sugai, Tamotsu; Tokino, Takashi; Shinomura, Yasuhisa; Imai, Kohzoh; Suzuki, Hiromu

    2016-01-01

    Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) have emerged as key components in multiple cellular processes, although their physiological and pathological functions are not fully understood. To identify cancer-related lncRNAs, we screened for those that are epigenetically silenced in colorectal cancer (CRC). Through a genome-wide analysis of histone modifications in CRC cells, we found that the transcription start sites (TSSs) of 1,027 lncRNA genes acquired trimethylation of histone H3 lysine 4 (H3K4me3) after DNA demethylation. Integrative analysis of chromatin signatures and the DNA methylome revealed that the promoter CpG islands (CGIs) of 66 lncRNA genes contained cancer-specific methylation. By validating the expression and methylation of lncRNA genes in CRC cells, we ultimately identified 20 lncRNAs, including ZNF582-AS1, as targets of epigenetic silencing in CRC. ZNF582-AS1 is frequently methylated in CRC cell lines (87.5%), primary CRCs (77.2%), colorectal adenomas (44.7%) and advanced adenomas (87.8%), suggesting that this methylation is an early event during colorectal tumorigenesis. Methylation of ZNF582-AS1 is associated with poor survival of CRC patients, and ectopic expression of ZNF582-AS1 suppressed colony formation by CRC cells. Our findings offer insight into the association between epigenetic alterations and lncRNA dysregulation in cancer and suggest that ZNF582-AS1 may be a novel tumor-suppressive lncRNA. PMID:27215978

  6. Epigenetic silencing of engineered L1 retrotransposition events in human embryonic carcinoma cells

    PubMed Central

    Garcia-Perez, Jose L.; Morell, Maria; Scheys, Joshua O.; Kulpa, Deanna A.; Morell, Santiago; Carter, Christoph C.; Hammer, Gary D.; Collins, Kathleen L.; O’Shea, K. Sue; Menendez, Pablo; Moran, John V.

    2010-01-01

    Long INterspersed Element-1 (LINE-1 or L1) retrotransposition continues to impact human genome evolution1,2. L1s can retrotranspose in the germline, during early development, and in select somatic cells3,4,5,6,7,8; however, the host response to L1 retrotransposition remains largely unexplored. Here, we show that reporter genes introduced into the genome of various human embryonic carcinoma-derived cell lines (ECs) by L1 retrotransposition are rapidly and efficiently silenced either during or immediately after their integration. Treating ECs with histone deacetylase inhibitors (IHDACs) rapidly reverses this silencing, and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) experiments revealed that reactivation of the reporter gene was correlated with changes in chromatin status at the L1 integration site. Under our assay conditions, rapid silencing also was observed when reporter genes were delivered into ECs by mouse L1s and a zebrafish LINE-2 element, but not when similar reporter genes were delivered into ECs by Moloney murine leukemia virus (MMLV) or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), suggesting these integration events are silenced by distinct mechanisms. Finally, we demonstrate that subjecting ECs to culture conditions that promote differentiation attenuates the silencing of reporter genes delivered by L1 retrotransposition, but that differentiation, per se, is not sufficient to reactivate previously silenced reporter genes. Thus, our data suggest that ECs differ from many differentiated cells in their ability to silence reporter genes delivered by L1 retrotransposition. PMID:20686575

  7. The MUT9p kinase phosphorylates histone H3 threonine 3 and is necessary for heritable epigenetic silencing in Chlamydomonas.

    PubMed

    Casas-Mollano, J Armando; Jeong, Byeong-Ryool; Xu, Jianping; Moriyama, Hideaki; Cerutti, Heriberto

    2008-04-29

    Changes in chromatin organization are emerging as key regulators in nearly every aspect of DNA-templated metabolism in eukaryotes. Histones undergo many, largely reversible, posttranslational modifications that affect chromatin structure. Some modifications, such as trimethylation of histone H3 on Lys 4 (H3K4me3), correlate with transcriptional activation, whereas others, such as methylation of histone H3 on Lys 27 (H3K27me), are associated with silent chromatin. Posttranslational histone modifications may also be involved in the inheritance of chromatin states. Histone phosphorylation has been implicated in a variety of cellular processes but, because of the dynamic nature of this modification, its potential role in long-term gene silencing has remained relatively unexplored. We report here that a Chlamydomonas reinhardtii mutant defective in a Ser/Thr protein kinase (MUT9p), which phosphorylates histones H3 and H2A, shows deficiencies in the heritable repression of transgenes and transposons. Moreover, based on chromatin immunoprecipitation analyses, phosphorylated H3T3 (H3T3ph) and monomethylated H3K4 (H3K4me1) are inversely correlated with di/trimethylated H3K4 and associate preferentially with silenced transcription units. Conversely, the loss of those marks in mutant strains correlates with the transcriptional reactivation of transgenes and transposons. Our results suggest that H3T3ph and H3K4me1 function as reinforcing epigenetic marks for the silencing of euchromatic loci in Chlamydomonas. PMID:18420823

  8. Epigenetic silencing of JMJD5 promotes the proliferation of hepatocellular carcinoma cells by down-regulating the transcription of CDKN1A

    PubMed Central

    Fang, Jia-Zhu; Wu, Chong-Chao; Huang, Li-Yu; Wang, Lan; Han, Ze-Guang

    2016-01-01

    Proteins that contain jumonji C (JmjC) domains have recently been identified as major contributors to various malignant human cancers through epigenetic remodeling. However, the roles of these family members in the pathogenesis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) are obscure. By mining public databases, we found that the HCC patients with lower JmjC domain-containing protein 5 (JMJD5) expression exhibited shorter survival time. We then confirmed that JMJD5 expression was indeed decreased in HCC specimens, which was caused by the altered epigenetic histone modifications, the decreased H3K9ac, H3K27ac and H3K4me2/3 together with the increased trimethylation of H3K27 and H3K9 on the JMJD5 promoter. Functional experiments revealed that JMJD5 knockdown promoted HCC cell proliferation and in vivo tumorigenicity by accelerating the G1/S transition of the cell cycle; in contrast, ectopic JMJD5 expression had the opposite effects. At molecular mechanism, we found that, in HCC cell lines including TP53-null Hep3B, JMJD5 knockdown led to the down-regulation of CDKN1A and ectopic expression of JMJD5 not only increased but also rescued CDKN1A transcription. Moreover, CDKN1A knockdown could abrogate the effect of JMJD5 knockdown or overexpression on cell proliferation, suggesting that JMJD5 inhibits HCC cell proliferation mainly by activating CDKN1A expression. We further revealed that JMJD5 directly enhances CDKN1A transcription by binding to CDKN1A's promoter independent of H3K36me2 demethylase activity. In short, we first prove that JMJD5 is a tumor suppressor gene in HCC pathogenesis, and the epigenetic silencing of JMJD5 promotes HCC cell proliferation by directly down-regulating CDKN1A transcription. PMID:26760772

  9. Tumor Specific Epigenetic Silencing of Corticotropin Releasing Hormone -Binding Protein in Renal Cell Carcinoma: Association of Hypermethylation and Metastasis

    PubMed Central

    Tezval, Hossein; Dubrowinskaja, Natalia; Peters, Inga; Reese, Christel; Serth, Katrin; Atschekzei, Faranaz; Hennenlotter, Jörg; Stenzl, Arnulf; Kuczyk, Markus A.; Serth, Jürgen

    2016-01-01

    The relevance of Corticotropin Releasing Hormone (CRH)-system in human malignancies is a question of growing interest. Here we investigated hypermethylation and epigenetic silencing of the CRH-Binding Protein (CRHBP) gene in clear cell renal cell cancer (ccRCC). Relative methylation of the CRHBP CpG island (CGI) was determined in 17 tumor cell lines as well as 86 ccRCC samples and 66 paired normal tissues using pyrosequencing and quantitative methylation specific PCR of bisulfite converted DNA. Results were statistically compared with relative mRNA expression levels of CRHBP and clinicopathological parameters of patients. Re-expression of CRHBP following 5-aza-2´-deoxycytidine treatment was investigated by quantitative mRNA expression analysis. Real-time impedance analysis was applied for analysis of invasiveness of renal tumor cells following si-RNA knockdown of CRHBP expression or ectopic expression of CRHBP. We found the CRHBP CGI to be frequently methylated in tumor cell lines of renal, prostatic, and bladder cancer. Comparison of methylation in normal and paired renal cancer tissue specimens revealed hypermethylation of the CRHBP CGI in tumors (p<1*10−12). DNA methylation and decreased mRNA expression were correlated (R = 0.83, p<1*10−12). Tumor cell lines showed 5-aza-2´-deoxycytidine dependent reduction of methylation and re-expression of CRHBP was associated with altered cellular invasiveness of renal cancer cells in real-time impedance invasion assays. Hypermethylation and inverse relationship with mRNA expression were validated in silico using the TCGA network data. We describe for the first time tumor specific epigenetic silencing of CRHBP and statistical association with aggressive tumors thus suggesting the CRH system to contribute to the development of kidney cancer. PMID:27695045

  10. A minimal ubiquitous chromatin opening element (UCOE) effectively prevents silencing of juxtaposed heterologous promoters by epigenetic remodeling in multipotent and pluripotent stem cells

    PubMed Central

    Müller-Kuller, Uta; Ackermann, Mania; Kolodziej, Stephan; Brendel, Christian; Fritsch, Jessica; Lachmann, Nico; Kunkel, Hana; Lausen, Jörn; Schambach, Axel; Moritz, Thomas; Grez, Manuel

    2015-01-01

    Epigenetic silencing of transgene expression represents a major obstacle for the efficient genetic modification of multipotent and pluripotent stem cells. We and others have demonstrated that a 1.5 kb methylation-free CpG island from the human HNRPA2B1-CBX3 housekeeping genes (A2UCOE) effectively prevents transgene silencing and variegation in cell lines, multipotent and pluripotent stem cells, and their differentiated progeny. However, the bidirectional promoter activity of this element may disturb expression of neighboring genes. Furthermore, the epigenetic basis underlying the anti-silencing effect of the UCOE on juxtaposed promoters has been only partially explored. In this study we removed the HNRPA2B1 moiety from the A2UCOE and demonstrate efficient anti-silencing properties also for a minimal 0.7 kb element containing merely the CBX3 promoter. This DNA element largely prevents silencing of viral and tissue-specific promoters in multipotent and pluripotent stem cells. The protective activity of CBX3 was associated with reduced promoter CpG-methylation, decreased levels of repressive and increased levels of active histone marks. Moreover, the anti-silencing effect of CBX3 was locally restricted and when linked to tissue-specific promoters did not activate transcription in off target cells. Thus, CBX3 is a highly attractive element for sustained, tissue-specific and copy-number dependent transgene expression in vitro and in vivo. PMID:25605798

  11. Writing of H3K4Me3 overcomes epigenetic silencing in a sustained but context-dependent manner

    PubMed Central

    Cano-Rodriguez, David; Gjaltema, Rutger A F.; Jilderda, Laura J; Jellema, Pytrick; Dokter-Fokkens, Jelleke; Ruiters, Marcel H J.; Rots, Marianne G

    2016-01-01

    Histone modifications reflect gene activity, but the relationship between cause and consequence of transcriptional control is heavily debated. Recent developments in rewriting local histone codes of endogenous genes elucidated instructiveness of certain marks in regulating gene expression. Maintenance of such repressive epigenome editing is controversial, while stable reactivation is still largely unexplored. Here we demonstrate sustained gene re-expression using two types of engineered DNA-binding domains fused to a H3K4 methyltransferase. Local induction of H3K4me3 is sufficient to allow re-expression of silenced target genes in various cell types. Maintenance of the re-expression is achieved, but strongly depends on the chromatin microenvironment (that is, DNA methylation status). We further identify H3K79me to be essential in allowing stable gene re-expression, confirming its role in epigenetic crosstalk for stable reactivation. Our approach uncovers potent epigenetic modifications to be directly written onto genomic loci to stably activate any given gene. PMID:27506838

  12. G9a Is Essential for Epigenetic Silencing of K+ Channel Genes in Acute-to-Chronic Pain Transition

    PubMed Central

    Laumet, Geoffroy; Garriga, Judit; Chen, Shao-Rui; Zhang, Yuhao; Li, De-Pei; Smith, Trevor M.; Dong, Yingchun; Jelinek, Jaroslav; Cesaroni, Matteo; Issa, Jean-Pierre; Pan, Hui-Lin

    2015-01-01

    Neuropathic pain is a debilitating clinical problem and difficult to treat. Nerve injury causes a long-lasting reduction in K+ channel expression in the dorsal root ganglion (DRG), but little is known about the epigenetic mechanisms involved. Here we show that nerve injury increased H3K9me2 occupancy at Kcna4, Kcnd2, Kcnq2 and Kcnma1 promoters but did not affect DNA methylation levels of these genes in DRGs. Nerve injury increased activity of G9a, histone deacetylases and EZH2, but only G9a inhibition consistently restored K+ channel expression. Selective G9a knockout in DRG neurons completely blocked K+ channel silencing and chronic pain development after nerve injury. Remarkably, RNA sequencing analysis revealed that G9a inhibition not only reactivated 40 of 42 silenced K+ channel genes but also normalized 638 genes down- or up-regulated by nerve injury. Thus G9a plays a dominant role in transcriptional repression of K+ channels and in acute-to-chronic pain transition after nerve injury. PMID:26551542

  13. Chromatin inactivation precedes de novo dna methylation during the progressive epigenetic silencing of the rassf1a promoter

    SciTech Connect

    Strunnikova Maria; Schagdarsurengin, Undraga; Kehlen, Astrid; Garbe, James C.; Stampfer, Martha R.; Dammann, Reinhard

    2005-02-23

    Epigenetic inactivation of the RASSF1A tumor suppressor by CpG island methylation was frequently detected in cancer. However, the mechanisms of this aberrant DNA methylation are unknown. In the RASSF1A promoter, we characterized four Sp1 sites, which are frequently methylated in cancer. We examined the functional relationship between DNA methylation, histone modification, Sp1 binding, and RASSF1A expression in proliferating human mammary epithelial cells. With increasing passages, the transcription of RASSF1A was dramatically silenced. This inactivation was associated with deacetylation and lysine 9 trimethylation of histone H3 and an impaired binding of Sp1 at the RASSF1A promoter. In mammary epithelial cells that had overcome a stress-associated senescence barrier, a spreading of DNA methylation in the CpG island promoter was observed. When the RASSF1A-silenced cells were treated with inhibitors of DNA methyltransferase and histone deacetylase, binding of Sp1 and expression of RASSF1 A reoccurred. In summary, we observed that histone H3 deacetylation and H3 lysine 9 trimethylation occur in the same time window as gene inactivation and precede DNA methylation. Our data suggest that in epithelial cells, histone inactivation may trigger de novo DNA methylation of the RASSF1A promoter and this system may serve as a model for CpG island inactivation of tumor suppressor genes.

  14. ATRX contributes to epigenetic asymmetry and silencing of major satellite transcripts in the maternal genome of the mouse embryo

    PubMed Central

    De La Fuente, Rabindranath; Baumann, Claudia; Viveiros, Maria M.

    2015-01-01

    A striking proportion of human cleavage-stage embryos exhibit chromosome instability (CIN). Notably, until now, no experimental model has been described to determine the origin and mechanisms of complex chromosomal rearrangements. Here, we examined mouse embryos deficient for the chromatin remodeling protein ATRX to determine the cellular mechanisms activated in response to CIN. We demonstrate that ATRX is required for silencing of major satellite transcripts in the maternal genome, where it confers epigenetic asymmetry to pericentric heterochromatin during the transition to the first mitosis. This stage is also characterized by a striking kinetochore size asymmetry established by differences in CENP-C protein between the parental genomes. Loss of ATRX results in increased centromeric mitotic recombination, a high frequency of sister chromatid exchanges and double strand DNA breaks, indicating the formation of mitotic recombination break points. ATRX-deficient embryos exhibit a twofold increase in transcripts for aurora kinase B, the centromeric cohesin ESCO2, DNMT1, the ubiquitin-ligase (DZIP3) and the histone methyl transferase (EHMT1). Thus, loss of ATRX activates a pathway that integrates epigenetic modifications and DNA repair in response to chromosome breaks. These results reveal the cellular response of the cleavage-stage embryo to CIN and uncover a mechanism by which centromeric fission induces the formation of large-scale chromosomal rearrangements. Our results have important implications to determine the epigenetic origins of CIN that lead to congenital birth defects and early pregnancy loss, as well as the mechanisms involved in the oocyte to embryo transition. PMID:25926359

  15. SOX30, a novel epigenetic silenced tumor suppressor, promotes tumor cell apoptosis by transcriptional activating p53 in lung cancer.

    PubMed

    Han, F; Liu, W; Jiang, X; Shi, X; Yin, L; Ao, L; Cui, Z; Li, Y; Huang, C; Cao, J; Liu, J

    2015-08-13

    Although members of SOX family have been well documented for their essential roles in embryonic development, cell proliferation and disease, the functional role and molecular mechanism of SOX30 in cancer are largely unexplored. Here, we first identified SRY-box containing gene 30 (SOX30) as a novel preferentially methylated gene using genome-wide methylation screening. SOX30 hypermethylation was detected in 100% of lung cancer cell lines (9/9) and 70.83% (85/120) of primary lung tumor tissues compared with none (0/20) of normal and 8.0% (2/25) of peri-tumoral lung tissues (P<0.01). SOX30 was expressed in normal and peri-tumoral lung tissues in which SOX30 was unmethylated, but was silenced or downregulated in lung cancer cell lines and primary lung tumor tissues harboring a hypermethylated SOX30. De-methylation experiments further confirmed that silence of SOX30 was regulated by its hypermethylation. Ectopic expression of SOX30 induces cancer cell apoptosis with inhibiting proliferation in vitro and represses tumor formation in vivo, whereas knockdown of SOX30 demonstrates a reversed effect both in vitro and in vivo. At the molecular level, the antitumorigenic effect of SOX30 is mediated by directly binding to CACTTTG (+115 to +121) of p53 promoter region and activating p53 transcription, suggesting that SOX30 is a novel transcriptional activating factor of p53. Indeed, blockade of p53 attenuates the tumor inhibition of SOX30. Overall, these findings demonstrate that SOX30 is a novel epigenetic silenced tumor suppressor acting through direct regulation of p53 transcription and expression. This study provides novel insights on the mechanism of tumorigenesis in lung cancer. PMID:25435374

  16. Epigenetic silencing of microRNA-373 to epithelial-mesenchymal transition in non-small cell lung cancer through IRAK2 and LAMP1 axes.

    PubMed

    Seol, Hyang Sook; Akiyama, Yoshimitsu; Shimada, Shu; Lee, Hee Jin; Kim, Tae Im; Chun, Sung Min; Singh, Shree Ram; Jang, Se Jin

    2014-10-28

    The role of microRNAs (miRNAs) in carcinogenesis as tumor suppressors or oncogenes has been widely reported. Epigenetic change is one of the mechanisms of transcriptional silencing of miRNAs in cancer. To identify lung cancer-related miRNAs that are mediated by histone modification, we conducted microarray analysis in the Calu-6 non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell line after treatment with suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA), a histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor. The expression level of miR-373 was enhanced by SAHA treatment in this cell line by microarray and the following quantitative RT-PCR analyses. Treatment with another HDAC inhibitor, Trichostatin A, restored the levels of miR-373 expression in A549 and Calu-6 cells, while demethylation drug treatment did not. Importantly, miR-373 was found to be down-regulated in NSCLC tissues and cell lines. Transfection of miR-373 into A549 and Calu-6 cells attenuated cell proliferation, migration, and invasion and reduced the expression of mesenchymal markers. Additional microarray analysis of miR-373-transfected cells and computational predictions identified IRAK2 and LAMP1 as targets of miR-373. Knockdown of these two genes showed similar biological effects to those of miR-373 overexpression. In clinical samples, overexpression of IRAK2 correlated with decreased disease-free survival of patients with non-adenocarcinoma. In conclusion, we found that miR-373 is silenced by histone modification in lung cancer cells and identified its function as a tumor suppressor and negative regulator of the mesenchymal phenotype through downstream IRAK2 and LAMP1 target genes.

  17. Epigenetic Silencing of Eyes Absent 4 Gene by Acute Myeloid Leukemia 1-Eight-twenty-one Oncoprotein Contributes to Leukemogenesis in t(8;21) Acute Myeloid Leukemia

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Sai; Jiang, Meng-Meng; Chen, Guo-Feng; Qian, Kun; Gao, Hong-Hao; Guan, Wei; Shi, Jin-Long; Liu, An-Qi; Liu, Jing; Wang, Bian-Hong; Li, Yong-Hui; Yu, Li

    2016-01-01

    Background: The acute myeloid leukemia 1 (AML1)-eight-twenty-one (ETO) fusion protein generated by the t(8;21)(q22;q22) translocation is considered to display a crucial role in leukemogenesis in AML. By focusing on the anti-leukemia effects of eyes absent 4 (EYA4) gene on AML cells, we investigated the biologic and molecular mechanism associated with AML1-ETO expressed in t(8;21) AML. Methods: Qualitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR), quantitative reverse transcription PCR (RT-PCR), and Western blotting analysis were used to observe the mRNA and protein expression levels of EYA4 in cell lines. Different plasmids (including mutant plasmids) of dual luciferase reporter vector were built to study the binding status of AML1-ETO to the promoter region of EYA4. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assay was used to study the epigenetic silencing mechanism of EYA4. Bisulfite sequencing was applied to detect the methylation status in EYA4 promoter region. The influence of EYA4 gene in the cell proliferation, apoptosis, and cell clone-forming ability was detected by the technique of Cell Counting Kit-8, flow cytometry, and clonogenic assay. Results: EYA4 gene was hypermethylated in AML1-ETO+ patients and its expression was down-regulated by 6-fold in Kasumi-1 and SKNO-1 cells, compared to HL-60 and SKNO-1-siA/E cells, respectively. We demonstrated that AML1-ETO triggered the epigenetic silencing of EYA4 gene by binding at AML1-binding sites and recruiting histone deacetylase 1 and DNA methyltransferases. Enhanced EYA4 expression levels inhibited cellular proliferation and suppressed cell colony formation in AML1-ETO+ cell lines. We also found EYA4 transfection increased apoptosis of Kasumi-1 and SKNO-1 cells by 1.6-fold and 1.4-fold compared to negative control, respectively. Conclusions: Our study identified EYA4 gene as targets for AML1-ETO and indicated it as a novel tumor suppressor gene. In addition, we provided evidence that EYA4 gene might be a novel therapeutic target

  18. Dimethylated H3K27 Is a Repressive Epigenetic Histone Mark in the Protist Entamoeba histolytica and Is Significantly Enriched in Genes Silenced via the RNAi Pathway*

    PubMed Central

    Foda, Bardees M.; Singh, Upinder

    2015-01-01

    RNA interference (RNAi) is a fundamental biological process that plays a crucial role in regulation of gene expression in many organisms. Transcriptional gene silencing (TGS) is one of the important nuclear roles of RNAi. Our previous data show that Entamoeba histolytica has a robust RNAi pathway that links to TGS via Argonaute 2-2 (Ago2-2) associated 27-nucleotide small RNAs with 5′-polyphosphate termini. Here, we report the first repressive histone mark to be identified in E. histolytica, dimethylation of H3K27 (H3K27Me2), and demonstrate that it is enriched at genes that are silenced by RNAi-mediated TGS. An RNAi-silencing trigger can induce H3K27Me2 deposits at both episomal and chromosomal loci, mediating gene silencing. Our data support two phases of RNAi-mediated TGS: an active silencing phase where the RNAi trigger is present and both H3K27Me2 and Ago2-2 concurrently enrich at chromosomal loci; and an established silencing phase in which the RNAi trigger is removed, but gene silencing with H3K27Me2 enrichment persist independently of Ago2-2 deposition. Importantly, some genes display resistance to chromosomal silencing despite induction of functional small RNAs. In those situations, the RNAi-triggering plasmid that is maintained episomally gets partially silenced and has H3K27Me2 enrichment, but the chromosomal copy displays no repressive histone enrichment. Our data are consistent with a model in which H3K27Me2 is a repressive histone modification, which is strongly associated with transcriptional repression. This is the first example of an epigenetic histone modification that functions to mediate RNAi-mediated TGS in the deep-branching eukaryote E. histolytica. PMID:26149683

  19. Dimethylated H3K27 Is a Repressive Epigenetic Histone Mark in the Protist Entamoeba histolytica and Is Significantly Enriched in Genes Silenced via the RNAi Pathway.

    PubMed

    Foda, Bardees M; Singh, Upinder

    2015-08-21

    RNA interference (RNAi) is a fundamental biological process that plays a crucial role in regulation of gene expression in many organisms. Transcriptional gene silencing (TGS) is one of the important nuclear roles of RNAi. Our previous data show that Entamoeba histolytica has a robust RNAi pathway that links to TGS via Argonaute 2-2 (Ago2-2) associated 27-nucleotide small RNAs with 5'-polyphosphate termini. Here, we report the first repressive histone mark to be identified in E. histolytica, dimethylation of H3K27 (H3K27Me2), and demonstrate that it is enriched at genes that are silenced by RNAi-mediated TGS. An RNAi-silencing trigger can induce H3K27Me2 deposits at both episomal and chromosomal loci, mediating gene silencing. Our data support two phases of RNAi-mediated TGS: an active silencing phase where the RNAi trigger is present and both H3K27Me2 and Ago2-2 concurrently enrich at chromosomal loci; and an established silencing phase in which the RNAi trigger is removed, but gene silencing with H3K27Me2 enrichment persist independently of Ago2-2 deposition. Importantly, some genes display resistance to chromosomal silencing despite induction of functional small RNAs. In those situations, the RNAi-triggering plasmid that is maintained episomally gets partially silenced and has H3K27Me2 enrichment, but the chromosomal copy displays no repressive histone enrichment. Our data are consistent with a model in which H3K27Me2 is a repressive histone modification, which is strongly associated with transcriptional repression. This is the first example of an epigenetic histone modification that functions to mediate RNAi-mediated TGS in the deep-branching eukaryote E. histolytica.

  20. Epigenetic silencing of the MUPCDH gene as a possible prognostic biomarker for cyst growth in ADPKD

    PubMed Central

    Mi Woo, Yu; Shin, Yubin; Hwang, Jung-Ah; Hwang, Young-Hwan; Lee, Sunyoung; Young Park, Eun; Kyung Kong, Hyun; Cho Park, Hayne; Lee, Yeon-Su; Hoon Park, Jong

    2015-01-01

    Although autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) is a common genetic disease, and is characterized by the formation of multiple fluid-filled cysts, which results in renal failure, early diagnosis and treatment of ADPKD have yet to be defined. Herein, we observed that the promoter region of the gene encoding mucin-like protocadherin (MUPCDH) was hypermethylated in the renal tissue of patients with ADPKD compared to non-ADPKD controls. Inversely, MUPCDH was significantly repressed in ADPKD, especially in cyst-lining cells. Our results indicate that aberrant methylation of MUPCDH promoter CpG islands may be negatively correlated with reduced expression level of MUPCDH and that this contributes to abnormal cell proliferation in ADPKD. It suggests that methylation status of MUPCDH promoter can be used as a novel epigenetic biomarker and a therapeutic target in ADPKD. PMID:26463459

  1. Epigenetic Repeat-Induced Gene Silencing in the Chromosomal and Extrachromosomal Contexts in Human Cells

    PubMed Central

    Mitsuda, Sho-hei; Shimizu, Noriaki

    2016-01-01

    A plasmid bearing both a replication initiation region and a matrix attachment region is spontaneously amplified in transfected mammalian cells and generates plasmid repeats in the extrachromosomal double minutes (DMs) or the chromosomal homogeneously staining region (HSR). Generally, the repeat sequences are subject to repeat-induced gene silencing, the mechanism of which remains to be elucidated. Previous research showed that gene expression from the same plasmid repeat was higher from repeats located at DMs than at the HSR, which may reflect the extrachromosomal environment of the DMs. In the current study, plasmid repeats in both DMs and HSR were associated with repressive histone modifications (H3K9me3, H3K9me2), and the levels of repressive chromatin markers were higher in HSR than in DMs. Inactive chromatin is known to spread to neighboring regions in chromosome arm. Here, we found that such spreading also occurs in extrachromosomal DMs. Higher levels of active histone modifications (H3K9Ac, H3K4me3, and H3K79me2) were detected at plasmid repeats in DMs than in HSR. The level of DNA CpG methylation was generally low in both DMs and HSR; however, there were some hypermethylated copies within the population of repeated sequences, and the frequency of such copies was higher in DMs than in HSR. Together, these data suggest a “DNA methylation-core and chromatin-spread” model for repeat-induced gene silencing. The unique histone modifications at the extrachromosomal context are discussed with regard to the model. PMID:27525955

  2. Epigenetic Repeat-Induced Gene Silencing in the Chromosomal and Extrachromosomal Contexts in Human Cells.

    PubMed

    Mitsuda, Sho-Hei; Shimizu, Noriaki

    2016-01-01

    A plasmid bearing both a replication initiation region and a matrix attachment region is spontaneously amplified in transfected mammalian cells and generates plasmid repeats in the extrachromosomal double minutes (DMs) or the chromosomal homogeneously staining region (HSR). Generally, the repeat sequences are subject to repeat-induced gene silencing, the mechanism of which remains to be elucidated. Previous research showed that gene expression from the same plasmid repeat was higher from repeats located at DMs than at the HSR, which may reflect the extrachromosomal environment of the DMs. In the current study, plasmid repeats in both DMs and HSR were associated with repressive histone modifications (H3K9me3, H3K9me2), and the levels of repressive chromatin markers were higher in HSR than in DMs. Inactive chromatin is known to spread to neighboring regions in chromosome arm. Here, we found that such spreading also occurs in extrachromosomal DMs. Higher levels of active histone modifications (H3K9Ac, H3K4me3, and H3K79me2) were detected at plasmid repeats in DMs than in HSR. The level of DNA CpG methylation was generally low in both DMs and HSR; however, there were some hypermethylated copies within the population of repeated sequences, and the frequency of such copies was higher in DMs than in HSR. Together, these data suggest a "DNA methylation-core and chromatin-spread" model for repeat-induced gene silencing. The unique histone modifications at the extrachromosomal context are discussed with regard to the model. PMID:27525955

  3. Transcriptional read-through is not sufficient to induce an epigenetic switch in the silencing activity of Polycomb response elements

    PubMed Central

    Erokhin, Maksim; Elizar’ev, Pavel; Parshikov, Aleksander; Schedl, Paul; Georgiev, Pavel; Chetverina, Darya

    2015-01-01

    In Drosophila, Polycomb (PcG) and Trithorax (TrxG) group proteins are assembled on Polycomb response elements (PREs) to maintain tissue and stage-specific patterns of gene expression. Critical to coordinating gene expression with the process of differentiation, the activity of PREs can be switched “on” and “off.” When on, the PRE imposes a silenced state on the genes in the same domain that is stably inherited through multiple rounds of cell division. When the PRE is switched off, the domain is in a state permissive for gene expression that can be stably inherited. Previous studies have suggested that a burst of transcription through a PRE sequence displaces PcG proteins and provides a universal mechanism for inducing a heritable switch in PRE activity from on to off; however, the evidence favoring this model is indirect. Here, we have directly tested the transcriptional read-through mechanism. Contrary to previous suggestions, we show that transcription through the PRE is not sufficient for inducing an epigenetic switch in PRE activity. In fact, even high levels of continuous transcription through a PRE fails to dislodge the PcG proteins, nor does it remove repressive histone marks. Our results indicate that other mechanisms involving adjacent DNA regulatory elements must be implicated in heritable switch of PRE activity. PMID:26504232

  4. Cbx7 is epigenetically silenced in glioblastoma and inhibits cell migration by targeting YAP/TAZ-dependent transcription

    PubMed Central

    Nawaz, Zahid; Patil, Vikas; Arora, Anjali; Hegde, Alangar S.; Arivazhagan, Arimappamagan; Santosh, Vani; Somasundaram, Kumaravel

    2016-01-01

    Glioblastomas (GBM) are the most malignant form of astrocytomas which are difficult to treat and portend a grave clinical course and poor prognosis. In this study, we identified Chromobox homolog 7 (Cbx7), a member of Polycomb Repressive Complex 1 (PRC1), as a downregulated gene in GBM owing to its promoter hypermethylation. Bisulphite sequencing and methylation inhibitor treatment established the hypermethylation of Cbx7 in GBM. Exogenous overexpression of Cbx7 induced cell death, inhibited cell proliferation, colony formation and migration/invasion of the glioma cells. GSEA of Cbx7 regulated genes identified Cbx7 as a repressor of transcription co-activators YAP/TAZ, the inhibitory targets of the Hippo signalling pathway. In good correlation, the exogenous expression of Cbx7 repressed the YAP/TAZ-dependent transcription and downregulated CTGF, a bonafide YAP/TAZ target. We also observed reduced levels of phospho-JNK in Cbx7 expressing cells. Additionally, CTGF silencing and pharmacological inhibition of JNK also inhibited glioma cell migration. Further, Cbx7 failed to inhibit cell migration significantly in the presence of exogenously overexpressed CTGF or constitutively active JNK. Thus, our study identifies Cbx7 as an inhibitor of glioma cell migration through its inhibitory effect on YAP/TAZ-CTGF-JNK signalling axis and underscores the importance of epigenetic inactivation of Cbx7 in gliomagenesis. PMID:27291091

  5. NPM-ALK oncogenic tyrosine kinase controls T-cell identity by transcriptional regulation and epigenetic silencing in lymphoma cells.

    PubMed

    Ambrogio, Chiara; Martinengo, Cinzia; Voena, Claudia; Tondat, Fabrizio; Riera, Ludovica; di Celle, Paola Francia; Inghirami, Giorgio; Chiarle, Roberto

    2009-11-15

    Transformed cells in lymphomas usually maintain the phenotype of the postulated normal lymphocyte from which they arise. By contrast, anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) is a T-cell lymphoma with aberrant phenotype because of the defective expression of the T-cell receptor and other T-cell-specific molecules for still undetermined mechanisms. The majority of ALCL carries the translocation t(2;5) that encodes for the oncogenic tyrosine kinase NPM-ALK, fundamental for survival, proliferation, and migration of transformed T cells. Here, we show that loss of T-cell-specific molecules in ALCL cases is broader than reported previously and involves most T-cell receptor-related signaling molecules, including CD3epsilon, ZAP70, LAT, and SLP76. We further show that NPM-ALK, but not the kinase-dead NPM-ALK(K210R), downregulated the expression of these molecules by a STAT3-mediated gene transcription regulation and/or epigenetic silencing because this downregulation was reverted by treating ALCL cells with 5-aza-2-deoxycytidine or by knocking down STAT3 through short hairpin RNA. Finally, NPM-ALK increased the methylation of ZAP70 intron 1-exon 2 boundary region, and both NPM-ALK and STAT3 regulated the expression levels of DNA methyltransferase 1 in transformed T cells. Thus, our data reveal that oncogene-deregulated tyrosine kinase activity controls the expression of molecules that determine T-cell identity and signaling.

  6. Short germ insects utilize both the ancestral and derived mode of Polycomb group-mediated epigenetic silencing of Hox genes

    PubMed Central

    Matsuoka, Yuji; Bando, Tetsuya; Watanabe, Takahito; Ishimaru, Yoshiyasu; Noji, Sumihare; Popadić, Aleksandar; Mito, Taro

    2015-01-01

    In insect species that undergo long germ segmentation, such as Drosophila, all segments are specified simultaneously at the early blastoderm stage. As embryogenesis progresses, the expression boundaries of Hox genes are established by repression of gap genes, which is subsequently replaced by Polycomb group (PcG) silencing. At present, however, it is not known whether patterning occurs this way in a more ancestral (short germ) mode of embryogenesis, where segments are added gradually during posterior elongation. In this study, two members of the PcG family, Enhancer of zeste (E(z)) and Suppressor of zeste 12 (Su(z)12), were analyzed in the short germ cricket, Gryllus bimaculatus. Results suggest that although stepwise negative regulation by gap and PcG genes is present in anterior members of the Hox cluster, it does not account for regulation of two posterior Hox genes, abdominal-A (abd-A) and Abdominal-B (Abd-B). Instead, abd-A and Abd-B are predominantly regulated by PcG genes, which is the mode present in vertebrates. These findings suggest that an intriguing transition of the PcG-mediated silencing of Hox genes may have occurred during animal evolution. The ancestral bilaterian state may have resembled the current vertebrate mode of regulation, where PcG-mediated silencing of Hox genes occurs before their expression is initiated and is responsible for the establishment of individual expression domains. Then, during insect evolution, the repression by transcription factors may have been acquired in anterior Hox genes of short germ insects, while PcG silencing was maintained in posterior Hox genes. PMID:25948756

  7. Short germ insects utilize both the ancestral and derived mode of Polycomb group-mediated epigenetic silencing of Hox genes.

    PubMed

    Matsuoka, Yuji; Bando, Tetsuya; Watanabe, Takahito; Ishimaru, Yoshiyasu; Noji, Sumihare; Popadić, Aleksandar; Mito, Taro

    2015-01-01

    In insect species that undergo long germ segmentation, such as Drosophila, all segments are specified simultaneously at the early blastoderm stage. As embryogenesis progresses, the expression boundaries of Hox genes are established by repression of gap genes, which is subsequently replaced by Polycomb group (PcG) silencing. At present, however, it is not known whether patterning occurs this way in a more ancestral (short germ) mode of embryogenesis, where segments are added gradually during posterior elongation. In this study, two members of the PcG family, Enhancer of zeste (E(z)) and Suppressor of zeste 12 (Su(z)12), were analyzed in the short germ cricket, Gryllus bimaculatus. Results suggest that although stepwise negative regulation by gap and PcG genes is present in anterior members of the Hox cluster, it does not account for regulation of two posterior Hox genes, abdominal-A (abd-A) and Abdominal-B (Abd-B). Instead, abd-A and Abd-B are predominantly regulated by PcG genes, which is the mode present in vertebrates. These findings suggest that an intriguing transition of the PcG-mediated silencing of Hox genes may have occurred during animal evolution. The ancestral bilaterian state may have resembled the current vertebrate mode of regulation, where PcG-mediated silencing of Hox genes occurs before their expression is initiated and is responsible for the establishment of individual expression domains. Then, during insect evolution, the repression by transcription factors may have been acquired in anterior Hox genes of short germ insects, while PcG silencing was maintained in posterior Hox genes. PMID:25948756

  8. Epigenetically silenced GNG4 inhibits SDF1α/CXCR4 signaling in mesenchymal glioblastoma

    PubMed Central

    Pal, Jagriti; Patil, Vikas; Mondal, Baisakhi; Shukla, Sudhanshu; Hegde, Alangar S.; Arivazhagan, Arimappamagan; Santosh, Vani; Somasundaram, Kumaravel

    2016-01-01

    The most common and aggressive form of primary brain tumor in adults is glioblastoma (GBM). From the global DNA methylation profiling study, previously published from our laboratory, we identified Guanine Nucleotide binding-protein Gamma subunit 4 (GNG4) to be one of the most hyper methylated and down regulated genes in GBM. GBM derived cell lines showed reduced GNG4 transcript levels, which could be reversed by methylation inhibitor treatment. Bisulphite sequencing confirmed the methylation status in glioblastoma tumor tissue and GBM derived cell lines. Overexpression of GNG4 was found to inhibit proliferation and colony formation of GBM cell lines and in vitro transformation of immortalized human astrocytes, thus suggesting a potential tumor suppressor role of GNG4 in GBM. Correlation of GNG4 transcript levels with that of all GPCRs from TCGA data revealed chemokine receptors as the potential target of GNG4. Furthermore, exogenous over expression of GNG4 inhibited SDF1α/CXCR4-dependent chemokine signaling as seen by reduced pERK and pJNK and GBM cell migration. The inhibitory association between GNG4 and SDF1α/CXCR4 was more evident in mesenchymal subtype of GBM. Thus, this study identifies GNG4 as an inhibitor of SDF1α/CXCR4-dependent signaling and emphasizes the significance of epigenetic inactivation of GNG4 in glioblastoma, especially in mesenchymal subtype. PMID:27382437

  9. Loss of epigenetic silencing of the DUX4 transcription factor gene in facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy.

    PubMed

    Hewitt, Jane E

    2015-10-15

    Current genetic and molecular evidence best supports an epigenetic mechanism for facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD), whereby de-repression of the D4Z4 macrosatellite array leads to aberrant expression of the DUX4 transcription factor in skeletal muscle. This de-repression is triggered by either array contraction or (more rarely) by mutation of the SMCHD1 (structural maintenance of chromosomes flexible hinge domain containing 1) gene. Activation of DUX4 targets, including germline genes and several mammalian retrotransposons, then drives pathogenesis. A direct role for DUX4 mRNA in suppression of nonsense-mediated decay pathways has recently been demonstrated and may also contribute to muscle pathology. Loss of D4Z4 repression in FSHD is observed as hypomethylation of the array accompanied by loss of repressive chromatin marks. The molecular mechanisms of D4Z4 repression are poorly understood, but recent data have identified an Argonaute (AGO)-dependent siRNA pathway. Targeting this pathway by exogenous siRNAs could be a therapeutic strategy for FSHD. PMID:26113644

  10. Reverting cholesterol auxotrophy of NS0 cells by altering epigenetic gene silencing.

    PubMed

    Seth, Gargi; Ozturk, Mustafa; Hu, Wei-Shou

    2006-03-01

    NS0 is a cholesterol-requiring mouse myeloma cell line widely used in the production of recombinant antibodies. We have previously reported that the deficiency of 17beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type7 (Hsd17b7) is responsible for the cholesterol auxotrophy of NS0 cells. Here we demonstrate DNA methylation to be the mechanism underlying transcriptional suppression of Hsd17b7 in cholesterol dependent NS0 cells. Analysis of the DNA methylation pattern revealed methylation of the CpG-rich region upstream of the Hsd17b7 transcription start site in NS0 cells. This is in contrast to the unmethylated status of this sequence in a naturally isolated cholesterol independent revertant cell population (NS0_r). This transcriptional repression was relieved after treating cells with the demethylating drug, 5-azacytidine. Drug treatment also gave rise to high frequency cholesterol-independent variants. Characterization of revertants revealed substantially elevated transcript level of 17beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type7 (Hsd17b7) gene along with hypomethylation of the CpG-rich region. These results affirm that deficiency of Hsd17b7 causes cholesterol dependence of NS0 cells. Furthermore, induction of cholesterol independence by altering DNA methylation pattern alludes to the role of epigenetics in the metabolic adaptation of NS0 cells. With the widespread use of NS0 cells, this finding will have a significant impact on the optimization of recombinant antibody production processes. PMID:16189819

  11. Epigenetic silencing of S100A2 in bladder and head and neck cancers

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Juna; Wysocki, Piotr T.; Topaloglu, Ozlem; Maldonado, Leonel; Brait, Mariana; Begum, Shahnaz; Moon, David; Kim, Myoung Sook; Califano, Joseph A.; Sidransky, David; Hoque, Mohammad O.; Moon, Chulso

    2015-01-01

    S100A2, a member of the S100 protein family, is known to be downregulated in a number of human cancers, leading to its designation as a potential tumor suppressor gene. Here, we investigated the expression and methylation status of S100A2 in head&neck and bladder cancer. Reduced mRNA and protein expression was observed in 8 head&neck and bladder cancer cell lines. To explore the mechanism responsible for the downregulation of S100A2, we treated six cell lines with 5-aza-2′-deoxycytidine. We found S100A2 is silenced in association with aberrant promoter-region methylation and its expression is restored with 5-aza-2′-deoxycytidine treatment. Of 31 primary head&neck cancer cases and 31 bladder cancer cases, promoter methylation was detected in 90% and 80% of cases, respectively. Interestingly, only 1/9 of normal head&neck tissues and 2/6 of normal bladder tissues showed promoter methylation. S100A2 promoter methylation can be detected in urine and is more frequent in bladder cancer patients than in healthy subjects (96% vs 48% respectively). Moreover, increased methylation of S100A2 is linked to the progression of the tumor in bladder cancer (p<0.01). Together, this data shows that methylation-associated inactivation of S100A2 is frequent and may be an important event in the tumorigenesis of head&neck and bladder cancer. PMID:26097874

  12. Epigenetic silencing of Bim transcription by Spi-1/PU.1 promotes apoptosis resistance in leukaemia.

    PubMed

    Ridinger-Saison, M; Evanno, E; Gallais, I; Rimmelé, P; Selimoglu-Buet, D; Sapharikas, E; Moreau-Gachelin, F; Guillouf, C

    2013-09-01

    Deregulation of transcriptional networks contributes to haematopoietic malignancies. The transcription factor Spi-1/PU.1 is a master regulator of haematopoiesis and its alteration leads to leukaemia. Spi-1 overexpression inhibits differentiation and promotes resistance to apoptosis in erythroleukaemia. Here, we show that Spi-1 inhibits mitochondrial apoptosis in vitro and in vivo through the transcriptional repression of Bim, a proapoptotic factor. BIM interacts with MCL-1 that behaves as a major player in the survival of the preleukaemic cells. The repression of BIM expression reduces the amount of BIM-MCL-1 complexes, thus increasing the fraction of potentially active antiapoptotic MCL-1. We then demonstrate that Spi-1 represses Bim transcription by binding to the Bim promoter and by promoting the trimethylation of histone 3 on lysine 27 (H3K27me3, a repressive histone mark) on the Bim promoter. The PRC2 repressive complex of Polycomb is directly responsible for the deposit of H3K27me3 mark at the Bim promoter. SUZ12 and the histone methyltransferase EZH2, two PRC2 subunits bind to the Bim promoter at the same location than H3K27me3, distinct of the Spi-1 DNA binding site. As Spi-1 interacts with SUZ12 and EZH2, these results indicate that Spi-1 modulates the activity of PRC2 without directly recruiting the complex to the site of its activity on the chromatin. Our results identify a new mechanism whereby Spi-1 represses transcription and provide mechanistic insights on the antiapoptotic function of a transcription factor mediated by the epigenetic control of gene expression.

  13. Histone Deacetylase 3 Coordinates Deacetylase-independent Epigenetic Silencing of Transforming Growth Factor-β1 (TGF-β1) to Orchestrate Second Heart Field Development.

    PubMed

    Lewandowski, Sara L; Janardhan, Harish P; Trivedi, Chinmay M

    2015-11-01

    About two-thirds of human congenital heart disease involves second heart field-derived structures. Histone-modifying enzymes, histone deacetylases (HDACs), regulate the epigenome; however, their functions within the second heart field remain elusive. Here we demonstrate that histone deacetylase 3 (HDAC3) orchestrates epigenetic silencing of Tgf-β1, a causative factor in congenital heart disease pathogenesis, in a deacetylase-independent manner to regulate development of second heart field-derived structures. In murine embryos lacking HDAC3 in the second heart field, increased TGF-β1 bioavailability is associated with ascending aortic dilatation, outflow tract malrotation, overriding aorta, double outlet right ventricle, aberrant semilunar valve development, bicuspid aortic valve, ventricular septal defects, and embryonic lethality. Activation of TGF-β signaling causes aberrant endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition and altered extracellular matrix homeostasis in HDAC3-null outflow tracts and semilunar valves, and pharmacological inhibition of TGF-β rescues these defects. HDAC3 recruits components of the PRC2 complex, methyltransferase EZH2, EED, and SUZ12, to the NCOR complex to enrich trimethylation of Lys-27 on histone H3 at the Tgf-β1 regulatory region and thereby maintains epigenetic silencing of Tgf-β1 specifically within the second heart field-derived mesenchyme. Wild-type HDAC3 or catalytically inactive HDAC3 expression rescues aberrant endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition and epigenetic silencing of Tgf-β1 in HDAC3-null outflow tracts and semilunar valves. These findings reveal that epigenetic dysregulation within the second heart field is a predisposing factor for congenital heart disease.

  14. Transcriptional changes in epigenetic modifiers associated with gene silencing in the intestine of the sea cucumber, Apostichopus japonicus (Selenka), during aestivation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Tianming; Yang, Hongsheng; Zhao, Huan; Chen, Muyan; Wang, Bing

    2011-11-01

    The sea cucumber, Apostichopus japonicus, undergoes aestivation to improve survival during periods of high-temperature. During aestivation, the metabolic rate is depressed to reduce the consumption of reserved energy. We evaluated the role of epigenetic modification on global gene silencing during metabolic rate depression in the sea cucumber. We compared the expression of epigenetic modifiers in active and aestivating sea cucumbers. The expression of three genes involved in DNA methylation and chromatin remodeling (DNA (cytosine-5)-methyltransferase 1, Methyl-CpG-binding domain protein 2), and Chromodomain-helicase-DNA-binding protein 5) was significantly higher during aestivation (Days 20 and 40). Similarly, we observed an increase in the expression of genes involved in histone acetylation (Histone deacetylase 3) and Histone-binding protein RBBP4) during the early (Days 5 and 10) and late phases (Days 20 and 40) of aestivation. There was no change in the expression of KAT2B, a histone acetyltransferase. However, the expression of histone methylation associated modifiers (Histone-arginine methyltransferase CARMER and Histone-lysine N-methyltransferase MLL5) was significantly higher after 5 d in the aestivating group. The results suggest that the expression of epigenetic modifiers involved in DNA methylation, chromatin remodeling, histone acetylation, and histone methylation is upregulated during aestivation. We hypothesize that these changes regulate global gene silencing during aestivation in A. japonicus.

  15. Epigenetic silencing of the NR4A3 tumor suppressor, by aberrant JAK/STAT signaling, predicts prognosis in gastric cancer

    PubMed Central

    Yeh, Chung-Min; Chang, Liang-Yu; Lin, Shu-Hui; Chou, Jian-Liang; Hsieh, Hsiao-Yen; Zeng, Li-Han; Chuang, Sheng-Yu; Wang, Hsiao-Wen; Dittner, Claudia; Lin, Cheng-Yu; Lin, Jora M. J.; Huang, Yao-Ting; Ng, Enders K. W.; Cheng, Alfred S. L.; Wu, Shu-Fen; Lin, Jiayuh; Yeh, Kun-Tu; Chan, Michael W. Y.

    2016-01-01

    While aberrant JAK/STAT signaling is crucial to the development of gastric cancer (GC), its effects on epigenetic alterations of its transcriptional targets remains unclear. In this study, by expression microarrays coupled with bioinformatic analyses, we identified a putative STAT3 target gene, NR4A3 that was downregulated in MKN28 GC daughter cells overexpressing a constitutively activated STAT3 mutant (S16), as compared to an empty vector control (C9). Bisulphite pyrosequencing and demethylation treatment showed that NR4A3 was epigenetically silenced by promoter DNA methylation in S16 and other GC cell lines including AGS cells, showing constitutive activation of STAT3. Subsequent experiments revealed that NR4A3 promoter binding by STAT3 might repress its transcription. Long-term depletion of STAT3 derepressed NR4A3 expression, by promoter demethylation, in AGS GC cells. NR4A3 re-expression in GC cell lines sensitized the cells to cisplatin, and inhibited tumor growth in vitro and in vivo, in an animal model. Clinically, GC patients with high NR4A3 methylation, or lower NR4A3 protein expression, had significantly shorter overall survival. Intriguingly, STAT3 activation significantly associated only with NR4A3 methylation in low-stage patient samples. Taken together, aberrant JAK/STAT3 signaling epigenetically silences a potential tumor suppressor, NR4A3, in gastric cancer, plausibly representing a reliable biomarker for gastric cancer prognosis. PMID:27528092

  16. Epigenetic silencing of the NR4A3 tumor suppressor, by aberrant JAK/STAT signaling, predicts prognosis in gastric cancer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yeh, Chung-Min; Chang, Liang-Yu; Lin, Shu-Hui; Chou, Jian-Liang; Hsieh, Hsiao-Yen; Zeng, Li-Han; Chuang, Sheng-Yu; Wang, Hsiao-Wen; Dittner, Claudia; Lin, Cheng-Yu; Lin, Jora M. J.; Huang, Yao-Ting; Ng, Enders K. W.; Cheng, Alfred S. L.; Wu, Shu-Fen; Lin, Jiayuh; Yeh, Kun-Tu; Chan, Michael W. Y.

    2016-08-01

    While aberrant JAK/STAT signaling is crucial to the development of gastric cancer (GC), its effects on epigenetic alterations of its transcriptional targets remains unclear. In this study, by expression microarrays coupled with bioinformatic analyses, we identified a putative STAT3 target gene, NR4A3 that was downregulated in MKN28 GC daughter cells overexpressing a constitutively activated STAT3 mutant (S16), as compared to an empty vector control (C9). Bisulphite pyrosequencing and demethylation treatment showed that NR4A3 was epigenetically silenced by promoter DNA methylation in S16 and other GC cell lines including AGS cells, showing constitutive activation of STAT3. Subsequent experiments revealed that NR4A3 promoter binding by STAT3 might repress its transcription. Long-term depletion of STAT3 derepressed NR4A3 expression, by promoter demethylation, in AGS GC cells. NR4A3 re-expression in GC cell lines sensitized the cells to cisplatin, and inhibited tumor growth in vitro and in vivo, in an animal model. Clinically, GC patients with high NR4A3 methylation, or lower NR4A3 protein expression, had significantly shorter overall survival. Intriguingly, STAT3 activation significantly associated only with NR4A3 methylation in low-stage patient samples. Taken together, aberrant JAK/STAT3 signaling epigenetically silences a potential tumor suppressor, NR4A3, in gastric cancer, plausibly representing a reliable biomarker for gastric cancer prognosis.

  17. Epigenetic silencing of the NR4A3 tumor suppressor, by aberrant JAK/STAT signaling, predicts prognosis in gastric cancer.

    PubMed

    Yeh, Chung-Min; Chang, Liang-Yu; Lin, Shu-Hui; Chou, Jian-Liang; Hsieh, Hsiao-Yen; Zeng, Li-Han; Chuang, Sheng-Yu; Wang, Hsiao-Wen; Dittner, Claudia; Lin, Cheng-Yu; Lin, Jora M J; Huang, Yao-Ting; Ng, Enders K W; Cheng, Alfred S L; Wu, Shu-Fen; Lin, Jiayuh; Yeh, Kun-Tu; Chan, Michael W Y

    2016-01-01

    While aberrant JAK/STAT signaling is crucial to the development of gastric cancer (GC), its effects on epigenetic alterations of its transcriptional targets remains unclear. In this study, by expression microarrays coupled with bioinformatic analyses, we identified a putative STAT3 target gene, NR4A3 that was downregulated in MKN28 GC daughter cells overexpressing a constitutively activated STAT3 mutant (S16), as compared to an empty vector control (C9). Bisulphite pyrosequencing and demethylation treatment showed that NR4A3 was epigenetically silenced by promoter DNA methylation in S16 and other GC cell lines including AGS cells, showing constitutive activation of STAT3. Subsequent experiments revealed that NR4A3 promoter binding by STAT3 might repress its transcription. Long-term depletion of STAT3 derepressed NR4A3 expression, by promoter demethylation, in AGS GC cells. NR4A3 re-expression in GC cell lines sensitized the cells to cisplatin, and inhibited tumor growth in vitro and in vivo, in an animal model. Clinically, GC patients with high NR4A3 methylation, or lower NR4A3 protein expression, had significantly shorter overall survival. Intriguingly, STAT3 activation significantly associated only with NR4A3 methylation in low-stage patient samples. Taken together, aberrant JAK/STAT3 signaling epigenetically silences a potential tumor suppressor, NR4A3, in gastric cancer, plausibly representing a reliable biomarker for gastric cancer prognosis. PMID:27528092

  18. Expression of a large LINE-1-driven antisense RNA is linked to epigenetic silencing of the metastasis suppressor gene TFPI-2 in cancer.

    PubMed

    Cruickshanks, Hazel A; Vafadar-Isfahani, Natasha; Dunican, Donncha S; Lee, Andy; Sproul, Duncan; Lund, Jonathan N; Meehan, Richard R; Tufarelli, Cristina

    2013-08-01

    LINE-1 retrotransposons are abundant repetitive elements of viral origin, which in normal cells are kept quiescent through epigenetic mechanisms. Activation of LINE-1 occurs frequently in cancer and can enable LINE-1 mobilization but also has retrotransposition-independent consequences. We previously reported that in cancer, aberrantly active LINE-1 promoters can drive transcription of flanking unique sequences giving rise to LINE-1 chimeric transcripts (LCTs). Here, we show that one such LCT, LCT13, is a large transcript (>300 kb) running antisense to the metastasis-suppressor gene TFPI-2. We have modelled antisense RNA expression at TFPI-2 in transgenic mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells and demonstrate that antisense RNA induces silencing and deposition of repressive histone modifications implying a causal link. Consistent with this, LCT13 expression in breast and colon cancer cell lines is associated with silencing and repressive chromatin at TFPI-2. Furthermore, we detected LCT13 transcripts in 56% of colorectal tumours exhibiting reduced TFPI-2 expression. Our findings implicate activation of LINE-1 elements in subsequent epigenetic remodelling of surrounding genes, thus hinting a novel retrotransposition-independent role for LINE-1 elements in malignancy.

  19. Reactivation of epigenetically silenced miR-512 and miR-373 sensitizes lung cancer cells to cisplatin and restricts tumor growth.

    PubMed

    Adi Harel, S; Bossel Ben-Moshe, N; Aylon, Y; Bublik, D R; Moskovits, N; Toperoff, G; Azaiza, D; Biagoni, F; Fuchs, G; Wilder, S; Hellman, A; Blandino, G; Domany, E; Oren, M

    2015-08-01

    MicroRNAs (miRs) regulate a variety of cellular processes, and their impaired expression is involved in cancer. Silencing of tumor-suppressive miRs in cancer can occur through epigenetic modifications, including DNA methylation and histone deacetylation. We performed comparative miR profiling on cultured lung cancer cells before and after treatment with 5'aza-deoxycytidine plus Trichostatin A to reverse DNA methylation and histone deacetylation, respectively. Several tens of miRs were strongly induced by such 'epigenetic therapy'. Two representatives, miR-512-5p (miR-512) and miR-373, were selected for further analysis. Both miRs were secreted in exosomes. Re-expression of both miRs augmented cisplatin-induced apoptosis and inhibited cell migration; miR-512 also reduced cell proliferation. TEAD4 mRNA was confirmed as a direct target of miR-512; likewise, miR-373 was found to target RelA and PIK3CA mRNA directly. Our results imply that miR-512 and miR-373 exert cell-autonomous and non-autonomous tumor-suppressive effects in lung cancer cells, where their re-expression may benefit epigenetic cancer therapy.

  20. Association of Reduced Type IX Collagen Gene Expression in Human Osteoarthritic Chondrocytes With Epigenetic Silencing by DNA Hypermethylation

    PubMed Central

    Imagawa, Kei; de Andrés, María C; Hashimoto, Ko; Itoi, Eiji; Otero, Miguel; Roach, Helmtrud I; Goldring, Mary B; Oreffo, Richard O C

    2014-01-01

    Objective To investigate whether the changes in collagen gene expression in osteoarthritic (OA) human chondrocytes are associated with changes in the DNA methylation status in the COL2A1 enhancer and COL9A1 promoter. Methods Expression levels were determined using quantitative reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction, and the percentage of DNA methylation was quantified by pyrosequencing. The effect of CpG methylation on COL9A1 promoter activity was determined using a CpG-free vector; cotransfections with expression vectors encoding SOX9, hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α), and HIF-2α were carried out to analyze COL9A1 promoter activities in response to changes in the methylation status. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays were carried out to validate SOX9 binding to the COL9A1 promoter and the influence of DNA methylation. Results Although COL2A1 messenger RNA (mRNA) levels in OA chondrocytes were 19-fold higher than those in the controls, all of the CpG sites in the COL2A1 enhancer were totally demethylated in both samples. The levels of COL9A1 mRNA in OA chondrocytes were 6,000-fold lower than those in controls; 6 CpG sites of the COL9A1 promoter were significantly hypermethylated in OA patients as compared with controls. Treatment with 5-azadeoxycitidine enhanced COL9A1 gene expression and prevented culture-induced hypermethylation. In vitro methylation decreased COL9A1 promoter activity. Mutations in the 5 CpG sites proximal to the transcription start site decreased COL9A1 promoter activity. Cotransfection with SOX9 enhanced COL9A1 promoter activity; CpG methylation attenuated SOX9 binding to the COL9A1 promoter. Conclusion This first demonstration that hypermethylation is associated with down-regulation of COL9A1 expression in OA cartilage highlights the pivotal role of epigenetics in OA, involving not only hypomethylation, but also hypermethylation, with important therapeutic implications for OA treatment. PMID:25048791

  1. Chromatin assembly factor 1 interacts with histone H3 methylated at lysine 79 in the processes of epigenetic silencing and DNA repair.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Hui; Madden, Benjamin J; Muddiman, David C; Zhang, Zhiguo

    2006-03-01

    In eukaryotic cells, chromatin is classified into euchromatin, which is active in transcription, and heterochromatin that silences transcription. Histones in these two domains contain distinct modifications. Chromatin assembly factor 1 (CAF-1) is a highly conserved protein that functions in DNA replication, DNA repair, and heterochromatin silencing. CAF-1 binds histones H3 and H4 and deposits histones onto DNA to form nucleosomes. However, modifications on H3 and H4 associated with CAF-1 are not known. Here, we have purified a complex containing CAF-1 and H3 and H4 from yeast cells and determined the modifications present on these histones using linear ion trap FT-ICR mass spectrometry. H4 that copurified with CAF-1 was a mixture of isoforms acetylated at lysines 5, 8, 12, and 16, whereas an H3 peptide methylated at lysine 79 and an H3 peptide acetylated at lysine 56 were detected. In yeast cell extracts, these two H3 modifications peaked in the late S phase with different kinetics. Moreover, the association of CAF-1 with H3 methylated at lysine 79 appeared to occur in the late S phase. Finally, cells lacking both Dot1p, the methyltransferase that methylates H3 lysine 79, and Cac1p, the large subunit of CAF-1, exhibited a dramatic loss of telomeric silencing and increased sensitivity to DNA damaging agents. Together, these data indicate that CAF-1 interacts with H3 methylated at lysine 79 during the processes of epigenetic silencing and DNA repair. PMID:16503640

  2. Epigenetic silencing and unstable inheritance of MuDR activity monitored at four bz2-mu alleles in maize (Zea mays L.).

    PubMed

    Takumi, Shigeo; Walbot, Virginia

    2007-10-01

    Maize MuDR/Mu elements are one of the most active Class II transposons and are widely used for transposon tagging for gene cloning. The autonomous MuDR encodes a transposase, while diverse non-autonomous elements share similarity to MuDR only within their ~215 bp terminal inverted repeats (TIRs). Four independent Mu-induced mutable alleles of the anthocyanin pigment pathway Bronze2 (Bz2) locus have been sequenced; bz2-mu1, bz2-mu2, and bz2-mu3 contain Mu1 element insertions while bz2-mu4 contains a MuDR insertion. Somatic excision activity can be monitored for each allele as a purple spotted phenotype on the otherwise beige epidermal layer of the kernel. To study epigenetic silencing of Mu elements, we investigated inheritance of somatic transposition of these four reporter alleles, and using samples from leaves just below the ear and the tassel, DNA methylation status and mudrA expression were quantified through three consecutive generations. Percentages of spotted kernels when crossed into bz2 tester as pollen parent were lower than those when crossed with bz2 tester as ear parent in all bz2-mu alleles. The propensity for silencing in kernels with different frequencies of spotting was investigated. In the inactive lines, both MuDR and Mu1 elements were de novo methylated. The transposition frequency was negatively correlated with the level of Mu methylation and positively correlated with the level of mudrA transcript. The most reliable indicator of incipient silencing was a decrease in mudrA transcript levels in the leaf below the tassel, and this transcriptional silencing could precede methylation of Mu elements. PMID:17991994

  3. BRCA1 positively regulates FOXO3 expression by restricting FOXO3 gene methylation and epigenetic silencing through targeting EZH2 in breast cancer

    PubMed Central

    Gong, C; Yao, S; Gomes, A R; Man, E P S; Lee, H J; Gong, G; Chang, S; Kim, S-B; Fujino, K; Kim, S-W; Park, S K; Lee, J W; Lee, M H; Khoo, U S; Lam, E W-F

    2016-01-01

    BRCA1 mutation or depletion correlates with basal-like phenotype and poor prognosis in breast cancer but the underlying reason remains elusive. RNA and protein analysis of a panel of breast cancer cell lines revealed that BRCA1 deficiency is associated with downregulation of the expression of the pleiotropic tumour suppressor FOXO3. Knockdown of BRCA1 by small interfering RNA (siRNA) resulted in downregulation of FOXO3 expression in the BRCA1-competent MCF-7, whereas expression of BRCA1 restored FOXO3 expression in BRCA1-defective HCC70 and MDA-MB-468 cells, suggesting a role of BRCA1 in the control of FOXO3 expression. Treatment of HCC70 and MDA-MB-468 cells with either the DNA methylation inhibitor 5-aza-2'-deoxycitydine, the N-methyltransferase enhancer of zeste homologue 2 (EZH2) inhibitor GSK126 or EZH2 siRNA induced FOXO3 mRNA and protein expression, but had no effect on the BRCA1-competent MCF-7 cells. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) analysis demonstrated that BRCA1, EZH2, DNMT1/3a/b and histone H3 lysine 27 trimethylation (H3K27me3) are recruited to the endogenous FOXO3 promoter, further advocating that these proteins interact to modulate FOXO3 methylation and expression. In addition, ChIP results also revealed that BRCA1 depletion promoted the recruitment of the DNA methyltransferases DNMT1/3a/3b and the enrichment of the EZH2-mediated transcriptional repressive epigenetic marks H3K27me3 on the FOXO3 promoter. Methylated DNA immunoprecipitation assays also confirmed increased CpG methylation of the FOXO3 gene on BRCA1 depletion. Analysis of the global gene methylation profiles of a cohort of 33 familial breast tumours revealed that FOXO3 promoter methylation is significantly associated with BRCA1 mutation. Furthermore, immunohistochemistry further suggested that FOXO3 expression was significantly associated with BRCA1 status in EZH2-positive breast cancer. Consistently, high FOXO3 and EZH2 mRNA levels were significantly associated with good and poor

  4. Chromatin dynamics and the role of G9a in gene regulation and enhancer silencing during early mouse development

    PubMed Central

    Zylicz, Jan J; Dietmann, Sabine; Günesdogan, Ufuk; Hackett, Jamie A; Cougot, Delphine; Lee, Caroline; Surani, M Azim

    2015-01-01

    Early mouse development is accompanied by dynamic changes in chromatin modifications, including G9a-mediated histone H3 lysine 9 dimethylation (H3K9me2), which is essential for embryonic development. Here we show that genome-wide accumulation of H3K9me2 is crucial for postimplantation development, and coincides with redistribution of enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2)-dependent histone H3 lysine 27 trimethylation (H3K27me3). Loss of G9a or EZH2 results in upregulation of distinct gene sets involved in cell cycle regulation, germline development and embryogenesis. Notably, the H3K9me2 modification extends to active enhancer elements where it promotes developmentally-linked gene silencing and directly marks promoters and gene bodies. This epigenetic mechanism is important for priming gene regulatory networks for critical cell fate decisions in rapidly proliferating postimplantation epiblast cells. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.09571.001 PMID:26551560

  5. Retroviral vector silencing during iPS cell induction: an epigenetic beacon that signals distinct pluripotent states.

    PubMed

    Hotta, Akitsu; Ellis, James

    2008-11-01

    Retroviral vectors are transcriptionally silent in pluripotent stem cells. This feature has been potently applied in studies that reprogram somatic cells into induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. By delivering the four Yamanaka factors in retroviral vectors, high expression is obtained in fibroblasts to induce the pluripotent state. Partial reprogramming generates Class I iPS cells that express the viral transgenes and endogenous pluripotency genes. Full-reprogramming in Class II iPS cells silences the vectors as the endogenous genes maintain the pluripotent state. Thus, retroviral vector silencing serves as a beacon marking the fully reprogrammed pluripotent state. Here we review known silencer elements, and the histone modifying and DNA methylation pathways, that silence retroviral and lentiviral vectors in pluripotent stem cells. Both retroviral and lentiviral vectors are influenced by position effects and often exhibit variegated expression. The best vector designs facilitate full-reprogramming and subsequent retroviral silencing, which is required for directed-differentiation. Current retroviral reprogramming methods can be immediately applied to create patient-specific iPS cell models of human disease, however, future clinical applications will require novel chemical or other reprogramming methods that reduce or eliminate the integrated vector copy number load. Nevertheless, retroviral vectors will continue to play an important role in genetically correcting patient iPS cell models. We anticipate that novel pluripotent-specific reporter vectors will select for isolation of high quality human iPS cell lines, and select against undifferentiated pluripotent cells during regenerative medicine to prevent teratoma formation after transplantation.

  6. Asthma epigenetics.

    PubMed

    Salam, Muhammad T

    2014-01-01

    Asthma is the most common chronic disease of childhood, and a growing body of evidence indicates that epigenetic variations may mediate the effects of environmental exposures on the development and natural history of asthma. Epigenetics is the study of mitotically or meiotically heritable changes in gene expression that occur without directly altering the DNA sequence. DNA methylation, histone modifications and microRNAs are major epigenetic variations in humans that are currently being investigated for asthma etiology and natural history. DNA methylation results from addition of a methyl group to the 5 position of a cytosine ring and occurs almost exclusively on a cytosine in a CpG dinucleotide. Histone modifications involve posttranslational modifications such as acetylation, methylation, phosphorylation and ubiquitination on the tails of core histones. MicroRNAs are short ~22 nucleotide long, non-coding, single-stranded RNAs that binds to complementary sequences in the target mRNAs, usually resulting in gene silencing. While many studies have documented relationships of environmental exposures that have been implicated in asthma etiology with epigenetic alterations, to date, few studies have directly linked epigenetic variations with asthma development. There are several methodological challenges in studying the epigenetics of asthma. In this chapter, the influence of epigenetic variations on asthma pathophysiology, methodological concerns in conducting epigenetic research and future direction of asthma epigenetics research are discussed.

  7. Histone deacetylase inhibitors upregulate B cell microRNAs that silence AID and Blimp-1 expression for epigenetic modulation of antibody and autoantibody responses.

    PubMed

    White, Clayton A; Pone, Egest J; Lam, Tonika; Tat, Connie; Hayama, Ken L; Li, Guideng; Zan, Hong; Casali, Paolo

    2014-12-15

    Class-switch DNA recombination (CSR) and somatic hypermutation (SHM), which require activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID), and plasma cell differentiation, which requires B lymphocyte-induced maturation protein-1 (Blimp-1), are critical for the generation of class-switched and hypermutated (mature) Ab and autoantibody responses. We show that histone deacetylase inhibitors valproic acid and butyrate dampened AICDA/Aicda (AID) and PRDM1/Prdm1 (Blimp-1) mRNAs by upregulating miR-155, miR-181b, and miR-361 to silence AICDA/Aicda, and miR-23b, miR-30a, and miR-125b to silence PRDM1/Prdm1, in human and mouse B cells. This led to downregulation of AID, Blimp-1, and X-box binding protein 1, thereby inhibiting CSR, SHM, and plasma cell differentiation without altering B cell viability or proliferation. The selectivity of histone deacetylase inhibitor-mediated silencing of AICDA/Aicda and PRDM1/Prdm1 was emphasized by unchanged expression of HoxC4 and Irf4 (important inducers/modulators of AICDA/Aicda), Rev1 and Ung (central elements for CSR/SHM), and Bcl6, Bach2, or Pax5 (repressors of PRDM1/Prdm1 expression), as well as unchanged expression of miR-19a/b, miR-20a, and miR-25, which are not known to regulate AICDA/Aicda or PRDM1/Prdm1. Through these B cell-intrinsic epigenetic mechanisms, valproic acid blunted class-switched and hypermutated T-dependent and T-independent Ab responses in C57BL/6 mice. In addition, it decreased class-switched and hypermutated autoantibodies, ameliorated disease, and extended survival in lupus MRL/Fas(lpr/lpr) mice. Our findings outline epigenetic mechanisms that modulate expression of an enzyme (AID) and transcription factors (Blimp-1 and X-box binding protein 1) that are critical to the B cell differentiation processes that underpin Ab and autoantibody responses. They also provide therapeutic proof-of-principle in autoantibody-mediated autoimmunity.

  8. An epigenetic switch regulates de novo DNA methylation at a subset of pluripotency gene enhancers during embryonic stem cell differentiation

    PubMed Central

    Petell, Christopher J.; Alabdi, Lama; He, Ming; San Miguel, Phillip; Rose, Richard; Gowher, Humaira

    2016-01-01

    Coordinated regulation of gene expression that involves activation of lineage specific genes and repression of pluripotency genes drives differentiation of embryonic stem cells (ESC). For complete repression of pluripotency genes during ESC differentiation, chromatin at their enhancers is silenced by the activity of the Lsd1-Mi2/NuRD complex. The mechanism/s that regulate DNA methylation at these enhancers are largely unknown. Here, we investigated the affect of the Lsd1-Mi2/NuRD complex on the dynamic regulatory switch that induces the local interaction of histone tails with the Dnmt3 ATRX-DNMT3-DNMT3L (ADD) domain, thus promoting DNA methylation at the enhancers of a subset of pluripotency genes. This is supported by previous structural studies showing a specific interaction between Dnmt3-ADD domain with H3K4 unmethylated histone tails that is disrupted by histone H3K4 methylation and histone acetylation. Our data suggest that Dnmt3a activity is triggered by Lsd1-Mi2/NuRD-mediated histone deacetylation and demethylation at these pluripotency gene enhancers when they are inactivated during mouse ESC differentiation. Using Dnmt3 knockout ESCs and the inhibitors of Lsd1 and p300 histone modifying enzymes during differentiation of E14Tg2A and ZHBTc4 ESCs, our study systematically reveals this mechanism and establishes that Dnmt3a is both reader and effector of the epigenetic state at these target sites. PMID:27179026

  9. The silencing of Kierkegaard in Habermas' critique of genetic enhancement.

    PubMed

    Christiansen, Karin

    2009-06-01

    The main purpose of this paper is to draw attention to an important part of Habermas' critique of genetic enhancement, which has been largely ignored in the discussion; namely his use of Kierkegaard's reflections on the existential conditions for becoming one-self from Either/or and the Sickness unto Death. It will be argued that, although Habermas presents some valuable and highly significant perspectives on the effect of genetic enhancement on the individual's self-understanding and ability to experience him- or herself as a free and equal individual, he does not succeed in working out a consistent argument. The claim is that he fails to explain how the existential analysis is related to his reflections on the sociological and psychological impacts of genetic enhancement in the realm of communicative action. It is this lack of theoretical clarity, which seems to render Habermas vulnerable to some of the critique which has been raised against his theory from a number of different scientific disciplines and areas of research. Hence, the first part of the paper provides some examples of the nature and variety of this critique, the second part presents Habermas' own critique of genetic enhancement in the context of a dispute between so-called 'liberal' and 'conservative' arguments, and finally, the third part discusses the limits and possibilities of his position in a future debate about genetic enhancement.

  10. Improved silencing suppression and enhanced heterologous protein expression are achieved using an engineered viral helper component proteinase.

    PubMed

    Haikonen, T; Rajamäki, M-L; Valkonen, J P T

    2013-11-01

    RNA silencing limits transient expression of heterologous proteins in plants. Co-expression of viral silencing suppressor proteins can increase and prolong protein expression, but highly efficient silencing suppressors may stress plant tissue and be detrimental to protein yields. Little is known whether silencing suppression could be improved without harm to plant tissues. This study reports development of enhanced silencing suppressors by engineering the helper component proteinase (HCpro) of Potato virus A (PVA). Mutations were introduced to a short region of HCpro (positions 330-335 in PVA HCpro), which is hypervariable among potyviruses. Three out of the four HCpro mutants suppressed RNA silencing more efficiently and sustained expression of co-expressed jellyfish green fluorescent protein for a longer time than wild-type HCpro in agroinfiltrated leaves of Nicotiana benthamiana. Leaf tissues remained healthy-looking without any visible signs of stress. PMID:23933077

  11. The insulation of genes from external enhancers and silencing chromatin

    PubMed Central

    Burgess-Beusse, Bonnie; Farrell, Catherine; Gaszner, Miklos; Litt, Michael; Mutskov, Vesco; Recillas-Targa, Felix; Simpson, Melanie; West, Adam; Felsenfeld, Gary

    2002-01-01

    Insulators are DNA sequence elements that can serve in some cases as barriers to protect a gene against the encroachment of adjacent inactive condensed chromatin. Some insulators also can act as blocking elements to protect against the activating influence of distal enhancers associated with other genes. Although most of the insulators identified so far derive from Drosophila, they also are found in vertebrates. An insulator at the 5′ end of the chicken β-globin locus marks a boundary between an open chromatin domain and a region of constitutively condensed chromatin. Detailed analysis of this element shows that it possesses both enhancer blocking activity and the ability to screen reporter genes against position effects. Enhancer blocking is associated with binding of the protein CTCF; sites that bind CTCF are found at other critical points in the genome. Protection against position effects involves other properties that appear to be associated with control of histone acetylation and methylation. Insulators thus are complex elements that can help to preserve the independent function of genes embedded in a genome in which they are surrounded by regulatory signals they must ignore. PMID:12154228

  12. piggyBac transposon plus insulators overcome epigenetic silencing to provide for stable signaling pathway reporter cell lines.

    PubMed

    Mossine, Valeri V; Waters, James K; Hannink, Mark; Mawhinney, Thomas P

    2013-01-01

    Genetically modified hematopoietic progenitors represent an important testing platform for a variety of cell-based therapies, pharmaceuticals, diagnostics and other applications. Stable expression of a transfected gene of interest in the cells is often obstructed by its silencing. DNA transposons offer an attractive non-viral alternative of transgene integration into the host genome, but their broad applicability to leukocytes and other "transgene unfriendly" cells has not been fully demonstrated. Here we assess stability of piggyBac transposon-based reporter expression in murine prostate adenocarcinoma TRAMP-C2, human monocyte THP-1 and erythroleukemia K562 cell lines, along with macrophages and dendritic cells (DCs) that have differentiated from the THP-1 transfects. The most efficient and stable reporter activity was observed for combinations of the transposon inverted terminal repeats and one 5'- or two cHS4 core insulators flanking a green fluorescent protein reporter construct, with no detectable silencing over 10 months of continuous cell culture in absence of any selective pressure. In monocytic THP-1 cells, the functional activity of luciferase reporters for NF-κB, Nrf2, or HIF-1α has not decreased over time and was retained following differentiation into macrophages and DCs, as well. These results imply pB as a versatile tool for gene integration in monocytic cells in general, and as a convenient access route to DC-based signaling pathway reporters suitable for high-throughput assays, in particular. PMID:24376882

  13. Epigenome-wide ovarian cancer analysis identifies a methylation profile differentiating clear-cell histology with epigenetic silencing of the HERG K+ channel.

    PubMed

    Cicek, Mine S; Koestler, Devin C; Fridley, Brooke L; Kalli, Kimberly R; Armasu, Sebastian M; Larson, Melissa C; Wang, Chen; Winham, Stacey J; Vierkant, Robert A; Rider, David N; Block, Matthew S; Klotzle, Brandy; Konecny, Gottfried; Winterhoff, Boris J; Hamidi, Habib; Shridhar, Viji; Fan, Jian-Bing; Visscher, Daniel W; Olson, Janet E; Hartmann, Lynn C; Bibikova, Marina; Chien, Jeremy; Cunningham, Julie M; Goode, Ellen L

    2013-08-01

    Ovarian cancer remains the leading cause of death in women with gynecologic malignancies, despite surgical advances and the development of more effective chemotherapeutics. As increasing evidence indicates that clear-cell ovarian cancer may have unique pathogenesis, further understanding of molecular features may enable us to begin to understand the underlying biology and histology-specific information for improved outcomes. To study epigenetics in clear-cell ovarian cancer, fresh frozen tumor DNA (n = 485) was assayed on Illumina Infinium HumanMethylation450 BeadChips. We identified a clear-cell ovarian cancer tumor methylation profile (n = 163) which we validated in two independent replication sets (set 1, n = 163; set 2, n = 159), highlighting 22 CpG loci associated with nine genes (VWA1, FOXP1, FGFRL1, LINC00340, KCNH2, ANK1, ATXN2, NDRG21 and SLC16A11). Nearly all of the differentially methylated CpGs showed a propensity toward hypermethylation among clear-cell cases. Several loci methylation inversely correlated with tumor gene expression, most notably KCNH2 (HERG, a potassium channel) (P = 9.5 × 10(-7)), indicating epigenetic silencing. In addition, a predicted methylation class mainly represented by the clear-cell cases (20 clear cell out of 23 cases) had improved survival time. Although these analyses included only 30 clear-cell carcinomas, results suggest that loss of expression of KCNH2 (HERG) by methylation could be a good prognostic marker, given that overexpression of the potassium (K(+)) channel Eag family members promotes increased proliferation and results in poor prognosis. Validation in a bigger cohort of clear-cell tumors of the ovary is warranted.

  14. Sulforaphane Enhances Nrf2 Expression in Prostate Cancer TRAMP C1 Cells through Epigenetic Regulation

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Chengyue; Su, Zheng-Yuan; Khor, Tin Oo; Shu, Limin; Kong, Ah-Ng Tony

    2014-01-01

    Growing evidence suggests epigenetic alteration is involved during the development and progression of prostate cancer. Previously, we found Nrf2, a key regulator of cellular antioxidant defense systems, was silenced through epigenetic mechanism during tumorigenesis in vivo TRAMP mice and in vitro TRAMP C1 cells. Sulforaphane (SFN) in cruciferous vegetable has been demonstrated to be a potent cancer prevention agent for years. The aim of this study is to investigate the potential of SFN to restore Nrf2 expression in TRAMP C1 cells through epigenetic modifications. Bisulfite genomic sequencing results indicated that SFN treatment led to demethylation of the first 5 CpGs in the promoter region of the Nrf2 gene in TRAMP C1 cells. Using methylation DNA immunoprecipitation (MeDIP) assay, SFN significantly reduced the ratio of anti-mecyt antibody binding to the Nrf2 promoter containing the first 5 CpGs. SFN increased mRNA and protein expressions of Nrf2 and Nrf2 downstream target gene NQO-1. In addition, SFN decreased the protein levels of DNMT1 and DNMT3a. SFN treatment also attenuated the protein expression levels of HDACs 1, 4, 5, and 7 while increased the level of active chromatin marker acetyl-Histone 3 (Ac-H3). SFN treatments also increased chromatin-immunoprecipitated DNA of Nrf2 gene promoter using anti-Ac-H3 antibody. Taken together, our current study shows that SFN regulates Nrf2's CpGs demethylation and reactivation in TRAMP C1 cells, suggesting SFN may exert its chemopreventive effect in part via epigenetic modifications of Nrf2 gene with subsequent induction of its downstream anti-oxidative stress pathway. PMID:23416117

  15. Polycomb Mediated Epigenetic Silencing and Replication Timing at the INK4a/ARF Locus during Senescence

    PubMed Central

    Verthuy, Christophe; Chasson, Lionel; Serrano, Manuel; Djabali, Malek

    2009-01-01

    Background The INK4/ARF locus encodes three tumor suppressor genes (p15Ink4b, Arf and p16Ink4a) and is frequently inactivated in a large number of human cancers. Mechanisms regulating INK4/ARF expression are not fully characterized. Principal Findings Here we show that in young proliferating embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) the Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 (PRC2) member EZH2 together with PRC1 members BMI1 and M33 are strongly expressed and localized at the INK4/ARF regulatory domain (RD) identified as a DNA replication origin. When cells enter senescence the binding to RD of both PRC1 and PRC2 complexes is lost leading to a decreased level of histone H3K27 trimethylation (H3K27me3). This loss is accompanied with an increased expression of the histone demethylase Jmjd3 and with the recruitment of the MLL1 protein, and correlates with the expression of the Ink4a/Arf genes. Moreover, we show that the Polycomb protein BMI1 interacts with CDC6, an essential regulator of DNA replication in eukaryotic cells. Finally, we demonstrate that Polycomb proteins and associated epigenetic marks are crucial for the control of the replication timing of the INK4a/ARF locus during senescence. Conclusions We identified the replication licencing factor CDC6 as a new partner of the Polycomb group member BMI1. Our results suggest that in young cells Polycomb proteins are recruited to the INK4/ARF locus through CDC6 and the resulting silent locus is replicated during late S-phase. Upon senescence, Jmjd3 is overexpressed and the MLL1 protein is recruited to the locus provoking the dissociation of Polycomb from the INK4/ARF locus, its transcriptional activation and its replication during early S-phase. Together, these results provide a unified model that integrates replication, transcription and epigenetics at the INK4/ARF locus. PMID:19462008

  16. Epigenetic silencing of miR-124 prevents spermine oxidase regulation: Implications for Helicobacter pylori-induced gastric cancer

    PubMed Central

    Murray-Stewart, Tracy; Sierra, Johanna C.; Piazuelo, M. Blanca; Mera, Robertino M.; Chaturvedi, Rupesh; Bravo, Luis E.; Correa, Pelayo; Schneider, Barbara G.; Wilson, Keith T.; Casero, Robert A.

    2016-01-01

    Chronic inflammation contributes to the development of various forms of cancer. The polyamine catabolic enzyme spermine oxidase (SMOX) is induced in chronic inflammatory conditions, including Helicobacter pylori-associated gastritis, where its production of hydrogen peroxide contributes to DNA damage and subsequent tumorigenesis. MicroRNA expression levels are also altered in inflammatory conditions; specifically, the tumor suppressor miR-124 becomes silenced by DNA methylation. We sought to determine if this repression of miR-124 is associated with elevated SMOX activity and concluded that miR-124 is indeed a negative regulator of SMOX. In gastric adenocarcinoma cells harboring highly methylated and silenced mir-124 gene loci, 5-azacytidine treatment allowed miR-124 re-expression and decreased SMOX expression. Overexpression of an exogenous miR-124-3p mimic repressed SMOX mRNA and protein expression as well as H2O2 production by >50% within 24 hours. Reporter assays indicated that direct interaction of miR-124 with the 3′-untranslated region of SMOX mRNA contributes to this negative regulation. Importantly, overexpression of miR-124 prior to infection with H. pylori prevented the induction of SMOX believed to contribute to inflammation-associated tumorigenesis. Compelling human in vivo data from H. pylori-positive gastritis tissues indicated that the mir-124 gene loci are more heavily methylated in a Colombian population characterized by elevated SMOX expression and a high risk for gastric cancer. Furthermore, the degree of mir-124 methylation significantly correlated with SMOX expression throughout the population. These results indicate a protective role for miR-124 through the inhibition of SMOX-mediated DNA damage in the etiology of H. pylori-associated gastric cancer. PMID:27041578

  17. Dual silencing of Hsp27 and c-FLIP enhances doxazosin-induced apoptosis in PC-3 prostate cancer cells.

    PubMed

    Kim, Sang Soo; Cho, Hee-Ju; Cho, Jeong-Man; Kang, Jung Yoon; Yang, Hyun-Won; Yoo, Tag Keun

    2013-01-01

    We evaluated effect of dual gene silencing of Hsp27 and c-FLIP in doxazosin-induced apoptosis of PC-3 cell. After transfection using Hsp27 and c-FLIP siRNA mixture (dual silencing), doxazosin treatment was done at the concentrations of 1, 10, and 25  μ M. We checked apoptosis of PC-3 cells with and TUNEL staining. We also checked interaction between Hsp27 and C-FLIP in the process of apoptosis inhibition. Spontaneous apoptotic index was 5% under single gene silencing of Hsp27 and c-FLIP and 7% under dual silencing of Hsp27 and c-FLIP. When doxazosin treatment was added, apoptotic indices increased in a dose-dependent manner (1, 10, and 25  μ M): nonsilencing 10, 27, and 52%; Hsp27-silencing: 14, 35, and 68%; c-FLIP silencing: 21, 46, and 78%; dual silencing: 38, 76, and 92%. While c-FLIP gene expression decreased in Hsp27- silenced cells, Hsp27 gene expression showed markedly decreased pattern in the cells of c-FLIP silencing. The knockout of c-FLIP and Hsp27 genes together enhances apoptosis even under 1  μ M, rather than low concentration, of doxazosin in PC-3 cells. This finding suggests a new strategy of multiple knockout of antiapoptotic and survival factors in the treatment of late-stage prostate cancer refractory to conventional therapy.

  18. IL-2R common gamma-chain is epigenetically silenced by nucleophosphin-anaplastic lymphoma kinase (NPM-ALK) and acts as a tumor suppressor by targeting NPM-ALK.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Qian; Wang, Hong Yi; Liu, Xiaobin; Bhutani, Gauri; Kantekure, Kanchan; Wasik, Mariusz

    2011-07-19

    Anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK), physiologically expressed only by certain neural cells, becomes highly oncogenic, when aberrantly expressed in nonneural tissues as a fusion protein with nucleophosphin (NPM) and other partners. The reason why NPM-ALK succeeds in transforming specifically CD4(+) T lymphocytes remains unknown. The IL-2R common γ-chain (IL-2Rγ) is shared by receptors for several cytokines that play key roles in the maturation and growth of normal CD4(+) T lymphocytes and other immune cells. We show that IL-2Rγ expression is inhibited in T-cell lymphoma cells expressing NPM-ALK kinase as a result of DNA methylation of the IL-2Rγ gene promoter. IL-2Rγ promoter methylation is induced in malignant T cells by NPM-ALK. NPM-ALK acts through STAT3, a transcription factor that binds to the IL-2Rγ gene promoter and enhances binding of DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs) to the promoter. In addition, STAT3 suppresses expression of miR-21, which selectively inhibits DNMT1 mRNA expression. Reconstitution of IL-2Rγ expression leads to loss of the NPM-ALK protein and, consequently, apoptotic cell death of the lymphoma cells. These results demonstrate that the oncogenic tyrosine kinase NPM-ALK induces epigenetic silencing of the IL-2Rγ gene and that IL-2Rγ acts as a tumor suppressor by reciprocally inhibiting expression of NPM-ALK.

  19. The ADAMTS12 metalloprotease gene is epigenetically silenced in tumor cells and transcriptionally activated in the stroma during progression of colon cancer.

    PubMed

    Moncada-Pazos, Angela; Obaya, Alvaro J; Fraga, Mario F; Viloria, Cristina G; Capellá, Gabriel; Gausachs, Mireia; Esteller, Manel; López-Otín, Carlos; Cal, Santiago

    2009-08-15

    Proteases have long been associated with tumor progression, given their ability to degrade extracellular matrix components and facilitate invasion and metastasis. However, recent findings indicate that different proteases can also act as tumor-suppressor enzymes. We have recently reported that lung carcinoma cells expressing the ADAMTS-12 metalloprotease show a remarkable impairment of growth in immunodeficient mice as compared with parental cells. Here, we show that ADAMTS12 promoter is hypermethylated in cancer cell lines and tumor tissues. Interestingly, ADAMTS12 expression in the stromal cells surrounding epithelial malignant cells is higher than in the paired normal tissues. Moreover, the expression of this metalloprotease in colon fibroblasts co-cultured with colon cancer cell lines is higher than in those cultured alone. Furthermore, the expression of ADAMTS-12 by these fibroblasts is linked with an anti-proliferative effect on tumor cells. Based on these findings, we hypothesize that ADAMTS-12 is a novel anti-tumor protease that can reduce the proliferative properties of tumor cells. This function is lost by epigenetic silencing in tumor cells, but concurrently induced in stromal cells, probably as part of a response of the normal tissue aimed at controlling the progression of cancer.

  20. Epigenetic silencing of RNA polymerase I transcription: a role for DNA methylation and histone modification in nucleolar dominance.

    PubMed

    Chen, Z J; Pikaard, C S

    1997-08-15

    Nucleolar dominance is an epigenetic phenomenon that describes nucleolus formation around rRNA genes inherited from only one progenitor of an interspecific hybrid or allopolyploid. The phenomenon is widespread, occurring in plants, insects, amphibians, and mammals, yet its molecular basis remains unclear. We have demonstrated nucleolar dominance in three allotetraploids of the plant genus Brassica. In Brassica napus, accurately initiated pre-rRNA transcripts from one progenitor, Brassica rapa are detected readily, whereas transcripts from the approximately 3000 rRNA genes inherited from the other progenitor, Brassica oleracea, are undetectable. Nuclear run-on confirmed that dominance is controlled at the level of transcription. Growth of B. napus seedlings on 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine to inhibit cytosine methylation caused the normally silent, under-dominant B. oleracea rRNA genes to become expressed to high levels. The histone deacetylase inhibitors sodium butyrate and trichostatin A also derepressed silent rRNA genes. These results reveal an enforcement mechanism for nucleolar dominance in which DNA methylation and histone modifications combine to regulate rRNA gene loci spanning tens of megabase pairs of DNA.

  1. Epigenetic silencing of microRNA-373 plays an important role in regulating cell proliferation in colon cancer.

    PubMed

    Tanaka, Takeshi; Arai, Makoto; Wu, Shuang; Kanda, Tatsuo; Miyauchi, Hideaki; Imazeki, Fumio; Matsubara, Hisahiro; Yokosuka, Osamu

    2011-11-01

    microRNAs (miRNA) are non-coding RNAs that negatively control gene expression by cleaving or inhibiting the translation of target gene mRNAs. We used a microarray-based transcriptomic analysis to identify miRNA expression levels that changed in response to epigenetic factors. Specifically, we searched for increased expression of miRNAs prepared from colon cancer cell line DLD-1 after a 96-h treatment with 5 µM of 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (DAC). Among those identified, transient transfection of miRNA hsa-miR-373 resulted in cytostasis. In addition, bisulfate sequence analysis of the promoter regions of these miRNAs showed aberrant methylation in the cancer cells. In clinical colon samples, hsa-miR-373 was down-regulated in colon cancers (29/40, 72.5%) relative to control samples, whereas the purported oncogene RAB22A (a target gene of hsa-miR-373) was up-regulated (24/40, 60%). Using methylation-specific PCR, we also observed aberrant methylation of hsa-miR-373 in colon cancers (35/40, 87.5%) relative to controls (8/40, 20%). Based on these results, we conclude that expression of hsa-miR-373 is down-regulated by aberrant methylation in colon cancer and that this miRNA may function by regulating expression of the oncogene RAB22A.

  2. Epigenetic silencing of RNA polymerase I transcription: a role for DNA methylation and histone modification in nucleolar dominance

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Z. Jeffrey; Pikaard, Craig S.

    1997-01-01

    Nucleolar dominance is an epigenetic phenomenon that describes nucleolus formation around rRNA genes inherited from only one progenitor of an interspecific hybrid or allopolyploid. The phenomenon is widespread, occurring in plants, insects, amphibians, and mammals, yet its molecular basis remains unclear. We have demonstrated nucleolar dominance in three allotetraploids of the plant genus Brassica. In Brassica napus, accurately initiated pre-rRNA transcripts from one progenitor, Brassica rapa are detected readily, whereas transcripts from the ∼3000 rRNA genes inherited from the other progenitor, Brassica oleracea, are undetectable. Nuclear run-on confirmed that dominance is controlled at the level of transcription. Growth of B. napus seedlings on 5-aza-2′-deoxycytidine to inhibit cytosine methylation caused the normally silent, under-dominant B. oleracea rRNA genes to become expressed to high levels. The histone deacetylase inhibitors sodium butyrate and trichostatin A also de-epressed silent rRNA genes. These results reveal an enforcement mechanism for nucleolar dominance in which DNA methylation and histone modifications combine to regulate rRNA gene loci spanning tens of megabase pairs of DNA. PMID:9284051

  3. LRIG1, a 3p tumor suppressor, represses EGFR signaling and is a novel epigenetic silenced gene in colorectal cancer

    SciTech Connect

    Kou, Changhua; Zhou, Tian; Han, Xilin; Zhuang, Huijie; Qian, Haixin

    2015-08-21

    Downregulation of LRIG1 was found in many types of cancer. However, data concerning the possible mechanism of LRIG1 reduction in cancers were not reported yet. To analyze the regulation and function of LRIG1 in colorectal cancer (CRC), 6 cell lines, 46 paired tissues from primary CRC cases were employed in this study. In CRC cell lines, under-expression of LRIG1 was correlated with promoter region hypermethylation, and restoration of LRIG1 was induced by 5-Aza-2'-deoxyazacytidine treatment. Subsequently, we ectopically expressed LRIG1 in LRIG1 low-expressing HCT-116 cells and suppressed LRIG1 in LRIG1 high-expressing LoVo cells. We found that over-expression of LRIG1 inhibits cell proliferation and colony formation and tumor growth, while knockdown of LRIG1 promotes cell proliferation and colony formation. Decreased and increased EGFR/AKT signaling pathway may partially explain the lower and higher rates of proliferation in CRC cells transfected with LRIG1 cDNA or shRNA. In clinical samples, we compared the methylation, mRNA and protein expression of LRIG1 in samples of CRC tissues. A significant increase in LRIG1 methylation was identified in CRC specimens compared to adjacent normal tissues and that it was negatively correlated with its mRNA and protein expression. In conclusion, LRIG1 is frequently methylated in human CRC and consequent mRNA and protein downregulation may contribute to tumor growth by activating EGFR/AKT signaling. - Highlights: • Promoter methylation of LRIG1 occurred in colorectal cancer cells and tumors. • Restoration of LRIG1 inhibits tumor growth in vitro and in vivo. • Overexpression or knockdown of LRIG1 regulates EGFR/AKT and downstream apoptosis. • Methylation of LRIG1 correlates with its mRNA and protein downregulation. • LRIG1 was firstly identified as an epigenetic target in cancer.

  4. Epigenetic silencing of spermatocyte-specific and neuronal genes by SUMO modification of the transcription factor Sp3.

    PubMed

    Stielow, Bastian; Krüger, Imme; Diezko, Rolf; Finkernagel, Florian; Gillemans, Nynke; Kong-a-San, John; Philipsen, Sjaak; Suske, Guntram

    2010-11-01

    SUMO modification of transcription factors is linked to repression of transcription. The physiological significance of SUMO attachment to a particular transcriptional regulator, however, is largely unknown. We have employed the ubiquitously expressed murine transcription factor Sp3 to analyze the role of SUMOylation in vivo. We generated mice and mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) carrying a subtle point mutation in the SUMO attachment sequence of Sp3 (IKEE(553)D mutation). The E(553)D mutation impedes SUMOylation of Sp3 at K(551)in vivo, without affecting Sp3 protein levels. Expression profiling revealed that spermatocyte-specific genes, such as Dmc1 and Dnahc8, and neuronal genes, including Paqr6, Rims3, and Robo3, are de-repressed in non-testicular and extra-neuronal mouse tissues and in mouse embryonic fibroblasts expressing the SUMOylation-deficient Sp3E(553)D mutant protein. Chromatin immunoprecipitation experiments show that transcriptional de-repression of these genes is accompanied by the loss of repressive heterochromatic marks such as H3K9 and H4K20 tri-methylation and impaired recruitment of repressive chromatin-modifying enzymes. Finally, analysis of the DNA methylation state of the Dmc1, Paqr6, and Rims3 promoters by bisulfite sequencing revealed that these genes are highly methylated in Sp3wt MEFs but are unmethylated in Sp3E(553)D MEFs linking SUMOylation of Sp3 to tissue-specific CpG methylation. Our results establish SUMO conjugation to Sp3 as a molecular beacon for the assembly of repression machineries to maintain tissue-specific transcriptional gene silencing.

  5. RNA silencing of genes involved in Alzheimer's disease enhances mitochondrial function and synaptic activity.

    PubMed

    Manczak, Maria; Reddy, P Hemachandra

    2013-12-01

    An age-dependent increase in mRNA levels of the amyloid precursor protein (APP), the microtubule-associated protein Tau, and voltage-dependent anion channel 1 (VDAC1) genes are reported to be toxic to neurons affected by Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, the underlying toxic nature of these genes is not completely understood. The purpose of our study was to determine the effects of RNA silencing of APP, Tau, and VDAC1 genes in AD pathogenesis. Using human neuroblastoma (SHSY5Y) cells, we first silenced RNA for APP, Tau, and VDAC1 genes, and then performed real-time RT-PCR analysis to measure mRNA levels of 34 genes that are involved in AD pathogenesis. Using biochemical assays, we also assessed mitochondrial function by measuring levels of H2O2 production, lipid peroxidation, cytochrome c oxidase activity, ATP production, and GTPase enzymatic activity. We found that increased mRNA expression of synaptic function and mitochondrial fission genes, and reduced levels of mitochondrial fusion genes in RNA silenced the SHSY5Y cells for APP, Tau and VDAC1 genes relative to the control SHSY5Y cells. In addition, RNA-silenced APP, Tau, and VDAC1 genes in SHSY5Y cells showed reduced levels of H2O2 production, lipid peroxidation, fission-linked GTPase activity, and increased cytochrome oxidase activity and ATP production. These findings suggest that a reduction of human APP, Tau, and VDAC1 may enhance synaptic activity, may improve mitochondrial maintenance and function, and may protect against toxicities of AD-related genes. Thus, these findings also suggest that the reduction of APP, Tau, and VDAC1 mRNA expressions may have therapeutic value for patients with AD.

  6. Epigenetic silencing of miR-34a in human prostate cancer cells and tumor tissue specimens can be reversed by BR-DIM treatment

    PubMed Central

    Kong, Dejuan; Heath, Elisabeth; Chen, Wei; Cher, Michael; Powell, Isaac; Heilbrun, Lance; Li, Yiwei; Ali, Shadan; Sethi, Seema; Hassan, Oudai; Hwang, Clara; Gupta, Nilesh; Chitale, Dhananjay; Sakr, Wael A; Menon, Mani; Sarkar, Fazlul H

    2012-01-01

    Androgen Receptor (AR) signaling is critically important during the development and progression of prostate cancer (PCa). The AR signaling is also important in the development of castrate resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) where AR is functional even after androgen deprivation therapy (ADT); however, little is known regarding the transcriptional and functional regulation of AR in PCa. Moreover, treatment options for primary PCa for preventing the occurrence of CRPC is limited; therefore, novel strategy for direct inactivation of AR is urgently needed. In this study, we found loss of miR-34a, which targets AR, in PCa tissue specimens, especially in patients with higher Gleason grade tumors, consistent with increased expression of AR. Forced overexpression of miR-34a in PCa cell lines led to decreased expression of AR and prostate specific antigen (PSA) as well as the expression of Notch-1, another important target of miR-34a. Most importantly, BR-DIM intervention in PCa patients prior to radical prostatectomy showed re-expression of miR-34a, which was consistent with decreased expression of AR, PSA and Notch-1 in PCa tissue specimens. Moreover, BR-DIM intervention led to nuclear exclusion both in PCa cell lines and in tumor tissues. PCa cells treated with BR-DIM and 5-aza-dC resulted in the demethylation of miR-34a promoter concomitant with inhibition of AR and PSA expression in LNCaP and C4-2B cells. These results suggest, for the first time, epigenetic silencing of miR -34a in PCa, which could be reversed by BR-DIM treatment and, thus BR-DIM could be useful for the inactivation of AR in the treatment of PCa. PMID:22347519

  7. Epigenetic silencing of miR-34a in human prostate cancer cells and tumor tissue specimens can be reversed by BR-DIM treatment

    PubMed Central

    Kong, D; Heath, E; Chen, W; Cher, M; Powell, I; Heilbrun, L; Li, Y; Ali, S; Sethi, S; Hassan, O; Hwang, C; Gupta, N; Chitale, D; Sakr, WA; Menon, M; Sarkar, FH

    2014-01-01

    Androgen Receptor (AR) signaling is critically important during the development and progression of prostate cancer (PCa). The AR signaling is also important in the development of castrate resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) where AR is functional even after androgen deprivation therapy (ADT); however, little is known regarding the transcriptional and functional regulation of AR in PCa. Moreover, treatment options for primary PCa for preventing the occurrence of CRPC is limited; therefore, novel strategy for direct inactivation of AR is urgently needed. In this study, we found loss of miR-34a, which targets AR, in PCa tissue specimens, especially in patients with higher Gleason grade tumors, consistent with increased expression of AR. Forced over-expression of miR-34a in PCa cell lines led to decreased expression of AR and prostate specific antigen (PSA) as well as the expression of Notch-1, another important target of miR-34a. Most importantly, BR-DIM intervention in PCa patients prior to radical prostatectomy showed reexpression of miR-34a, which was consistent with decreased expression of AR, PSA and Notch-1 in PCa tissue specimens. Moreover, BR-DIM intervention led to nuclear exclusion both in PCa cell lines and in tumor tissues. PCa cells treated with BR-DIM and 5-aza-dC resulted in the demethylation of miR-34a promoter concomitant with inhibition of AR and PSA expression in LNCaP and C4-2B cells. These results suggest, for the first time, epigenetic silencing of miR-34a in PCa, which could be reversed by BR-DIM treatment and, thus BR-DIM could be useful for the inactivation of AR in the treatment of PCa. PMID:24349627

  8. The potential of epigenetics in stress-enhanced fear learning models of PTSD.

    PubMed

    Blouin, Ashley M; Sillivan, Stephanie E; Joseph, Nadine F; Miller, Courtney A

    2016-10-01

    Prolonged distress and dysregulated memory processes are the core features of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and represent the debilitating, persistent nature of the illness. However, the neurobiological mechanisms underlying the expression of these symptoms are challenging to study in human patients. Stress-enhanced fear learning (SEFL) paradigms, which encompass both stress and memory components in rodents, are emerging as valuable preclinical models of PTSD. Rodent models designed to study the long-term mechanisms of either stress or fear memory alone have identified a critical role for numerous epigenetic modifications to DNA and histone proteins. However, the epigenetic modifications underlying SEFL remain largely unknown. This review will provide a brief overview of the epigenetic modifications implicated in stress and fear memory independently, followed by a description of existing SEFL models and the few epigenetic mechanisms found to date to underlie SEFL. The results of the animal studies discussed here highlight neuroepigenetics as an essential area for future research in the context of PTSD through SEFL studies, because of its potential to identify novel candidates for neurotherapeutics targeting stress-induced pathogenic memories.

  9. The potential of epigenetics in stress-enhanced fear learning models of PTSD.

    PubMed

    Blouin, Ashley M; Sillivan, Stephanie E; Joseph, Nadine F; Miller, Courtney A

    2016-10-01

    Prolonged distress and dysregulated memory processes are the core features of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and represent the debilitating, persistent nature of the illness. However, the neurobiological mechanisms underlying the expression of these symptoms are challenging to study in human patients. Stress-enhanced fear learning (SEFL) paradigms, which encompass both stress and memory components in rodents, are emerging as valuable preclinical models of PTSD. Rodent models designed to study the long-term mechanisms of either stress or fear memory alone have identified a critical role for numerous epigenetic modifications to DNA and histone proteins. However, the epigenetic modifications underlying SEFL remain largely unknown. This review will provide a brief overview of the epigenetic modifications implicated in stress and fear memory independently, followed by a description of existing SEFL models and the few epigenetic mechanisms found to date to underlie SEFL. The results of the animal studies discussed here highlight neuroepigenetics as an essential area for future research in the context of PTSD through SEFL studies, because of its potential to identify novel candidates for neurotherapeutics targeting stress-induced pathogenic memories. PMID:27634148

  10. Risk-associated coding synonymous SNPs in type 2 diabetes and neurodegenerative diseases: genetic silence and the underrated association with splicing regulation and epigenetics.

    PubMed

    Karambataki, M; Malousi, A; Kouidou, S

    2014-12-01

    Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are tentatively critical with regard to disease predisposition, but coding synonymous SNPs (sSNPs) are generally considered "neutral". Nevertheless, sSNPs in serine/arginine-rich (SR) and splice-site (SS) exonic splicing enhancers (ESEs) or in exonic CpG methylation targets, could be decisive for splicing, particularly in aging-related conditions, where mis-splicing is frequently observed. We presently identified 33 genes T2D-related and 28 related to neurodegenerative diseases, by investigating the impact of the corresponding coding sSNPs on splicing and using gene ontology data and computational tools. Potentially critical (prominent) sSNPs comply with the following criteria: changing the splicing potential of prominent SR-ESEs or of significant SS-ESEs by >1.5 units (Δscore), or formation/deletion of ESEs with maximum splicing score. We also noted the formation/disruption of CpGs (tentative methylation sites of epigenetic sSNPs). All disease association studies involving sSNPs are also reported. Only 21/670 coding SNPs, mostly epigenetic, reported in 33 T2D-related genes, were found to be prominent coding synonymous. No prominent sSNPs have been recorded in three key T2D-related genes (GCGR, PPARGC1A, IGF1). Similarly, 20/366 coding synonymous were identified in ND related genes, mostly epigenetic. Meta-analysis showed that 17 of the above prominent sSNPs were previously investigated in association with various pathological conditions. Three out of four sSNPs (all epigenetic) were associated with T2D and one with NDs (branch site sSNP). Five were associated with other or related pathological conditions. None of the four sSNPs introducing new ESEs was found to be disease-associated. sSNPs introducing smaller Δscore changes (<1.5) in key proteins (INSR, IRS1, DISC1) were also correlated to pathological conditions. This data reveals that genetic variation in splicing-regulatory and particularly CpG sites might be related to

  11. Loss of an Igκ gene enhancer in mature B cells results in rapid gene silencing and partial reversible dedifferentiation.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Xiaorong; Xiang, Yougui; Ding, Xiaoling; Garrard, William T

    2013-05-01

    We address here whether there is cellular memory of a transcriptional enhancer once it has served its purpose to establish an active chromatin state. We have previously shown that the mouse Igκ gene's downstream enhancers, E3' and Ed, are essential but play redundant roles for establishing transcriptional activity in the locus during B cell development. To determine whether these enhancers are also necessary for the maintenance of transcriptional activity, we conditionally deleted E3' in mature B cells that possessed Ed(-/-) alleles. Upon E3' deletion, the locus became rapidly silenced and lost positive histone epigenetic marks, and the mature B cells partially dedifferentiated, induced RAG-1 and -2 along with certain other pro-B cell makers, and then redifferentiated after triggering Igλ gene rearrangements. We conclude that the Igκ gene's downstream enhancers are essential for both the establishment and maintenance of transcriptional activity and that there is no cellular memory of previous transcriptional activity in this locus. Furthermore, upon enhancer loss, the mature B cells unexpectedly underwent reversible retrograde differentiation. This result establishes that receptor editing can occur in mature B cells and raises the possibility that this may provide a tolerance mechanism for eliminating autoreactive B cells in the periphery.

  12. Mutations in ash1 and trx enhance P-element-dependent silencing in Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    McCracken, Allen; Locke, John

    2016-08-01

    In Drosophila melanogaster, the mini-w(+) transgene in Pci is normally expressed throughout the adult eye; however, when other P or KP elements are present, a variegated-eye phenotype results, indicating random w(+) silencing during development called P-element-dependent silencing (PDS). Mutant Su(var)205 and Su(var)3-7 alleles act as haplo-suppressors/triplo-enhancers of this variegated phenotype, indicating that these heterochromatic modifiers act dose dependently in PDS. Previously, we recovered a spontaneous mutation of P{lacW}ci(Dplac) called P{lacW}ci(DplacE1) (E1) that variegated in the absence of P elements, presumably due to the insertion of an adjacent gypsy element. From a screen for genetic modifiers of E1 variegation, we describe here the isolation of five mutations in ash1 and three in trx that enhance the E1 variegated phenotype in a dose-dependent and cumulative manner. These mutant alleles enhance PDS at E1, and in E1/P{lacW}ci(Dplac), but suppress position effect variegation (PEV) at In(1)w(m)(4). This opposite action is consistent with a model where ASH1 and TRX mark transcriptionally active chromatin domains. If ASH1 or TRX function is lost or reduced, heterochromatin can spread into these domains creating a sink that diverts heterochromatic proteins from other variegating locations, which then may express a suppressed phenotype.

  13. Mutations in ash1 and trx enhance P-element-dependent silencing in Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    McCracken, Allen; Locke, John

    2016-08-01

    In Drosophila melanogaster, the mini-w(+) transgene in Pci is normally expressed throughout the adult eye; however, when other P or KP elements are present, a variegated-eye phenotype results, indicating random w(+) silencing during development called P-element-dependent silencing (PDS). Mutant Su(var)205 and Su(var)3-7 alleles act as haplo-suppressors/triplo-enhancers of this variegated phenotype, indicating that these heterochromatic modifiers act dose dependently in PDS. Previously, we recovered a spontaneous mutation of P{lacW}ci(Dplac) called P{lacW}ci(DplacE1) (E1) that variegated in the absence of P elements, presumably due to the insertion of an adjacent gypsy element. From a screen for genetic modifiers of E1 variegation, we describe here the isolation of five mutations in ash1 and three in trx that enhance the E1 variegated phenotype in a dose-dependent and cumulative manner. These mutant alleles enhance PDS at E1, and in E1/P{lacW}ci(Dplac), but suppress position effect variegation (PEV) at In(1)w(m)(4). This opposite action is consistent with a model where ASH1 and TRX mark transcriptionally active chromatin domains. If ASH1 or TRX function is lost or reduced, heterochromatin can spread into these domains creating a sink that diverts heterochromatic proteins from other variegating locations, which then may express a suppressed phenotype. PMID:27373142

  14. Epigenetic switch involved in activation of pioneer factor FOXA1-dependent enhancers

    PubMed Central

    Sérandour, Aurélien A.; Avner, Stéphane; Percevault, Frédéric; Demay, Florence; Bizot, Maud; Lucchetti-Miganeh, Céline; Barloy-Hubler, Frédérique; Brown, Myles; Lupien, Mathieu; Métivier, Raphaël; Salbert, Gilles; Eeckhoute, Jérôme

    2011-01-01

    Transcription factors (TFs) bind specifically to discrete regions of mammalian genomes called cis-regulatory elements. Among those are enhancers, which play key roles in regulation of gene expression during development and differentiation. Despite the recognized central regulatory role exerted by chromatin in control of TF functions, much remains to be learned regarding the chromatin structure of enhancers and how it is established. Here, we have analyzed on a genomic-scale enhancers that recruit FOXA1, a pioneer transcription factor that triggers transcriptional competency of these cis-regulatory sites. Importantly, we found that FOXA1 binds to genomic regions showing local DNA hypomethylation and that its cell-type-specific recruitment to chromatin is linked to differential DNA methylation levels of its binding sites. Using neural differentiation as a model, we showed that induction of FOXA1 expression and its subsequent recruitment to enhancers is associated with DNA demethylation. Concomitantly, histone H3 lysine 4 methylation is induced at these enhancers. These epigenetic changes may both stabilize FOXA1 binding and allow for subsequent recruitment of transcriptional regulatory effectors. Interestingly, when cloned into reporter constructs, FOXA1-dependent enhancers were able to recapitulate their cell type specificity. However, their activities were inhibited by DNA methylation. Hence, these enhancers are intrinsic cell-type-specific regulatory regions of which activities have to be potentiated by FOXA1 through induction of an epigenetic switch that includes notably DNA demethylation. PMID:21233399

  15. Enhancer of zeste homolog 2 silencing inhibits tumor growth and lung metastasis in osteosarcoma

    PubMed Central

    Lv, Yang-Fan; Yan, Guang-Ning; Meng, Gang; Zhang, Xi; Guo, Qiao-Nan

    2015-01-01

    The enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2) methyltransferase is the catalytic subunit of polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2), which acts as a transcription repressor via the trimethylation of lysine 27 of histone 3 (H3K27me3). EZH2 has been recognised as an oncogene in several types of tumors; however, its role in osteosarcoma has not been fully elucidated. Herein, we show that EZH2 silencing inhibits tumor growth and lung metastasis in osteosarcoma by facilitating re-expression of the imprinting gene tumor-suppressing STF cDNA 3 (TSSC3). Our previous study showed that TSSC3 acts as a tumor suppressor in osteosarcoma. In this study, we found that EZH2 was abnormally elevated in osteosarcoma, and its overexpression was associated with poor prognosis in osteosarcoma. Silencing of EZH2 resulted in tumor growth inhibition, apoptosis and chemosensitivity enhancement. Moreover, suppression of EZH2 markedly inhibited tumor growth and lung metastasis in vivo. Furthermore, EZH2 knockdown facilitated the re-expression of TSSC3 by reducing H3K27me3 in the promoter region. Cotransfection with siEZH2 and siTSSC3 could partially reverse the ability of siEZH2 alone. We have demonstrated that EZH2 plays a crucial role in tumor growth and distant metastasis in osteosarcoma; its oncogenic role is related to its regulation of the expression of TSSC3. PMID:26265454

  16. Silencing and enhancement of second-harmonic generation in optical gap antennas.

    PubMed

    Berthelot, Johann; Bachelier, Guillaume; Song, Mingxia; Rai, Padmnabh; Colas des Francs, Gérard; Dereux, Alain; Bouhelier, Alexandre

    2012-05-01

    Amplifying local electromagnetic fields by engineering optical interactions between individual constituents of an optical antenna is considered fundamental for efficient nonlinear wavelength conversion in nanometer-scale devices. In contrast to this general statement we show that high field enhancement does not necessarily lead to an optimized nonlinear activity. In particular, we demonstrate that second-harmonic responses generated at strongly interacting optical gap antennas can be significantly suppressed. Numerical simulations are confirming silencing of second-harmonic in these coupled systems despite the existence of local field amplification. We then propose a simple approach to restore and amplify the second-harmonic signal by changing the manner in which electrically-connected optical antennas are interacting in the charge-transfer plasmon regime. Our observations provide critical design rules for realizing optimal structures that are essential for a broad variety of nonlinear surface-enhanced characterizations and for realizing the next generation of electrically-driven optical antennas.

  17. Silencing of CD59 enhanced the sensitivity of HT29 cells to 5-Fluorouracil and Oxaliplatin.

    PubMed

    Yin, Haipeng; Li, Cuiling; Wang, Shaoyu; Guo, Qiang; Ren, Xia; Jiang, Guosheng

    2015-01-01

    Complement regulatory proteins (CD55 and CD59) were known to be expressed in many tumors and tumor cell lines including colorectal carcinoma, and were proposed as immunotherapy targets, however whether knocking down of CD55 and CD59 will affect the sensitivity of HT-29 cells to chemotherapy drugs for example, 5-Fluorouracil and Oxaliplatin and their possible mechanisms haven't been studied. To address this question, SiRNAs targeting CD55 and CD59 were chemically synthesized and transfected into HT-29 cells by lipofectamine. HT-29 growth curves of CD55 and CD59 knockdown cells were detected by MTT assay, HT29 inhibition curves to chemotherapy drugs (5-Fu and Oxaliplatin) were also assayed, in addition, chemotherapy sensitivity changes of HT29 affected by CD55 and CD59 knockdown were equally detected. Complement mediated lysis was examined by calcein-AM. We found that silencing CD59 in HT-29 cells could significantly enhance their sensitivity to 5-FU (P < 0.05) and Oxaliplatin (P < 0.05), and significantly reduced their IC50 concentration. On the contrary, knocking down of CD55 could inhibit HT-29 growth (P < 0.05). Mechanisms included increasing apoptosis rate of HT-29 by CD59 knocking down and G1/G0 blocking by silencing CD55. Our results thus shed light on the novel mechanism of chemotherapy resistance and provide an alternative strategy to overcome the resistance problem. PMID:25444672

  18. Novel oxidatively activated agents modify DNA and are enhanced by ercc1 silencing.

    PubMed

    Jones, Amy R; Bell-Horwath, Tiffany R; Li, Guorui; Rollmann, Stephanie M; Merino, Edward J

    2012-11-19

    Agents that chemically modify DNA form a backbone of many cancer treatments. A key problem for DNA-modifying agents is lack of specificity. To address this issue, we designed novel molecular scaffolds, termed An-Hq and An-Hq(2), which are activated by a hallmark of some cancers: elevated concentrations of reactive oxygen species. Elevated reactive oxygen species are linked to oncogenesis and are found to increase in several aggressive cancers. The agents are quinones that, upon oxidation, form highly electrophilic species. In vitro studies identified the mode of addition to DNA. The aniline portion of An-Hq serves to enhance nucleophilic addition to the ethyl phenyl ether instead of forming common Michael additions. Structural characterization showed that the agents add to 2'-deoxyguanosine at the N2,N3-positions. The product formed is a bulky hydroxy-N2,3-benzetheno-2'-deoxyguanosine adduct. In addition, the oxidatively activated agents added to 2'-deoxyadenosine and 2'-deoxycytidine but not thymidine or 2'-deoxyinosine. These findings are confirmed by primer extension analysis of a 392 base pair DNA. The full-length primer extension product was reduced by 69.0 ± 0.6% upon oxidative activation of An-Hq(2) as compared to controls. Little sequence dependence was observed with 76% of guanine, adenine, and cytosine residues showing an increase in extension stops between 2- and 4-fold above controls. Benzetheno-nucleobase addition to double-stranded DNA was confirmed by LC/MS of a self-complementary oligonucletide. Experiments were carried out to confirm in vivo DNA damage. Because of the lesion identified in vitro, we reasoned that nucleotide excision repair should be involved in reversing the effects of these oxidatively activated agents and enhance toxicity in Drosophila melanogaster. Using an RNAi-based approach, Ercc1 was silenced, and survival was monitored after injection of an agent. As expected, bulky cross-linking DNA-modifying agents, cisplatin and

  19. The re-expression of the epigenetically silenced e-cadherin gene by a polyamine analogue lysine-specific demethylase-1 (LSD1) inhibitor in human acute myeloid leukemia cell lines

    PubMed Central

    Murray-Stewart, Tracy; Woster, Patrick M.; Casero, Robert A.

    2013-01-01

    Aberrant epigenetic silencing of tumor suppressor genes is a common feature observed during the transformation process of many cancers, including those of hematologic origin. Histone modifications, including acetylation, phosphorylation, and methylation, collaborate with DNA CpG island methylation to regulate gene expression. The dynamic process of histone methylation is the latest of these epigenetic modifications to be described, and the identification and characterization of LSD1 as a demethylase of lysine 4 of histone H3 (H3K4) has confirmed that both the enzyme and the modified histone play important roles as regulators of gene expression. LSD1 activity contributes to the suppression of gene expression by demethylating promoter-region mono- and dimethyl- H3K4 histone marks that are associated with active gene expression. As most posttranslational modifications are reversible, the enzymes involved in the modification of histones have become targets for chemotherapeutic intervention. In this study, we examined the effects of the polyamine analogue LSD1 inhibitor 2d (1,15-bis{N5-[3,3-(diphenyl)propyl]-N1-biguanido}-4,12-diazapentadecane) in human acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cell lines. In each line studied, 2d evoked cytotoxicity and inhibited LSD1 activity, as evidenced by increases in the global levels of mono- and di-methylated H3K4 proteins. Global increases in other chromatin modifications were also observed following exposure to 2d, suggesting a broad response to this compound with respect to chromatin regulation. On a gene-specific level, treatment with 2d resulted in the reexpression of e-cadherin, a tumor suppressor gene frequently silenced by epigenetic modification in AML. Quantitative chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis of the ecadherin promoter further confirmed that this re-expression was concurrent with changes in both active and repressive histone marks that were consistent with LSD1 inhibition. As hematologic malignancies have demonstrated

  20. Virus induced gene silencing of three putative prolyl 4-hydroxylases enhances plant growth in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum).

    PubMed

    Fragkostefanakis, Sotirios; Sedeek, Khalid E M; Raad, Maya; Zaki, Marwa Samir; Kalaitzis, Panagiotis

    2014-07-01

    Proline hydroxylation is a major posttranslational modification of hydroxyproline-rich glycoproteins (HRGPs) that is catalyzed by prolyl 4-hydroxylases (P4Hs). HRGPs such as arabinogalactan proteins (AGPs) and extensios play significant roles on cell wall structure and function and their implication in cell division and expansion has been reported. We used tobacco rattle virus (TRV)-based virus induced gene silencing to investigate the role of three tomato P4Hs, out of ten present in the tomato genome, in growth and development. Eight-days old tomato seedlings were infected with the appropriate TRV vectors and plants were allowed to grow under standard conditions for 6 weeks. Lower P4H mRNA levels were associated with lower hydroxyproline content in root and shoot tissues indicating successful gene silencing. P4H-silenced plants had longer roots and shoots and larger leaves. The increased leaf area can be attributed to increased cell division as indicated by the higher leaf epidermal cell number in SlP4H1- and SlP4H9-silenced plants. In contrast, SlP4H7-silenced plants had larger leaves due to enhanced cell expansion. Western blot analysis revealed that silencing of SlP4H7 and SlP4H9 was associated with reduced levels of JIM8-bound AGP and JIM11-bound extensin epitopes, while silencing of SlP4H1 reduced only the levels of AGP proteins. Collectively these results show that P4Hs have significant and distinct roles in cell division and expansion of tomato leaves.

  1. Genome Wide Mapping of NR4A Binding Reveals Cooperativity with ETS Factors to Promote Epigenetic Activation of Distal Enhancers in Acute Myeloid Leukemia Cells.

    PubMed

    Duren, Ryan P; Boudreaux, Seth P; Conneely, Orla M

    2016-01-01

    Members of the NR4A subfamily of orphan nuclear receptors regulate cell fate decisions via both genomic and non-genomic mechanisms in a cell and tissue selective manner. NR4As play a key role in maintenance of hematopoietic stem cell homeostasis and are critical tumor suppressors of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Expression of NR4As is broadly silenced in leukemia initiating cell enriched populations from human patients relative to normal hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells. Rescue of NR4A expression in human AML cells inhibits proliferation and reprograms AML gene signatures via transcriptional mechanisms that remain to be elucidated. By intersecting an acutely regulated NR4A1 dependent transcriptional profile with genome wide NR4A binding distribution, we now identify an NR4A targetome of 685 genes that are directly regulated by NR4A1. We show that NR4As regulate gene transcription primarily through interaction with distal enhancers that are co-enriched for NR4A1 and ETS transcription factor motifs. Using a subset of NR4A activated genes, we demonstrate that the ETS factors ERG and FLI-1 are required for activation of NR4A bound enhancers and NR4A target gene induction. NR4A1 dependent recruitment of ERG and FLI-1 promotes binding of p300 histone acetyltransferase to epigenetically activate NR4A bound enhancers via acetylation at histone H3K27. These findings disclose novel epigenetic mechanisms by which NR4As and ETS factors cooperate to drive NR4A dependent gene transcription in human AML cells.

  2. Silencing of mitochondrial NADP{sup +}-dependent isocitrate dehydrogenase gene enhances glioma radiosensitivity

    SciTech Connect

    Kim, Sung Youl; Yoo, Young Hyun; Park, Jeen-Woo

    2013-04-05

    Highlights: •Silencing of the IDPm gene enhances IR-induced autophagy in glioma cells. •Autophagy inhibition augmented apoptosis of irradiated glioma cells. •Results offer a redox-active therapeutic strategy for the treatment of cancer. -- Abstract: Reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels are elevated in organisms that have been exposed to ionizing radiation and are protagonists in the induction of cell death. Recently, we demonstrated that the control of mitochondrial redox balance and the cellular defense against oxidative damage are primary functions of mitochondrial NADP{sup +}-dependent isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDPm) via the supply of NADPH for antioxidant systems. In the present study, we report an autophagic response to ionizing radiation in A172 glioma cells transfected with small interfering RNA (siRNA) targeting the IDPm gene. Autophagy in A172 transfectant cells was associated with enhanced autophagolysosome formation and GFP–LC3 punctuation/aggregation. Furthermore, we found that the inhibition of autophagy by chloroquine augmented apoptotic cell death of irradiated A172 cells transfected with IDPm siRNA. Taken together, our data suggest that autophagy functions as a survival mechanism in A172 cells against ionizing radiation-induced apoptosis and the sensitizing effect of IDPm siRNA and autophagy inhibitor on the ionizing radiation-induced apoptotic cell death of glioma cells offers a novel redox-active therapeutic strategy for the treatment of cancer.

  3. Conserved enhancer and silencer elements responsible for differential Adh transcription in Drosophila cell lines.

    PubMed Central

    Ayer, S; Benyajati, C

    1990-01-01

    The distal promoter of Adh is differentially expressed in Drosophila tissue culture cell lines. After transfection with an exogenous Adh gene, there was a specific increase in distal alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) transcripts in ADH-expressing (ADH+) cells above the levels observed in transfected ADH-nonexpressing (ADH-) cells. We used deletion mutations and a comparative transient-expression assay to identify the cis-acting elements responsible for enhanced Adh distal transcription in ADH+ cells. DNA sequences controlling high levels of distal transcription were localized to a 15-base-pair (bp) region nearly 500 bp upstream of the distal RNA start site. In addition, a 61-bp negative cis-acting element was found upstream from and adjacent to the enhancer. When this silencer element was deleted, distal transcription increased only in the ADH+ cell line. These distant upstream elements must interact with the promoter elements, the Adf-1-binding site and the TATA box, as they only influenced transcription when at least one of these two positive distal promoter elements was present. Internal deletions targeted to the Adf-1-binding site or the TATA box reduced transcription in both cell types but did not affect the transcription initiation site. Distal transcription in transfected ADH- cells appears to be controlled primarily through these promoter elements and does not involve the upstream regulatory elements. Evolutionary conservation in distantly related Drosophila species suggests the importance of these upstream elements in correct developmental and tissue-specific expression of ADH. Images PMID:1694013

  4. B7-H3 silencing inhibits tumor progression of mantle cell lymphoma and enhances chemosensitivity.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Wei; Wang, Yanfang; Wang, Jing; Dong, Fei; Zhu, Mingxia; Wan, Wenli; Li, Haishen; Wu, Feifei; Yan, Xinxing; Ke, Xiaoyan

    2015-01-01

    B7-H3 (CD276), known as a member of B7 immunoregulatory family, is a type I transmembrane glycoprotein aberrantly expressed in numerous types of cancer and associated with poor prognosis. However, the role of B7-H3 in oncogenesis and chemosensitivity of mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) remains unknown. We determined the effects of downregulating B7-H3 expression on tumor progression and the sensitivity of chemotherapeutic drug in mantle cell lymphoma. B7-H3 knockdown was performed using lentivirus transduction in the Maver and Z138 mantle cell lymphoma cell lines, respectively. The effects of B7-H3 on cell proliferation, cycle, migration and invasion were investigated by CCK-8 assay, methyl cellulose colony forming assay, PI staining, and Transwell assays in vitro. By establishing Maver and Z138 xenograft models, the effects of B7-H3 on tumorigenicity were observed, and Ki-67 and PCNA was detected by immunohistochemistry. The downregulation of B7-H3 significantly decreased tumor proliferation in MCL in vitro and in vivo. In the B7-H3 knockdown groups of Maver and Z138 xenograft models, the mean inhibition rate of tumor growth was 59.1 and 65.0% (p=0.010 and 0.003), and the expression of both Ki-67 and PCNA were significantly lower, respectively. After B7-H3 silencing, the cell cycles of Maver and Z138 were both arrested at G0/G1 phase, and the cell migration rates and invasion capacity were decreased as well. Moreover, the impacts of B7-H3 RNAi on the antitumor effect of chemotherapy drugs were determined with CCK-8 and Annexin V-FITC/PI assays in vitro and with xenograft models in vivo. The silencing of B7-H3 increased the sensitivity of Maver and Z138 cells to rituximab and bendamustine and enhanced the drug-induced apoptosis, respectively. Our study demonstrates for the first time that B7-H3 promotes mantle cell lymphoma progression and B7-H3 knockdown significantly enhances the chemosensitivity. This may provide a new therapeutic approach to mantle cell lymphoma

  5. Reactivation of epigenetically silenced miR-124 reverses the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and inhibits invasion in endometrial cancer cells via the direct repression of IQGAP1 expression

    PubMed Central

    Watari, Hidemichi; Hanley, Sharon J.B.; Yamada, Takahiro; Hosaka, Masayoshi; Kudo, Masataka; Yue, Junming; Sakuragi, Noriaki

    2016-01-01

    Overexpression of IQGAP1 and microRNA (miRNA) dysregulation are frequent in human tumors, but little is known about the role of IQGAP1 and its relationship to miRNA in endometrial carcinogenesis. We demonstrate that IQGAP1 activates the epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) program and that miR-124 directly represses IQGAP1 expression in endometrial cancer (EC) cells. The overexpression of IQGAP1 stimulates EMT features and enhances migration, invasion and proliferation of EC cells, whereas knocking down IQGAP1 expression reverses EMT and inhibits these malignant properties. Using miRNA microarray profiling, we identified 29 miRNAs (let-7b, let-7f, miR-10b, miR-15b, miR-23a, miR-24, miR-25, miR-27a, miR-29b, miR-30a-5p, miR-34a, miR-124, miR-127, miR-130b, miR-148a, miR-155, miR-191*, miR-194, miR-224, miR-362, miR-409-3p, miR-422b, miR-424, miR-453, miR-497, miR-518d, miR-518f*, miR-526a and miR-656) that are significantly down-regulated in an in vitro-selected highly invasive derivative cell line (HEC-50-HI) relative to the parental HEC-50 cells. We further identified miR-124 as a direct regulator of IQGAP1 in EC cells. Enforced expression of miR-124 suppresses EC cell invasion and proliferation. The expression of IQGAP1 mRNA was significantly elevated in EC tissues, while the expression of miR-124 was decreased. The downregulation of miR-124 correlates with a poor survival outcome for patients with EC. Treating EC cells with the demethylating agent 5-aza-2′-deoxycytidine increased miR-124 expression and down-regulated IQGAP1 levels. Our data suggest that IQGAP1 promotes EMT, migration and invasion of EC cells. MiR-124, a novel tumor suppressor miRNA that is epigenetically silenced in EC, can reverse EMT and the invasive properties, by attenuating the expression of the IQGAP1 oncogene. PMID:26934121

  6. Long-lasting pro-inflammatory suppression of microglia by LPS-preconditioning is mediated by RelB-dependent epigenetic silencing.

    PubMed

    Schaafsma, W; Zhang, X; van Zomeren, K C; Jacobs, S; Georgieva, P B; Wolf, S A; Kettenmann, H; Janova, H; Saiepour, N; Hanisch, U-K; Meerlo, P; van den Elsen, P J; Brouwer, N; Boddeke, H W G M; Eggen, B J L

    2015-08-01

    Microglia, the innate immune cells of the central nervous system (CNS), react to endotoxins like bacterial lipopolysaccharides (LPS) with a pronounced inflammatory response. To avoid excess damage to the CNS, the microglia inflammatory response needs to be tightly regulated. Here we report that a single LPS challenge results in a prolonged blunted pro-inflammatory response to a subsequent LPS stimulation, both in primary microglia cultures (100 ng/ml) and in vivo after intraperitoneal (0.25 and 1mg/kg) or intracerebroventricular (5 μg) LPS administration. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) experiments with primary microglia and microglia acutely isolated from mice showed that LPS preconditioning was accompanied by a reduction in active histone modifications AcH3 and H3K4me3 in the promoters of the IL-1β and TNF-α genes. Furthermore, LPS preconditioning resulted in an increase in the amount of repressive histone modification H3K9me2 in the IL-1β promoter. ChIP and knock-down experiments showed that NF-κB subunit RelB was bound to the IL-1β promoter in preconditioned microglia and that RelB is required for the attenuated LPS response. In addition to a suppressed pro-inflammatory response, preconditioned primary microglia displayed enhanced phagocytic activity, increased outward potassium currents and nitric oxide production in response to a second LPS challenge. In vivo, a single i.p. LPS injection resulted in reduced performance in a spatial learning task 4 weeks later, indicating that a single inflammatory episode affected memory formation in these mice. Summarizing, we show that LPS-preconditioned microglia acquire an epigenetically regulated, immune-suppressed phenotype, possibly to prevent excessive damage to the central nervous system in case of recurrent (peripheral) inflammation.

  7. The Roles of miR-26, miR-29, and miR-203 in the Silencing of the Epigenetic Machinery during Melanocyte Transformation.

    PubMed

    Gasque Schoof, Cláudia Regina; Izzotti, Alberto; Jasiulionis, Miriam Galvonas; Vasques, Luciana Dos Reis

    2015-01-01

    The epigenetic marks located throughout the genome exhibit great variation between normal and transformed cancer cells. While normal cells contain hypomethylated CpG islands near gene promoters and hypermethylated repetitive DNA, the opposite pattern is observed in cancer cells. Recently, it has been reported that alteration in the microenvironment of melanocyte cells, such as substrate adhesion blockade, results in the selection of anoikis-resistant cells, which have tumorigenic characteristics. Melanoma cells obtained through this model show an altered epigenetic pattern, which represents one of the first events during the melanocytes malignant transformation. Because microRNAs are involved in controlling components of the epigenetic machinery, the aim of this work was to evaluate the potential association between the expression of miR-203, miR-26, and miR-29 family members and the genes Dnmt3a, Dnmt3b, Mecp2, and Ezh2 during cells transformation. Our results show that microRNAs and their validated or predicted targets are inversely expressed, indicating that these molecules are involved in epigenetic reprogramming. We also show that miR-203 downregulates Dnmt3b in mouse melanocyte cells. In addition, treatment with 5-aza-CdR promotes the expression of miR-26 and miR-29 in a nonmetastatic melanoma cell line. Considering the occurrence of CpG islands near the miR-26 and miR-29 promoters, these data suggest that they might be epigenetically regulated in cancer.

  8. RNAi revised - target mRNA-dependent enhancement of gene silencing

    PubMed Central

    Dornseifer, Simon; Willkomm, Sarah; Far, Rosel Kretschmer-Kazemi; Liebschwager, Janine; Beltsiou, Foteini; Frank, Kirsten; Laufer, Sandra D.; Martinetz, Thomas; Sczakiel, Georg; Claussen, Jens Christian; Restle, Tobias

    2015-01-01

    The discovery of RNA interference (RNAi) gave rise to the development of new nucleic acid-based technologies as powerful investigational tools and potential therapeutics. Mechanistic key details of RNAi in humans need to be deciphered yet, before such approaches take root in biomedicine and molecular therapy. We developed and validated an in silico-based model of siRNA-mediated RNAi in human cells in order to link in vitro-derived pre-steady state kinetic data with a quantitative and time-resolved understanding of RNAi on the cellular level. The observation that product release by Argonaute 2 is accelerated in the presence of an excess of target RNA in vitro inspired us to suggest an associative mechanism for the RNA slicer reaction where incoming target mRNAs actively promote dissociation of cleaved mRNA fragments. This novel associative model is compatible with high multiple turnover rates of RNAi-based gene silencing in living cells and accounts for target mRNA concentration-dependent enhancement of the RNAi machinery. PMID:26578554

  9. Histone deacetylase enzyme silencing using shRNAs enhances radiosensitivity of SW579 thyroid cancer cells

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Ye; Jin, Tao; Dai, Xueming; Yan, Dongwang; Peng, Zhihai

    2016-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to screen the enzymes that are associated with the radiosensitivity of SW579 thyroid cancer cells, and investigate whether radiation, combined with specific RNA interference on the screened enzymes, enhances radiosensitivity of SW579 thyroid cancer cells. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) was used to analyze epigenetic enzyme expression changes before and after radiotherapy, and four enzymes, histone deacetylase 1 (HDAC1), HDAC2, HDAC4 and HDAC6 were screened. Western blot analysis was performed to analyze the change in HDAC1, HDAC2, HDAC4 and HDAC6 protein expression following radiotherapy. Short hairpin RNA (ShRNA)-HDAC1, shRNA-HDAC2, shRNA-HDAC4 and shRNA-HDAC6 plasmids were constructed and SW579 cells were transfected with corresponding shRNA-HDACs. Reverse transcription-qPCR was used to detect whether downregulation of HDAC mRNAs had been effective. In addition, shRNA and shRNA negative control (NC) pools were established and transfected into the SW579 cells. The samples were divided into four groups; control, trichostatin A, shRNA pool and shRNA NC pool, to analyze the effective enhancement of specific shRNA on radiosensitivity in thyroid cancer cells. The morphological changes were observed in the SW579 cells, and the number of tumor cells decreased markedly in the shRNA pool group compared with that of the other three groups. Therefore, it was concluded that HDACs present a potential target for increasing the sensitivity of thyroid cancer cells to radiotherapy, and shRNA-HDAC interference combined with radiotherapy promotes the radiosensitivity of tumors. PMID:27600599

  10. Enhanced silencing and stabilization of siRNA polyplexes by histidine-mediated hydrogen bonds

    PubMed Central

    Chou, Szu-Ting; Hom, Kellie; Zhang, Daoning; Leng, Qixin; Tricoli, Lucas J.; Hustedt, Jason M.; Lee, Amy; Shapiro, Michael J.; Seog, Joonil; Kahn, Jason D.; Mixson, A. James

    2013-01-01

    Branched peptides containing histidines and lysines (HK) have been shown to be effective carriers for DNA and siRNA. We anticipate that elucidation of the binding mechanism of HK with siRNA will provide greater insight into the self-assembly and delivery of the HK:siRNA polyplex. Non-covalent bonds between histidine residues and nucleic acids may enhance the stability of siRNA polyplexes. We first compared the polyplex biophysical properties of a branched HK with those of branched asparagines-lysine peptide (NK). Consistent with siRNA silencing experiments, gel electrophoresis demonstrated that the HK siRNA polyplex maintained its integrity with prolonged incubation in serum, whereas siRNA in complex with NK was degraded in a time-dependent manner. Isothermal titration calorimetry of various peptides binding to siRNA at pH 7.3 showed that branched polylysine, interacted with siRNA was initially endothermic, whereas branched HK exhibited an exothermic reaction at initial binding. The exothermic interaction indicates formation of non-ionic bonds between histidines and siRNA; purely electrostatic interaction is entropy-driven and endothermic. To investigate the type of non-ionic bond, we studied the protonation state of imidazole rings of a selectively 15N labeled branched HK by heteronuclear single quantum coherence NMR. The peak of Nδ1-H tautomers of imidazole shifted downfield (in the direction of deprotonation) by 0.5 to 1.0 ppm with addition of siRNA, providing direct evidence that histidines formed hydrogen bonds with siRNA at physiological pH. These results establish that histidine-rich peptides form hydrogen bonds with siRNA, thereby enhancing the stability and biological activity of the polyplex in vitro and in vivo. PMID:24161165

  11. Phylogenetic and Epigenetic Footprinting of the Putative Enhancers of the Peg3 Domain

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Joomyeong; Ye, An

    2016-01-01

    The Peg3 (Paternally Expressed Gene 3) imprinted domain is predicted to be regulated through a large number of evolutionarily conserved regions (ECRs) that are localized within its middle 200-kb region. In the current study, we characterized these potential cis-regulatory regions using phylogenetic and epigenetic approaches. According to the results, the majority of these ECRs are potential enhancers for the transcription of the Peg3 domain. Also, these potential enhancers can be divided into two groups based on their histone modification and DNA methylation patterns: ubiquitous and tissue-specific enhancers. Phylogenetic and bioinformatic analyses further revealed that several cis-regulatory motifs are frequently associated with the ECRs, such as the E box, PITX2, NF-κB and RFX1 motifs. A series of subsequent ChIP experiments demonstrated that the trans factor MYOD indeed binds to the E box of several ECRs, further suggesting that MYOD may play significant roles in the transcriptional control of the Peg3 domain. Overall, the current study identifies, for the first time, a set of cis-regulatory motifs and corresponding trans factors that may be critical for the transcriptional regulation of the Peg3 domain. PMID:27104590

  12. LincHOTAIR epigenetically silences miR34a by binding to PRC2 to promote the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition in human gastric cancer

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Y-w; Sun, M; Xia, R; Zhang, E-b; Liu, X-h; Zhang, Z-h; Xu, T-p; De, W; Liu, B-r; Wang, Z-x

    2015-01-01

    lncRNAs play important roles in the epigenetic regulation of carcinogenesis and progression. Previous studies suggest that HOTAIR contributes to gastric cancer (GC) development, and the overexpression of HOTAIR predicts a poor prognosis. In this study, we found that HOTAIR was more highly expressed in diffuse-type GC than in intestinal type (P=0.048). In the diffuse type, there is significant relationship between HOTAIR expression and DFS (P<0.001). CDH1 was downregulated in diffuse-type GC tissues (P=0.0007) and showed a negative relationship with HOTAIR (r2=0.154, P=0.0354). In addition, HOTAIR knockdown significantly repressed migration, invasion and metastasis both in vitro and vivo and reversed the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition in GC cells. We also showed that HOTAIR recruiting and binding to PRC2 epigenetically represses miR34a, which controls the targets C-Met (HGF/C-Met/Snail pathway) and Snail, thus contributing to GC cell-EMT process and accelerating tumor metastasis. Moreover, it is demonstrated that HOTAIR crosstalk with microRNAs during epigenetic regulation. Our results suggest that HOTAIR acts as an EMT regulator and may be a candidate prognostic biomarker and a target for new therapies in GC patients. PMID:26136075

  13. Tex10 Coordinates Epigenetic Control of Super-Enhancer Activity in Pluripotency and Reprogramming

    PubMed Central

    Ding, Junjun; Huang, Xin; Shao, Ningyi; Zhou, Hongwei; Lee, Dung-Fang; Faiola, Francesco; Fidalgo, Miguel; Guallar, Diana; Saunders, Arven; Shliaha, Pavel V.; Wang, Hailong; Waghray, Avinash; Papatsenko, Dmitri; Sánchez-Priego, Carlos; Li, Dan; Yuan, Ye; Lemischka, Ihor R.; Shen, Li; Kelley, Kevin; Deng, Haiteng; Shen, Xiaohua; Wang, Jianlong

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY Super-enhancers (SEs) are large clusters of transcriptional enhancers that are co-occupied by multiple lineage specific transcription factors driving expression of genes that define cell identity. In embryonic stem cells (ESCs), SEs are highly enriched for the core pluripotency factors Oct4, Sox2, and Nanog. In this study, we sought to dissect the molecular control mechanism of SE activity in pluripotency and reprogramming. Starting from a protein interaction network surrounding Sox2, we identified Tex10 as a key pluripotency factor that plays a functionally significant role in ESC self-renewal, early embryo development, and reprogramming. Tex10 is enriched at SEs in a Sox2-dependent manner and coordinates histone acetylation and DNA demethylation at SEs. Tex10 activity is also important for pluripotency and reprogramming in human cells. Our study therefore highlights Tex10 as a core component of the pluripotency network and sheds light on its role in epigenetic control of SE activity for cell fate determination. PMID:25936917

  14. E2 Regulates Epigenetic Signature on Neuroglobin Enhancer-Promoter in Neuronal Cells

    PubMed Central

    Guglielmotto, Michela; Reineri, Stefania; Iannello, Andrea; Ferrero, Giulio; Vanzan, Ludovica; Miano, Valentina; Ricci, Laura; Tamagno, Elena; De Bortoli, Michele; Cutrupi, Santina

    2016-01-01

    Estrogens are neuroprotective factors in several neurological diseases. Neuroglobin (NGB) is one of the estrogen target genes involved in neuroprotection, but little is known about its transcriptional regulation. Estrogen genomic pathway in gene expression regulation is mediated by estrogen receptors (ERα and ERβ) that bind to specific regulatory genomic regions. We focused our attention on 17β-estradiol (E2)-induced NGB expression in human differentiated neuronal cell lines (SK-N-BE and NT-2). Previously, using bioinformatics analysis we identified a putative enhancer in the first intron of NGB locus. Therefore, we observed that E2 increased the enrichment of the H3K4me3 epigenetic marks at the promoter and of the H3K4me1 and H3K27Ac at the intron enhancer. In these NGB regulatory regions, we found estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) binding suggesting that ERα may mediate chromatin remodeling to induce NGB expression upon E2 treatment. Altogether our data show that NGB expression is regulated by ERα binding on genomic regulatory regions supporting hormone therapy applications for the neuroprotection against neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:27313512

  15. Stable expression of silencing-suppressor protein enhances the performance and longevity of an engineered metabolic pathway.

    PubMed

    Naim, Fatima; Shrestha, Pushkar; Singh, Surinder P; Waterhouse, Peter M; Wood, Craig C

    2016-06-01

    Transgenic engineering of plants is important in both basic and applied research. However, the expression of a transgene can dwindle over time as the plant's small (s)RNA-guided silencing pathways shut it down. The silencing pathways have evolved as antiviral defence mechanisms, and viruses have co-evolved viral silencing-suppressor proteins (VSPs) to block them. Therefore, VSPs have been routinely used alongside desired transgene constructs to enhance their expression in transient assays. However, constitutive, stable expression of a VSP in a plant usually causes pronounced developmental abnormalities, as their actions interfere with endogenous microRNA-regulated processes, and has largely precluded the use of VSPs as an aid to stable transgene expression. In an attempt to avoid the deleterious effects but obtain the enhancing effect, a number of different VSPs were expressed exclusively in the seeds of Arabidopsis thaliana alongside a three-step transgenic pathway for the synthesis of arachidonic acid (AA), an ω-6 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid. Results from independent transgenic events, maintained for four generations, showed that the VSP-AA-transformed plants were developmentally normal, apart from minor phenotypes at the cotyledon stage, and could produce 40% more AA than plants transformed with the AA transgene cassette alone. Intriguingly, a geminivirus VSP, V2, was constitutively expressed without causing developmental defects, as it acts on the siRNA amplification step that is not part of the miRNA pathway, and gave strong transgene enhancement. These results demonstrate that VSP expression can be used to protect and enhance stable transgene performance and has significant biotechnological application. PMID:26628000

  16. Enhanced cellular uptake and gene silencing activity of siRNA molecules mediated by chitosan-derivative nanocomplexes.

    PubMed

    Guzman-Villanueva, Diana; El-Sherbiny, Ibrahim M; Vlassov, Alexander V; Herrera-Ruiz, Dea; Smyth, Hugh D C

    2014-10-01

    The RNA interference (RNAi) constitutes a conservative mechanism in eukaryotic cells that induces silencing of target genes. In mammalians, the RNAi is triggered by siRNA (small interfering RNA) molecules. Due to its potential in silencing specific genes, the siRNA has been considered a potential alternative for the treatment of genetic and acquired diseases. However, the siRNA therapy has been limited by its low stability and rapid degradation in presence of nucleases, low cellular uptake, and immune response activation. In order to overcome these drawbacks, we propose the synthesis and characterization of non-viral delivery systems using chitosan derivatives to obtain siRNA complexes (polyplexes). The non-viral delivery systems synthesized included PEG-g-OCs (oligochitosan) and PEG-g-Cs (chitosan medium molecular weight). Both systems allowed the formation of siRNA polyplexes, increased the stability of siRNA in the presence of nucleases, enhanced cellular internalization, and showed low toxicity in the A549 cell line. Finally, the complexes obtained with the PEG-g-OCs system showed silencing activity in a GFP model in the cell line A549 in comparison with naked siRNA. PMID:25063077

  17. Distinct epigenetic signatures elucidate enhancer-gene relationships that delineate CIMP and non-CIMP colorectal cancers

    PubMed Central

    Chong, Allen; Teo, Jing Xian; Ban, Kenneth H.K.

    2016-01-01

    Epigenetic changes, like DNA methylation, affect gene expression and in colorectal cancer (CRC), a distinct phenotype called the CpG island methylator phenotype (“CIMP”) has significantly higher levels of DNA methylation at so-called “Type C loci” within the genome. We postulate that enhancer-gene pairs are coordinately controlled through DNA methylation in order to regulate the expression of key genes/biomarkers for a particular phenotype. Firstly, we found 24 experimentally-validated enhancers (VISTA enhancer browser) that contained statistically significant (FDR-adjusted q-value of <0.01) differentially methylated regions (DMRs) (1000bp) in a study of CIMP versus non-CIMP CRCs. Of these, the methylation of 2 enhancers, 1702 and 1944, were found to be very well correlated with the methylation of the genes Wnt3A and IGDCC3, respectively, in two separate and independent datasets. We show for the first time that there are indeed distinct and dynamic changes in the methylation pattern of specific enhancer-gene pairs in CRCs. Such a coordinated epigenetic event could be indicative of an interaction between (1) enhancer 1702 and Wnt3A and (2) enhancer 1944 and IGDCC3. Moreover, our study shows that the methylation patterns of these 2 enhancer-gene pairs can potentially be used as biomarkers to delineate CIMP from non-CIMP CRCs. PMID:27049830

  18. A hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-3α splicing variant, HIF-3α4 impairs angiogenesis in hypervascular malignant meningiomas with epigenetically silenced HIF-3α4

    SciTech Connect

    Ando, Hitoshi; Natsume, Atsushi; Iwami, Kenichiro; Ohka, Fumiharu; Kuchimaru, Takahiro; Kizaka-Kondoh, Shinae; Ito, Kengo; Saito, Kiyoshi; Sugita, Sachi; Hoshino, Tsuneyoshi; Wakabayashi, Toshihiko

    2013-03-29

    Highlights: ► HIF-3α4 is silenced by DNA methylation in meningiomas. ► Induction of HIF-3α4 impaired angiogenesis in meningiomas. ► Induction of HIF-3α4 impaired proliferation and oxygen-dependent metabolism. -- Abstract: Hypoxia inducible factor is a dominant regulator of adaptive cellular responses to hypoxia and controls the expression of a large number of genes regulating angiogenesis as well as metabolism, cell survival, apoptosis, and other cellular functions in an oxygen level-dependent manner. When a neoplasm is able to induce angiogenesis, tumor progression occurs more rapidly because of the nutrients provided by the neovasculature. Meningioma is one of the most hypervascular brain tumors, making anti-angiogenic therapy an attractive novel therapy for these tumors. HIF-3α has been conventionally regarded as a dominant-negative regulator of HIF-1α, and although alternative HIF-3α splicing variants are extensively reported, their specific functions have not yet been determined. In this study, we found that the transcription of HIF-3α4 was silenced by the promoter DNA methylation in meningiomas, and inducible HIF-3α4 impaired angiogenesis, proliferation, and metabolism/oxidation in hypervascular meningiomas. Thus, HIF-3α4 could be a potential molecular target in meningiomas.

  19. Silencing c-Kit expression in human DCs suppresses Th2, Th17 response but enhances Th1 response

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Bin; Yang, Qin; Huang, Qianchuan; Yan, Hongbo; Sun, Ting; Tong, Hui

    2015-01-01

    Dendritic cells (DCs) are integral to the differentiation of T helper cells into T helper type 1 TH1, TH2 and TH17 subsets. RNA interference (RNAi), which causes the degradation of any RNA in a sequence specific manner, is a posttranscriptional gene silencing mechanism. Targeting the c-Kit in DCs has been used as an approach to enhance antitumor immunity. Here, we shwed that transfection of DCs with siRNA specific for c-Kit gene can significantly knock down c-Kit. When exposed to TNF-α, immature DCs transfected with c-Kit siRNA can differentiate into mature DCs without reducing viability or IL-12p70 production. The c-Kit siRNA-treated DCs exhibited an increased allostimulatory capacity in a lymphocyte proliferation assay. Furthermore, c-Kit siRNA-transfected DCs enhanced TH1 responses by increasing IFN-γ and decreasing IL-4 production, and much stronger cytotoxic activity was observed when DCs were co-transfected with c-Kit siRNA and an endogenous tumor antigen in vitro. Our findings indicate that silencing the c-Kit gene in DCs with siRNA may offer a potential approach to enhance antitumor immunotherapy. PMID:26550451

  20. Targeted inversion of a polar silencer within the HoxD complex re-allocates domains of enhancer sharing.

    PubMed

    Kmita, M; Kondo, T; Duboule, D

    2000-12-01

    Mammalian Hox genes are clustered at four genomic loci. During development, neighbouring genes are coordinately regulated by global enhancer sequences, which control multiple genes at once, as exemplified by the expression of series of contiguous Hoxd genes in either limbs or gut. The link between vertebrate Hox gene transcription and their clustered distribution is poorly understood. Experimental and comparative approaches have revealed that various mechanisms, such as gene clustering or global enhancer sequences, might have constrained this genomic organization and stabilized it throughout evolution. To understand what restricts the effect of a particular enhancer to a precise set of genes, we generated a loxP/Cre-mediated targeted inversion within the HoxD cluster. Mice carrying the inversion showed a reciprocal re-assignment of the limb versus gut regulatory specificities, suggesting the presence of a silencer element with a unidirectional property. This polar silencer appears to limit the number of genes that respond to one type of regulation and thus indicates how separate regulatory domains may be implemented within intricate gene clusters.

  1. Basic concepts of epigenetics

    PubMed Central

    Mazzio, Elizabeth A

    2012-01-01

    Through epigenetic modifications, specific long-term phenotypic consequences can arise from environmental influence on slowly evolving genomic DNA. Heritable epigenetic information regulates nucleosomal arrangement around DNA and determines patterns of gene silencing or active transcription. One of the greatest challenges in the study of epigenetics as it relates to disease is the enormous diversity of proteins, histone modifications and DNA methylation patterns associated with each unique maladaptive phenotype. This is further complicated by a limitless combination of environmental cues that could alter the epigenome of specific cell types, tissues, organs and systems. In addition, complexities arise from the interpretation of studies describing analogous but not identical processes in flies, plants, worms, yeast, ciliated protozoans, tumor cells and mammals. This review integrates fundamental basic concepts of epigenetics with specific focus on how the epigenetic machinery interacts and operates in continuity to silence or activate gene expression. Topics covered include the connection between DNA methylation, methyl-CpG-binding proteins, transcriptional repression complexes, histone residues, histone modifications that mediate gene repression or relaxation, histone core variant stability, H1 histone linker flexibility, FACT complex, nucleosomal remodeling complexes, HP1 and nuclear lamins. PMID:22395460

  2. The doublesex splicing enhancer components Tra2 and Rbp1 also repress splicing through an intronic silencer.

    PubMed

    Qi, Junlin; Su, Shihuang; Mattox, William

    2007-01-01

    The activation of sex-specific alternative splice sites in the Drosophila melanogaster doublesex and fruitless pre-mRNAs has been well studied and depends on the serine-arginine-rich (SR) splicing factors Tra, Tra2, and Rbp1. Little is known, however, about how SR factors negatively regulate splice sites in other RNAs. Here we examine how Tra2 blocks splicing of the M1 intron from its own transcript. We identify an intronic splicing silencer (ISS) adjacent to the M1 branch point that is sufficient to confer Tra2-dependent repression on another RNA. The ISS was found to function independently of its position within the intron, arguing against the idea that bound repressors function by simply interfering with branch point accessibility to general splicing factors. Conserved subelements of the silencer include five short repeated sequences that are required for Tra2 binding but differ from repeated binding sites found in Tra2-dependent splicing enhancers. The ISS also contains a consensus binding site for Rbp1, and this protein was found to facilitate repression of M1 splicing both in vitro and in Drosophila larvae. In contrast to the cooperative binding of SR proteins observed on the doublesex splicing enhancer, we found that Rbp1 and Tra2 bind to the ISS independently through distinct sequences. Our results suggest that functionally synergistic interactions of these SR factors can cause either splicing activation or repression.

  3. Enhanced generation of myeloid lineages in hematopoietic differentiation from embryonic stem cells by silencing transcriptional repressor Twist-2.

    PubMed

    Sharabi, Andrew B; Lee, Sung-Hyung; Goodell, Margaret A; Huang, Xue F; Chen, Si-Yi

    2009-12-01

    The self-renewal and multilineage differentiation of embryonic stem cells (ESC) is largely governed by transcription factors or repressors. Extensive efforts have focused on elucidating critical factors that control the differentiation of specific cell lineages, for instance, myeloid lineages in hematopoietic development. In this study, we found that Twist-2, a basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factor, plays a critical role in inhibiting the differentiation of ESC. Murine ES cells, in which Twist-2 expression is silenced by lentivirally delivered shRNA, exhibit an enhanced formation of primary embryoid bodies (EB) and enhanced differentiation into mesodermally derived hematopoietic colonies. Furthermore, Twist-2 silenced (LV-siTwist-2) ESC display significantly increased generation of myeloid lineages (Gr-1(+) and F4/80(+) cells) during in vitro hematopoietic differentiation. Treatment with the Toll-like receptor (TLR) 4 ligand synergistically stimulates the generation of primary EB formation as well as of hematopoietic progenitors differentiated from LV-siTwist-2 ES cells. Thus, this study reveals the critical role of the transcriptional repressor Twist-2 in regulating the development of myeloid lineage in hematopoietic differentiation from ESC. This study also suggests a potential strategy for directional differentiation of ESC by inhibiting a transcriptional repressor.

  4. RNA Interference of Soybean Isoflavone Synthase Genes Leads to Silencing in Tissues Distal to the Transformation Site and to Enhanced Susceptibility to Phytophthora sojae1

    PubMed Central

    Subramanian, Senthil; Graham, Madge Y.; Yu, Oliver; Graham, Terrence L.

    2005-01-01

    Isoflavones are thought to play diverse roles in plant-microbe interactions and are also potentially important to human nutrition and medicine. Isoflavone synthase (IFS) is a key enzyme for the formation of the isoflavones. Here, we examined the consequences of RNAi silencing of genes for this enzyme in soybean (Glycine max). Soybean cotyledon tissues were transformed with Agrobacterium rhizogenes carrying an RNAi silencing construct designed to silence expression of both copies of IFS genes. Approximately 50% of emerging roots were transformed with the RNAi construct, and most transformed roots exhibited >95% silencing of isoflavone accumulation. Silencing of IFS was also demonstrated throughout the entire cotyledon (in tissues distal to the transformation site) both by high-performance liquid chromatography analysis of isoflavones and by real-time reverse transcription-PCR. This distal silencing led to a nearly complete suppression of mRNA accumulation for both the IFS1 and IFS2 genes and of isoflavone accumulations induced by wounding or treatment with the cell wall glucan elicitor from Phytophthora sojae. Preformed isoflavone conjugates were not reduced in distal tissues, suggesting little turnover of these stored isoflavone pools. Distal silencing was established within just 5 d of transformation and was highly efficient for a 3- to 4-d period, after which it was no longer apparent in most experiments. Silencing of IFS was effective in at least two genotypes and led to enhanced susceptibility to P. sojae, disrupting both R gene-mediated resistance in roots and nonrace-specific resistance in cotyledon tissues. The soybean cotyledon system, already a model system for defense signal-response and cell-to-cell signaling, may provide a convenient and effective system for functional analysis of plant genes through gene silencing. PMID:15778457

  5. EMT and stem cell-like properties associated with miR-205 and miR-200 epigenetic silencing are early manifestations during carcinogen-induced transformation of human lung epithelial cells

    PubMed Central

    Tellez, Carmen S.; Juri, Daniel E.; Do, Kieu; Bernauer, Amanda M.; Thomas, Cindy L.; Damiani, Leah A.; Tessema, Mathewos; Leng, Shuguang; Belinsky, Steven A.

    2011-01-01

    Epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT) is strongly associated with cancer progression, but its potential role during premalignant development has not been studied. Here we show that a four-week exposure of immortalized human bronchial epithelial cells (HBECs) to tobacco carcinogens can induce a persistent, irreversible, and multifaceted dedifferentiation program marked by EMT and the emergence of stem cell-like properties. EMT induction was epigenetically driven, initially by chromatin remodeling through H3K27me3 enrichment and later by ensuing DNA methylation to sustain silencing of tumor suppressive microRNAs miR-200b, miR-200c, and miR-205, which were implicated in the dedifferentiation program in HBECs and also in primary lung tumors. Carcinogen-treated HBECs acquired stem-like features characterized by their ability to form spheroids with branching tubules and enrichment of the CD44high/CD24low, CD133, and ALDH1 stem cell-like markers. miRNA overexpression studies indicated that regulation of the EMT, stem-like, and transformed phenotypes in HBECs were distinct events. Our findings extend present concepts of how EMT participates in cancer pathophysiology by showing that EMT induction can participate in cancer initiation to promote the clonal expansion of premalignant lung epithelial cells. PMID:21363915

  6. Epigenetic drugs can stimulate metastasis through enhanced expression of the pro-metastatic Ezrin gene.

    PubMed

    Yu, Yanlin; Zeng, Pingyao; Xiong, Jingbo; Liu, Ziyang; Berger, Shelley L; Merlino, Glenn

    2010-09-13

    Ezrin has been reported to be upregulated in many tumors and to participate in metastatic progression. No study has addressed epigenetic modification in the regulation of Ezrin gene expression, the importance of which is unknown. Here, we report that highly metastatic rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) cells with high levels of Ezrin have elevated acetyl-H3-K9 and tri-methyl-H3-K4 as well as reduced DNA methylation at the Ezrin gene promoter. Conversely, poorly metastatic RMS cells with low levels of Ezrin have reduced acetyl-H3-K9 and elevated methylation. Thus epigenetic covalent modifications to histones within nucleosomes of the Ezrin gene promoter are linked to Ezrin expression, which in fact can be regulated by epigenetic mechanisms. Notably, treatment with histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors or DNA demethylating agents could restore Ezrin expression and stimulate the metastatic potential of poorly metastatic RMS cells characterized by low Ezrin levels. However, the ability of epigenetic drugs to stimulate metastasis in RMS cells was inhibited by expression of an Ezrin-specific shRNA. Our data demonstrate the potential risk associated with clinical application of broadly acting covalent epigenetic modifiers, and highlight the value of combination therapies that include agents specifically targeting potent pro-metastatic genes.

  7. Epigenetic Drugs Can Stimulate Metastasis through Enhanced Expression of the Pro-Metastatic Ezrin Gene

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Yanlin; Zeng, Pingyao; Xiong, Jingbo; Liu, Ziyang; Berger, Shelley L.; Merlino, Glenn

    2010-01-01

    Ezrin has been reported to be upregulated in many tumors and to participate in metastatic progression. No study has addressed epigenetic modification in the regulation of Ezrin gene expression, the importance of which is unknown. Here, we report that highly metastatic rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) cells with high levels of Ezrin have elevated acetyl-H3-K9 and tri-methyl-H3-K4 as well as reduced DNA methylation at the Ezrin gene promoter. Conversely, poorly metastatic RMS cells with low levels of Ezrin have reduced acetyl-H3-K9 and elevated methylation. Thus epigenetic covalent modifications to histones within nucleosomes of the Ezrin gene promoter are linked to Ezrin expression, which in fact can be regulated by epigenetic mechanisms. Notably, treatment with histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors or DNA demethylating agents could restore Ezrin expression and stimulate the metastatic potential of poorly metastatic RMS cells characterized by low Ezrin levels. However, the ability of epigenetic drugs to stimulate metastasis in RMS cells was inhibited by expression of an Ezrin-specific shRNA. Our data demonstrate the potential risk associated with clinical application of broadly acting covalent epigenetic modifiers, and highlight the value of combination therapies that include agents specifically targeting potent pro-metastatic genes. PMID:20856924

  8. Nanogyroids incorporating multivalent lipids: enhanced membrane charge density and pore forming ability for gene silencing.

    PubMed

    Leal, Cecília; Ewert, Kai K; Shirazi, Rahau S; Bouxsein, Nathan F; Safinya, Cyrus R

    2011-06-21

    The self-assembly of a custom-synthesized pentavalent cationic lipid (MVL5) and glycerol monooleate (GMO) with small interfering RNA (siRNA) results in the formation of a double-gyroid bicontinuous inverted cubic phase with colocalized lipid/siRNA domains as shown by synchrotron X-ray scattering and fluorescence microscopy. The high charge density (due to MVL5) and positive Gaussian modulus of the GMO-containing membranes confer optimal electrostatic and elastic properties for endosomal escape, enabling efficient siRNA delivery and effective, specific gene silencing.

  9. Nanogyroids Incorporating Multivalent Lipids: Enhanced Membrane Charge Density and Pore Forming Ability for Gene Silencing

    PubMed Central

    Leal, Cecília; Ewert, Kai K.; Shirazi, Rahau S.; Bouxsein, Nathan F.; Safinya, Cyrus R.

    2011-01-01

    The self-assembly of a custom-synthesized pentavalent cationic lipid (MVL5) and glycerol monooleate (GMO) with small interfering RNA (siRNA) results in the formation of a double-gyroid bicontinuous inverted cubic phase with co-localized lipid/siRNA domains as shown by synchrotron X-ray scattering and fluorescence microscopy. The high charge density (due to MVL5) and positive Gaussian modulus of the GMO-containing membranes confer optimal electrostatic and elastic properties for endosomal escape, enabling efficient siRNA delivery and effective, specific gene silencing. PMID:21612245

  10. E2F1-induced upregulation of long noncoding RNA LINC00668 predicts a poor prognosis of gastric cancer and promotes cell proliferation through epigenetically silencing of CKIs

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Erbao; Yin, Dandan; Han, Liang; He, Xuezhi; Si, Xinxin; Chen, Wenming; Xia, Rui; Xu, Tongpeng; Gu, Dongying; De, Wei; Guo, Renhua; Xu, Zhi; Chen, Jinfei

    2016-01-01

    Recently, long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) have been shown to have important regulatory roles in human cancer biology. By utilizing publicly available lncRNAs expression profiling data and integrating analyses, we screened out LINC00668, whose expression is significantly increased and correlated with outcomes in gastric cancer (GC). Further experiments revealed that LINC00668 knockdown significantly repressed proliferation, both in vitro and in vivo. Mechanistic investigations showed that LINC00668 was a direct transcriptional target of E2F transcription factor 1 (E2F1). We further demonstrated that LINC00668 was associated with PRC2 and that this association was required for epigenetic repression of cyclin-dependent protein kinase inhibitors (CKIs), including p15, p16, p21, p27 and p57, thus contributing to the regulation of the gastric cancer cell cycle. Our results suggest that E2F1-activated LINC00668, as a cell cycle regulator, enriches the mechanistic link between lncRNA and the E2F1-mediated cell cycle regulation pathway and may serve as a candidate prognostic biomarker and target for new therapies in human gastric cancer. PMID:27036039

  11. EARLY IN SHORT DAYS 7 (ESD7) encodes the catalytic subunit of DNA polymerase epsilon and is required for flowering repression through a mechanism involving epigenetic gene silencing.

    PubMed

    del Olmo, Iván; López-González, Leticia; Martín-Trillo, Maria M; Martínez-Zapater, José M; Piñeiro, Manuel; Jarillo, Jose A

    2010-02-01

    We have characterized a mutation affecting the Arabidopsis EARLY IN SHORT DAYS 7 (ESD7) gene encoding the catalytic subunit of DNA polymerase epsilon (epsilon), AtPOL2a. The esd7-1 mutation causes early flowering independently of photoperiod, shortened inflorescence internodes and altered leaf and root development. esd7-1 is a hypomorphic allele whereas knockout alleles displayed an embryo-lethal phenotype. The esd7 early flowering phenotype requires functional FT and SOC1 proteins and might also be related to the misregulation of AG and AG-like gene expression found in esd7. Genes involved in the modulation of chromatin structural dynamics, such as LHP1/TFL2 and EBS, which negatively regulate FT expression, were found to interact genetically with ESD7. In fact a molecular interaction between the carboxy terminus of ESD7 and TFL2 was demonstrated in vitro. Besides, fas2 mutations suppressed the esd7 early flowering phenotype and ICU2 was found to interact with ESD7. Discrete regions of the chromatin of FT and AG loci were enriched in activating epigenetic marks in the esd7-1 mutant. We concluded that ESD7 might be participating in processes involved in chromatin-mediated cellular memory.

  12. Epigenetic engineering shows that a human centromere resists silencing mediated by H3K27me3/K9me3

    PubMed Central

    Martins, Nuno M. C.; Bergmann, Jan H.; Shono, Nobuaki; Kimura, Hiroshi; Larionov, Vladimir; Masumoto, Hiroshi; Earnshaw, William C.

    2016-01-01

    Centromeres are characterized by the centromere-specific H3 variant CENP-A, which is embedded in chromatin with a pattern characteristic of active transcription that is required for centromere identity. It is unclear how centromeres remain transcriptionally active despite being flanked by repressive pericentric heterochromatin. To further understand centrochromatin’s response to repressive signals, we nucleated a Polycomb-like chromatin state within the centromere of a human artificial chromosome (HAC) by tethering the methyltransferase EZH2. This led to deposition of the H3K27me3 mark and PRC1 repressor binding. Surprisingly, this state did not abolish HAC centromere function or transcription, and this apparent resistance was not observed on a noncentromeric locus, where transcription was silenced. Directly tethering the reader/repressor PRC1 bypassed this resistance, inactivating the centromere. We observed analogous responses when tethering the heterochromatin Editor Suv39h1-methyltransferase domain (centromere resistance) or reader HP1α (centromere inactivation), respectively. Our results reveal that the HAC centromere can resist repressive pathways driven by H3K9me3/H3K27me3 and may help to explain how centromeres are able to resist inactivation by flanking heterochromatin. PMID:26564795

  13. Silencing of CDC20 suppresses metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer growth and enhances chemosensitivity to docetaxel.

    PubMed

    Li, Ke; Mao, Yunhua; Lu, Li; Hu, Cheng; Wang, Dejuan; Si-Tu, Jie; Lu, Minhua; Peng, Shubin; Qiu, Jianguang; Gao, Xin

    2016-10-01

    The role of cell division cycle 20 (CDC20) was investigated in chemoresistance to decetaxel and the underlying mechanisms in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). MTT assays were performed to determine effects of siRNA-mediated CDC20 knockdown on cell proliferation and anticancer activity of docetaxel. Western blot analyses were conducted to detect changes of Akt and Wnt signaling. Furthermore, in vivo growth of PCa was examined in nude mice treated with siCDC20 or docetaxel alone or in combination. CDC20 was overexpressed in mCRPC cells. Knockdown of CDC20 suppressed cell proliferation and enhanced anticancer effect of docetaxel with IC50 reducing from 0.358 to 0.188 µg/ml in PC3 cells and 0.307 to 0.162 µg/ml in DU145 cells (P<0.01). While no change of Akt signaling was observed, inhibition of Wnt/β-catenin signaling was detected upon CDC20 silencing. Xenograft tumor growth was significantly reduced in nude mice by CDC20 inhibition. The additional treatment of siCDC20 achieved better anticancer effects than that of docetaxel alone. Silencing of CDC20 may be a new strategy to improve chemosensitization to docetaxel in mCRPC. PMID:27633058

  14. Trans-silencing by P elements inserted in subtelomeric heterochromatin involves the Drosophila Polycomb group gene, Enhancer of zeste.

    PubMed Central

    Roche, S E; Rio, D C

    1998-01-01

    Drosophila P-element transposition is regulated by a maternally inherited state known as P cytotype. An important aspect of P cytotype is transcriptional repression of the P-element promoter. P cytotype can also repress non-P-element promoters within P-element ends, suggesting that P cytotype repression might involve chromatin-based transcriptional silencing. To learn more about the role of chromatin in P cytotype repression, we have been studying the P strain Lk-P(1A). This strain contains two full-length P elements inserted in the heterochromatic telomere-associated sequences (TAS elements) at cytological location 1A. Mutations in the Polycomb group gene (Pc-G gene), Enhancer of zeste (E(z)), whose protein product binds at 1A, resulted in a loss of Lk-P(1A) cytotype control. E(z) mutations also affected the trans-silencing of heterologous promoters between P-element termini by P-element transgenes inserted in the TAS repeats. These data suggest that pairing interactions between P elements, resulting in exchange of chromatin structures, may be a mechanism for controlling the expression and activity of P elements. PMID:9691041

  15. Retinol and ascorbate drive erasure of epigenetic memory and enhance reprogramming to naïve pluripotency by complementary mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    von Meyenn, Ferdinand; Ravichandran, Mirunalini; Ficz, Gabriella; Oxley, David; Santos, Fátima; Balasubramanian, Shankar; Jurkowski, Tomasz P.; Reik, Wolf

    2016-01-01

    Epigenetic memory, in particular DNA methylation, is established during development in differentiating cells and must be erased to create naïve (induced) pluripotent stem cells. The ten-eleven translocation (TET) enzymes can catalyze the oxidation of 5-methylcytosine (5mC) to 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC) and further oxidized derivatives, thereby actively removing this memory. Nevertheless, the mechanism by which the TET enzymes are regulated, and the extent to which they can be manipulated, are poorly understood. Here we report that retinoic acid (RA) or retinol (vitamin A) and ascorbate (vitamin C) act as modulators of TET levels and activity. RA or retinol enhances 5hmC production in naïve embryonic stem cells by activation of TET2 and TET3 transcription, whereas ascorbate potentiates TET activity and 5hmC production through enhanced Fe2+ recycling, and not as a cofactor as reported previously. We find that both ascorbate and RA or retinol promote the derivation of induced pluripotent stem cells synergistically and enhance the erasure of epigenetic memory. This mechanistic insight has significance for the development of cell treatments for regenenerative medicine, and enhances our understanding of how intrinsic and extrinsic signals shape the epigenome. PMID:27729528

  16. SNAIL1 combines competitive displacement of ASCL2 and epigenetic mechanisms to rapidly silence the EPHB3 tumor suppressor in colorectal cancer.

    PubMed

    Rönsch, Kerstin; Jägle, Sabine; Rose, Katja; Seidl, Maximilian; Baumgartner, Francis; Freihen, Vivien; Yousaf, Afsheen; Metzger, Eric; Lassmann, Silke; Schüle, Roland; Zeiser, Robert; Michoel, Tom; Hecht, Andreas

    2015-02-01

    EPHB3 is a critical cellular guidance factor in the intestinal epithelium and an important tumor suppressor in colorectal cancer (CRC) whose expression is frequently lost at the adenoma-carcinoma transition when tumor cells become invasive. The molecular mechanisms underlying EPHB3 silencing are incompletely understood. Here we show that EPHB3 expression is anti-correlated with inducers of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in primary tumors and CRC cells. In vitro, SNAIL1 and SNAIL2, but not ZEB1, repress EPHB3 reporter constructs and compete with the stem cell factor ASCL2 for binding to an E-box motif. At the endogenous EPHB3 locus, SNAIL1 triggers the displacement of ASCL2, p300 and the Wnt pathway effector TCF7L2 and engages corepressor complexes containing HDACs and the histone demethylase LSD1 to collapse active chromatin structure, resulting in rapid downregulation of EPHB3. Beyond its impact on EPHB3, SNAIL1 deregulates markers of intestinal identity and stemness and in vitro forces CRC cells to undergo EMT with altered morphology, increased motility and invasiveness. In xenotransplants, SNAIL1 expression abrogated tumor cell palisading and led to focal loss of tumor encapsulation and the appearance of areas with tumor cells displaying a migratory phenotype. These changes were accompanied by loss of EPHB3 and CDH1 expression. Intriguingly, SNAIL1-induced phenotypic changes of CRC cells are significantly impaired by sustained EPHB3 expression both in vitro and in vivo. Altogether, our results identify EPHB3 as a novel target of SNAIL1 and suggest that disabling EPHB3 signaling is an important aspect to eliminate a roadblock at the onset of EMT processes.

  17. ZNF300P1 Encodes a lincRNA that regulates cell polarity and is epigenetically silenced in type II epithelial ovarian cancer

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background We previously identified that the CpG island-associated promoter of the novel lincRNA ZNF300P1 (also known as LOC134466) is frequently hypermethylated and silenced in ovarian cancer tissues. However, the function of ZNF300P1 was unknown. In this report we demonstrate that ZNF300P1 is involved in the regulation of key cell cycle and cell motility networks in human ovarian surface epithelial cells, and may play a role in promoting metastasis in ovarian cancer cells. Methods We applied methylated DNA immunoprecipitation on whole genome promoter tiling arrays and Sequenom assays to examine methylation status of ZNF300P1 in multiple ovarian cancer cell lines, as well as in normal ovarian and ovarian tumor tissues. Transcript profiling was used to investigate the effects of ZNF300P1 suppression in ovarian cancer cells. We utilized siRNA knockdown in normal ovarian surface epithelial cells and performed cellular proliferation, migration and adhesion assays to validate and explore the profiling results. Results We demonstrate that ZNF300P1 is methylated in multiple ovarian cancer cell lines. Loss of ZNF300P1 results in decreased cell proliferation and colony formation. In addition, knockdown of the ZNF300P1 transcript results in aberrant and less persistent migration in wound healing assays due to a loss of cellular polarity. Using an ex vivo peritoneal adhesion assay, we also reveal a role for ZNF300P1 in the attachment of ovarian cancer cells to peritoneal membranes, indicating a potential function of ZNF300P1 expression in metastasis of ovarian cancer cells to sites within the peritoneal cavity. Conclusion Our findings further support ZNF300P1 as frequently methylated in ovarian cancer and reveal a novel function for ZNF300P1 lincRNA expression in regulating cell polarity, motility, and adhesion and loss of expression may contribute to the metastatic potential of ovarian cancer cells. PMID:24393131

  18. Radiosensitizing potential of epigenetic anticancer drugs.

    PubMed

    De Schutter, Harlinde; Nuyts, Sandra

    2009-01-01

    Over the last few decades, epigenetic tumor changes characterized by promoter hypermethylation and histone modifications have become a topic of intense research. Of particular interest is the potential reversibility of these processes that has led to the development of epigenetic anticancer drugs such as demethylating agents and histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDAC-I). Besides single agent clinical activity in both hematological and solid malignancies, combinations of both types of epigenetic drugs with classic chemotherapeutics have shown promising results. In addition, as demethylating agents and HDAC-I act synergistically to reverse gene silencing, treatment schedules combining both epigenetic strategies could theoretically enhance tumor response. This assumption has been validated in vitro and in vivo for several hematological and solid cancer types, and awaits further clinical investigation. Nowadays, the majority of patients with cancer are treated with radiotherapy. To optimize the results obtained with this treatment modality, efforts are being put in strategies enhancing tumor response selectively in favor of normal tissue response. The combination of epigenetic drugs with radiotherapy is particularly valuable since a drug- and dose-dependent radiosensitizing potential of several classes of HDAC-I has been proven in vitro and in vivo. The molecular mechanisms underlying this radiosensitization have not been fully clarified yet. In general, higher concentrations of HDAC-I are believed to exert cell cycle redistribution, induction of apoptosis, and downregulation of surviving signals. The radiosensitizing effect of lower, non-toxic doses of HDAC-I has been attributed to, at least in part, acetylation-induced changes leading to altered double strand break (DSB) formation and repair. Although promising so far, further research is needed before HDAC-I administered alone or in combination with demethylating agents will be implemented in the clinic to act as

  19. Epigenetic regulation of spinal cord gene expression contributes to enhanced postoperative pain and analgesic tolerance subsequent to continuous opioid exposure

    PubMed Central

    Liang, De-Yong; Shi, Xiao-You; Sun, Yuan; Clark, J David

    2016-01-01

    Background Opioids have become the mainstay for treatment of moderate to severe pain and are commonly used to treat surgical pain. While opioid administration has been shown to cause opioid-induced hyperalgesia and tolerance, interactions between opioid administration and surgery with respect to these problematic adaptations have scarcely been addressed. Accumulating evidence suggests opioids and nociceptive signaling may converge on epigenetic mechanisms in spinal cord to enhance or prolong neuroplastic changes. Epigenetic regulation of Bdnf (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) and Pdyn (prodynorphin) genes may be involved. Results Four days of ascending doses of morphine treatment caused opioid-induced hyperalgesia and reduced opioid analgesic efficacy in mice. Both opioid-induced hyperalgesia and the reduced opioid analgesic efficacy were enhanced in mice that received hindpaw incisions. The expression of Bdnf and Pdyn (qPCR) was increased after morphine treatment and incision. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays demonstrated that the Pdyn and Bdnf promoters were more strongly associated with acetylated H3K9 after morphine plus incision than in the morphine or incision alone groups. Selective tropomyosin-related kinase B (ANA-12) and κ-opioid receptor (nor-binaltorphimine) antagonists were administered intrathecally, both reduced hyperalgesia one or three days after surgery. Administration of ANA-12 or nor-binaltorphimine attenuated the decreased morphine analgesic efficacy on day 1, but only nor-binaltorphimine was effective on day 3 after incision in opioid-exposed group. Coadministration of histone acetyltransferase inhibitor anacardic acid daily with morphine blocked the development of opioid-induced hyperalgesia and attenuated incision-enhanced hyperalgesia in morphine-treated mice. Anacardic acid had similar effects on analgesic tolerance, showing the involvement of histone acetylation in the interactions detected. Conclusions Spinal epigenetic changes

  20. Epigenetic reprogramming in plant sexual reproduction.

    PubMed

    Kawashima, Tomokazu; Berger, Frédéric

    2014-09-01

    Epigenetic reprogramming consists of global changes in DNA methylation and histone modifications. In mammals, epigenetic reprogramming is primarily associated with sexual reproduction and occurs during both gametogenesis and early embryonic development. Such reprogramming is crucial not only to maintain genomic integrity through silencing transposable elements but also to reset the silenced status of imprinted genes. In plants, observations of stable transgenerational inheritance of epialleles have argued against reprogramming. However, emerging evidence supports that epigenetic reprogramming indeed occurs during sexual reproduction in plants and that it has a major role in maintaining genome integrity and a potential contribution to epiallelic variation.

  1. Paternal care in a fish: epigenetics and fitness enhancing effects on offspring anxiety

    PubMed Central

    McGhee, Katie E.; Bell, Alison M.

    2014-01-01

    In many animals, including humans, interactions with caring parents can have long-lasting effects on offspring sensitivity to stressors. However, whether these parental effects impact offspring fitness in nature is often unclear. In addition, despite evidence that maternal care can influence offspring behaviour via epigenetic alterations to the genome, it remains unclear whether paternal care has similar effects. Here, we show in three-spined sticklebacks, a fish in which fathers are the sole provider of offspring care, that the direct care provided by fathers affects offspring anxiety and the potential for epigenetic alterations to the offspring genome. We find that families are differentially vulnerable to early stress and fathers can compensate for this differential sensitivity with the quality of their care. This variation in paternal care is also linked to the expression in offspring brains of a DNA methyltransferase (Dnmt3a) responsible for de novo methylation. We show that these paternal effects are potentially adaptive and anxious offspring are unlikely to survive an encounter with a predator. By supplying offspring care, fathers reduce offspring anxiety thereby increasing the survival of their offspring—not in the traditional sense through resource provisioning but through an epigenetic effect on offspring behavioural development. PMID:25232132

  2. Human 4E-T represses translation of bound mRNAs and enhances microRNA-mediated silencing

    PubMed Central

    Kamenska, Anastasiia; Lu, Wei-Ting; Kubacka, Dorota; Broomhead, Helen; Minshall, Nicola; Bushell, Martin; Standart, Nancy

    2014-01-01

    A key player in translation initiation is eIF4E, the mRNA 5′ cap-binding protein. 4E-Transporter (4E-T) is a recently characterized eIF4E-binding protein, which regulates specific mRNAs in several developmental model systems. Here, we first investigated the role of its enrichment in P-bodies and eIF4E-binding in translational regulation in mammalian cells. Identification of the conserved C-terminal sequences that target 4E-T to P-bodies was enabled by comparison of vertebrate proteins with homologues in Drosophila (Cup and CG32016) and Caenorhabditis elegans by sequence and cellular distribution. In tether function assays, 4E-T represses bound mRNA translation, in a manner independent of these localization sequences, or of endogenous P-bodies. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction and northern blot analysis verified that bound mRNA remained intact and polyadenylated. Ectopic 4E-T reduces translation globally in a manner dependent on eIF4E binding its consensus Y30X4Lϕ site. In contrast, tethered 4E-T continued to repress translation when eIF4E-binding was prevented by mutagenesis of YX4Lϕ, and modestly enhanced the decay of bound mRNA, compared with wild-type 4E-T, mediated by increased binding of CNOT1/7 deadenylase subunits. As depleting 4E-T from HeLa cells increased steady-state translation, in part due to relief of microRNA-mediated silencing, this work demonstrates the conserved yet unconventional mechanism of 4E-T silencing of particular subsets of mRNAs. PMID:24335285

  3. Epigenetics and epilepsy.

    PubMed

    Roopra, Avtar; Dingledine, Raymond; Hsieh, Jenny

    2012-12-01

    Seizures can give rise to enduring changes that reflect alterations in gene-expression patterns, intracellular and intercellular signaling, and ultimately network alterations that are a hallmark of epilepsy. A growing body of literature suggests that long-term changes in gene transcription associated with epilepsy are mediated via modulation of chromatin structure. One transcription factor in particular, repressor element 1-silencing transcription factor (REST), has received a lot of attention due to the possibility that it may control fundamental transcription patterns that drive circuit excitability, seizures, and epilepsy. REST represses a suite of genes in the nervous system by utilizing nuclear protein complexes that were originally identified as mediators of epigenetic inheritance. Epigenetics has traditionally referred to mechanisms that allow a heritable change in gene expression in the absence of DNA mutation. However a more contemporaneous definition acknowledges that many of the mechanisms used to perpetuate epigenetic traits in dividing cells are utilized by neurons to control activity-dependent gene expression. This review surveys what is currently understood about the role of epigenetic mechanisms in epilepsy. We discuss how REST controls gene expression to affect circuit excitability and neurogenesis in epilepsy. We also discuss how the repressor methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MeCP2) and activator cyclic AMP response element binding protein (CREB) regulate neuronal activity and are themselves controlled by activity. Finally we highlight possible future directions in the field of epigenetics and epilepsy.

  4. Epigenetic regulation in cancer progression

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Cancer is a disease arising from both genetic and epigenetic modifications of DNA that contribute to changes in gene expression in the cell. Genetic modifications include loss or amplification of DNA, loss of heterozygosity (LOH) as well as gene mutations. Epigenetic changes in cancer are generally thought to be brought about by alterations in DNA and histone modifications that lead to the silencing of tumour suppressor genes and the activation of oncogenic genes. Other consequences that result from epigenetic changes, such as inappropriate expression or repression of some genes in the wrong cellular context, can also result in the alteration of control and physiological systems such that a normal cell becomes tumorigenic. Excessive levels of the enzymes that act as epigenetic modifiers have been reported as markers of aggressive breast cancer and are associated with metastatic progression. It is likely that this is a common contributor to the recurrence and spread of the disease. The emphasis on genetic changes, for example in genome-wide association studies and increasingly in whole genome sequencing analyses of tumours, has resulted in the importance of epigenetic changes having less attention until recently. Epigenetic alterations at both the DNA and histone level are increasingly being recognised as playing a role in tumourigenesis. Recent studies have found that distinct subgroups of poor-prognosis tumours lack genetic alterations but are epigenetically deregulated, pointing to the important role that epigenetic modifications and/or their modifiers may play in cancer. In this review, we highlight the multitude of epigenetic changes that can occur and will discuss how deregulation of epigenetic modifiers contributes to cancer progression. We also discuss the off-target effects that epigenetic modifiers may have, notably the effects that histone modifiers have on non-histone proteins that can modulate protein expression and activity, as well as the role of

  5. Alkane-modified low-molecular-weight polyethylenimine with enhanced gene silencing for siRNA delivery.

    PubMed

    Guo, Gaoyang; Zhou, Li; Chen, Zhifei; Chi, Weilin; Yang, Xiuqun; Wang, Wei; Zhang, Biliang

    2013-06-25

    Small interfering RNA (siRNA) has tremendous potential as a therapeutic agent for diverse diseases; however, due to its susceptibility to degradation and poor cellular uptake, the low efficiency of administration has been the most important limiting factor for clinical applications of siRNA. Herein, we synthesized alkyl chain modified low-molecular-weight polyethylenimines (LMW PEIs) and found that hydrophobically modified PEIs displayed enhanced efficiency in siRNA-mediated knockdown of target genes. To elucidate the mechanism for increased delivery, we characterized the polymers' physicochemical properties and bioactivity via nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), gel retardation assay, dynamic laser scattering (DLS) analysis, confocal laser scanning microscopy and flow cytometry. The hydrophobic modification reduced siRNA binding affinity but facilitated the formation of nanoparticles in contrast to the original PEI. The PEIs with eight and thirteen alkyl tails were able to self-assemble into nanoparticles and yielded higher cellular uptake, which leaded to even similar efficiencies of 80-90% knockdown as Lipofectamine™ 2000 control. These results suggested that the status of polymers in aqueous solution, which depended on the degree of hydrophobic modification, played an important role in the uptake of siRNA. Therefore, we provided new information on the role of hydrophobic content in the enhanced gene silencing activity.

  6. Silencing of APE1 enhances sensitivity of human hepatocellular carcinoma cells to radiotherapy in vitro and in a xenograft model.

    PubMed

    Cun, Yanping; Dai, Nan; Xiong, Chengjie; Li, Mengxia; Sui, Jiangdong; Qian, Chengyuan; Li, Zheng; Wang, Dong

    2013-01-01

    Resistance to radiotherapy is a key limitation for the treatment of human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). To overcome this problem, we investigated the correlation between radioresistance and the human apurinic/apyrimidinic endonuclease (APE1), a bifunctional protein, which plays an important role in DNA repair and redox regulation activity of transcription factors. In the present study, we examined the radiosensitivity profiles of three human HCC cell lines, HepG2, Hep3B, and MHCC97L, using the adenoviral vector Ad5/F35-mediated APE1 siRNA (Ad5/F35-siAPE1). The p53 mutant cell lines MHCC97L showed radioresistance, compared with HepG2 and Hep3B cells. APE1 was strongly expressed in MHCC97L cells and was induced by irradiation in a dose-dependent manner, and Ad5/F35-siAPE1 effectively inhibited irradiation-induced APE1 and p53 expression. Moreover, silencing of APE1 significantly potentiated the growth inhibition and apoptosis induction by irradiation in all tested human HCC cell lines. In addition, Ad5/F35-siAPE1 significantly enhanced inhibition of tumor growth and potentiated cell apoptosis by irradiation both in HepG2 and MHCC97L xenografts. In conclusion, down regulation of APE1 could enhance sensitivity of human HCC cells to radiotherapy in vitro and in vivo.

  7. Silent assassin: oncogenic ras directs epigenetic inactivation of target genes.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Xiaodong

    2008-01-01

    Oncogenic transformation is associated with genetic changes and epigenetic alterations. A study now shows that oncogenic Ras uses a complex and elaborate epigenetic silencing program to specifically repress the expression of multiple unrelated cancer-suppressing genes through a common pathway. These results suggest that cancer-related epigenetic modifications may arise through a specific and instructive mechanism and that genetic changes and epigenetic alterations are intimately connected and contribute to tumorigenesis cooperatively. PMID:18385037

  8. Epigenetic activation of a cryptic TBC1D16 transcript enhances melanoma progression by targeting EGFR

    PubMed Central

    Vizoso, Miguel; Ferreira, Humberto J; Lopez-Serra, Paula; Javier Carmona, F; Martínez-Cardús, Anna; Girotti, Maria Romina; Villanueva, Alberto; Guil, Sonia; Moutinho, Catia; Liz, Julia; Portela, Anna; Heyn, Holger; Moran, Sebastian; Vidal, August; Martinez-Iniesta, Maria; Manzano, Jose L; Fernandez-Figueras, Maria Teresa; Elez, Elena; Muñoz-Couselo, Eva; Botella-Estrada, Rafael; Berrocal, Alfonso; Pontén, Fredrik; van den Oord, Joost; Gallagher, William M; Frederick, Dennie T; Flaherty, Keith T; McDermott, Ultan; Lorigan, Paul; Marais, Richard; Esteller, Manel

    2016-01-01

    Metastasis is responsible for most cancer-related deaths, and, among common tumor types, melanoma is one with great potential to metastasize. Here we study the contribution of epigenetic changes to the dissemination process by analyzing the changes that occur at the DNA methylation level between primary cancer cells and metastases. We found a hypomethylation event that reactivates a cryptic transcript of the Rab GTPase activating protein TBC1D16 (TBC1D16-47 kDa; referred to hereafter as TBC1D16-47KD) to be a characteristic feature of the metastatic cascade. This short isoform of TBC1D16 exacerbates melanoma growth and metastasis both in vitro and in vivo. By combining immunoprecipitation and mass spectrometry, we identified RAB5C as a new TBC1D16 target and showed that it regulates EGFR in melanoma cells. We also found that epigenetic reactivation of TBC1D16-47KD is associated with poor clinical outcome in melanoma, while conferring greater sensitivity to BRAF and MEK inhibitors. PMID:26030178

  9. Expression of TET2 enzyme indicates enhanced epigenetic modification of cells in periodontitis.

    PubMed

    Larsson, Lena; Thorbert-Mros, Sara; Lopez-Lago, Aaron; Kalm, Josephine; Shikhan, Asal; Berglundh, Tord

    2016-08-01

    DNA methylation is an important epigenetic mechanism involved in the regulation of gene expression, and a reduction in DNA methylation influences cell-cycle progression and cell differentiation in inflammatory cells. The aim of the present study was to analyze the DNA-methylation pattern at local and global/systemic levels in patients with periodontitis and gingivitis. Twenty-one subjects with generalized, severe periodontitis and 17 subjects with gingival inflammation but no attachment loss were recruited. Gingival biopsies and peripheral blood samples were collected and prepared for immunohistochemical analysis of 5-methylcytosine (5mC), 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC), ten-eleven translocation 2 (TET2), and DNA methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1). Whilst a similar pattern for 5mC and 5hmC DNA methylation was found in both types of lesions, a significantly larger proportion of TET2-positive cells was found in periodontitis lesions than in gingivitis lesions. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis showed no differences between gingivitis and periodontitis lesions regarding expression of TET2 and isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH) genes, while the global level of 5hmC was significantly higher in blood than in tissue in patients with periodontitis. It is suggested that epigenetic changes are more common in periodontitis lesions than in gingivitis lesions and that such changes are tissue specific. PMID:27297088

  10. Epigenetic activation of a cryptic TBC1D16 transcript enhances melanoma progression by targeting EGFR.

    PubMed

    Vizoso, Miguel; Ferreira, Humberto J; Lopez-Serra, Paula; Carmona, F Javier; Martínez-Cardús, Anna; Girotti, Maria Romina; Villanueva, Alberto; Guil, Sonia; Moutinho, Catia; Liz, Julia; Portela, Anna; Heyn, Holger; Moran, Sebastian; Vidal, August; Martinez-Iniesta, Maria; Manzano, Jose L; Fernandez-Figueras, Maria Teresa; Elez, Elena; Muñoz-Couselo, Eva; Botella-Estrada, Rafael; Berrocal, Alfonso; Pontén, Fredrik; Oord, Joost van den; Gallagher, William M; Frederick, Dennie T; Flaherty, Keith T; McDermott, Ultan; Lorigan, Paul; Marais, Richard; Esteller, Manel

    2015-07-01

    Metastasis is responsible for most cancer-related deaths, and, among common tumor types, melanoma is one with great potential to metastasize. Here we study the contribution of epigenetic changes to the dissemination process by analyzing the changes that occur at the DNA methylation level between primary cancer cells and metastases. We found a hypomethylation event that reactivates a cryptic transcript of the Rab GTPase activating protein TBC1D16 (TBC1D16-47 kDa; referred to hereafter as TBC1D16-47KD) to be a characteristic feature of the metastatic cascade. This short isoform of TBC1D16 exacerbates melanoma growth and metastasis both in vitro and in vivo. By combining immunoprecipitation and mass spectrometry, we identified RAB5C as a new TBC1D16 target and showed that it regulates EGFR in melanoma cells. We also found that epigenetic reactivation of TBC1D16-47KD is associated with poor clinical outcome in melanoma, while conferring greater sensitivity to BRAF and MEK inhibitors.

  11. The complexity of epigenetic diseases.

    PubMed

    Brazel, Ailbhe Jane; Vernimmen, Douglas

    2016-01-01

    Over the past 30 years, a plethora of pathogenic mutations affecting enhancer regions and epigenetic regulators have been identified. Coupled with more recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and epigenome-wide association studies (EWAS) implicating major roles for regulatory mutations in disease, it is clear that epigenetic mechanisms represent important biomarkers for disease development and perhaps even therapeutic targets. Here, we discuss the diversity of disease-causing mutations in enhancers and epigenetic regulators, with a particular focus on cancer.

  12. Atypical Teratoid/Rhabdoid Tumors Are Comprised of Three Epigenetic Subgroups with Distinct Enhancer Landscapes.

    PubMed

    Johann, Pascal D; Erkek, Serap; Zapatka, Marc; Kerl, Kornelius; Buchhalter, Ivo; Hovestadt, Volker; Jones, David T W; Sturm, Dominik; Hermann, Carl; Segura Wang, Maia; Korshunov, Andrey; Rhyzova, Marina; Gröbner, Susanne; Brabetz, Sebastian; Chavez, Lukas; Bens, Susanne; Gröschel, Stefan; Kratochwil, Fabian; Wittmann, Andrea; Sieber, Laura; Geörg, Christina; Wolf, Stefan; Beck, Katja; Oyen, Florian; Capper, David; van Sluis, Peter; Volckmann, Richard; Koster, Jan; Versteeg, Rogier; von Deimling, Andreas; Milde, Till; Witt, Olaf; Kulozik, Andreas E; Ebinger, Martin; Shalaby, Tarek; Grotzer, Michael; Sumerauer, David; Zamecnik, Josef; Mora, Jaume; Jabado, Nada; Taylor, Michael D; Huang, Annie; Aronica, Eleonora; Bertoni, Anna; Radlwimmer, Bernhard; Pietsch, Torsten; Schüller, Ulrich; Schneppenheim, Reinhard; Northcott, Paul A; Korbel, Jan O; Siebert, Reiner; Frühwald, Michael C; Lichter, Peter; Eils, Roland; Gajjar, Amar; Hasselblatt, Martin; Pfister, Stefan M; Kool, Marcel

    2016-03-14

    Atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor (ATRT) is one of the most common brain tumors in infants. Although the prognosis of ATRT patients is poor, some patients respond favorably to current treatments, suggesting molecular inter-tumor heterogeneity. To investigate this further, we genetically and epigenetically analyzed 192 ATRTs. Three distinct molecular subgroups of ATRTs, associated with differences in demographics, tumor location, and type of SMARCB1 alterations, were identified. Whole-genome DNA and RNA sequencing found no recurrent mutations in addition to SMARCB1 that would explain the differences between subgroups. Whole-genome bisulfite sequencing and H3K27Ac chromatin-immunoprecipitation sequencing of primary tumors, however, revealed clear differences, leading to the identification of subgroup-specific regulatory networks and potential therapeutic targets. PMID:26923874

  13. Virus-viroid interactions: Citrus Tristeza Virus enhances the accumulation of Citrus Dwarfing Viroid in Mexican lime via virus-encoded silencing suppressors.

    PubMed

    Serra, Pedro; Bani Hashemian, Seyed M; Fagoaga, Carmen; Romero, Juan; Ruiz-Ruiz, Susana; Gorris, Maria T; Bertolini, Edson; Duran-Vila, Núria

    2014-01-01

    An assay to identify interactions between Citrus Dwarfing Viroid (CDVd) and Citrus Tristeza Virus (CTV) showed that viroid titer was enhanced by the coinfecting CTV in Mexican lime but not in etrog citron. Since CTV encodes three RNA silencing suppressors (RSSs), p23, p20 and p25, an assay using transgenic Mexican limes expressing each RSS revealed that p23 and, to a lesser extent, p25 recapitulated the effect observed with coinfections of CTV and CDVd.

  14. Virus-Viroid Interactions: Citrus Tristeza Virus Enhances the Accumulation of Citrus Dwarfing Viroid in Mexican Lime via Virus-Encoded Silencing Suppressors

    PubMed Central

    Serra, Pedro; Bani Hashemian, Seyed M.; Fagoaga, Carmen; Romero, Juan; Ruiz-Ruiz, Susana; Gorris, Maria T.; Bertolini, Edson

    2014-01-01

    An assay to identify interactions between Citrus Dwarfing Viroid (CDVd) and Citrus Tristeza Virus (CTV) showed that viroid titer was enhanced by the coinfecting CTV in Mexican lime but not in etrog citron. Since CTV encodes three RNA silencing suppressors (RSSs), p23, p20 and p25, an assay using transgenic Mexican limes expressing each RSS revealed that p23 and, to a lesser extent, p25 recapitulated the effect observed with coinfections of CTV and CDVd. PMID:24227850

  15. Nucleosome Positioning and Epigenetics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwab, David; Bruinsma, Robijn

    2008-03-01

    The role of chromatin structure in gene regulation has recently taken center stage in the field of epigenetics, phenomena that change the phenotype without changing the DNA sequence. Recent work has also shown that nucleosomes, a complex of DNA wrapped around a histone octamer, experience a sequence dependent energy landscape due to the variation in DNA bend stiffness with sequence composition. In this talk, we consider the role nucleosome positioning might play in the formation of heterochromatin, a compact form of DNA generically responsible for gene silencing. In particular, we discuss how different patterns of nucleosome positions, periodic or random, could either facilitate or suppress heterochromatin stability and formation.

  16. Novel RNA Duplex Locks HIV-1 in a Latent State via Chromatin-mediated Transcriptional Silencing

    PubMed Central

    Ahlenstiel, Chantelle; Mendez, Catalina; Lim, Steven T H; Marks, Katherine; Turville, Stuart; Cooper, David A; Kelleher, Anthony D; Suzuki, Kazuo

    2015-01-01

    Transcriptional gene silencing (TGS) of mammalian genes can be induced by short interfering RNA (siRNA) targeting promoter regions. We previously reported potent TGS of HIV-1 by siRNA (PromA), which targets tandem NF-κB motifs within the viral 5′LTR. In this study, we screened a siRNA panel with the aim of identifying novel 5′LTR targets, to provide multiplexing potential with enhanced viral silencing and application toward developing alternate therapeutic strategies. Systematic examination identified a novel siRNA target, si143, confirmed to induce TGS as the silencing mechanism. TGS was prolonged with virus suppression >12 days, despite a limited ability to induce post- TGS. Epigenetic changes associated with silencing were suggested by partial reversal by histone deacetylase inhibitors and confirmed by chromatin immunoprecipitation analyses, which showed induction of H3K27me3 and H3K9me3, reduction in H3K9Ac, and recruitment of argonaute-1, all characteristic marks of heterochromatin and TGS. Together, these epigenetic changes mimic those associated with HIV-1 latency. Further, robust resistance to reactivation was observed in the J-Lat 9.2 cell latency model, when transduced with shPromA and/or sh143. These data support si/shRNA-mediated TGS approaches to HIV-1 and provide alternate targets to pursue a functional cure, whereby the viral reservoir is locked in latency following antiretroviral therapy cessation. PMID:26506039

  17. A two-step process for epigenetic inheritance in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Blevins, Todd; Pontvianne, Frédéric; Cocklin, Ross; Podicheti, Ram; Chandrasekhara, Chinmayi; Yerneni, Satwica; Braun, Chris; Lee, Brandon; Rusch, Doug; Mockaitis, Keithanne; Tang, Haixu; Pikaard, Craig S

    2014-04-10

    In Arabidopsis, multisubunit RNA polymerases IV and V orchestrate RNA-directed DNA methylation (RdDM) and transcriptional silencing, but what identifies the loci to be silenced is unclear. We show that heritable silent locus identity at a specific subset of RdDM targets requires HISTONE DEACETYLASE 6 (HDA6) acting upstream of Pol IV recruitment and siRNA biogenesis. At these loci, epigenetic memory conferring silent locus identity is erased in hda6 mutants such that restoration of HDA6 activity cannot restore siRNA biogenesis or silencing. Silent locus identity is similarly lost in mutants for the cytosine maintenance methyltransferase, MET1. By contrast, pol IV or pol V mutants disrupt silencing without erasing silent locus identity, allowing restoration of Pol IV or Pol V function to restore silencing. Collectively, these observations indicate that silent locus specification and silencing are separable steps that together account for epigenetic inheritance of the silenced state.

  18. Epigenetic dysregulation of hairy and enhancer of split 4 (HES4) is associated with striatal degeneration in postmortem Huntington brains

    PubMed Central

    Bai, Guang; Cheung, Iris; Shulha, Hennady P.; Coelho, Joana E.; Li, Ping; Dong, Xianjun; Jakovcevski, Mira; Wang, Yumei; Grigorenko, Anastasia; Jiang, Yan; Hoss, Andrew; Patel, Krupal; Zheng, Ming; Rogaev, Evgeny; Myers, Richard H.; Weng, Zhiping; Akbarian, Schahram; Chen, Jiang-Fan

    2015-01-01

    To investigate epigenetic contributions to Huntington's disease (HD) pathogenesis, we carried out genome-wide mapping of the transcriptional mark, trimethyl-histone H3-lysine 4 (H3K4me3) in neuronal nuclei extracted from prefrontal cortex of HD cases and controls using chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by deep-sequencing. Neuron-specific mapping of the genome-wide distribution of H3K4me3 revealed 136 differentially enriched loci associated with genes implicated in neuronal development and neurodegeneration, including GPR3, TMEM106B, PDIA6 and the Notch signaling genes hairy and enhancer of split 4 (HES4) and JAGGED2, supporting the view that the neuronal epigenome is affected in HD. Importantly, loss of H3K4me3 at CpG-rich sequences on the HES4 promoter was associated with excessive DNA methylation, reduced binding of nuclear proteins to the methylated region and altered expression of HES4 and HES4 targeted genes MASH1 and P21 involved in striatal development. Moreover, hypermethylation of HES4 promoter sequences was strikingly correlated with measures of striatal degeneration and age-of-onset in a cohort of 25 HD brains (r = 0.56, P = 0.006). Lastly, shRNA knockdown of HES4 in human neuroblastoma cells altered MASH1 and P21 mRNA expression and markedly increased mutated HTT-induced aggregates and cell death. These findings, taken together, suggest that epigenetic dysregulation of HES4 could play a critical role in modifying HD disease pathogenesis and severity. PMID:25480889

  19. Epigenetic dysregulation of hairy and enhancer of split 4 (HES4) is associated with striatal degeneration in postmortem Huntington brains.

    PubMed

    Bai, Guang; Cheung, Iris; Shulha, Hennady P; Coelho, Joana E; Li, Ping; Dong, Xianjun; Jakovcevski, Mira; Wang, Yumei; Grigorenko, Anastasia; Jiang, Yan; Hoss, Andrew; Patel, Krupal; Zheng, Ming; Rogaev, Evgeny; Myers, Richard H; Weng, Zhiping; Akbarian, Schahram; Chen, Jiang-Fan

    2015-03-01

    To investigate epigenetic contributions to Huntington's disease (HD) pathogenesis, we carried out genome-wide mapping of the transcriptional mark, trimethyl-histone H3-lysine 4 (H3K4me3) in neuronal nuclei extracted from prefrontal cortex of HD cases and controls using chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by deep-sequencing. Neuron-specific mapping of the genome-wide distribution of H3K4me3 revealed 136 differentially enriched loci associated with genes implicated in neuronal development and neurodegeneration, including GPR3, TMEM106B, PDIA6 and the Notch signaling genes hairy and enhancer of split 4 (HES4) and JAGGED2, supporting the view that the neuronal epigenome is affected in HD. Importantly, loss of H3K4me3 at CpG-rich sequences on the HES4 promoter was associated with excessive DNA methylation, reduced binding of nuclear proteins to the methylated region and altered expression of HES4 and HES4 targeted genes MASH1 and P21 involved in striatal development. Moreover, hypermethylation of HES4 promoter sequences was strikingly correlated with measures of striatal degeneration and age-of-onset in a cohort of 25 HD brains (r = 0.56, P = 0.006). Lastly, shRNA knockdown of HES4 in human neuroblastoma cells altered MASH1 and P21 mRNA expression and markedly increased mutated HTT-induced aggregates and cell death. These findings, taken together, suggest that epigenetic dysregulation of HES4 could play a critical role in modifying HD disease pathogenesis and severity.

  20. Epigenetics and Nutritional Environmental Signals

    PubMed Central

    Mazzio, Elizabeth A.; Soliman, Karam F. A.

    2014-01-01

    All terrestrial life is influenced by multi-directional flows of information about its environment, enabling malleable phenotypic change through signals, chemical processes, or various forms of energy that facilitate acclimatization. Billions of biological co-inhabitants of the earth, including all plants and animals, collectively make up a genetic/epigenetic ecosystem by which adaptation/survival (inputs and outputs) are highly interdependent on one another. As an ecosystem, the solar system, rotation of the planets, changes in sunlight, and gravitational pull influence cyclic epigenetic transitions and chromatin remodeling that constitute biological circadian rhythms controlling senescence. In humans, adverse environmental conditions such as poverty, stress, alcohol, malnutrition, exposure to pollutants generated from industrialization, man-made chemicals, and use of synthetic drugs can lead to maladaptive epigenetic-related illnesses with disease-specific genes being atypically activated or silenced. Nutrition and dietary practices are one of the largest facets in epigenetic-related metabolism, where specific “epi-nutrients” can stabilize the genome, given established roles in DNA methylation, histone modification, and chromatin remodeling. Moreover, food-based “epi-bioactive” constituents may reverse maladaptive epigenetic patterns, not only prior to conception and during fetal/early postnatal development but also through adulthood. In summary, in contrast to a static genomic DNA structure, epigenetic changes are potentially reversible, raising the hope for therapeutic and/or dietary interventions that can reverse deleterious epigenetic programing as a means to prevent or treat major illnesses. PMID:24861811

  1. Epigenetics and nutritional environmental signals.

    PubMed

    Mazzio, Elizabeth A; Soliman, Karam F A

    2014-07-01

    All terrestrial life is influenced by multi-directional flows of information about its environment, enabling malleable phenotypic change through signals, chemical processes, or various forms of energy that facilitate acclimatization. Billions of biological co-inhabitants of the earth, including all plants and animals, collectively make up a genetic/epigenetic ecosystem by which adaptation/survival (inputs and outputs) are highly interdependent on one another. As an ecosystem, the solar system, rotation of the planets, changes in sunlight, and gravitational pull influence cyclic epigenetic transitions and chromatin remodeling that constitute biological circadian rhythms controlling senescence. In humans, adverse environmental conditions such as poverty, stress, alcohol, malnutrition, exposure to pollutants generated from industrialization, man-made chemicals, and use of synthetic drugs can lead to maladaptive epigenetic-related illnesses with disease-specific genes being atypically activated or silenced. Nutrition and dietary practices are one of the largest facets in epigenetic-related metabolism, where specific "epi-nutrients" can stabilize the genome, given established roles in DNA methylation, histone modification, and chromatin remodeling. Moreover, food-based "epi-bioactive" constituents may reverse maladaptive epigenetic patterns, not only prior to conception and during fetal/early postnatal development but also through adulthood. In summary, in contrast to a static genomic DNA structure, epigenetic changes are potentially reversible, raising the hope for therapeutic and/or dietary interventions that can reverse deleterious epigenetic programing as a means to prevent or treat major illnesses. PMID:24861811

  2. Enhanced resistance to soybean cyst nematode Heterodera glycines in transgenic soybean by silencing putative CLE receptors.

    PubMed

    Guo, Xiaoli; Chronis, Demosthenis; De La Torre, Carola M; Smeda, John; Wang, Xiaohong; Mitchum, Melissa G

    2015-08-01

    CLE peptides are small extracellular proteins important in regulating plant meristematic activity through the CLE-receptor kinase-WOX signalling module. Stem cell pools in the SAM (shoot apical meristem), RAM (root apical meristem) and vascular cambium are controlled by CLE signalling pathways. Interestingly, plant-parasitic cyst nematodes secrete CLE-like effector proteins, which act as ligand mimics of plant CLE peptides and are required for successful parasitism. Recently, we demonstrated that Arabidopsis CLE receptors CLAVATA1 (CLV1), the CLAVATA2 (CLV2)/CORYNE (CRN) heterodimer receptor complex and RECEPTOR-LIKE PROTEIN KINASE 2 (RPK2), which transmit the CLV3 signal in the SAM, are required for perception of beet cyst nematode Heterodera schachtii CLEs. Reduction in nematode infection was observed in clv1, clv2, crn, rpk2 and combined double and triple mutants. In an effort to develop nematode resistance in an agriculturally important crop, orthologues of Arabidopsis receptors including CLV1, CLV2, CRN and RPK2 were identified from soybean, a host for the soybean cyst nematode Heterodera glycines. For each of the receptors, there are at least two paralogues in the soybean genome. Localization studies showed that most receptors are expressed in the root, but vary in their level of expression and spatial expression patterns. Expression in nematode-induced feeding cells was also confirmed. In vitro direct binding of the soybean receptors with the HgCLE peptide was analysed. Knock-down of the receptors in soybean hairy roots showed enhanced resistance to SCN. Our findings suggest that targeted disruption of nematode CLE signalling may be a potential means to engineer nematode resistance in crop plants.

  3. Transcriptional and epigenetic mechanisms underlying enhanced in vitro adipocyte differentiation by the brominated flame retardant BDE-47.

    PubMed

    Kamstra, Jorke H; Hruba, Eva; Blumberg, Bruce; Janesick, Amanda; Mandrup, Susanne; Hamers, Timo; Legler, Juliette

    2014-04-01

    Recent studies suggest that exposure to endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs) may play a role in the development of obesity. EDCs such as the flame retardant 2,2',4,4'-tetrabrominated diphenyl ether (BDE-47) have been shown to enhance adipocyte differentiation in the murine 3T3-L1 model. The mechanisms by which EDCs direct preadipocytes to form adipocytes are poorly understood. Here, we examined transcriptional and epigenetic mechanisms underlying the induction of in vitro adipocyte differentiation by BDE-47. Quantitative high content microscopy revealed concentration-dependent enhanced adipocyte differentiation following exposure to BDE-47 or the antidiabetic drug troglitazone (TROG). BDE-47 modestly activated the key adipogenic transcription factor peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) in COS7 cells, transiently transfected with a GAL4 reporter construct. Increased gene expression was observed for Pparγ2, leptin (Lep), and glucose-6-phophatase catalytic subunit (G6pc) in differentiated 3T3-L1 cells after BDE-47 exposure compared to TROG. Methylation-sensitive high resolution melting (MS-HRM) revealed significant demethylation of three CpG sites in the Pparγ2 promoter after exposure to both BDE-47 and TROG in differentiated 3T3-L1 cells. This study shows the potential of BDE-47 to induce adipocyte differentiation through various mechanisms that include Pparγ2 gene induction and promoter demethylation accompanied by activation of PPARγ, and possible disruption of glucose homeostasis and IGF1 signaling. PMID:24559133

  4. Bypassing the Requirements for Epigenetic Modifications in Gene Transcription by Increasing Enhancer Strength▿

    PubMed Central

    Koutroubas, George; Merika, Menie; Thanos, Dimitris

    2008-01-01

    Our current concept postulates that histone acetylation is required for the recruitment of bromodomain-containing transcription complexes, such as the chromatin-remodeling machine SWI/SNF and the basal transcription factor TFIID. We generated simple NF-κB-dependent enhancers of increasing transcriptional strengths and found that the histone acetylation requirements for activation of transcription depended on the strengths of these enhancers. All enhancers function by recruiting SWI/SNF and TFIID to induce nucleosome sliding, a prerequisite for transcriptional activation. However, histone acetylation, although it occurs, is dispensable for TFIID and SWI/SNF recruitment by the strong enhancers, indicating that strong activators can overcome the chromatin barrier by directly recruiting the necessary transcriptional complexes. Weak enhancers depend on histone acetylation for recruitment, and this requirement is independent of a histone acetylation code. Thus, the need for nucleosome modifications is imposed on genes and translated according to the quality and strengths of the activators. PMID:18025106

  5. Nutritional epigenetics

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This chapter is intended to provide a timely overview of the current state of research at the intersection of nutrition and epigenetics. I begin by describing epigenetics and molecular mechanisms of eigenetic regulation, then highlight four classes of nutritional exposures currently being investiga...

  6. Epigenetics across the human lifespan

    PubMed Central

    Kanherkar, Riya R.; Bhatia-Dey, Naina; Csoka, Antonei B.

    2014-01-01

    Epigenetics has the potential to explain various biological phenomena that have heretofore defied complete explication. This review describes the various types of endogenous human developmental milestones such as birth, puberty, and menopause, as well as the diverse exogenous environmental factors that influence human health, in a chronological epigenetic context. We describe the entire course of human life from periconception to death and chronologically note all of the potential internal timepoints and external factors that influence the human epigenome. Ultimately, the environment presents these various factors to the individual that influence the epigenome, and the unique epigenetic and genetic profile of each individual also modulates the specific response to these factors. During the course of human life, we are exposed to an environment that abounds with a potent and dynamic milieu capable of triggering chemical changes that activate or silence genes. There is constant interaction between the external and internal environments that is required for normal development and health maintenance as well as for influencing disease load and resistance. For example, exposure to pharmaceutical and toxic chemicals, diet, stress, exercise, and other environmental factors are capable of eliciting positive or negative epigenetic modifications with lasting effects on development, metabolism and health. These can impact the body so profoundly as to permanently alter the epigenetic profile of an individual. We also present a comprehensive new hypothesis of how these diverse environmental factors cause both direct and indirect epigenetic changes and how this knowledge can ultimately be used to improve personalized medicine. PMID:25364756

  7. B7-H3 silencing by RNAi inhibits tumor progression and enhances chemosensitivity in U937 cells

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Wei; Wang, Jing; Wang, Yanfang; Dong, Fei; Zhu, Mingxia; Wan, Wenli; Li, Haishen; Wu, Feifei; Yan, Xinxing; Ke, Xiaoyan

    2015-01-01

    Background The role of B7-H3 in acute monocytic leukemia U937 cells has not been thoroughly investigated. Materials and methods B7-H3 knockdown in the U937 cell line was performed using small hairpin (sh)RNA lentivirus transduction. The effects on cell proliferation, cycle, migration, and invasion were investigated by Cell Counting Kit-8 assay, methyl cellulose colony-forming assay, propidium iodide staining, and Transwell assays in vitro. Changes in cell growth inhibition and apoptosis, when combined with chemotherapy drugs, were determined using the Cell Counting Kit-8 and Annexin V-FITC/PI assays. U937 xenograft models were used to assess the effects of B7-H3 on tumorigenicity and the therapeutic effect of B7-H3 knockdown in combination with chemotherapy drugs in vivo. Results Downregulation of B7-H3 significantly decreased U937 cell growth and colony-forming ability. The mean inhibition rate of tumor growth with B7-H3 knockdown was 59.4%, and the expression of both Ki-67 and PCNA in xenografts was significantly reduced. After B7-H3 silencing, the U937 cell cycle was arrested at the G0/G1 phase. The cell migration rate of B7-H3 knockdown cells was reduced more than fivefold, and invasion capacity decreased by 86.7%. B7-H3 RNAi profoundly increased the antitumor effect of chemotherapy in vitro and in vivo. On day 19, inhibition rates of tumor growth in B7-H3 shRNA combined with idarubicin, cytarabine, and idarubicin plus cytarabine were 70.5%, 80.0%, and 90.0%, respectively (P=0.006, P=0.004, and P=0.016, respectively). Conclusion B7-H3 may promote U937 cell progression, and shRNA targeting B7-H3 significantly enhances sensitivity to chemotherapeutic drugs. These results may provide new insight into the function of B7-H3 and a promising therapeutic approach targeting B7-H3 in acute monocytic leukemia. PMID:26203263

  8. Silencing MRP1-4 genes by RNA interference enhances sensitivity of human hepatoma cells to chemotherapy

    PubMed Central

    Su, Zheng; Liu, Gaojie; Fang, Tingfeng; Wang, Yang; Zhang, Huayao; Yang, Shanglin; Wei, Jinxing; Lv, Zejian; Tan, Langping; Liu, Jianping

    2016-01-01

    Aim: Besides surgical treatment, systematic chemotherapy plays a crucial role in HCC treatment, especially for patients with advanced HCC. However, none of the single-drug-treatment strategies have shown significant survival benefit due to a high incidence rate of chemoresistance. This study was designed to observe the effect of small interfering of RNA (SiRNA) targeting multidrug resistance-related protein 1-4 (MRP1, MRP2, MRP3, and MRP4) in modulating drug resistance of HepG2/ADM and SMMC7721/ADM cells. Methods: HepG2/Adriamycin (ADM) and SMMC7721/ADM cell lines were developed by exposing parental cells to stepwise increasing concentrations of ADM. MTT assay was used to determine drug sensitivity and half inhibitory concentration (IC50) of drugs was calculated. Flow cytometry was employed to analyze cell cycle distribution. MRP1-4 mRNA expression levels were measured by quantitative real-time PCR (QRT-PCR). Expression of proteins was analyzed by Western blot. The growth curve was draw and the cell apoptosis was also observed. Animal experiment was used to compare the cell growth. Results: MTT assay showed that the values of IC50 and RI of HepG2/ADM and SMMC7721/ADM decreased after siRNA treatment in HepG2/ADM cells and SMMC7721/ADM cells. QRT-PCR analysis demonstrated the MRP1-4 mRNA expression decreased significantly in HepG2/ADM cells and SMMC7721/ADM cells after siRNA transfection. In addition, compared with parental cells, MRP1-4 protein expressions apparently decreased in SMMC7721/ADM and HepG2/ADM cells. Flow cytometry showed significantly elevated apoptosis rate following MRP1-4 siRNA transfection. Animal experiment suggested that silencing MRP1-4 gene in vivo inhibited tumor growth. Conclusion: Inhibition of MRP1-4 by small interfering RNA enhanced and selectively restored sensitivity of hepatoma cells to drugs. MRP1-4 siRNA might represent a new therapeutic option for HCC. PMID:27398162

  9. The presence of tomato leaf curl Kerala virus AC3 protein enhances viral DNA replication and modulates virus induced gene-silencing mechanism in tomato plants

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Geminiviruses encode few viral proteins. Most of the geminiviral proteins are multifunctional and influence various host cellular processes for the successful viral infection. Though few viral proteins like AC1 and AC2 are well characterized for their multiple functions, role of AC3 in the successful viral infection has not been investigated in detail. Results We performed phage display analysis with the purified recombinant AC3 protein with Maltose Binding Protein as fusion tag (MBP-AC3). Putative AC3 interacting peptides identified through phage display were observed to be homologous to peptides of proteins from various metabolisms. We grouped these putative AC3 interacting peptides according to the known metabolic function of the homologous peptide containing proteins. In order to check if AC3 influences any of these particular metabolic pathways, we designed vectors for assaying DNA replication and virus induced gene-silencing of host gene PCNA. Investigation with these vectors indicated that AC3 enhances viral replication in the host plant tomato. In the PCNA gene-silencing experiment, we observed that the presence of functional AC3 ORF strongly manifested the stunted phenotype associated with the virus induced gene-silencing of PCNA in tomato plants. Conclusions Through the phage display analysis proteins from various metabolic pathways were identified as putative AC3 interacting proteins. By utilizing the vectors developed, we could analyze the role of AC3 in viral DNA replication and host gene-silencing. Our studies indicate that AC3 is also a multifunctional protein. PMID:21496351

  10. [Epigenetics, environment and asthma].

    PubMed

    Rico-Rosillo, Guadalupe; Vega-Robledo, Gloria Bertha; Silva-García, Raúl; Oliva-Rico, Diego

    2014-01-01

    Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the respiratory tract with a complex genetic background influenced by the exposition to a series of environmental factors. Genetic studies can only elucidate part of the heritability and susceptibility of asthma and even though several diseases have an evident genetic etiology, only a fraction of the genes involved in their pathogenicity have been identified. The epigenetic regulation of the latter is a fact one should bear in mind in order to explain the major triggers of diseases whose understanding is complicated, such as allergies and asthma. External stimulus such as nourishment, stress, physical activity, atmospheric pollution, tobacco smoking and alcohol drinking can induce either gene silencing or gene expression. In this regard, epigenetics can explain how these environmental factors influence our genetic inheritance. There is growing evidence that backs-up the fact that DNA methylation, histone post-translational modification and microRNA expression are influenced by the environment. This helps explaining how several of the risk factors mentioned contribute to the development and inheritance of asthma. In this review, different environmental factors and their relation with the main epigenetic regulatory mechanisms will be analyzed, as well as their possible role in the development of asthma.

  11. [Epigenetics, environment and asthma].

    PubMed

    Rico-Rosillo, Guadalupe; Vega-Robledo, Gloria Bertha; Silva-García, Raúl; Oliva-Rico, Diego

    2014-01-01

    Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the respiratory tract with a complex genetic background influenced by the exposition to a series of environmental factors. Genetic studies can only elucidate part of the heritability and susceptibility of asthma and even though several diseases have an evident genetic etiology, only a fraction of the genes involved in their pathogenicity have been identified. The epigenetic regulation of the latter is a fact one should bear in mind in order to explain the major triggers of diseases whose understanding is complicated, such as allergies and asthma. External stimulus such as nourishment, stress, physical activity, atmospheric pollution, tobacco smoking and alcohol drinking can induce either gene silencing or gene expression. In this regard, epigenetics can explain how these environmental factors influence our genetic inheritance. There is growing evidence that backs-up the fact that DNA methylation, histone post-translational modification and microRNA expression are influenced by the environment. This helps explaining how several of the risk factors mentioned contribute to the development and inheritance of asthma. In this review, different environmental factors and their relation with the main epigenetic regulatory mechanisms will be analyzed, as well as their possible role in the development of asthma. PMID:24915622

  12. Age-specific functional epigenetic changes in p21 and p16 in injury-activated satellite cells.

    PubMed

    Li, Ju; Han, Suhyoun; Cousin, Wendy; Conboy, Irina M

    2015-03-01

    The regenerative capacity of muscle dramatically decreases with age because old muscle stem cells fail to proliferate in response to tissue damage. Here, we uncover key age-specific differences underlying this proliferative decline: namely, the genetic loci of cyclin/cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitors (CDKIs) p21 and p16 are more epigenetically silenced in young muscle stem cells, as compared to old, both in quiescent cells and those responding to tissue injury. Interestingly, phosphorylated ERK (pERK) induced in these cells by ectopic FGF2 is found in association with p21 and p16 promoters, and moreover, only in the old cells. Importantly, in the old satellite cells, FGF2/pERK silences p21 epigenetically and transcriptionally, which leads to reduced p21 protein levels and enhanced cell proliferation. In agreement with the epigenetic silencing of the loci, young muscle stem cells do not depend as much as old on ectopic FGF/pERK for their myogenic proliferation. In addition, other CDKIs, such asp15(INK4B) and p27(KIP1) , become elevated in satellite cells with age, confirming and explaining the profound regenerative defect of old muscle. This work enhances our understanding of tissue aging, promoting strategies for combating age-imposed tissue degeneration.

  13. Transcriptional and Epigenetic Mechanisms Underlying Enhanced in Vitro Adipocyte Differentiation by the Brominated Flame Retardant BDE-47

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Recent studies suggest that exposure to endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs) may play a role in the development of obesity. EDCs such as the flame retardant 2,2′,4,4′-tetrabrominated diphenyl ether (BDE-47) have been shown to enhance adipocyte differentiation in the murine 3T3-L1 model. The mechanisms by which EDCs direct preadipocytes to form adipocytes are poorly understood. Here, we examined transcriptional and epigenetic mechanisms underlying the induction of in vitro adipocyte differentiation by BDE-47. Quantitative high content microscopy revealed concentration-dependent enhanced adipocyte differentiation following exposure to BDE-47 or the antidiabetic drug troglitazone (TROG). BDE-47 modestly activated the key adipogenic transcription factor peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) in COS7 cells, transiently transfected with a GAL4 reporter construct. Increased gene expression was observed for Pparγ2, leptin (Lep), and glucose-6-phophatase catalytic subunit (G6pc) in differentiated 3T3-L1 cells after BDE-47 exposure compared to TROG. Methylation-sensitive high resolution melting (MS-HRM) revealed significant demethylation of three CpG sites in the Pparγ2 promoter after exposure to both BDE-47 and TROG in differentiated 3T3-L1 cells. This study shows the potential of BDE-47 to induce adipocyte differentiation through various mechanisms that include Pparγ2 gene induction and promoter demethylation accompanied by activation of PPARγ, and possible disruption of glucose homeostasis and IGF1 signaling. PMID:24559133

  14. Epigenetic rejuvenation.

    PubMed

    Manukyan, Maria; Singh, Prim B

    2012-05-01

    Induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells have provided a rational means of obtaining histo-compatible tissues for 'patient-specific' regenerative therapies (Hanna et al. 2010; Yamanaka & Blau 2010). Despite the obvious potential of iPS cell-based therapies, there are certain problems that must be overcome before these therapies can become safe and routine (Ohi et al. 2011; Pera 2011). As an alternative, we have recently explored the possibility of using 'epigenetic rejuvenation', where the specialized functions of an old cell are rejuvenated in the absence of any change in its differentiated state (Singh & Zacouto 2010). The mechanism(s) that underpin 'epigenetic rejuvenation' are unknown and here we discuss model systems, using key epigenetic modifiers, which might shed light on the processes involved. Epigenetic rejuvenation has advantages over iPS cell techniques that are currently being pursued. First, the genetic and epigenetic abnormalities that arise through the cycle of dedifferentiation of somatic cells to iPS cells followed by redifferentiation of iPS cells into the desired cell type are avoided (Gore et al. 2011; Hussein et al. 2011; Pera 2011): epigenetic rejuvenation does not require passage through the de-/redifferentiation cycle. Second, because the aim of epigenetic rejuvenation is to ensure that the differentiated cell type retains its specialized function it makes redundant the question of transcriptional memory that is inimical to iPS cell-based therapies (Ohi et al. 2011). Third, to produce unrelated cell types using the iPS technology takes a long time, around three weeks, whereas epigenetic rejuvenation of old cells will take only a matter of days. Epigenetic rejuvenation provides the most safe, rapid and cheap route to successful regenerative medicine. PMID:22487104

  15. Benzyl butyl phthalate induces epigenetic stress to enhance adipogenesis in mesenchymal stem cells.

    PubMed

    Sonkar, Ravi; Powell, Catherine A; Choudhury, Mahua

    2016-08-15

    Endocrine disruptors, phthalates, may have contributed to recent global obesity health crisis. Our study investigated the potential of benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP) to regulate the mesenchymal stem cell epigenome to drive adipogenesis. BBP exposure enhanced lipid accumulation and adipogenesis in a dose-dependent manner compared to control (P < 0.001). Adipogenesis markers, PPARγ (P < 0.001), C/EBPα (P < 0.01), and aP2 (P < 0.001) were significantly upregulated by increasing concentrations of BBP when compared to DMSO. BBP enhanced H3K9 acetylation while decreasing H3K9 dimethylation. Fifty μM BBP increased histone acetyltransferases, p300 (P < 0.05) and GCN5 (P < 0.01) gene expression. Furthermore, histone deacetylases (HDACs), HDAC3 (P < 0.01) and HDAC10 (P < 0.01, 10 μM BBP; P < 0.001, 50 μM BBP) and histone methyltransferases, SETDB1 (P < 0.01) and G9a (P < 0.01), were significantly downregulated by BBP exposure. BBP acts, in part, through PPARγ, as PPARγ knockdown led to decreased H3K9ac and rescued H3K9me2 during BBP exposure. In conclusion, BBP regulated MSCs towards adipogenesis by tipping the epigenomic balance. PMID:27164441

  16. The use of pH-sensitive functional selenium nanoparticles shows enhanced in vivo VEGF-siRNA silencing and fluorescence imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Qianqian; Liu, Yanan; Cao, Chengwen; Le, Fangling; Qin, Xiuying; Sun, Dongdong; Liu, Jie

    2014-07-01

    The utility of small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) has shown great promise in treating a variety of diseases including many types of cancer. While their ability to silence a wide range of target genes underlies their effectiveness, the application of therapies remains hindered by a lack of an effective delivery system. In this study, we sought to develop an siRNA-delivery system for VEGF, a known signaling molecule involved in cancer, that consists of two selenium nanoparticles SeNPs and G2/PAH-Cit/SeNPs. A G2/PAH-Cit/SeNP is a pH-sensitive delivery system that is capable of enhancing siRNA loading, thus increasing siRNA release efficiency and subsequent target gene silencing both in vitro and in vivo. In vivo experiments using G2/PAH-Cit/SeNPs@siRNA led to significantly higher accumulation of siRNA within the tumor itself, VEGF gene silencing, and reduced angiogenesis in the tumor. Furthermore, the G2/PAH-Cit/SeNP delivery system not only enhanced anti-tumor effects on tumor-bearing nude mice as compared to SeNPs@siRNA, but also resulted in weak occurrence of lesions in major target organs. In sum, this study provides a new class of siRNA delivery system, thereby providing an alternative therapeutic route for cancer treatment.The utility of small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) has shown great promise in treating a variety of diseases including many types of cancer. While their ability to silence a wide range of target genes underlies their effectiveness, the application of therapies remains hindered by a lack of an effective delivery system. In this study, we sought to develop an siRNA-delivery system for VEGF, a known signaling molecule involved in cancer, that consists of two selenium nanoparticles SeNPs and G2/PAH-Cit/SeNPs. A G2/PAH-Cit/SeNP is a pH-sensitive delivery system that is capable of enhancing siRNA loading, thus increasing siRNA release efficiency and subsequent target gene silencing both in vitro and in vivo. In vivo experiments using G2/PAH

  17. Coordination of epigenetic events.

    PubMed

    El-Osta, A

    2004-09-01

    During the course of DNA damage a complex repertoire of molecular signals, chromatin determinants and specific transcription factors are set in motion for repair. In many instances, the response pathway can be characterized by profound changes in molecular remodeling and is intimately linked with DNA replication and gene transcription. Our understanding of the molecular pathways has come from scientific developments that represent many disparate disciplines, such as cancer (epi)genetics, chromatin modifications during cellular development and the emerging prominence of epigenetic events in human disease. These multidisciplinary areas reveal a functional relationship and suggest that repair and transcription must coincide in the context of chromatin. We have come to appreciate the repair process and the role of transcriptional components in a sophisticated program of epigenetic regulation, and we have learnt much since the first description of the nucleosome as a spheroid disklike unit. The coordinated and ordered response to DNA damage can specify structures that mobilize and remodel nucleosomes. Investigators will undoubtedly continue to explore the structural and functional states of DNA damage repair and continue to profile the sequence of events and scrutinize the molecular signatures that specify these changes in chromatin dynamics, genomic stability and transcriptional performance. In this special issue, authors have contributed reviews that discuss hypotheses and results regarding DNA damage repair and transcription. The topics covered range from DNA repair in a chromatin environment to the deadly double-strand break, histone modifications to ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling, gene silencing in cancer to apoptosis and regulation of chromatin dynamics by DNA methylation. The scene is set for a new view of damage detection and repair by the coordination of epigenetic states.

  18. Epigenetics and Chromatin Remodeling Play a Role in Lung Disease

    PubMed Central

    Mortaz, Esmaeil; Masjedi, Mohammad Reza; Barnes, Peter J

    2011-01-01

    Epigenetics is defined as heritable changes that affect gene expression without altering the DNA sequence. Epigenetic regulation of gene expression is facilitated through different mechanisms such as DNA methylation, histone modifications and RNA-associated silencing by small non-coding RNAs. All these mechanisms are crucial for normal development, differentiation and tissue-specific gene expression. These three systems interact and stabilize one another and can initiate and sustain epigenetic silencing, thus determining heritable changes in gene expression. Histone acetylation regulates diverse cellular functions including inflammatory gene expression, DNA repair and cell proliferation. Transcriptional coactivators possess intrinsic histone acetyltransferase activity and this activity drives inflammatory gene expression. Eleven classical histone deacetylases (HDACs) act to regulate the expression of distinct subsets of inflammatory/immune genes. Thus, loss of HDAC activity or the presence of HDAC inhibitors can further enhance inflammatory gene expression by producing a gene-specific change in HAT activity. For example, HDAC2 expression and activity are reduced in lung macrophages, biopsy specimens, and blood cells from patients with severe asthma and smoking asthmatics, as well as in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This may account, at least in part, for the enhanced inflammation and reduced steroid responsiveness seen in these patients. Other proteins, particularly transcription factors, are also acetylated and are targets for deacetylation by HDACs and sirtuins, a related family of 7 predominantly protein deacetylases. Thus the acetylation/deacetylation status of NF-κB and the glucocorticoid receptor can also affect the overall expression pattern of inflammatory genes and regulate the inflammatory response. Understanding and targeting specific enzymes involved in this process might lead to new therapeutic agents, particularly in

  19. Epigenetic regulation contributes to urocortin-enhanced midbrain dopaminergic neuron differentiation.

    PubMed

    Huang, Hsin-Yi; Chiu, Tsung-Lang; Chang, Hui-Fen; Hsu, Hui-Ru; Pang, Cheng-Yoong; Liew, Hock-Kean; Wang, Mei-Jen

    2015-05-01

    The production of midbrain dopaminergic (mDA) neurons requires precise extrinsic inductive signals and intrinsic transcriptional cascade at a specific time point in development. Urocortin (UCN) is a peptide of the corticotropin-releasing hormone family that mediates various responses to stress. UCN was first cloned from adult rat midbrain. However, the contribution of UCN to the development of mDA neurons is poorly understood. Here, we show that UCN is endogenously expressed in the developing ventral midbrain (VM) and its receptors are exhibited in Nurr1(+) postmitotic mDA precursors and TH(+) neurons, suggesting possible roles in regulating their terminal differentiation. UCN treatment increased DA cell numbers in rat VM precursor cultures by promoting the conversion of Nurr1(+) precursors into DA neurons. Furthermore, neutralization of secreted UCN with anti-UCN antibody resulted in a reduction in the number of DA neurons. UCN induced an abundance of acetylated histone H3 and enhanced late DA regulator Nurr1, Foxa2, and Pitx3 expressions. Using pharmacological and RNA interference approaches, we further demonstrated that histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibition and late transcriptional factors upregulation contribute to UCN-mediated DA neuron differentiation. Chromatin immunoprecipitation analyses revealed that UCN promoted histone acetylation of chromatin surrounding the TH promoter by directly inhibiting HDAC and releasing of methyl CpG binding protein 2-CoREST-HDAC1 repressor complex from the promoter, ultimately leading to an increase in Nurr1/coactivators-mediated transcription of TH gene. Moreover, UCN treatment in vivo also resulted in increased DA neuron differentiation. These findings suggest that UCN might contribute to regulate late mDA neuron differentiation during VM development.

  20. MYC activation and BCL2L11 silencing by a tumour virus through the large-scale reconfiguration of enhancer-promoter hubs.

    PubMed

    Wood, C David; Veenstra, Hildegonda; Khasnis, Sarika; Gunnell, Andrea; Webb, Helen M; Shannon-Lowe, Claire; Andrews, Simon; Osborne, Cameron S; West, Michelle J

    2016-01-01

    Lymphomagenesis in the presence of deregulated MYC requires suppression of MYC-driven apoptosis, often through downregulation of the pro-apoptotic BCL2L11 gene (Bim). Transcription factors (EBNAs) encoded by the lymphoma-associated Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) activate MYC and silence BCL2L11. We show that the EBNA2 transactivator activates multiple MYC enhancers and reconfigures the MYC locus to increase upstream and decrease downstream enhancer-promoter interactions. EBNA2 recruits the BRG1 ATPase of the SWI/SNF remodeller to MYC enhancers and BRG1 is required for enhancer-promoter interactions in EBV-infected cells. At BCL2L11, we identify a haematopoietic enhancer hub that is inactivated by the EBV repressors EBNA3A and EBNA3C through recruitment of the H3K27 methyltransferase EZH2. Reversal of enhancer inactivation using an EZH2 inhibitor upregulates BCL2L11 and induces apoptosis. EBV therefore drives lymphomagenesis by hijacking long-range enhancer hubs and specific cellular co-factors. EBV-driven MYC enhancer activation may contribute to the genesis and localisation of MYC-Immunoglobulin translocation breakpoints in Burkitt's lymphoma. PMID:27490482

  1. MYC activation and BCL2L11 silencing by a tumour virus through the large-scale reconfiguration of enhancer-promoter hubs

    PubMed Central

    Wood, C David; Veenstra, Hildegonda; Khasnis, Sarika; Gunnell, Andrea; Webb, Helen M; Shannon-Lowe, Claire; Andrews, Simon; Osborne, Cameron S; West, Michelle J

    2016-01-01

    Lymphomagenesis in the presence of deregulated MYC requires suppression of MYC-driven apoptosis, often through downregulation of the pro-apoptotic BCL2L11 gene (Bim). Transcription factors (EBNAs) encoded by the lymphoma-associated Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) activate MYC and silence BCL2L11. We show that the EBNA2 transactivator activates multiple MYC enhancers and reconfigures the MYC locus to increase upstream and decrease downstream enhancer-promoter interactions. EBNA2 recruits the BRG1 ATPase of the SWI/SNF remodeller to MYC enhancers and BRG1 is required for enhancer-promoter interactions in EBV-infected cells. At BCL2L11, we identify a haematopoietic enhancer hub that is inactivated by the EBV repressors EBNA3A and EBNA3C through recruitment of the H3K27 methyltransferase EZH2. Reversal of enhancer inactivation using an EZH2 inhibitor upregulates BCL2L11 and induces apoptosis. EBV therefore drives lymphomagenesis by hijacking long-range enhancer hubs and specific cellular co-factors. EBV-driven MYC enhancer activation may contribute to the genesis and localisation of MYC-Immunoglobulin translocation breakpoints in Burkitt's lymphoma. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.18270.001 PMID:27490482

  2. Highly specific epigenome editing by CRISPR-Cas9 repressors for silencing of distal regulatory elements.

    PubMed

    Thakore, Pratiksha I; D'Ippolito, Anthony M; Song, Lingyun; Safi, Alexias; Shivakumar, Nishkala K; Kabadi, Ami M; Reddy, Timothy E; Crawford, Gregory E; Gersbach, Charles A

    2015-12-01

    Epigenome editing with the CRISPR (clustered, regularly interspaced, short palindromic repeats)-Cas9 platform is a promising technology for modulating gene expression to direct cell phenotype and to dissect the causal epigenetic mechanisms of gene regulation. Fusions of nuclease-inactive dCas9 to the Krüppel-associated box (KRAB) repressor (dCas9-KRAB) can silence target gene expression, but the genome-wide specificity and the extent of heterochromatin formation catalyzed by dCas9-KRAB are not known. We targeted dCas9-KRAB to the HS2 enhancer, a distal regulatory element that orchestrates the expression of multiple globin genes, and observed highly specific induction of H3K9 trimethylation (H3K9me3) at the enhancer and decreased chromatin accessibility of both the enhancer and its promoter targets. Targeted epigenetic modification of HS2 silenced the expression of multiple globin genes, with minimal off-target changes in global gene expression. These results demonstrate that repression mediated by dCas9-KRAB is sufficiently specific to disrupt the activity of individual enhancers via local modification of the epigenome.

  3. Highly Specific Epigenome Editing by CRISPR/Cas9 Repressors for Silencing of Distal Regulatory Elements

    PubMed Central

    Thakore, Pratiksha I.; D’Ippolito, Anthony M; Song, Lingyun; Safi, Alexias; Shivakumar, Nishkala K.; Kabadi, Ami M.; Reddy, Timothy E.; Crawford, Gregory E.; Gersbach, Charles A.

    2015-01-01

    Epigenome editing with the CRISPR/Cas9 platform is a promising technology to modulate gene expression to direct cell phenotype and to dissect the causal epigenetic mechanisms of gene regulation. Fusions of the nuclease-inactive dCas9 to the KRAB repressor (dCas9-KRAB) can silence target gene expression, but the genome-wide specificity and the extent of heterochromatin formation catalyzed by dCas9-KRAB is not known. We targeted dCas9-KRAB to the HS2 enhancer, a distal regulatory element that orchestrates expression of multiple globin genes. Genome-wide analyses demonstrated that localization of dCas9-KRAB to HS2 specifically induced H3K9 tri-methylation (H3K9me3) at the enhancer and reduced the chromatin accessibility of both the enhancer and its promoter targets. Targeted epigenetic modification of HS2 silenced the expression of multiple globin genes, with minimal off-target changes in gene expression. These results demonstrate that repression mediated by dCas9-KRAB is sufficiently specific to disrupt the activity of individual enhancers via local modification of the epigenome. PMID:26501517

  4. Ribozyme-enhanced single-stranded Ago2-processed interfering RNA triggers efficient gene silencing with fewer off-target effects

    PubMed Central

    Shang, Renfu; Zhang, Fengjuan; Xu, Beiying; Xi, Hairui; Zhang, Xue; Wang, Weihua; Wu, Ligang

    2015-01-01

    Short-hairpin RNAs (shRNAs) are widely used to produce small-interfering RNAs (siRNAs) for gene silencing. Here we design an alternative siRNA precursor, named single-stranded, Argonaute 2 (Ago2)-processed interfering RNA (saiRNA), containing a 16–18 bp stem and a loop complementary to the target transcript. The introduction of a self-cleaving ribozyme derived from hepatitis delta virus to the 3′ end of the transcribed saiRNA dramatically improves its silencing activity by generating a short 3′ overhang that facilitates the efficient binding of saiRNA to Ago2. The same ribozyme also enhances the activity of Dicer-dependent shRNAs. Unlike a classical shRNA, the strand-specific cleavage of saiRNA by Ago2 during processing eliminates the passenger strand and prevents the association of siRNA with non-nucleolytic Ago proteins. As a result, off-target effects are reduced. In addition, saiRNA exhibits less competition with the biogenesis of endogenous miRNAs. Therefore, ribozyme-enhanced saiRNA provides a reliable tool for RNA interference applications. PMID:26455506

  5. MutS HOMOLOG1-derived epigenetic breeding potential in tomato.

    PubMed

    Yang, Xiaodong; Kundariya, Hardik; Xu, Ying-Zhi; Sandhu, Ajay; Yu, Jiantao; Hutton, Samuel F; Zhang, Mingfang; Mackenzie, Sally A

    2015-05-01

    Evidence is compelling in support of a naturally occurring epigenetic influence on phenotype expression in land plants, although discerning the epigenetic contribution is difficult. Agriculturally important attributes like heterosis, inbreeding depression, phenotypic plasticity, and environmental stress response are thought to have significant epigenetic components, but unequivocal demonstration of this is often infeasible. Here, we investigate gene silencing of a single nuclear gene, MutS HOMOLOG1 (MSH1), in the tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) 'Rutgers' to effect developmental reprogramming of the plant. The condition is heritable in subsequent generations independent of the MSH1-RNA interference transgene. Crossing these transgene-null, developmentally altered plants to the isogenic cv Rutgers wild type results in progeny lines that show enhanced, heritable growth vigor under both greenhouse and field conditions. This boosted vigor appears to be graft transmissible and is partially reversed by treatment with the methylation inhibitor 5-azacytidine, implying the influence of mobile, epigenetic factors and DNA methylation changes. These data provide compelling evidence for the feasibility of epigenetic breeding in a crop plant. PMID:25736208

  6. Silencing of Tuberin Enhances Photoreceptor Survival and Function in a Preclinical Model of Retinitis Pigmentosa (An American Ophthalmological Society Thesis)

    PubMed Central

    Tsang, Stephen H.; Chan, Lawrence; Tsai, Yi-Ting; Wu, Wen-Hsuan; Hsu, Chun-Wei; Yang, Jin; Tosi, Joaquin; Wert, Katherine J.; Davis, Richard J.; Mahajan, Vinit B.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose: To assess the functional consequences of silencing of tuberin, an inhibitor of the mTOR signaling pathway, in a preclinical model of retinitis pigmentosa (RP) in order to test the hypothesis that insufficient induction of the protein kinase B (PKB)-regulated tuberin/mTOR self-survival pathway initiates apoptosis. Methods: In an unbiased genome-scale approach, kinase peptide substrate arrays were used to analyze self-survival pathways at the onset of photoreceptor degeneration. The mutant Pde6bH620Q/Pde6bH620Q at P14 and P18 photoreceptor outer segment (OS) lysates were labeled with P-ATP and hybridized to an array of 1,164 different synthetic peptide substrates. At this stage, OS of Pde6bH620Q/Pde6bH620Q rods are morphologically normal. In vitro kinase assays and immunohistochemistry were used to validate phosphorylation. Short hairpin RNA (shRNA) gene silencing was used to validate tuberin’s role in regulating survival. Results: At the onset of degeneration, 162 peptides were differentially phosphorylated. Protein kinases A, G, C (AGC kinases), and B exhibited increased activity in both peptide array and in vitro kinase assays. Immunohistochemical data confirmed altered phosphorylation patterns for phosphoinositide-dependent kinase-1 (PDK1), ribosomal protein S6 (RPS6), and tuberin. Tuberin gene silencing rescued photoreceptors from degeneration. Conclusions: Phosphorylation of tuberin and RPS6 is due to the upregulated activity of PKB. PKB/tuberin cell growth/survival signaling is activated before the onset of degeneration. Substrates of the AGC kinases in the PKB/tuberin pathway are phosphorylated to promote cell survival. Knockdown of tuberin, the inhibitor of the mTOR pathway, increased photoreceptor survival and function in a preclinical model of RP. PMID:25646031

  7. Surface coating of siRNA-peptidomimetic nano-self-assemblies with anionic lipid bilayers: enhanced gene silencing and reduced adverse effects in vitro

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zeng, Xianghui; de Groot, Anne Marit; Sijts, Alice J. A. M.; Broere, Femke; Oude Blenke, Erik; Colombo, Stefano; van Eden, Willem; Franzyk, Henrik; Nielsen, Hanne Mørck; Foged, Camilla

    2015-11-01

    Cationic vectors have demonstrated the potential to facilitate intracellular delivery of therapeutic oligonucleotides. However, enhanced transfection efficiency is usually associated with adverse effects, which also proves to be a challenge for vectors based on cationic peptides. In this study a series of proteolytically stable palmitoylated α-peptide/β-peptoid peptidomimetics with a systematically varied number of repeating lysine and homoarginine residues was shown to self-assemble with small interfering RNA (siRNA). The resulting well-defined nanocomplexes were coated with anionic lipids giving rise to net anionic liposomes. These complexes and the corresponding liposomes were optimized towards efficient gene silencing and low adverse effects. The optimal anionic liposomes mediated a high silencing effect, which was comparable to that of the control (cationic Lipofectamine 2000), and did not display any noticeable cytotoxicity and immunogenicity in vitro. In contrast, the corresponding nanocomplexes mediated a reduced silencing effect with a more narrow safety window. The surface coating with anionic lipid bilayers led to partial decomplexation of the siRNA-peptidomimetic nanocomplex core of the liposomes, which facilitated siRNA release. Additionally, the optimal anionic liposomes showed efficient intracellular uptake and endosomal escape. Therefore, these findings suggest that a more efficacious and safe formulation can be achieved by surface coating of the siRNA-peptidomimetic nano-self-assemblies with anionic lipid bilayers.Cationic vectors have demonstrated the potential to facilitate intracellular delivery of therapeutic oligonucleotides. However, enhanced transfection efficiency is usually associated with adverse effects, which also proves to be a challenge for vectors based on cationic peptides. In this study a series of proteolytically stable palmitoylated α-peptide/β-peptoid peptidomimetics with a systematically varied number of repeating lysine

  8. The enhancement of gene silencing efficiency with chitosan-coated liposome formulations of siRNAs targeting HIF-1α and VEGF.

    PubMed

    Şalva, Emine; Turan, Suna Özbaş; Eren, Fatih; Akbuğa, Jülide

    2015-01-15

    RNA interference (RNAi) holds considerable promise as a novel therapeutic strategy in the silencing of disease-causing genes. The development of effective delivery systems is important for the use of small interfering RNA (siRNA) as therapy. In the present study, we investigated the effect on breast cancer cell lines and the co-delivery of liposomes containing siHIF1-α and siVEGF. In order to achieve the co-delivery of siHIF1-α and siVEGF and to obtain lower cytotoxicity, higher transfection and silencing efficiency, in this study, we used chitosan-coated liposomal formulation as the siRNA delivery system. The obtained particle size and zeta potential values show that the chitosan coating process is an effective parameter for particle size and the zeta potential of liposomes. The liposome formulations loaded with siHIF1-α and siVEGF showed good stability and protected siRNA from serum degradation after 24-h of incubation. The expression level of VEGF mRNA was markedly suppressed in MCF-7 and MDA-MB435 cells transfected with chitosan-coated liposomes containing HIF1-α and VEGF siRNA, respectively (95% and 94%). In vitro co-delivery of siVEGF and siHIF1-α using chitosan-coated liposome significantly inhibited VEGF (89%) and the HIF1-α (62%) protein expression when compared to other liposome formulations in the MDA-MB435 cell. The co-delivery of siVEGF and siHIF1-α was greatly enhanced in the vitro gene silencing efficiency. In addition, chitosan-coated liposomes showed 96% cell viability. Considering the role of VEGF and HIF1-α in breast cancer, siRNA-based therapies with chitosan coated liposomes may have some promises in cancer therapy.

  9. Epigenetics in acute kidney injury

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Jinhua; Zhuang, Shougang

    2015-01-01

    Purpose of review Recent advances in epigenetics indicate the involvement of several epigenetic modifications in the pathogenesis of acute kidney injury (AKI). The purpose of this review is to summarize our understanding of recent advances in epigenetic regulation of AKI and provide mechanistic insight into the role of acetylation, methylation, and microRNA expression in the pathological processes of AKI. Recent findings Enhancement of protein acetylation by pharmacological inhibition of histone deacetylases (HDACs) leads to more severe tubular injury and impairment of renal structural and functional recovery. The changes in promoter DNA methylation occur in the kidney with ischemia/reperfusion. microRNA expression is associated with regulation of both renal injury and regeneration after AKI. Summary Recent studies on epigenetic regulation indicate that acetylation, methylation, and microRNA expression are critically implicated in the pathogenesis of AKI. Strategies targeting epigenetic processes may hold a therapeutic potential for patients with AKI. PMID:26050122

  10. Epigenetic Virtues of Chromodomains

    PubMed Central

    Blus, Bartlomiej J; Wiggins, Kimberly; Khorasanizadeh, Sepideh

    2011-01-01

    The chromatin organization modifier domain (chromodomain) was first identified as a motif associated with chromatin silencing in Drosophila. There is growing evidence that chromodomains are evolutionary conserved across different eukaryotic species to control diverse aspects of epigenetic regulation. Although originally reported as histone H3 methyllysine readers, the chromodomain functions have now expanded to recognition of other histone and non-histone partners as well as interaction with nucleic acids. Chromodomain binding to a diverse group of targets is mediated by a conserved substructure called the chromobox homology region. This motif can be used to predict methyllysine binding and distinguish chromodomains from related Tudor “Royal” family members. In this review, we discuss and classify various chromodomains according to their context, structure and the mechanism of target recognition. PMID:22023491

  11. TLR agonist–Stat3 siRNA conjugates: cell-specific gene silencing and enhanced antitumor immune responses

    PubMed Central

    Kortylewski, Marcin; Swiderski, Piotr; Herrmann, Andreas; Wang, Lin; Kowolik, Claudia; Kujawski, Maciej; Lee, Heehyoung; Scuto, Anna; Liu, Yong; Yang, Chunmei; Deng, Jiehui; Soifer, Harris S.; Raubitschek, Andrew; Forman, Stephen; Rossi, John J.; Pardoll, Drew M.; Jove, Richard; Yu, Hua

    2010-01-01

    Efficient delivery of siRNA to specific cell populations in vivo remains a formidable challenge to its successful therapeutic application. We describe a novel siRNA-based approach – synthetically linking siRNA to an oligonucleotide TLR9 agonist – that targets and silences genes in TLR9+ myeloid cells and B cells, both of which are key components of the tumor microenvironment. Because Stat3 in tumor-associated immune cells suppresses antitumor immune responses and hinders TLR9-induced immune stimulation, we tested CpG-Stat3siRNA conjugates for anti-tumor effects. When injected locally at the tumor site or systemically through an intravenous route, the CpG-Stat3siRNA conjugates access tumor-associated dendritic cells, macrophages and B cells, inhibit Stat3 expression, leading to activation of tumor-associated immune cells, and ultimately potent anti-tumor immune responses. Our findings demonstrate the potential of TLR agonist-siRNA conjugates for targeted gene silencing coupled with TLR stimulation and immune activation in the tumor microenvironment. PMID:19749770

  12. Downregulation of Cinnamyl-Alcohol Dehydrogenase in Switchgrass by RNA Silencing Results in Enhanced Glucose Release after Cellulase Treatment

    PubMed Central

    Saathoff, Aaron J.; Sarath, Gautam; Chow, Elaine K.; Dien, Bruce S.; Tobias, Christian M.

    2011-01-01

    Cinnamyl alcohol dehydrogenase (CAD) catalyzes the last step in monolignol biosynthesis and genetic evidence indicates CAD deficiency in grasses both decreases overall lignin, alters lignin structure and increases enzymatic recovery of sugars. To ascertain the effect of CAD downregulation in switchgrass, RNA mediated silencing of CAD was induced through Agrobacterium mediated transformation of cv. “Alamo” with an inverted repeat construct containing a fragment derived from the coding sequence of PviCAD2. The resulting primary transformants accumulated less CAD RNA transcript and protein than control transformants and were demonstrated to be stably transformed with between 1 and 5 copies of the T-DNA. CAD activity against coniferaldehyde, and sinapaldehyde in stems of silenced lines was significantly reduced as was overall lignin and cutin. Glucose release from ground samples pretreated with ammonium hydroxide and digested with cellulases was greater than in control transformants. When stained with the lignin and cutin specific stain phloroglucinol-HCl the staining intensity of one line indicated greater incorporation of hydroxycinnamyl aldehydes in the lignin. PMID:21298014

  13. Epigenetics in Breast and Prostate Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Yanyuan; Sarkissyan, Marianna; Vadgama, Jaydutt V.

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY Most recent investigations into cancer etiology have identified a key role played by epigenetics. Specifically, aberrant DNA and histone modifications which silence tumor suppressor genes or promote oncogenes have been demonstrated in multiple cancer models. While the role of epigenetics in several solid tumor cancers such as colorectal cancer are well established, there is emerging evidence that epigenetics also plays a critical role in breast and prostate cancer. In breast cancer, DNA methylation profiles have been linked to hormone receptor status and tumor progression. Similarly in prostate cancer, epigenetic patterns have been associated with androgen receptor status and response to therapy. The regulation of key receptor pathways and activities which affect clinical therapy treatment options by epigenetics renders this field high priority for elucidating mechanisms and potential targets. A new set of methylation arrays are now available to screen epigenetic changes and provide the cuttingedge tools needed to perform such investigations. The role of nutritional interventions affecting epigenetic changes particularly holds promise. Ultimately, determining the causes and outcomes from epigenetic changes will inform translational applications for utilization as biomarkers for risk and prognosis as well as candidates for therapy. PMID:25421674

  14. The Use of Mouse Models to Study Epigenetics

    PubMed Central

    Blewitt, Marnie; Whitelaw, Emma

    2013-01-01

    Much of what we know about the role of epigenetics in the determination of phenotype has come from studies of inbred mice. Some unusual expression patterns arising from endogenous and transgenic murine alleles, such as the Agouti coat color alleles, have allowed the study of variegation, variable expressivity, transgenerational epigenetic inheritance, parent-of-origin effects, and position effects. These phenomena have taught us much about gene silencing and the probabilistic nature of epigenetic processes. Based on some of these alleles, large-scale mutagenesis screens have broadened our knowledge of epigenetic control by identifying and characterizing novel genes involved in these processes. PMID:24186070

  15. Epigenetics and Autism

    PubMed Central

    Millis, Richard M.

    2013-01-01

    This review identifies mechanisms for altering DNA-histone interactions of cell chromatin to upregulate or downregulate gene expression that could serve as epigenetic targets for therapeutic interventions in autism. DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs) can phosphorylate histone H3 at T6. Aided by protein kinase Cβ1, the DNMT lysine-specific demethylase-1 prevents demethylation of H3 at K4. During androgen-receptor-(AR-) dependent gene activation, this sequence may produce AR-dependent gene overactivation which may partly explain the male predominance of autism. AR-dependent gene overactivation in conjunction with a DNMT mechanism for methylating oxytocin receptors could produce high arousal inputs to the amygdala resulting in aberrant socialization, a prime characteristic of autism. Dysregulation of histone methyltransferases and histone deacetylases (HDACs) associated with low activity of methyl CpG binding protein-2 at cytosine-guanine sites in genes may reduce the capacity for condensing chromatin and silencing genes in frontal cortex, a site characterized by decreased cortical interconnectivity in autistic subjects. HDAC1 inhibition can overactivate mRNA transcription, a putative mechanism for the increased number of cerebral cortical columns and local frontal cortex hyperactivity in autistic individuals. These epigenetic mechanisms underlying male predominance, aberrant social interaction, and low functioning frontal cortex may be novel targets for autism prevention and treatment strategies. PMID:24151554

  16. Global analysis of physical and functional RNA targets of hnRNP L reveals distinct sequence and epigenetic features of repressed and enhanced exons.

    PubMed

    Cole, Brian S; Tapescu, Iulia; Allon, Samuel J; Mallory, Michael J; Qiu, Jinsong; Lake, Robert J; Fan, Hua-Ying; Fu, Xiang-Dong; Lynch, Kristen W

    2015-12-01

    HnRNP L is a ubiquitous splicing-regulatory protein that is critical for the development and function of mammalian T cells. Previous work has identified a few targets of hnRNP L-dependent alternative splicing in T cells and has described transcriptome-wide association of hnRNP L with RNA. However, a comprehensive analysis of the impact of hnRNP L on mRNA expression remains lacking. Here we use next-generation sequencing to identify transcriptome changes upon depletion of hnRNP L in a model T-cell line. We demonstrate that hnRNP L primarily regulates cassette-type alternative splicing, with minimal impact of hnRNP L depletion on transcript abundance, intron retention, or other modes of alternative splicing. Strikingly, we find that binding of hnRNP L within or flanking an exon largely correlates with exon repression by hnRNP L. In contrast, exons that are enhanced by hnRNP L generally lack proximal hnRNP L binding. Notably, these hnRNP L-enhanced exons share sequence and context features that correlate with poor nucleosome positioning, suggesting that hnRNP may enhance inclusion of a subset of exons via a cotranscriptional or epigenetic mechanism. Our data demonstrate that hnRNP L controls inclusion of a broad spectrum of alternative cassette exons in T cells and suggest both direct RNA regulation as well as indirect mechanisms sensitive to the epigenetic landscape.

  17. Silencing of Pokemon enhances caspase-dependent apoptosis via fas- and mitochondria-mediated pathways in hepatocellular carcinoma cells.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yu-Qin; Xiao, Chuan-Xing; Lin, Bi-Yun; Shi, Ying; Liu, Yun-Peng; Liu, Jing-Jing; Guleng, Bayasi; Ren, Jian-Lin

    2013-01-01

    The role of Pokemon (POK erythroid myeloid ontogenic actor), a recently identified POK transcription factor with proto-oncogenic activity, in hepatocellular carcinogenesis has only been assessed by a few studies. Our previous study revealed that Pokemon is overexpressed in hepatocellular carcinomas (HCC) and promotes HCC cell proliferation and migration via an AKT- and ERK- dependent manner. In the present study, we used the TUNEL assay and FACS analysis to demonstrate that oxaliplatin induced apoptosis was significantly increased in cells with silenced Pokemon. Western blots showed that p53 expression and phosphorylation were significantly increased in Pokemon defective cells, thereby initiating the mitochondria-mediated and death receptor-mediated apoptotic pathways. In the mitochondria-mediated pathway, expression of pro-apoptotic Bcl-2 family members (including Bad, Bid, Bim and Puma) as well as AIF was increased and decreasing the mitochondrial membrane potential resulted in cytochrome C released from mitochondrial in HepG2 si-Pokemon cells. In addition, upon oxaliplatin treatment of Pokemon-silenced cells, the FAS receptor, FADD and their downstream targets caspase-10 and caspase-8 were activated, causing increased release of caspase-8 active fragments p18 and p10. Increased activated caspase-8-mediated cleavage and activation of downstream effector caspases such as caspase-9 and caspase-3 was observed in HepG2 si-Pokemon cells as compared to control. Therefore, Pokemon might serve as an important mediator of crosstalk between intrinsic and extrinsic apoptotic pathways in HCC cells. Moreover, our findings suggest that Pokemon could be an attractive therapeutic target gene for human cancer therapy. PMID:23874836

  18. Silencing of Pokemon Enhances Caspase-Dependent Apoptosis via Fas- and Mitochondria-Mediated Pathways in Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cells

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Bi-Yun; Shi, Ying; Liu, Yun-Peng; Liu, Jing-Jing; Guleng, Bayasi; Ren, Jian-Lin

    2013-01-01

    The role of Pokemon (POK erythroid myeloid ontogenic actor), a recently identified POK transcription factor with proto-oncogenic activity, in hepatocellular carcinogenesis has only been assessed by a few studies. Our previous study revealed that Pokemon is overexpressed in hepatocellular carcinomas (HCC) and promotes HCC cell proliferation and migration via an AKT- and ERK- dependent manner. In the present study, we used the TUNEL assay and FACS analysis to demonstrate that oxaliplatin induced apoptosis was significantly increased in cells with silenced Pokemon. Western blots showed that p53 expression and phosphorylation were significantly increased in Pokemon defective cells, thereby initiating the mitochondria-mediated and death receptor-mediated apoptotic pathways. In the mitochondria-mediated pathway, expression of pro-apoptotic Bcl-2 family members (including Bad, Bid, Bim and Puma) as well as AIF was increased and decreasing the mitochondrial membrane potential resulted in cytochrome C released from mitochondrial in HepG2 si-Pokemon cells. In addition, upon oxaliplatin treatment of Pokemon-silenced cells, the FAS receptor, FADD and their downstream targets caspase-10 and caspase-8 were activated, causing increased release of caspase-8 active fragments p18 and p10. Increased activated caspase-8-mediated cleavage and activation of downstream effector caspases such as caspase-9 and caspase-3 was observed in HepG2 si-Pokemon cells as compared to control. Therefore, Pokemon might serve as an important mediator of crosstalk between intrinsic and extrinsic apoptotic pathways in HCC cells. Moreover, our findings suggest that Pokemon could be an attractive therapeutic target gene for human cancer therapy. PMID:23874836

  19. Silencing of Pokemon enhances caspase-dependent apoptosis via fas- and mitochondria-mediated pathways in hepatocellular carcinoma cells.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yu-Qin; Xiao, Chuan-Xing; Lin, Bi-Yun; Shi, Ying; Liu, Yun-Peng; Liu, Jing-Jing; Guleng, Bayasi; Ren, Jian-Lin

    2013-01-01

    The role of Pokemon (POK erythroid myeloid ontogenic actor), a recently identified POK transcription factor with proto-oncogenic activity, in hepatocellular carcinogenesis has only been assessed by a few studies. Our previous study revealed that Pokemon is overexpressed in hepatocellular carcinomas (HCC) and promotes HCC cell proliferation and migration via an AKT- and ERK- dependent manner. In the present study, we used the TUNEL assay and FACS analysis to demonstrate that oxaliplatin induced apoptosis was significantly increased in cells with silenced Pokemon. Western blots showed that p53 expression and phosphorylation were significantly increased in Pokemon defective cells, thereby initiating the mitochondria-mediated and death receptor-mediated apoptotic pathways. In the mitochondria-mediated pathway, expression of pro-apoptotic Bcl-2 family members (including Bad, Bid, Bim and Puma) as well as AIF was increased and decreasing the mitochondrial membrane potential resulted in cytochrome C released from mitochondrial in HepG2 si-Pokemon cells. In addition, upon oxaliplatin treatment of Pokemon-silenced cells, the FAS receptor, FADD and their downstream targets caspase-10 and caspase-8 were activated, causing increased release of caspase-8 active fragments p18 and p10. Increased activated caspase-8-mediated cleavage and activation of downstream effector caspases such as caspase-9 and caspase-3 was observed in HepG2 si-Pokemon cells as compared to control. Therefore, Pokemon might serve as an important mediator of crosstalk between intrinsic and extrinsic apoptotic pathways in HCC cells. Moreover, our findings suggest that Pokemon could be an attractive therapeutic target gene for human cancer therapy.

  20. Arabidopsis transcriptional repressor VAL1 triggers Polycomb silencing at FLC during vernalization.

    PubMed

    Qüesta, Julia I; Song, Jie; Geraldo, Nuno; An, Hailong; Dean, Caroline

    2016-07-29

    The determinants that specify the genomic targets of Polycomb silencing complexes are still unclear. Polycomb silencing of Arabidopsis FLOWERING LOCUS C (FLC) accelerates flowering and involves a cold-dependent epigenetic switch. Here we identify a single point mutation at an intragenic nucleation site within FLC that prevents this epigenetic switch from taking place. The mutation blocks nucleation of plant homeodomain-Polycomb repressive complex 2 (PHD-PRC2) and indicates a role for the transcriptional repressor VAL1 in the silencing mechanism. VAL1 localizes to the nucleation region in vivo, promoting histone deacetylation and FLC transcriptional silencing, and interacts with components of the conserved apoptosis- and splicing-associated protein (ASAP) complex. Sequence-specific targeting of transcriptional repressors thus recruits the machinery for PHD-PRC2 nucleation and epigenetic silencing.

  1. Arabidopsis transcriptional repressor VAL1 triggers Polycomb silencing at FLC during vernalization.

    PubMed

    Qüesta, Julia I; Song, Jie; Geraldo, Nuno; An, Hailong; Dean, Caroline

    2016-07-29

    The determinants that specify the genomic targets of Polycomb silencing complexes are still unclear. Polycomb silencing of Arabidopsis FLOWERING LOCUS C (FLC) accelerates flowering and involves a cold-dependent epigenetic switch. Here we identify a single point mutation at an intragenic nucleation site within FLC that prevents this epigenetic switch from taking place. The mutation blocks nucleation of plant homeodomain-Polycomb repressive complex 2 (PHD-PRC2) and indicates a role for the transcriptional repressor VAL1 in the silencing mechanism. VAL1 localizes to the nucleation region in vivo, promoting histone deacetylation and FLC transcriptional silencing, and interacts with components of the conserved apoptosis- and splicing-associated protein (ASAP) complex. Sequence-specific targeting of transcriptional repressors thus recruits the machinery for PHD-PRC2 nucleation and epigenetic silencing. PMID:27471304

  2. Transgenerational epigenetic inheritance in health and disease.

    PubMed

    Whitelaw, Nadia C; Whitelaw, Emma

    2008-06-01

    Over the past century, patterns of phenotypic inheritance have been observed that are not easily rationalised by Mendel's rules of inheritance. Now that we have begun to understand more about non-DNA based, or 'epigenetic', control of phenotype at the molecular level, the idea that the transgenerational inheritance of these epigenetic states could explain non-Mendelian patterns of inheritance has become attractive. There is a growing body of evidence that abnormal epigenetic states, termed epimutations, are associated with disease in humans. For example, in several cases of colorectal cancer, epimutations have been identified that silence the human mismatch repair genes, MLH1 and MSH2. But strong evidence that the abnormal epigenetic states are primary events that occur in the absence of genetic change and are inherited across generations is still absent.

  3. Practising Silence in Teaching

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Forrest, Michelle

    2013-01-01

    The concept "silence" has diametrically opposed meanings; it connotes peace and contemplation as well as death and oblivion. Silence can also be considered a practice. There is keeping the rule of silence to still the mind and find inner truth, as well as forcibly silencing in the sense of subjugating another to one's own purposes.…

  4. MAGE-C2-Specific TCRs Combined with Epigenetic Drug-Enhanced Antigenicity Yield Robust and Tumor-Selective T Cell Responses.

    PubMed

    Kunert, Andre; van Brakel, Mandy; van Steenbergen-Langeveld, Sabine; da Silva, Marvin; Coulie, Pierre G; Lamers, Cor; Sleijfer, Stefan; Debets, Reno

    2016-09-15

    Adoptive T cell therapy has shown significant clinical success for patients with advanced melanoma and other tumors. Further development of T cell therapy requires improved strategies to select effective, yet nonself-reactive, TCRs. In this study, we isolated 10 TCR sequences against four MAGE-C2 (MC2) epitopes from melanoma patients who showed clinical responses following vaccination that were accompanied by significant frequencies of anti-MC2 CD8 T cells in blood and tumor without apparent side effects. We introduced these TCRs into T cells, pretreated tumor cells of different histological origins with the epigenetic drugs azacytidine and valproate, and tested tumor and self-reactivities of these TCRs. Pretreatment of tumor cells upregulated MC2 gene expression and enhanced recognition by T cells. In contrast, a panel of normal cell types did not express MC2 mRNA, and similar pretreatment did not result in recognition by MC2-directed T cells. Interestingly, the expression levels of MC2, but not those of CD80, CD86, or programmed death-ligand 1 or 2, correlated with T cell responsiveness. One of the tested TCRs consistently recognized pretreated MC2(+) cell lines from melanoma, head and neck, bladder, and triple-negative breast cancers but showed no response to MHC-eluted peptides or peptides highly similar to MC2. We conclude that targeting MC2 Ag, combined with epigenetic drug-enhanced antigenicity, allows for significant and tumor-selective T cell responses. PMID:27489285

  5. Epigenetic aberrations and therapeutic implications in gliomas.

    PubMed

    Natsume, Atsushi; Kondo, Yutaka; Ito, Motokazu; Motomura, Kazuya; Wakabayashi, Toshihiko; Yoshida, Jun

    2010-06-01

    Almost all cancer cells have multiple epigenetic abnormalities, which combine with genetic changes to affect many cellular processes, including cell proliferation and invasion, by silencing tumor-suppressor genes. In this review, we focus on the epigenetic mechanisms of DNA hypomethylation and CpG island hypermethylation in gliomas. Aberrant hypermethylation in promoter CpG islands has been recognized as a key mechanism involved in the silencing of cancer-associated genes and occurs at genes with diverse functions related to tumorigenesis and tumor progression. Such promoter hypermethylation can modulate the sensitivity of glioblastomas to drugs and radiotherapy. As an example, the methylation of the O6-methylguanine DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) promoter is a specific predictive biomarker of tumor responsiveness to chemotherapy with alkylating agents. Further, we reviewed reports on pyrosequencing - a simple technique for the accurate and quantitative analysis of DNA methylation. We believe that the quantification of MGMT methylation by pyrosequencing might enable the selection of patients who are most likely to benefit from chemotherapy. Finally, we also evaluated the potential of de novo NY-ESO-1, the most immunogenic cancer/testis antigen (CTA) discovered thus far, as an immunotherapy target. The use of potent epigenetics-based therapy for cancer cells might restore the abnormally regulated epigenomes to a more normal state through epigenetic reprogramming. Thus, epigenetic therapy may be a promising and potent treatment for human neoplasia.

  6. Tomato yellow leaf curl virus infection of a resistant tomato line with a silenced sucrose transporter gene LeHT1 results in inhibition of growth, enhanced virus spread, and necrosis.

    PubMed

    Eybishtz, Assaf; Peretz, Yuval; Sade, Dagan; Gorovits, Rena; Czosnek, Henryk

    2010-02-01

    To identify genes involved in resistance of tomato to Tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV), cDNA libraries from lines resistant (R) and susceptible (S) to the virus were compared. The hexose transporter LeHT1 was found to be expressed preferentially in R tomato plants. The role of LeHT1 in the establishment of TYLCV resistance was studied in R plants where LeHT1 has been silenced using Tobacco rattle virus-induced gene silencing (TRV VIGS). Following TYLCV inoculation, LeHT1-silenced R plants showed inhibition of growth and enhanced virus accumulation and spread. In addition, a necrotic response was observed along the stem and petioles of infected LeHT1-silenced R plants, but not on infected not-silenced R plants. This response was specific of R plants since it was absent in infected LeHT1-silenced S plants. Necrosis had several characteristics of programmed cell death (PCD): DNA from necrotic tissues presented a PCD-characteristic ladder pattern, the amount of a JNK analogue increased, and production of reactive oxygen was identified by DAB staining. A similar necrotic reaction along stem and petioles was observed in LeHT1-silenced R plants infected with the DNA virus Bean dwarf mosaic virus and the RNA viruses Cucumber mosaic virus and Tobacco mosaic virus. These results constitute the first evidence for a necrotic response backing natural resistance to TYLCV in tomato, confirming that plant defense is organized in multiple layers. They demonstrate that the hexose transporter LeHT1 is essential for the expression of natural resistance against TYLCV and its expression correlates with inhibition of virus replication and movement. PMID:19946703

  7. Silencing kinase-interacting stathmin gene enhances erlotinib sensitivity by inhibiting Ser¹⁰ p27 phosphorylation in epidermal growth factor receptor-expressing breast cancer.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Dongwei; Tari, Ana M; Akar, Ugur; Arun, Banu K; LaFortune, Tiffany A; Nieves-Alicea, Rene; Hortobagyi, Gabriel N; Ueno, Naoto T

    2010-11-01

    The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling pathway has emerged as a promising target for cancer therapy. EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) such as erlotinib have been approved for cancer treatment but have shown very limited activity in breast cancer patients. Clarifying the molecular mechanism underlying resistance to EGFR TKIs could lead to more effective treatment against breast cancer. We previously reported that the sensitivity of breast cancer cells to erlotinib is partially dependent on p27 and that cytoplasmic localization of p27 is associated with erlotinib resistance. In the present study, we found that erlotinib induces p27 phosphorylation at Ser¹⁰ (S10), and S10 p27 phosphorylation leads to erlotinib resistance in EGFR-expressing breast cancer. Inhibiting S10 phosphorylation of p27 by knocking down human kinase-interacting stathmin (KIS), a nuclear protein that can phosphorylate p27 at S10, led to p27 accumulation in the nucleus and enhanced erlotinib-mediated cytotoxicity. Further, in vivo KIS gene silencing enhanced the antitumor activity of erlotinib in an orthotopic breast cancer xenograft model. KIS depletion also enhanced erlotinib sensitivity in erlotinib-resistant EGFR-expressing triple-negative breast cancer cells. Our study provides a rationale for the development of combinations of erlotinib with KIS inhibition to overcome EGFR TKI resistance in EGFR-expressing breast cancer.

  8. Epigenetics and inheritance of phenotype variation in livestock.

    PubMed

    Triantaphyllopoulos, Kostas A; Ikonomopoulos, Ioannis; Bannister, Andrew J

    2016-01-01

    Epigenetic inheritance plays a crucial role in many biological processes, such as gene expression in early embryo development, imprinting and the silencing of transposons. It has recently been established that epigenetic effects can be inherited from one generation to the next. Here, we review examples of epigenetic mechanisms governing animal phenotype and behaviour, and we discuss the importance of these findings in respect to animal studies, and livestock in general. Epigenetic parameters orchestrating transgenerational effects, as well as heritable disorders, and the often-overlooked areas of livestock immunity and stress, are also discussed. We highlight the importance of nutrition and how it is linked to epigenetic alteration. Finally, we describe how our understanding of epigenetics is underpinning the latest cancer research and how this can be translated into directed efforts to improve animal health and welfare. PMID:27446239

  9. Epigenetic diet: impact on the epigenome and cancer.

    PubMed

    Hardy, Tabitha M; Tollefsbol, Trygve O

    2011-08-01

    A number of bioactive dietary components are of particular interest in the field of epigenetics. Many of these compounds display anticancer properties and may play a role in cancer prevention. Numerous studies suggest that a number of nutritional compounds have epigenetic targets in cancer cells. Importantly, emerging evidence strongly suggests that consumption of dietary agents can alter normal epigenetic states as well as reverse abnormal gene activation or silencing. Epigenetic modifications induced by bioactive dietary compounds are thought to be beneficial. Substantial evidence is mounting proclaiming that commonly consumed bioactive dietary factors act to modify the epigenome and may be incorporated into an 'epigenetic diet'. Bioactive nutritional components of an epigenetic diet may be incorporated into one's regular dietary regimen and used therapeutically for medicinal or chemopreventive purposes. This article will primarily focus on dietary factors that have been demonstrated to influence the epigenome and that may be used in conjunction with other cancer prevention and chemotherapeutic therapies.

  10. Enhanced siRNA delivery and silencing gold-chitosan nanosystem with surface charge-reversal polymer assembly and good biocompatibility.

    PubMed

    Han, Lu; Zhao, Jing; Zhang, Xu; Cao, Weipeng; Hu, Xixue; Zou, Guozhang; Duan, Xianglin; Liang, Xing-Jie

    2012-08-28

    A simple nanocarrier coated with chitosan and the pH-responsive charge-reversible polymer, PAH-Cit, was constructed using layer-by-layer assembly to deliver siRNA. Gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) were di-rectly reduced and stabilized by chitosan (CS), forming a positively charged AuNP-CS core. Charge-reversible PAH-Cit and polyethylenimine (PEI) were sequentially deposited onto the surface of AuNP-CS through electrostatic interaction, forming a PEI/PAH-Cit/AuNP-CS shell/core structure. After loading siRNA, the cytotoxicity of siRNA/PEI/PAH-Cit/AuNP-CS against HeLa and MCF-7R cells was negligible. This vehicle completely protected siRNA against enzymatic degradation at vector/RNA mass ratios of 2.5:1 and above. An in vitro release profile demonstrated an efficient siRNA release (79%) from siRNA/PEI/PAH-Cit/AuNP-CS at pH 5.5, suggesting a pH-induced charge-reversing action of PAH-Cit. This mechanism also worked in vivo and facilitated the escape of siRNA from endosomes. Using this carrier, the uptake of cy5-siRNA by HeLa cells was significantly increased compared to PEI, an efficient polycationic transfection reagent. In drug-resistant MCF-7 cells, specific gene silencing effectively reduced expression of MDR1, the gene encoding the drug exporter P-gp, and consequently promoted the uptake of doxorubicin. This simple charge-reversal polymer assembly nanosystem has three essential benefits (protection, efficient uptake, and facilitated escape) and provides a safe strategy with good biocompatibility for enhanced siRNA delivery and silencing.

  11. Dynamic Contrast Enhanced MRI Assessing the Antiangiogenic Effect of Silencing HIF-1α with Targeted Multifunctional ECO/siRNA Nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Malamas, Anthony S; Jin, Erlei; Gujrati, Maneesh; Lu, Zheng-Rong

    2016-07-01

    Stabilization of hypoxia inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α), a biomarker of hypoxia, in hypoxic tumors mediates a variety of downstream genes promoting tumor angiogenesis and cancer cell survival as well as invasion, and compromising therapeutic outcome. In this study, dynamic contrast enhanced MRI (DCE-MRI) with a biodegradable macromolecular MRI contrast agent was used to noninvasively assess the antiangiogenic effect of RGD-targeted multifunctional lipid ECO/siHIF-1α nanoparticles in a mouse HT29 colon cancer model. The RGD-targeted ECO/siHIF-1α nanoparticles resulted in over 50% reduction in tumor size after intravenous injection at a dose of 2.0 mg of siRNA/kg every 3 days for 3 weeks compared to a saline control. DCE-MRI revealed significant decline in vascularity and over a 70% reduction in the tumor blood flow, permeability-surface area product, and plasma volume fraction vascular parameters in the tumor treated with the targeted ECO/siHIF-1α nanoparticles. The treatment with targeted ECO/siRNA nanoparticles resulted in significant silencing of HIF-1α expression at the protein level, which also significantly suppressed the expression of VEGF, Glut-1, HKII, PDK-1, LDHA, and CAIX, which are all important players in tumor angiogenesis, glycolytic metabolism, and pH regulation. By possessing the ability to elicit a multifaceted effect on tumor biology, silencing HIF-1α with RGD-targeted ECO/siHIF-1α nanoparticles has great promise as a single therapy or in combination with traditional chemotherapy or radiation strategies to improve cancer treatment. PMID:27264671

  12. Epigenetically regulated miR-449a enhances hepatitis B virus replication by targeting cAMP-responsive element binding protein 5 and modulating hepatocytes phenotype

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xiaoyong; Liu, Hongyan; Xie, Zhanglian; Deng, Wangyu; Wu, Chunchen; Qin, Bo; Hou, Jinlin; Lu, Mengji

    2016-01-01

    Cellular microRNAs (miRNAs) are able to influence hepatitis B virus (HBV) replication directly by binding to HBV transcripts or indirectly by targeting cellular factors. Here, we investigate the effect of epigenetically regulated miR-449a on HBV replication and the underlying mechanisms. miR-449a expression was lower in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells than in primary hepatocytes and could be induced by trichostatin A. Ectopic miR-449a expression in HCC cells strongly enhanced HBV replication, transcription, progeny virions secretion, and antigen expression in a dose-dependent manner. miR-449a directly targeted cAMP-responsive element binding protein 5 (CREB5), which in turn induced the expression of farnesoid X receptor α (FXRα), a transcription factor that facilitates HBV replication. CREB5 knockdown and overexpression demonstrated that it is a negative regulator of HBV replication. Additionally, miR-449a overexpression inhibited proliferation, caused cell cycle arrest, and promoted HCC cell differentiation. The results indicated that epigenetically regulated miR-449a targets CREB5 to increase FXRα expression, thereby promoting HBV replication and gene expression. Our findings provide a new understanding of the role of miRNAs in HBV replication. PMID:27138288

  13. A potential adjuvant chemotherapeutics, 18β-glycyrrhetinic acid, inhibits renal tubular epithelial cells apoptosis via enhancing BMP-7 epigenetically through targeting HDAC2

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Taotao; Huang, Cheng; Meng, Xiaoming; Li, Xiaofeng; Zhang, Yilong; Ji, Shuai; Li, Jun; Ye, Min; Liang, Hong

    2016-01-01

    Cisplatin, a highly effective and widely used chemotherapeutic agent, has a major limitation for its nephrotoxicity. We recently identified a novel strategy for attenuating its nephrotoxicity in chemotherapy by an effective adjuvant via epigenetic modification through targeting HDAC2. Molecular docking and SPR assay firstly reported that 18βGA, major metabolite of GA, could directly bind to HDAC2 and inhibit the activity of HDAC2. The effects and mechanisms of GA and 18βGA were assessed in CP-induced AKI in C57BL/6 mice, and in CP-treated HK-2 and mTEC cells lines. TUNEL and FCM results confirmed that GA and 18βGA could inhibit apoptosis of renal tubular epithelial cells induced by CP in vivo and in vitro. Western blot and immunofluorescence results demonstrated that the expression of BMP-7 was clearly induced by 18βGA in AKI models while siRNA BMP-7 could reduce the inhibitory effect of 18βGA on apoptosis. Results of current study indicated that 18βGA inhibited apoptosis of renal tubular epithelial cells via enhancing the level of BMP-7 epigenetically through targeting HDAC2, therefore protecting against CP-induced AKI. These available evidence, which led to an improved understanding of molecular recognition, suggested that 18βGA could serve as a potential clinical adjuvant in chemotherapy. PMID:27145860

  14. Epigenetic mechanisms in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Akbarian, Schahram

    2014-09-01

    Schizophrenia is a major psychiatric disorder that lacks a unifying neuropathology, while currently available pharmacological treatments provide only limited benefits to many patients. This review will discuss how the field of neuroepigenetics could contribute to advancements of the existing knowledge on the neurobiology and treatment of psychosis. Genome-scale mapping of DMA methylation, histone modifications and variants, and chromosomal loopings for promoter-enhancer interactions and other epigenetic determinants of genome organization and function are likely to provide important clues about mechanisms contributing to dysregulated expression of synaptic and metabolic genes in schizophrenia brain, including the potential links to the underlying genetic risk architecture and environmental exposures. In addition, studies in animal models are providing a rapidly increasing list of chromatin-regulatory mechanisms with significant effects on cognition and complex behaviors, thereby pointing to the therapeutic potential of epigenetic drug targets in the nervous system.

  15. Epigenetic mechanisms in schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Akbarian, Schahram

    2014-01-01

    Schizophrenia is a major psychiatric disorder that lacks a unifying neuropathology, while currently available pharmacological treatments provide only limited benefits to many patients. This review will discuss how the field of neuroepigenetics could contribute to advancements of the existing knowledge on the neurobiology and treatment of psychosis. Genome-scale mapping of DMA methylation, histone modifications and variants, and chromosomal loopings for promoter-enhancer interactions and other epigenetic determinants of genome organization and function are likely to provide important clues about mechanisms contributing to dysregulated expression of synaptic and metabolic genes in schizophrenia brain, including the potential links to the underlying genetic risk architecture and environmental exposures. In addition, studies in animal models are providing a rapidly increasing list of chromatin-regulatory mechanisms with significant effects on cognition and complex behaviors, thereby pointing to the therapeutic potential of epigenetic drug targets in the nervous system. PMID:25364289

  16. RNA epigenetics

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Nian; Pan, Tao

    2014-01-01

    Summary Mammalian messenger and long non-coding RNA contain tens of thousands of post-transcriptional chemical modifications. Among these, the N6-methyl-adenosine (m6A) modification is the most abundant and can be removed by specific mammalian enzymes. M6A modification is recognized by families of RNA binding proteins that affect many aspects of mRNA function. mRNA/lncRNA modification represents another layer of epigenetic regulation of gene expression, analogous to DNA methylation and histone modification. PMID:24768686

  17. Epigenetic variation in asexually reproducing organisms.

    PubMed

    Verhoeven, Koen J F; Preite, Veronica

    2014-03-01

    The role that epigenetic inheritance can play in adaptation may differ between sexuals and asexuals because (1) the dynamics of adaptation differ under sexual and asexual reproduction and the opportunities offered by epigenetic inheritance may affect these dynamics differently; and (2) in asexual reproduction epigenetic reprogramming mechanisms that are associated with meiosis can be bypassed, which could promote the buildup of epigenetic variation in asexuals. Here, we evaluate current evidence for an epigenetic contribution to adaptation in asexuals. We argue that two aspects of epigenetic variation should have particular relevance for asexuals, namely epigenetics-mediated phenotypic plasticity within and between generations, and heritable variation via stochastic epimutations. An evaluation of epigenetic reprogramming mechanisms suggests that some, but not all, forms of asexual reproduction enhance the likelihood of stable transmission of epigenetic marks across generations compared to sexual reproduction. However, direct tests of these predicted sexual-asexual differences are virtually lacking. Stable transmission of DNA methylation, transcriptomes, and phenotypes from parent to clonal offspring are demonstrated in various asexual species, and clonal genotypes from natural populations show habitat-specific DNA methylation. We discuss how these initial observations can be extended to demonstrate an epigenetic contribution to adaptation.

  18. Epigenetic variation in asexually reproducing organisms.

    PubMed

    Verhoeven, Koen J F; Preite, Veronica

    2014-03-01

    The role that epigenetic inheritance can play in adaptation may differ between sexuals and asexuals because (1) the dynamics of adaptation differ under sexual and asexual reproduction and the opportunities offered by epigenetic inheritance may affect these dynamics differently; and (2) in asexual reproduction epigenetic reprogramming mechanisms that are associated with meiosis can be bypassed, which could promote the buildup of epigenetic variation in asexuals. Here, we evaluate current evidence for an epigenetic contribution to adaptation in asexuals. We argue that two aspects of epigenetic variation should have particular relevance for asexuals, namely epigenetics-mediated phenotypic plasticity within and between generations, and heritable variation via stochastic epimutations. An evaluation of epigenetic reprogramming mechanisms suggests that some, but not all, forms of asexual reproduction enhance the likelihood of stable transmission of epigenetic marks across generations compared to sexual reproduction. However, direct tests of these predicted sexual-asexual differences are virtually lacking. Stable transmission of DNA methylation, transcriptomes, and phenotypes from parent to clonal offspring are demonstrated in various asexual species, and clonal genotypes from natural populations show habitat-specific DNA methylation. We discuss how these initial observations can be extended to demonstrate an epigenetic contribution to adaptation. PMID:24274255

  19. Dramaturgy and Silence.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Proehl, Geoffrey S.

    2003-01-01

    Notes that in rehearsals and performances, a jumble of silences are encountered. Discusses silence in the following situations: as frustration; as imposition; as invisibility; as power; as pleasure; as safety; as humility; as necessity; and as potential. Contends that when dramaturgs enter into conversation and break silence, they must carefully…

  20. Epigenetic regulation of repetitive elements is attenuated by prolonged heat stress in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Pecinka, Ales; Dinh, Huy Q; Baubec, Tuncay; Rosa, Marisa; Lettner, Nicole; Mittelsten Scheid, Ortrun

    2010-09-01

    Epigenetic factors determine responses to internal and external stimuli in eukaryotic organisms. Whether and how environmental conditions feed back to the epigenetic landscape is more a matter of suggestion than of substantiation. Plants are suitable organisms with which to address this question due to their sessile lifestyle and diversification of epigenetic regulators. We show that several repetitive elements of Arabidopsis thaliana that are under epigenetic regulation by transcriptional gene silencing at ambient temperatures and upon short term heat exposure become activated by prolonged heat stress. Activation can occur without loss of DNA methylation and with only minor changes to histone modifications but is accompanied by loss of nucleosomes and by heterochromatin decondensation. Whereas decondensation persists, nucleosome loading and transcriptional silencing are restored upon recovery from heat stress but are delayed in mutants with impaired chromatin assembly functions. The results provide evidence that environmental conditions can override epigenetic regulation, at least transiently, which might open a window for more permanent epigenetic changes. PMID:20876829

  1. A Complex Deoxyribonucleic Acid Looping Configuration Associated with the Silencing of the Maternal Igf2 Allele

    PubMed Central

    Qiu, Xinwen; Vu, Thanh H.; Lu, Qiucheng; Ling, Jian Qun; Li, Tao; Hou, Aiju; Wang, Shu Kui; Chen, Hui Ling; Hu, Ji Fan; Hoffman, Andrew R.

    2008-01-01

    Alternate interactions between the H19 imprinting control region (ICR) and one of the two Igf2 differentially methylated regions has been proposed as a model regulating the reciprocal imprinting of Igf2 and H19. To study the conformation of this imprint switch, we performed a systematic structural analysis across the 140 kb of the mouse Igf2-H19 region, which includes enhancers located both between the two genes as well as downstream of H19, by using a scanning chromosome conformation capture (3C) technique. Our results suggest that on the active paternal Igf2 allele, the various enhancers have direct access to the Igf2 promoters, whereas the imprinted silent maternal Igf2 allele assumes a complex three-dimensional knotted loop that keeps the enhancers away from the Igf2 promoters and allows them to interact with the H19 promoter. This complex DNA looping of the maternal allele is formed by interactions involving differentially methylated region 1, the ICR, and enhancers. Binding of CTC-binding factor to the maternal, unmethylated ICR in conjunction with the presence of multicomplex components including interchromosomal interactions, create a barrier blocking the access of all enhancers to Igf2, thereby silencing the maternal Igf2. This silencing configuration exists in newborn liver, mouse embryonic fibroblast, and embryonic stem cells and persists during mitosis, conferring a mechanism for epigenetic memory. PMID:18356289

  2. Evidence of Epigenetic Mechanisms Affecting Carotenoids.

    PubMed

    Arango, Jacobo; Beltrán, Jesús; Nuñez, Jonathan; Chavarriaga, Paul

    2016-01-01

    Epigenetic mechanisms are able to regulate plant development by generating non-Mendelian allelic interactions. An example of these are the responses to environmenal stimuli that result in phenotypic variability and transgression amongst important crop traits. The need to predict phenotypes from genotypes to understand the molecular basis of the genotype-by-environment interaction is a research priority. Today, with the recent discoveries in the field of epigenetics, this challenge goes beyond analyzing how DNA sequences change. Here we review examples of epigenetic regulation of genes involved in carotenoid synthesis and degradation, cases in which histone- and/or DNA-methylation, and RNA silencing at the posttranscriptional level affect carotenoids in plants. PMID:27485227

  3. Interactions between epigenetics and metabolism in cancers

    PubMed Central

    Yun, Jihye; Johnson, Jared L.; Hanigan, Christin L.; Locasale, Jason W.

    2012-01-01

    Cancer progression is accompanied by widespread transcriptional changes and metabolic alterations. While it is widely accepted that the origin of cancer can be traced to the mutations that accumulate over time, relatively recent evidence favors a similarly fundamental role for alterations in the epigenome during tumorigenesis. Changes in epigenetics that arise from post-translational modifications of histones and DNA are exploited by cancer cells to upregulate and/or downregulate the expression levels of oncogenes and tumor suppressors, respectively. Although the mechanisms behind these modifications, in particular how they lead to gene silencing and activation, are still being understood, most of the enzymatic machinery of epigenetics require metabolites as substrates or cofactors. As a result, their activities can be influenced by the metabolic state of the cell. The purpose of this review is to give an overview of cancer epigenetics and metabolism and provide examples of where they converge. PMID:23162793

  4. Crosstalk among Epigenetic Pathways Regulates Neurogenesis.

    PubMed

    Jobe, Emily M; McQuate, Andrea L; Zhao, Xinyu

    2012-01-01

    The process of neurogenesis includes neural stem cell proliferation, fate specification, young neuron migration, neuronal maturation, and functional integration into existing circuits. Although neurogenesis occurs largely during embryonic development, low levels but functionally important neurogenesis persists in restricted regions of the postnatal brain, including the subgranular zone of the dentate gyrus in the hippocampus and the subventricular zone of the lateral ventricles. This review will cover both embryonic and adult neurogenesis with an emphasis on the latter. Of the many endogenous mediators of postnatal neurogenesis, epigenetic pathways, such as mediators of DNA methylation, chromatin remodeling systems, and non-coding RNA modulators, appear to play an integral role. Mounting evidence shows that such epigenetic factors form regulatory networks, which govern each step of postnatal neurogenesis. In this review, we explore the emerging roles of epigenetic mechanisms particularly microRNAs, element-1 silencing transcription factor/neuron-restrictive silencing factor (REST/NRSF), polycomb proteins, and methyl-CpG bindings proteins, in regulating the entire process of postnatal and adult neurogenesis. We further summarize recent data regarding how the crosstalk among these different epigenetic proteins forms the critical regulatory network that regulates neuronal development. We finally discuss how crosstalk between these pathways may serve to translate environmental cues into control of the neurogenic process. PMID:22586361

  5. Epigenetic regulation of cystatins in cancer.

    PubMed

    Rivenbark, Ashley G; Coleman, William B

    2009-01-01

    Cystatins function as cysteine protease inhibitors, are expressed in numerous cell types, and regulate a number of physiological processes. Four cystatins have been extensively studied: cystatin A, cystatin B, cystatin C, and cystatin M. Aberrant regulation of cystatins occurs in a number of diseases, including cancer and certain neurodegenerative disorders. Recent advances in the understanding of cystatin function suggest that these proteins may regulate promotion or suppression of tumor growth, invasion, and metastasis. Cancer is a disease of abnormal gene expression and cancer cells exhibit aberrant epigenetic events (such as DNA methylation), leading to gene silencing. Cystatins are epigenetically silenced through DNA methylation-dependent mechanisms in several forms of cancer, including breast, pancreatic, brain, and lung. These findings suggest that DNA methylation-dependent epigenetic mechanisms may play an important role in the loss of cystatin gene expression and protein function during neoplastic transformation and/or tumor progression. This review summarizes the biological processes in which cystatins function, focuses on the neoplastic events that involve aberrant regulation of cystatins, and discusses the possible epigenetic regulation of cystatins in cancer.

  6. Possible Involvement of Standardized Bacopa monniera Extract (CDRI-08) in Epigenetic Regulation of reelin and Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor to Enhance Memory

    PubMed Central

    Preethi, Jayakumar; Singh, Hemant K.; Rajan, Koilmani E.

    2016-01-01

    Bacopa monniera extract (CDRI-08; BME) has been known to improve learning and memory, and understanding the molecular mechanisms may help to know its specificity. We investigated whether the BME treatment alters the methylation status of reelin and brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF) to enhance the memory through the interaction of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) with synaptic proteins. Rat pups were subjected to novel object recognition test following daily oral administration of BME (80 mg/kg) in 0.5% gum acacia (per-orally, p.o.; PND 15–29)/three doses of 5-azacytidine (5-azaC; 3.2 mg/kg) in 0.9% saline (intraperitoneally, i.p.) on PND-30. After the behavioral test, methylation status of reelin, BDNF and activation of NMDAR, and its interactions with synaptic proteins were tested. Rat pups treated with BME/5-azaC showed higher discrimination towards novel objects than with old objects during testing. Further, we observed an elevated level of unmethylated DNA in reelin and BDNF promoter region. Up-regulated reelin along with the splice variant of apolipoprotein E receptor 2 (ApoER 2, ex 19) form a cluster and activate NMDAR through disabled adopter protein-1 (DAB1) to enhance BDNF. Observed results suggest that BME regulate reelin epigenetically, which might enhance NMDAR interactions with synaptic proteins and induction of BDNF. These changes may be linked with improved novel object recognition memory. PMID:27445807

  7. Phosphotyrosine phosphatase inhibitor bisperoxovanadium endows myogenic cells with enhanced muscle stem cell functions via epigenetic modulation of Sca-1 and Pw1 promoters.

    PubMed

    Smeriglio, Piera; Alonso-Martin, Sonia; Masciarelli, Silvia; Madaro, Luca; Iosue, Ilaria; Marrocco, Valeria; Relaix, Frédéric; Fazi, Francesco; Marazzi, Giovanna; Sassoon, David A; Bouché, Marina

    2016-04-01

    Understanding the regulation of the stem cell fate is fundamental for designing novel regenerative medicine strategies. Previous studies have suggested that pharmacological treatments with small molecules provide a robust and reversible regulation of the stem cell program. Previously, we showed that treatment with a vanadium compound influences muscle cell fatein vitro In this study, we demonstrate that treatment with the phosphotyrosine phosphatase inhibitor bisperoxovanadium (BpV) drives primary muscle cells to a poised stem cell stage, with enhanced function in muscle regenerationin vivofollowing transplantation into injured muscles. Importantly, BpV-treated cells displayed increased self-renewal potentialin vivoand replenished the niche in both satellite and interstitial cell compartments. Moreover, we found that BpV treatment induces specific activating chromatin modifications at the promoter regions of genes associated with stem cell fate, includingSca-1andPw1 Thus, our findings indicate that BpV resets the cell fate program by specific epigenetic regulations, such that the committed myogenic cell fate is redirected to an earlier progenitor cell fate stage, which leads to an enhanced regenerative stem cell potential.-Smeriglio, P., Alonso-Martin, S., Masciarelli, S., Madaro, L., Iosue, I., Marrocco, V., Relaix, F., Fazi, F., Marazzi, G., Sassoon, D. A., Bouché, M. Phosphotyrosine phosphatase inhibitor bisperoxovanadium endows myogenic cells with enhanced muscle stem cell functionsviaepigenetic modulation of Sca-1 and Pw1 promoters.

  8. Possible Involvement of Standardized Bacopa monniera Extract (CDRI-08) in Epigenetic Regulation of reelin and Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor to Enhance Memory.

    PubMed

    Preethi, Jayakumar; Singh, Hemant K; Rajan, Koilmani E

    2016-01-01

    Bacopa monniera extract (CDRI-08; BME) has been known to improve learning and memory, and understanding the molecular mechanisms may help to know its specificity. We investigated whether the BME treatment alters the methylation status of reelin and brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF) to enhance the memory through the interaction of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) with synaptic proteins. Rat pups were subjected to novel object recognition test following daily oral administration of BME (80 mg/kg) in 0.5% gum acacia (per-orally, p.o.; PND 15-29)/three doses of 5-azacytidine (5-azaC; 3.2 mg/kg) in 0.9% saline (intraperitoneally, i.p.) on PND-30. After the behavioral test, methylation status of reelin, BDNF and activation of NMDAR, and its interactions with synaptic proteins were tested. Rat pups treated with BME/5-azaC showed higher discrimination towards novel objects than with old objects during testing. Further, we observed an elevated level of unmethylated DNA in reelin and BDNF promoter region. Up-regulated reelin along with the splice variant of apolipoprotein E receptor 2 (ApoER 2, ex 19) form a cluster and activate NMDAR through disabled adopter protein-1 (DAB1) to enhance BDNF. Observed results suggest that BME regulate reelin epigenetically, which might enhance NMDAR interactions with synaptic proteins and induction of BDNF. These changes may be linked with improved novel object recognition memory.

  9. Possible Involvement of Standardized Bacopa monniera Extract (CDRI-08) in Epigenetic Regulation of reelin and Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor to Enhance Memory.

    PubMed

    Preethi, Jayakumar; Singh, Hemant K; Rajan, Koilmani E

    2016-01-01

    Bacopa monniera extract (CDRI-08; BME) has been known to improve learning and memory, and understanding the molecular mechanisms may help to know its specificity. We investigated whether the BME treatment alters the methylation status of reelin and brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF) to enhance the memory through the interaction of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) with synaptic proteins. Rat pups were subjected to novel object recognition test following daily oral administration of BME (80 mg/kg) in 0.5% gum acacia (per-orally, p.o.; PND 15-29)/three doses of 5-azacytidine (5-azaC; 3.2 mg/kg) in 0.9% saline (intraperitoneally, i.p.) on PND-30. After the behavioral test, methylation status of reelin, BDNF and activation of NMDAR, and its interactions with synaptic proteins were tested. Rat pups treated with BME/5-azaC showed higher discrimination towards novel objects than with old objects during testing. Further, we observed an elevated level of unmethylated DNA in reelin and BDNF promoter region. Up-regulated reelin along with the splice variant of apolipoprotein E receptor 2 (ApoER 2, ex 19) form a cluster and activate NMDAR through disabled adopter protein-1 (DAB1) to enhance BDNF. Observed results suggest that BME regulate reelin epigenetically, which might enhance NMDAR interactions with synaptic proteins and induction of BDNF. These changes may be linked with improved novel object recognition memory. PMID:27445807

  10. Transgenerational epigenetic inheritance: adaptation through the germline epigenome?

    PubMed

    Prokopuk, Lexie; Western, Patrick S; Stringer, Jessica M

    2015-08-01

    Epigenetic modifications direct the way DNA is packaged into the nucleus, making genes more or less accessible to transcriptional machinery and influencing genomic stability. Environmental factors have the potential to alter the epigenome, allowing genes that are silenced to be activated and vice versa. This ultimately influences disease susceptibility and health in an individual. Furthermore, altered chromatin states can be transmitted to subsequent generations, thus epigenetic modifications may provide evolutionary mechanisms that impact on adaptation to changed environments. However, the mechanisms involved in establishing and maintaining these epigenetic modifications during development remain unclear. This review discusses current evidence for transgenerational epigenetic inheritance, confounding issues associated with its study, and the biological relevance of altered epigenetic states for subsequent generations.

  11. Transposable elements, a treasure trove to decipher epigenetic variation: insights from Arabidopsis and crop epigenomes.

    PubMed

    Mirouze, Marie; Vitte, Clémentine

    2014-06-01

    In the past decade, plant biologists and breeders have developed a growing interest in the field of epigenetics, which is defined as the study of heritable changes in gene expression that cannot be explained by changes in the DNA sequence. Epigenetic marks can be responsive to the environment, and evolve faster than genetic changes. Therefore, epigenetic diversity may represent an unexplored resource of natural variation that could be used in plant breeding programmes. On the other hand, crop genomes are largely populated with transposable elements (TEs) that are efficiently targeted by epigenetic marks, and part of the epigenetic diversity observed might be explained by TE polymorphisms. Characterizing the degree to which TEs influence epigenetic variation in crops is therefore a major goal to better use epigenetic variation. To date, epigenetic analyses have been mainly focused on the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, and have provided clues on epigenome features, components that silence pathways, and effects of silencing impairment. But to what extent can Arabidopsis be used as a model for the epigenomics of crops? In this review, we discuss the similarities and differences between the epigenomes of Arabidopsis and crops. We explore the relationship between TEs and epigenomes, focusing on TE silencing control and escape, and the impact of TE mobility on epigenomic variation. Finally, we provide insights into challenges to tackle, and future directions to take in the route towards using epigenetic diversity in plant breeding programmes.

  12. [Transgene complete silencing may associate with rearrangement of retroviral vector].

    PubMed

    Wang, Dan; Xiao, Lejia; Ma, Qingxin; Zhai, Fen; Ren, Sichong; Li, Changlong

    2011-04-01

    Transgene silencing is one of two major obstacles in both basic biomedical research for transgene and clinical practice of gene therapy. Based on the model of HT1080 cell clones, which transduced single copy of retroviral vector MGPN2, the mechanism of transgene silencing was explored in this investigation by a serial molecular techniques. In the HT1080 cell clone that absence of GFP protein synthesized, no significant aberration of epigenetic modification was detected, but the transcript size and the sequence changed that resulted in the reading frame shift. In addition to chromosomal position effect leading to transgene silencing, the transcript reading frame shift associated with retroviral vector rearrangements could induce complete silencing of transgene.

  13. Germline epimutation: A basis for epigenetic disease in humans.

    PubMed

    Martin, David I K; Ward, Robyn; Suter, Catherine M

    2005-01-01

    Epigenetic modifications of DNA produce reversible and clonally heritable alterations in transcription state. Errors in the elaborate apparatus of epigenetic silencing possessed by higher eukaryotes can lead to "epimutation," abnormal silencing of a gene. It was supposed that an epimutation in the germline would produce a phenotype equivalent to that resulting from an inactivating germline mutation in the same gene. In testing this hypothesis individuals were identified in whom one allele of the gene encoding the DNA mismatch repair protein MLH1 is epigenetically silenced throughout the soma (implying a germline event). These individuals fit the clinical criteria for hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer, which is usually produced by germline mutation of MLH1. None of the affected individuals have any genetic abnormality that would explain the presence of the epimutation. Thus, an epimutation can phenocopy a genetic disease; this innate epigenetic defect is not necessarily the result of anything other than chance. Epigenetic phenomena tend to be stochastic, reversible, and mosaic; the occurrence and inheritance of epimutations are likely to have rules completely different from those of Mendelian genetics. The application of this principle to the thalassemias is discussed.

  14. Insights into the effects of polygalacturonase FaPG1 gene silencing on pectin matrix disassembly, enhanced tissue integrity, and firmness in ripe strawberry fruits

    PubMed Central

    Posé, Sara; Paniagua, Candelas; Cifuentes, Manuel; Blanco-Portales, Rosario; Quesada, Miguel A.; Mercado, José A.

    2013-01-01

    Antisense-mediated down-regulation of the fruit-specific polygalacturonase (PG) gene FaPG1 in strawberries (Fragaria×ananassa Duch.) has been previously demonstrated to reduce fruit softening and to extend post-harvest shelf life, despite the low PG activity detected in this fruit. The improved fruit traits were suggested to be attributable to a reduced cell wall disassembly due to FaPG1 silencing. This research provides empirical evidence that supports this assumption at the biochemical, cellular, and tissue levels. Cell wall modifications of two independent transgenic antisense lines that demonstrated a >90% reduction in FaPG1 transcript levels were analysed. Sequential extraction of cell wall fractions from control and ripe fruits exhibited a 42% decrease in pectin solubilization in transgenic fruits. A detailed chromatographic analysis of the gel filtration pectin profiles of the different cell wall fractions revealed a diminished depolymerization of the more tightly bound pectins in transgenic fruits, which were solubilized with both a chelating agent and sodium carbonate. The cell wall extracts from antisense FaPG1 fruits also displayed less severe in vitro swelling. A histological analysis revealed more extended cell–cell adhesion areas and an enhanced tissue integrity in transgenic ripe fruits. An immunohistological analysis of fruit sections using the JIM5 antibody against low methyl-esterified pectins demonstrated a higher labelling in transgenic fruit sections, whereas minor differences were observed with JIM7, an antibody that recognizes highly methyl-esterified pectins. These results support that the increased firmness of transgenic antisense FaPG1 strawberry fruits is predominantly due to a decrease in pectin solubilization and depolymerization that correlates with more tightly attached cell wall-bound pectins. This limited disassembly in the transgenic lines indicates that these pectin fractions could play a key role in tissue integrity

  15. MicroRNA-155 silencing enhances inflammatory response and lipid uptake in oxidized low-density lipoprotein-stimulated human THP-1 macrophages.

    PubMed

    Huang, Ri-sheng; Hu, Guan-qiong; Lin, Bin; Lin, Zhi-yi; Sun, Cheng-chao

    2010-12-01

    It has been proposed that the inflammatory response of monocytes/macrophages induced by oxidized low-density lipoprotein (oxLDL) is a key event in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. MicroRNA-155 (miR-155) is an important regulator of the immune system and has been shown to be involved in acute inflammatory response. However, the function of miR-155 in oxLDL-stimulated inflammation and atherosclerosis remains unclear. Here, we show that the exposure of human THP-1 macrophages to oxLDL led to a marked up-regulation of miR-155 in a dose-dependent manner. Silencing of endogenous miR-155 in THP-1 cells using locked nucleic acid-modified antisense oligonucleotides significantly enhanced oxLDL-induced lipid uptake, up-regulated the expression of scavenger receptors (lectinlike oxidized LDL receptor-1, cluster of differentiation 36 [CD36], and CD68), and promoted the release of several cytokines including interleukin (IL)-6, -8, and tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α). Luciferase reporter assay showed that targeting miR-155 promoted nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) nuclear translocation and potentiated the NF-κB-driven transcription activity. Moreover, miR-155 knockdown resulted in a marked increase in the protein amount of myeloid differentiation primary response gene 88 (MyD88), an important adapter protein used by Toll-like receptors to activate the NF-κB pathway. Our data demonstrate that miR-155 serves as a negative feedback regulator in oxLDL-stimulated THP-1 inflammatory responses and lipid uptake and thus might have potential therapeutic implications in atherosclerosis.

  16. Transposable element origins of epigenetic gene regulation.

    PubMed

    Lisch, Damon; Bennetzen, Jeffrey L

    2011-04-01

    Transposable elements (TEs) are massively abundant and unstable in all plant genomes, but are mostly silent because of epigenetic suppression. Because all known epigenetic pathways act on all TEs, it is likely that the specialized epigenetic regulation of regular host genes (RHGs) was co-opted from this ubiquitous need for the silencing of TEs and viruses. With their internally repetitive and rearranging structures, and the acquisition of fragments of RHGs, the expression of TEs commonly makes antisense RNAs for both TE genes and RHGs. These antisense RNAs, particularly from heterochromatic reservoirs of 'zombie' TEs that are rearranged to form variously internally repetitive structures, may be advantageous because their induction will help rapidly suppress active TEs of the same family. RHG fragments within rapidly rearranging TEs may also provide the raw material for the ongoing generation of miRNA genes. TE gene expression is regulated by both environmental and developmental signals, and insertions can place nearby RHGs under the regulation (both standard and epigenetic) of the TE. The ubiquity of TEs, their frequent preferential association with RHGs, and their ability to be programmed by epigenetic signals all indicate that RGHs have nearly unlimited access to novel regulatory cassettes to assist plant adaptation. PMID:21444239

  17. Silencing defense pathways in Arabidopsis by heterologous gene sequences from Brassica oleracea enhances the performance of a specialist and a generalist herbivorous insect.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Si-Jun; Zhang, Peng-Jun; van Loon, Joop J A; Dicke, Marcel

    2011-08-01

    The jasmonic acid (JA) signaling pathway and defensive secondary metabolites such as glucosinolates are generally considered to play central roles in the defense of brassicaceous plants against herbivorous insects. To determine the function of specific plant genes in plant-insect interactions, signaling or biosynthetic mutants are needed. However, mutants are not yet available for brassicaceous plants other than Arabidopsis thaliana, e.g., cabbage (Brassica oleracea). We employed virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) by using tobacco rattle virus (TRV) to knock down the endogenous expression of lipoxygenase (LOX), an upstream enzyme of the JA pathway and thioglucoside glucohydrolase: myrosinase (TGG1/TGG2), a hydrolytic enzyme that catalyzes the release of defensive volatile products originating from glucosinolates, in Arabidopsis thaliana. This was done by using the heterologous gene sequences from B. oleracea. Silencing these genes in A. thaliana plants is efficient and specific. Only 18 nucleotides with 100% identity between the trigger (BoMYR) and the target (AtTGG1/2) sequence are sufficient to achieve gene silencing. LOX-silenced plants showed significantly reduced AtLOX2 transcript accumulation after Pieris rapae larval feeding. TGG-silenced plants exhibited significantly lower TGG1/TGG2 transcript levels only after shorter larval feeding. The inhibition of TGG1/TGG2 transcript accumulation via gene silencing may be overruled by longer larval feeding. Specialist P. rapae larvae developed significantly better on both types of silenced plants than on empty vector (EV) control plants, while generalist Mamestra brassicae larvae developed significantly better on the TGG1/TGG2 silenced plants than on EV control plants. This shows that not only the generalist herbivore but also the Brassicaceae-specialist P. rapae is negatively affected by the ability of brassicaceous plants to produce their specific secondary metabolites, i.e., glucosinolates. Our results

  18. Involvement of Epigenetic Mechanisms in the Regulation of Secreted Phospholipase A2 Expressions in Jurkat Leukemia Cells

    PubMed Central

    Menschikowski, Mario; Hagelgans, Albert; Kostka, Heike; Eisenhofer, Graeme; Siegert, Gabriele

    2008-01-01

    Epigenetic changes provide a frequent mechanism for transcriptional silencing of genes in cancer cells. We previously established that epigenetic mechanisms are important for control of group IIA phospholipase A2 (PLA2G2A) gene transcription in human DU-145 prostate cells. In this study, we analyzed the involvement of such mechanisms in the regulation of five sPLA2 isozymes and the M-type receptor of sPLA2 (sPLA2-R) in human leukemic Jurkat cells. These cells constitutively expressed sPLA2-IB, sPLA2-III, sPLA2-X, and sPLA2-R but not sPLA2-IIA and sPLA2-V. Transcription of sPLA2-IIA and sPLA2-V was, however, detected after exposure of cells to the DNA demethylating agent, 5-aza-2′-deoxycytidine (5-aza-dC). Expression of sPLA2-IIA was further enhanced by additional exposure to interferon-γ and blocked by inhibitors of specificity protein 1, nuclear factor κB, and Janus kinase/signal transducer and activator of transcription-dependent pathways. Sequence analysis and methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction of bisulfite-modified genomic DNA revealed two 5′-CpG sites (-111 and -82) in the sPLA2-IIA proximal promoter that were demethylated after 5-aza-dC treatment. These sites may be involved in the DNA binding of specificity protein 1 and other transcription factors. Similar findings after treatment of human U937 leukemia cells with 5-aza-dC indicate that this mechanism of PLA2G2A gene silencing is not restricted to Jurkat and DU-145 cells. These data establish that regulation of sPLA2-IIA and sPLA2-V in Jurkat and other cells involves epigenetic silencing by DNA hypermethylation. PMID:18953428

  19. Butyrate greatly enhances derivation of human induced pluripotent stem cells by promoting epigenetic remodeling and the expression of pluripotency-associated genes.

    PubMed

    Mali, Prashant; Chou, Bin-Kuan; Yen, Jonathan; Ye, Zhaohui; Zou, Jizhong; Dowey, Sarah; Brodsky, Robert A; Ohm, Joyce E; Yu, Wayne; Baylin, Stephen B; Yusa, Kosuke; Bradley, Allan; Meyers, David J; Mukherjee, Chandrani; Cole, Philip A; Cheng, Linzhao

    2010-04-01

    We report here that butyrate, a naturally occurring fatty acid commonly used as a nutritional supplement and differentiation agent, greatly enhances the efficiency of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell derivation from human adult or fetal fibroblasts. After transient butyrate treatment, the iPS cell derivation efficiency is enhanced by 15- to 51-fold using either retroviral or piggyBac transposon vectors expressing 4 to 5 reprogramming genes. Butyrate stimulation is more remarkable (>100- to 200-fold) on reprogramming in the absence of either KLF4 or MYC transgene. Butyrate treatment did not negatively affect properties of iPS cell lines established by either 3 or 4 retroviral vectors or a single piggyBac DNA transposon vector. These characterized iPS cell lines, including those derived from an adult patient with sickle cell disease by either the piggyBac or retroviral vectors, show normal karyotypes and pluripotency. To gain insights into the underlying mechanisms of butyrate stimulation, we conducted genome-wide gene expression and promoter DNA methylation microarrays and other epigenetic analyses on established iPS cells and cells from intermediate stages of the reprogramming process. By days 6 to 12 during reprogramming, butyrate treatment enhanced histone H3 acetylation, promoter DNA demethylation, and the expression of endogenous pluripotency-associated genes, including DPPA2, whose overexpression partially substitutes for butyrate stimulation. Thus, butyrate as a cell permeable small molecule provides a simple tool to further investigate molecular mechanisms of cellular reprogramming. Moreover, butyrate stimulation provides an efficient method for reprogramming various human adult somatic cells, including cells from patients that are more refractory to reprogramming. PMID:20201064

  20. Butyrate greatly enhances derivation of human induced pluripotent stem cells by promoting epigenetic remodeling and the expression of pluripotency-associated genes.

    PubMed

    Mali, Prashant; Chou, Bin-Kuan; Yen, Jonathan; Ye, Zhaohui; Zou, Jizhong; Dowey, Sarah; Brodsky, Robert A; Ohm, Joyce E; Yu, Wayne; Baylin, Stephen B; Yusa, Kosuke; Bradley, Allan; Meyers, David J; Mukherjee, Chandrani; Cole, Philip A; Cheng, Linzhao

    2010-04-01

    We report here that butyrate, a naturally occurring fatty acid commonly used as a nutritional supplement and differentiation agent, greatly enhances the efficiency of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell derivation from human adult or fetal fibroblasts. After transient butyrate treatment, the iPS cell derivation efficiency is enhanced by 15- to 51-fold using either retroviral or piggyBac transposon vectors expressing 4 to 5 reprogramming genes. Butyrate stimulation is more remarkable (>100- to 200-fold) on reprogramming in the absence of either KLF4 or MYC transgene. Butyrate treatment did not negatively affect properties of iPS cell lines established by either 3 or 4 retroviral vectors or a single piggyBac DNA transposon vector. These characterized iPS cell lines, including those derived from an adult patient with sickle cell disease by either the piggyBac or retroviral vectors, show normal karyotypes and pluripotency. To gain insights into the underlying mechanisms of butyrate stimulation, we conducted genome-wide gene expression and promoter DNA methylation microarrays and other epigenetic analyses on established iPS cells and cells from intermediate stages of the reprogramming process. By days 6 to 12 during reprogramming, butyrate treatment enhanced histone H3 acetylation, promoter DNA demethylation, and the expression of endogenous pluripotency-associated genes, including DPPA2, whose overexpression partially substitutes for butyrate stimulation. Thus, butyrate as a cell permeable small molecule provides a simple tool to further investigate molecular mechanisms of cellular reprogramming. Moreover, butyrate stimulation provides an efficient method for reprogramming various human adult somatic cells, including cells from patients that are more refractory to reprogramming.

  1. Silence and Symbolic Expression.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ehrenhaus, Peter

    1988-01-01

    Develops a phenomenological perspective of silence and illustrates its principles through a study of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, discussing the memorial as an architectural instance of object-silence. Suggests that the meanings individuals find at the memorial can be distinguished in terms of various public signs of understanding that…

  2. Fine-tuning silencing.

    PubMed

    Panning, Barbara

    2010-01-01

    Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 (PRC2) modifies chromatin to silence many embryonic patterning genes, restricting their expression to the appropriate cell populations. Two reports in Cell by Peng et al. (2009) and Shen et al. (2009) identify Jarid2/Jumonji, a new component of PRC2, which inhibits PRC2 enzymatic activity to fine-tune silencing.

  3. Epigenetic Alterations in Ultraviolet Radiation-Induced Skin Carcinogenesis: Interaction of Bioactive Dietary Components on Epigenetic Targets†

    PubMed Central

    Katiyar, Santosh K.; Singh, Tripti; Prasad, Ram; Sun, Qian; Vaid, Mudit

    2011-01-01

    The importance of epigenetic alterations in the development of various diseases including the cancers has been realized. As epigenetic changes are reversible heritable changes, these can be utilized as an effective strategy for the prevention of cancers. DNA methylation is the most characterized epigenetic mechanism that can be inherited without changing the DNA sequence. Although limited, but available data suggest that silencing of tumor suppressor genes in ultraviolet (UV) radiation-exposed epidermis leads to photocarcinogenesis and is associated with a network of epigenetic modifications including alterations in DNA methylation, DNA methyltransferases and histone acetylations. Various bioactive dietary components have been shown to protect skin from UV radiation-induced skin tumors in animal models. The role of bioactive dietary components, such as, (−)-epicatechins from green tea and proanthocyanidins from grape seeds, has been assessed in chemoprevention of UV-induced skin carcinogenesis and underlying epigenetic mechanism in vitro and in vivo animal models. These bioactive components have the ability to block UV-induced DNA hypermethylation and histone modifications in the skin required for the silencing of tumor suppressor genes (e.g., Cip1/p21, p16INK4a). These information are of importance for understanding the role of epigenetic modulation in UV-induced skin tumor and the chemopreventive mechanism of bioactive dietary components. PMID:22017262

  4. Epigenetic memory in plants

    PubMed Central

    Iwasaki, Mayumi; Paszkowski, Jerzy

    2014-01-01

    Epigenetics refers to heritable changes in patterns of gene expression that occur without alterations in DNA sequence. The epigenetic mechanisms involve covalent modifications of DNA and histones, which affect transcriptional activity of chromatin. Since chromatin states can be propagated through mitotic and meiotic divisions, epigenetic mechanisms are thought to provide heritable ‘cellular memory’. Here, we review selected examples of epigenetic memory in plants and briefly discuss underlying mechanisms. PMID:25104823

  5. Epigenetic factor EPC1 is a master regulator of DNA damage response by interacting with E2F1 to silence death and activate metastasis-related gene signatures

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yajie; Alla, Vijay; Goody, Deborah; Gupta, Shailendra K.; Spitschak, Alf; Wolkenhauer, Olaf; Pützer, Brigitte M.; Engelmann, David

    2016-01-01

    Transcription factor E2F1 is a key regulator of cell proliferation and apoptosis. Recently, it has been shown that aberrant E2F1 expression often detectable in advanced cancers contributes essentially to cancer cell propagation and characterizes the aggressive potential of a tumor. Conceptually, this requires a subset of malignant cells capable of evading apoptotic death through anticancer drugs. The molecular mechanism by which the pro-apoptotic activity of E2F1 is antagonized is widely unclear. Here we report a novel function for EPC1 (enhancer of polycomb homolog 1) in DNA damage protection. Depletion of EPC1 potentiates E2F1-mediated apoptosis in response to genotoxic treatment and abolishes tumor cell motility. We found that E2F1 directly binds to the EPC1 promoter and EPC1 vice versa physically interacts with bifunctional E2F1 to modulate its transcriptional activity in a target gene-specific manner. Remarkably, nuclear-colocalized EPC1 activates E2F1 to upregulate the expression of anti-apoptotic survival genes such as BCL-2 or Survivin/BIRC5 and inhibits death-inducing targets. The uncovered cooperativity between EPC1 and E2F1 triggers a metastasis-related gene signature in advanced cancers that predicts poor patient survival. These findings unveil a novel oncogenic function of EPC1 for inducing the switch into tumor progression-relevant gene expression that may help to set novel therapies. PMID:26350215

  6. Epigenetic drift, epigenetic clocks and cancer risk.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Shijie C; Widschwendter, Martin; Teschendorff, Andrew E

    2016-05-01

    It is well-established that the DNA methylation landscape of normal cells undergoes a gradual modification with age, termed as 'epigenetic drift'. Here, we review the current state of knowledge of epigenetic drift and its potential role in cancer etiology. We propose a new terminology to help distinguish the different components of epigenetic drift, with the aim of clarifying the role of the epigenetic clock, mitotic clocks and active changes, which accumulate in response to environmental disease risk factors. We further highlight the growing evidence that epigenetic changes associated with cancer risk factors may play an important causal role in cancer development, and that monitoring these molecular changes in normal cells may offer novel risk prediction and disease prevention strategies.

  7. Epigenetic drift, epigenetic clocks and cancer risk.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Shijie C; Widschwendter, Martin; Teschendorff, Andrew E

    2016-05-01

    It is well-established that the DNA methylation landscape of normal cells undergoes a gradual modification with age, termed as 'epigenetic drift'. Here, we review the current state of knowledge of epigenetic drift and its potential role in cancer etiology. We propose a new terminology to help distinguish the different components of epigenetic drift, with the aim of clarifying the role of the epigenetic clock, mitotic clocks and active changes, which accumulate in response to environmental disease risk factors. We further highlight the growing evidence that epigenetic changes associated with cancer risk factors may play an important causal role in cancer development, and that monitoring these molecular changes in normal cells may offer novel risk prediction and disease prevention strategies. PMID:27104983

  8. H3K36 Trimethylation-Mediated Epigenetic Regulation is Activated by Bam and Promotes Germ Cell Differentiation During Early Oogenesis in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Mukai, Masanori; Hira, Seiji; Nakamura, Katsuhiro; Nakamura, Shoichi; Kimura, Hiroshi; Sato, Masanao; Kobayashi, Satoru

    2015-01-01

    Epigenetic silencing is critical for maintaining germline stem cells in Drosophila ovaries. However, it remains unclear how the differentiation factor, Bag-of-marbles (Bam), counteracts transcriptional silencing. We found that the trimethylation of lysine 36 on histone H3 (H3K36me3), a modification that is associated with gene activation, is enhanced in Bam-expressing cells. H3K36me3 levels were reduced in flies deficient in Bam. Inactivation of the Set2 methyltransferase, which confers the H3K36me3 modification, in germline cells markedly reduced H3K36me3 and impaired differentiation. Genetic analyses revealed that Set2 acts downstream of Bam. Furthermore, orb expression, which is required for germ cell differentiation, was activated by Set2, probably through direct H3K36me3 modification of the orb locus. Our data indicate that H3K36me3-mediated epigenetic regulation is activated by bam, and that this modification facilitates germ cell differentiation, probably through transcriptional activation. This work provides a novel link between Bam and epigenetic transcriptional control. PMID:25572421

  9. Therapeutic Silencing of Bcl-2 by Systemically Administered siRNA Nanotherapeutics Inhibits Tumor Growth by Autophagy and Apoptosis and Enhances the Efficacy of Chemotherapy in Orthotopic Xenograft Models of ER (−) and ER (+) Breast Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Tekedereli, Ibrahim; Alpay, S Neslihan; Akar, Ugur; Yuca, Erkan; Ayugo-Rodriguez, Cristian; Han, He-Dong; Sood, Anil K; Lopez-Berestein, Gabriel; Ozpolat, Bulent

    2013-01-01

    Bcl-2 is overexpressed in about a half of human cancers and 50–70% of breast cancer patients, thereby conferring resistance to conventional therapies and making it an excellent therapeutic target. Small interfering RNA (siRNA) offers novel and powerful tools for specific gene silencing and molecularly targeted therapy. Here, we show that therapeutic silencing of Bcl-2 by systemically administered nanoliposomal (NL)-Bcl-2 siRNA (0.15 mg siRNA/kg, intravenous) twice a week leads to significant antitumor activity and suppression of growth in both estrogen receptor-negative (ER(−)) MDA-MB-231 and ER-positive (+) MCF7 breast tumors in orthotopic xenograft models (P < 0.05). A single intravenous injection of NL-Bcl-2-siRNA provided robust and persistent silencing of the target gene expression in xenograft tumors. NL-Bcl-2-siRNA treatment significantly increased the efficacy of chemotherapy when combined with doxorubicin in both MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7 animal models (P < 0.05). NL-Bcl-2-siRNA treatment-induced apoptosis and autophagic cell death, and inhibited cyclin D1, HIF1α and Src/Fak signaling in tumors. In conclusion, our data provide the first evidence that in vivo therapeutic targeting Bcl-2 by systemically administered nanoliposomal-siRNA significantly inhibits growth of both ER(−) and ER(+) breast tumors and enhances the efficacy of chemotherapy, suggesting that therapeutic silencing of Bcl-2 by siRNA is a viable approach in breast cancers. PMID:24022053

  10. Rice epigenomics and epigenetics: challenges and opportunities.

    PubMed

    Chen, Xiangsong; Zhou, Dao-Xiu

    2013-05-01

    During recent years rice genome-wide epigenomic information such as DNA methylation and histone modifications, which are important for genome activity has been accumulated. The function of a number of rice epigenetic regulators has been studied, many of which are found to be involved in a diverse range of developmental and stress-responsive pathways. Analysis of epigenetic variations among different rice varieties indicates that epigenetic modification may lead to inheritable phenotypic variation. Characterizing phenotypic consequences of rice epigenomic variations and the underlining chromatin mechanism and identifying epialleles related to important agronomic traits may provide novel strategies to enhance agronomically favorable traits and grain productivity in rice.

  11. Augmenting Antitumor Immune Responses with Epigenetic Modifying Agents

    PubMed Central

    Héninger, Erika; Krueger, Timothy E. G.; Lang, Joshua M.

    2015-01-01

    Epigenetic silencing of immune-related genes is a striking feature of the cancer genome that occurs in the process of tumorigenesis. This phenomena impacts antigen processing and antigen presentation by tumor cells and facilitates evasion of immunosurveillance. Further modulation of the tumor microenvironment by altered expression of immunosuppressive cytokines impairs antigen-presenting cells and cytolytic T-cell function. The potential reversal of immunosuppression by epigenetic modulation is therefore a promising and versatile therapeutic approach to reinstate endogenous immune recognition and tumor lysis. Pre-clinical studies have identified multiple elements of the immune system that can be modulated by epigenetic mechanisms and result in improved antigen presentation, effector T-cell function, and breakdown of suppressor mechanisms. Recent clinical studies are utilizing epigenetic therapies prior to, or in combination with, immune therapies to improve clinical outcomes. PMID:25699047

  12. Cancer type-specific epigenetic changes: gastric cancer.

    PubMed

    Calcagno, Danielle Queiroz; de Arruda Cardoso Smith, Marília; Burbano, Rommel Rodriguez

    2015-01-01

    Gastric cancer (GC) remains a major cause of mortality despite declining rate in the world. Epigenetic alterations contribute significantly to the development and progression of gastric tumors. Epigenetic refers to the number of modifications of the chromatin structure that affect gene expression without altering the primary sequence of DNA, and these changes lead to transcriptional activation or silencing of the gene. Over the years, the study of epigenetic processes has increased, and novel therapeutic approaches have emerged. This chapter summarizes the main epigenomic mechanisms described recently involved in gastric carcinogenesis, focusing on the roles that aberrant DNA methylation, histone modifications (histone acetylation and methylation), and miRNAs (oncogenic and tumor suppressor function of miRNA) play in the onset and progression of gastric tumors. Clinical implications of these epigenetic alterations in GC are also discussed.

  13. Cancer type-specific epigenetic changes: gastric cancer.

    PubMed

    Calcagno, Danielle Queiroz; de Arruda Cardoso Smith, Marília; Burbano, Rommel Rodriguez

    2015-01-01

    Gastric cancer (GC) remains a major cause of mortality despite declining rate in the world. Epigenetic alterations contribute significantly to the development and progression of gastric tumors. Epigenetic refers to the number of modifications of the chromatin structure that affect gene expression without altering the primary sequence of DNA, and these changes lead to transcriptional activation or silencing of the gene. Over the years, the study of epigenetic processes has increased, and novel therapeutic approaches have emerged. This chapter summarizes the main epigenomic mechanisms described recently involved in gastric carcinogenesis, focusing on the roles that aberrant DNA methylation, histone modifications (histone acetylation and methylation), and miRNAs (oncogenic and tumor suppressor function of miRNA) play in the onset and progression of gastric tumors. Clinical implications of these epigenetic alterations in GC are also discussed. PMID:25421656

  14. Epigenetic deregulations in chordoma.

    PubMed

    Yu, Xin; Li, Zheng

    2015-10-01

    Chordoma is a rare type of malignant bone tumour arising from remnant notochord and prognosis of patients with it remains poor as its molecular and genetic mechanisms are not well understood. Increasing evidence has demonstrated that epigenetic mechanisms (DNA methylation, histone modification and nucleosome remodelling), play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of many diseases. Aberrant epigenetic patterns are present in patients with chordoma, indicating a potential role for epigenetic mechanisms inthis malignancy. Furthermore, epigenetic alterations may provide novel biomarkers for diagnosis and prognosis as well as therapeutic targets for treatment. In this review, we discuss relevant epigenetic findings associated with chordoma, and their potential application for diagnosis, prognosis and treatment.

  15. Epigenetics in pediatrics.

    PubMed

    Puumala, Susan E; Hoyme, H Eugene

    2015-01-01

    Epigenetic mechanisms are external modifications of DNA that cause changes in gene function and are involved in many diseases. Specific examples of pediatric diseases with a known or suspected epigenetic component include Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome, childhood leukemia, allergies, asthma, fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, childhood obesity, and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Currently, epigenetically active treatments are being used to treat childhood leukemia. Potential epigenetically active treatments and preventive regimens are under study for other diseases. Pediatricians need to be aware of the epigenetic basis of disease to help inform clinical decision making in the future. PMID:25554107

  16. UV-C-Induced alleviation of transcriptional gene silencing through plant-plant communication: Key roles of jasmonic acid and salicylic acid pathways.

    PubMed

    Xu, Wei; Wang, Ting; Xu, Shaoxin; Li, Fanghua; Deng, Chenguang; Wu, Lijun; Wu, Yuejin; Bian, Po

    2016-08-01

    Plant stress responses at the epigenetic level are expected to allow more permanent changes of gene expression and potentially long-term adaptation. While it has been reported that plants subjected to adverse environments initiate various stress responses in their neighboring plants, little is known regarding epigenetic responses to external stresses mediated by plant-plant communication. In this study, we show that DNA repetitive elements of Arabidopsis thaliana, whose expression is inhibited epigenetically by transcriptional gene silencing (TGS) mechanism, are activated by UV-C irradiation through airborne plant-plant and plant-plant-plant communications, accompanied by DNA demethylation at CHH sites. Moreover, the TGS is alleviated by direct treatments with exogenous methyl jasmonate (MeJA) and methyl salicylate (MeSA). Further, the plant-plant and plant-plant-plant communications are blocked by mutations in the biosynthesis or signaling of jasmonic acid (JA) or salicylic acid (SA), indicating that JA and SA pathways are involved in the interplant communication for epigenetic responses. For the plant-plant-plant communication, stress cues are relayed to the last set of receiver plants by promoting the production of JA and SA signals in relaying plants, which exhibit upregulated expression of genes for JA and SA biosynthesis and enhanced emanation of MeJA and MeSA. PMID:27131397

  17. UV-C-Induced alleviation of transcriptional gene silencing through plant-plant communication: Key roles of jasmonic acid and salicylic acid pathways.

    PubMed

    Xu, Wei; Wang, Ting; Xu, Shaoxin; Li, Fanghua; Deng, Chenguang; Wu, Lijun; Wu, Yuejin; Bian, Po

    2016-08-01

    Plant stress responses at the epigenetic level are expected to allow more permanent changes of gene expression and potentially long-term adaptation. While it has been reported that plants subjected to adverse environments initiate various stress responses in their neighboring plants, little is known regarding epigenetic responses to external stresses mediated by plant-plant communication. In this study, we show that DNA repetitive elements of Arabidopsis thaliana, whose expression is inhibited epigenetically by transcriptional gene silencing (TGS) mechanism, are activated by UV-C irradiation through airborne plant-plant and plant-plant-plant communications, accompanied by DNA demethylation at CHH sites. Moreover, the TGS is alleviated by direct treatments with exogenous methyl jasmonate (MeJA) and methyl salicylate (MeSA). Further, the plant-plant and plant-plant-plant communications are blocked by mutations in the biosynthesis or signaling of jasmonic acid (JA) or salicylic acid (SA), indicating that JA and SA pathways are involved in the interplant communication for epigenetic responses. For the plant-plant-plant communication, stress cues are relayed to the last set of receiver plants by promoting the production of JA and SA signals in relaying plants, which exhibit upregulated expression of genes for JA and SA biosynthesis and enhanced emanation of MeJA and MeSA.

  18. EMdeCODE: a novel algorithm capable of reading words of epigenetic code to predict enhancers and retroviral integration sites and to identify H3R2me1 as a distinctive mark of coding versus non-coding genes.

    PubMed

    Santoni, Federico Andrea

    2013-02-01

    Existence of some extra-genetic (epigenetic) codes has been postulated since the discovery of the primary genetic code. Evident effects of histone post-translational modifications or DNA methylation over the efficiency and the regulation of DNA processes are supporting this postulation. EMdeCODE is an original algorithm that approximate the genomic distribution of given DNA features (e.g. promoter, enhancer, viral integration) by identifying relevant ChIPSeq profiles of post-translational histone marks or DNA binding proteins and combining them in a supermark. EMdeCODE kernel is essentially a two-step procedure: (i) an expectation-maximization process calculates the mixture of epigenetic factors that maximize the Sensitivity (recall) of the association with the feature under study; (ii) the approximated density is then recursively trimmed with respect to a control dataset to increase the precision by reducing the number of false positives. EMdeCODE densities improve significantly the prediction of enhancer loci and retroviral integration sites with respect to previous methods. Importantly, it can also be used to extract distinctive factors between two arbitrary conditions. Indeed EMdeCODE identifies unexpected epigenetic profiles specific for coding versus non-coding RNA, pointing towards a new role for H3R2me1 in coding regions.

  19. Accessing epigenetic variation in the plant methylome.

    PubMed

    Kim, Kyung Do; El Baidouri, Moaine; Jackson, Scott A

    2014-07-01

    Cytosine DNA methylation is the addition of a methyl group to the 5' position of a cytosine, which plays a crucial role in plant development and gene silencing. Genome-wide profiling of DNA methylation is now possible using various techniques and strategies. Using these technologies, we are beginning to elucidate the extent and impact of variation in DNA methylation between individuals and/or tissues. Here, we review the different techniques used to analyze the methylomes at the whole-genome level and their applications to better understand epigenetic variations in plants.

  20. Epigenetic changes in individuals with arsenicosis.

    PubMed

    Smeester, Lisa; Rager, Julia E; Bailey, Kathryn A; Guan, Xiaojun; Smith, Nikia; García-Vargas, Gonzalo; Del Razo, Luz-Maria; Drobná, Zuzana; Kelkar, Hemant; Stýblo, Miroslav; Fry, Rebecca C

    2011-02-18

    Inorganic arsenic (iAs) is an environmental toxicant currently poisoning millions of people worldwide, and chronically exposed individuals are susceptible to arsenicosis or arsenic poisoning. Using a state-of-the-art technique to map the methylomes of our study subjects, we identified a large interactome of hypermethylated genes that are enriched for their involvement in arsenic-associated diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Notably, we have uncovered an arsenic-induced tumor suppressorome, a complex of 17 tumor suppressors known to be silenced in human cancers. This finding represents a pivotal clue in unraveling a possible epigenetic mode of arsenic-induced disease.

  1. Epigenetic Changes in Individuals with Arsenicosis

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Inorganic arsenic (iAs) is an environmental toxicant currently poisoning millions of people worldwide, and chronically exposed individuals are susceptible to arsenicosis or arsenic poisoning. Using a state-of-the-art technique to map the methylomes of our study subjects, we identified a large interactome of hypermethylated genes that are enriched for their involvement in arsenic-associated diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Notably, we have uncovered an arsenic-induced tumor suppressorome, a complex of 17 tumor suppressors known to be silenced in human cancers. This finding represents a pivotal clue in unraveling a possible epigenetic mode of arsenic-induced disease. PMID:21291286

  2. Comparison of the cytotoxicity of cladribine and clofarabine when combined with fludarabine and busulfan in AML cells: Enhancement of cytotoxicity with epigenetic modulators.

    PubMed

    Valdez, Benigno C; Li, Yang; Murray, David; Ji, Jie; Liu, Yan; Popat, Uday; Champlin, Richard E; Andersson, Borje S

    2015-06-01

    Clofarabine (Clo), fludarabine (Flu), and busulfan (Bu) combinations are efficacious in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for myeloid leukemia. We sought to determine whether the more affordable drug cladribine (Clad) can provide a viable alternative to Clo, with or without panobinostat (Pano) and 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (DAC). Both Clad+Flu+Bu and Clo+Flu+Bu combinations showed synergistic cytotoxicity in KBM3/Bu250(6), HL60, and OCI-AML3 cell lines. Cell exposure to these drug combinations resulted in 60%-80% inhibition of proliferation; activation of the ATM pathway; increase in histone modifications; decrease in HDAC3, HDAC4, HDAC5 and SirT7 proteins; decrease in mitochondrial membrane potential; activation of apoptosis and stress signaling pathways; and downregulation of the AKT pathway. These drug combinations activated DNA-damage response and apoptosis in primary cell samples from AML patients. At lower concentrations of Clad/Clo, Flu, and Bu, inclusion of Pano and DAC enhanced cell killing, increased histone modifications and DNA demethylation, and increased the levels of P16/INK4a, P15/INK4b and P21/Waf1/Cip1 proteins. The observed DNA demethylating activity of Clad and Clo may complement DAC activity; increase demethylation of the gene promoters for SFRP1, DKK3, and WIF1; and cause degradation of β-catenin in cells exposed to Clad/Clo+Flu+Bu+DAC+Pano. The overlapping activities of Clad/Clo+Flu+Bu, Pano, and DAC in DNA-damage formation and repair, histone modifications, DNA demethylation, and apoptosis may underlie their synergism. Our results provide a basis for supplanting Clo with Clad and for including epigenetic modifiers in the pre-hematopoietic stem cell transplantation conditioning regimen for myeloid leukemia patients. PMID:25704054

  3. Epigenetics: Principles and Practice

    PubMed Central

    Hamilton, James P.

    2011-01-01

    Epigenetics is defined as heritable changes in gene expression that are, unlike mutations, not attributable to alterations in the sequence of DNA. The predominant epigenetic mechanisms are DNA methylation, modifications to chromatin, loss of imprinting and non-coding RNA. Epigenetic regulation of gene expression appears to have long-term effects and wide-ranging effects on health. Diet and environmental exposures may potentially alter the level and scope of epigenetic regulation, thus interesting developments in the study of epigenetics might explain correlations that researchers have found between lifestyle and risk of disease. Aberrant epigenetic patterns have been linked to a number of digestive diseases including Barrett's esophagus, cirrhosis, inflammatory bowel disease, and numerous gastrointestinal malignancies. In fact, many exciting discoveries about epigenetics in general have been made by studying diseases of the gastrointestinal tract and hepatobiliary tree. Epigenetic modifications of DNA in cancer and precancerous lesions offer hope and the promise of novel biomarkers for early cancer detection, prediction, prognosis, and response to treatment. Furthermore, reversal of epigenetic changes represents a potential target of novel therapeutic strategies and medication design. In the future, it is anticipated that innovative diagnostic tests, treatment regimens, and even lifestyle modifications will be based on epigenetic mechanisms and be incorporated into the practice of medicine. PMID:21734376

  4. DNA methylation as a target of epigenetic therapeutics in cancer.

    PubMed

    Li, Keqin K; Li, Fangcheng; Li, Qiushi S; Yang, Kun; Jin, Bilian

    2013-02-01

    Epigenetic alterations have been implicated in the development and progression of human cancer. It is noteworthy that epigenetic modifications, in contrast to genetic mutations, are intrinsically reversible. This triggers an impressive interest of researchers in treatment of cancer patients via targeting epigenetic mechanisms, leading to subsequent intensive investigations of epigenetic drugs as a novel therapeutic intervention. DNA methylation, the major form of epigenetic modifications, is catalyzed by the maintenance DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) 1 and/or the de novo methyltransferases DNMT3A and DNMT3B. Aberrant expression of DNMTs and disruption of DNA methylation are closely associated with multiple forms of cancer, although the exact mechanisms underlying this link remain elusive. An array of tumor suppressor genes (TSGs) frequently sustain promoter hypermethylation, which results in epigenetic silencing of these genes and makes cancer cells acquire growth advantages. DNA demethylating agents, re-activating TSGs via inhibiting hypermethylation of their promoter regions, are currently being tested in clinical trials, and several of them are already applied in clinics. DNA demethylating agents, used either alone or in combination with other agents, such as chemotherapeutic drugs and the histone deacetylase inhibitors, have shown to be effective in treatment of cancer, although only in a small set of patients. In this review, we examine and discuss the most recent advances in epigenetic therapy of cancer, with a focus on DNA demethylating agents.

  5. Prolonged re-expression of the hypermethylated gene EPB41L3 using artificial transcription factors and epigenetic drugs

    PubMed Central

    Huisman, Christian; van der Wijst, Monique GP; Falahi, Fahimeh; Overkamp, Juul; Karsten, Gellért; Terpstra, Martijn M; Kok, Klaas; van der Zee, Ate GJ; Schuuring, Ed; Wisman, G Bea A; Rots, Marianne G

    2015-01-01

    Epigenetic silencing of tumor suppressor genes (TSGs) is considered a significant event in the progression of cancer. For example, EPB41L3, a potential biomarker in cervical cancer, is often silenced by cancer-specific promoter methylation. Artificial transcription factors (ATFs) are unique tools to re-express such silenced TSGs to functional levels; however, the induced effects are considered transient. Here, we aimed to improve the efficiency and sustainability of gene re-expression using engineered zinc fingers fused to VP64 (ZF-ATFs) or DNA methylation modifiers (ZF-Tet2 or ZF-TDG) and/or by co-treatment with epigenetic drugs [5-aza-2′-deoxycytidine or Trichostatin A (TSA)]. The EPB41L3-ZF effectively bound its methylated endogenous locus, as also confirmed by ChIP-seq. ZF-ATFs reactivated the epigenetically silenced target gene EPB41L3 (∼10-fold) in breast, ovarian, and cervical cancer cell lines. Prolonged high levels of EPB41L3 (∼150-fold) induction could be achieved by short-term co-treatment with epigenetic drugs. Interestingly, for otherwise ineffective ZF-Tet2 or ZF-TDG treatments, TSA facilitated re-expression of EPB41L3 up to twofold. ATF-mediated re-expression demonstrated a tumor suppressive role for EPB41L3 in cervical cancer cell lines. In conclusion, epigenetic reprogramming provides a novel way to improve sustainability of re-expression of epigenetically silenced promoters. PMID:25830725

  6. Stilbenoids remodel the DNA methylation patterns in breast cancer cells and inhibit oncogenic NOTCH signaling through epigenetic regulation of MAML2 transcriptional activity

    PubMed Central

    Lubecka, Katarzyna; Kurzava, Lucinda; Flower, Kirsty; Buvala, Hannah; Zhang, Hao; Teegarden, Dorothy; Camarillo, Ignacio; Suderman, Matthew; Kuang, Shihuan; Andrisani, Ourania; Flanagan, James M.; Stefanska, Barbara

    2016-01-01

    DNA hypomethylation was previously implicated in cancer progression and metastasis. The purpose of this study was to examine whether stilbenoids, resveratrol and pterostilbene thought to exert anticancer effects, target genes with oncogenic function for de novo methylation and silencing, leading to inactivation of related signaling pathways. Following Illumina 450K, genome-wide DNA methylation analysis reveals that stilbenoids alter DNA methylation patterns in breast cancer cells. On average, 75% of differentially methylated genes have increased methylation, and these genes are enriched for oncogenic functions, including NOTCH signaling pathway. MAML2, a coactivator of NOTCH targets, is methylated at the enhancer region and transcriptionally silenced in response to stilbenoids, possibly explaining the downregulation of NOTCH target genes. The increased DNA methylation at MAML2 enhancer coincides with increased occupancy of repressive histone marks and decrease in activating marks. This condensed chromatin structure is associated with binding of DNMT3B and decreased occupancy of OCT1 transcription factor at MAML2 enhancer, suggesting a role of DNMT3B in increasing methylation of MAML2 after stilbenoid treatment. Our results deliver a novel insight into epigenetic regulation of oncogenic signals in cancer and provide support for epigenetic-targeting strategies as an effective anticancer approach. PMID:27207652

  7. MORC Family ATPases Required for Heterochromatin Condensation and Gene Silencing#

    PubMed Central

    Moissiard, Guillaume; Cokus, Shawn J.; Cary, Joshua; Feng, Suhua; Billi, Allison C.; Stroud, Hume; Husmann, Dylan; Zhan, Ye; Lajoie, Bryan R.; McCord, Rachel Patton; Hale, Christopher J.; Feng, Wei; Michaels, Scott D.; Frand, Alison R.; Pellegrini, Matteo; Dekker, Job; Kim, John K.; Jacobsen, Steve

    2012-01-01

    Transposable elements (TEs) and DNA repeats are commonly targeted by DNA and histone methylation to achieve epigenetic gene silencing. We isolated mutations in two Arabidopsis genes, AtMORC1 and AtMORC6, which cause de-repression of DNA-methylated genes and TEs, but no losses of DNA or histone methylation. AtMORC1 and AtMORC6 are members of the conserved Microrchidia (MORC) adenosine triphosphatase (ATPase) family, predicted to catalyze alterations in chromosome superstructure. The atmorc1 and atmorc6 mutants show decondensation of pericentromeric heterochromatin, increased interaction of pericentromeric regions with the rest of the genome, and transcriptional defects that are largely restricted to loci residing in pericentromeric regions. Knockdown of the single MORC homolog in Caenorhabditis elegans also impairs transgene silencing. We propose that the MORC ATPases are conserved regulators of gene silencing in eukaryotes. PMID:22555433

  8. Epigenetics and Cellular Metabolism

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Wenyi; Wang, Fengzhong; Yu, Zhongsheng; Xin, Fengjiao

    2016-01-01

    Living eukaryotic systems evolve delicate cellular mechanisms for responding to various environmental signals. Among them, epigenetic machinery (DNA methylation, histone modifications, microRNAs, etc.) is the hub in transducing external stimuli into transcriptional response. Emerging evidence reveals the concept that epigenetic signatures are essential for the proper maintenance of cellular metabolism. On the other hand, the metabolite, a main environmental input, can also influence the processing of epigenetic memory. Here, we summarize the recent research progress in the epigenetic regulation of cellular metabolism and discuss how the dysfunction of epigenetic machineries influences the development of metabolic disorders such as diabetes and obesity; then, we focus on discussing the notion that manipulating metabolites, the fuel of cell metabolism, can function as a strategy for interfering epigenetic machinery and its related disease progression as well. PMID:27695375

  9. Epigenetics and Cellular Metabolism

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Wenyi; Wang, Fengzhong; Yu, Zhongsheng; Xin, Fengjiao

    2016-01-01

    Living eukaryotic systems evolve delicate cellular mechanisms for responding to various environmental signals. Among them, epigenetic machinery (DNA methylation, histone modifications, microRNAs, etc.) is the hub in transducing external stimuli into transcriptional response. Emerging evidence reveals the concept that epigenetic signatures are essential for the proper maintenance of cellular metabolism. On the other hand, the metabolite, a main environmental input, can also influence the processing of epigenetic memory. Here, we summarize the recent research progress in the epigenetic regulation of cellular metabolism and discuss how the dysfunction of epigenetic machineries influences the development of metabolic disorders such as diabetes and obesity; then, we focus on discussing the notion that manipulating metabolites, the fuel of cell metabolism, can function as a strategy for interfering epigenetic machinery and its related disease progression as well.

  10. Epigenetics and crop improvement.

    PubMed

    Springer, Nathan M

    2013-04-01

    There is considerable excitement about the potential for epigenetic information to contribute to heritable variation in many species. Our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of epigenetic inheritance is rapidly growing, and it is now possible to profile the epigenome at high resolution. Epigenetic information plays a role in developmental gene regulation, response to the environment, and in natural variation of gene expression levels. Because of these central roles, there is the potential for epigenetics to play a role in crop improvement strategies including the selection for favorable epigenetic states, creation of novel epialleles, and regulation of transgene expression. In this review we consider the potential, and the limitations, of epigenetic variation in crop improvement.

  11. Epigenetics and aging

    PubMed Central

    Pal, Sangita; Tyler, Jessica K.

    2016-01-01

    Over the past decade, a growing number of studies have revealed that progressive changes to epigenetic information accompany aging in both dividing and nondividing cells. Functional studies in model organisms and humans indicate that epigenetic changes have a huge influence on the aging process. These epigenetic changes occur at various levels, including reduced bulk levels of the core histones, altered patterns of histone posttranslational modifications and DNA methylation, replacement of canonical histones with histone variants, and altered noncoding RNA expression, during both organismal aging and replicative senescence. The end result of epigenetic changes during aging is altered local accessibility to the genetic material, leading to aberrant gene expression, reactivation of transposable elements, and genomic instability. Strikingly, certain types of epigenetic information can function in a transgenerational manner to influence the life span of the offspring. Several important conclusions emerge from these studies: rather than being genetically predetermined, our life span is largely epigenetically determined; diet and other environmental influences can influence our life span by changing the epigenetic information; and inhibitors of epigenetic enzymes can influence life span of model organisms. These new findings provide better understanding of the mechanisms involved in aging. Given the reversible nature of epigenetic information, these studies highlight exciting avenues for therapeutic intervention in aging and age-associated diseases, including cancer. PMID:27482540

  12. Epigenetics and aging.

    PubMed

    Pal, Sangita; Tyler, Jessica K

    2016-07-01

    Over the past decade, a growing number of studies have revealed that progressive changes to epigenetic information accompany aging in both dividing and nondividing cells. Functional studies in model organisms and humans indicate that epigenetic changes have a huge influence on the aging process. These epigenetic changes occur at various levels, including reduced bulk levels of the core histones, altered patterns of histone posttranslational modifications and DNA methylation, replacement of canonical histones with histone variants, and altered noncoding RNA expression, during both organismal aging and replicative senescence. The end result of epigenetic changes during aging is altered local accessibility to the genetic material, leading to aberrant gene expression, reactivation of transposable elements, and genomic instability. Strikingly, certain types of epigenetic information can function in a transgenerational manner to influence the life span of the offspring. Several important conclusions emerge from these studies: rather than being genetically predetermined, our life span is largely epigenetically determined; diet and other environmental influences can influence our life span by changing the epigenetic information; and inhibitors of epigenetic enzymes can influence life span of model organisms. These new findings provide better understanding of the mechanisms involved in aging. Given the reversible nature of epigenetic information, these studies highlight exciting avenues for therapeutic intervention in aging and age-associated diseases, including cancer. PMID:27482540

  13. Dual silencing of insulin-like growth factor-I receptor and epidermal growth factor receptor in colorectal cancer cells is associated with decreased proliferation and enhanced apoptosis.

    PubMed

    Kaulfuss, Silke; Burfeind, Peter; Gaedcke, Jochen; Scharf, Jens-Gerd

    2009-04-01

    Overexpression and activation of tyrosine kinase receptors are common features of colorectal cancer. Using the human colorectal cancer cell lines DLD-1 and Caco-2, we evaluated the role of the insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) receptor (IGF-IR) and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) in cellular functions of these cells. We used the small interfering RNA (siRNA) technology to specifically down-regulate IGF-IR and EGFR expression. Knockdown of IGF-IR and EGFR resulted in inhibition of cell proliferation of DLD-1 and Caco-2 cells. An increased rate of apoptosis was associated with siRNA-mediated silencing of IGF-IR and EGFR as assessed by activation of caspase-3/caspase-7. The combined knockdown of both EGFR and IGF-IR decreased cell proliferation and induced cell apoptosis more effectively than did silencing of either receptor alone. Comparable effects on cell proliferation and apoptosis were observed after single and combinational treatment of cells by the IGF-IR tyrosine kinase inhibitor NVP-AEW541 and/or the EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor erlotinib. Combined IGF-IR and EGFR silencing by either siRNAs or tyrosine kinase inhibitors diminished the phosphorylation of downstream signaling pathways AKT and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)-1/2 more effectively than did the single receptor knockdown. Single IGF-IR knockdown inhibited IGF-I-dependent phosphorylation of AKT but had no effect on IGF-I- or EGF-dependent phosphorylation of ERK1/2, indicating a role of EGFR in ligand-dependent ERK1/2 phosphorylation. The present data show that inhibition of the IGF-IR transduction cascade augments the antipoliferative and proapoptotic effects of EGFR inhibition in colorectal cancer cells. A clinical application of combination therapy targeting both EGFR and IGF-IR could be a promising therapeutic strategy.

  14. Histone chaperone Chz1p regulates H2B ubiquitination and subtelomeric anti-silencing

    PubMed Central

    Wan, Yakun; Chiang, Jung-Hsien; Lin, Chan-Hsien; Arens, Christina E.; Saleem, Ramsey A.; Smith, Jennifer J.; Aitchison, John D.

    2010-01-01

    Chz1p is a histone chaperone that interacts physically and functionally with the histone variant Htz1p, which has been implicated in establishing and maintaining boundaries between transcriptionally inactive heterochromatin and active euchromatin. To investigate the role of Chz1p in chromatin organization, we performed genome-wide expression arrays and chromatin immunoprecipitations of SIR complex components and modified histones in a CHZ1 deletion strain. Deletion of CHZ1 led to reduced ubiquitination of subtelomere-associated H2B, reduced subtelomeric H3K79 di-methylation, and increased binding of Sir3p, and Sir4p at telomere-distal euchromatin regions, correlating with decreased gene expression in subtelomeric regions. This anti-silencing defect appears to be mediated by enhanced association of de-ubiquitinase Ubp10p with subtelomeric DNA, as detected by chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis. In support of this, we show that deletion of UBP10 can antagonize the subtelomeric silencing phenotype of Δchz1. Taken together, the results demonstrate a novel role for Chz1p in epigenetic regulation, through H2B de-ubiquitination by Ubp10p. PMID:20008511

  15. Uropathogenic Escherichia coli Epigenetically Manipulate Host Cell Death Pathways.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Zhengguo; Wang, Ming; Eisel, Florian; Tchatalbachev, Svetlin; Chakraborty, Trinad; Meinhardt, Andreas; Bhushan, Sudhanshu

    2016-04-01

    Urinary tract infections caused by uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) pathovars belong to the most frequent infections in human. It is well established that UPEC can subvert innate immune responses, but the role of UPEC in interfering with host cell death pathways is not known. Here, we show that UPEC abrogates activation of the host cell prosurvival protein kinase B signaling pathway, which results in the activation of mammalian forkhead box O (FOXO) transcription factors. Although FOXOs were localized in the nucleus and showed increased DNA-binding activity, no change in the expression levels of FOXO target genes were observed. UPEC can suppress BIM expression induced by LY249002, which results in attenuation of caspase 3 activation and blockage of apoptosis. Mechanistically, BIM expression appears to be epigenetically silenced by a decrease in histone 4 acetylation at the BIM promoter site. Taken together, these results suggest that UPEC can epigenetically silence BIM expression, a molecular switch that prevents apoptosis.

  16. Silencing of the potato StNAC103 gene enhances the accumulation of suberin polyester and associated wax in tuber skin

    PubMed Central

    Verdaguer, Roger; Soler, Marçal; Serra, Olga; Garrote, Aïda; Fernández, Sandra; Company-Arumí, Dolors; Anticó, Enriqueta; Molinas, Marisa; Figueras, Mercè

    2016-01-01

    Suberin and wax deposited in the cork (phellem) layer of the periderm form the lipophilic barrier that protects mature plant organs. Periderm lipids have been widely studied for their protective function with regards to dehydration and for how they respond to environmental stresses and wounding. However, despite advances in the biosynthetic pathways of suberin and associated wax, little is known about the regulation of their deposition. Here, we report on a potato NAC transcription factor gene, StNAC103, induced in the tuber phellem (skin). The StNAC103 promoter is active in cells undergoing suberization such as in the basal layer of the phellem, but also in the root apical meristem. Gene silencing in potato periderm correlates with an increase in the suberin and wax load, and specifically in alkanes, ω-hydroxyacids, diacids, ferulic acid, and primary alcohols. Concomitantly, silenced lines also showed up-regulation of key genes related to the biosynthesis and transport of suberin and wax in the tuber periderm. Taken together, our results suggest that StNAC103 has a role in the tight regulation of the formation of apoplastic barriers and is, to the best of our knowledge, the first candidate gene to be identified as being involved in the repression of suberin and wax deposition. PMID:27520790

  17. Epigenetics and environmental chemicals

    PubMed Central

    Baccarelli, A; Bollati, V.

    2011-01-01

    Purpose of the review Epigenetics investigates heritable changes in gene expression occurring without changes in DNA sequence. Several epigenetic mechanisms, including DNA methylation, histone modifications, and microRNA (miRNA) expression, can change genome function under exogenous influence. Here, we review current evidence indicating that epigenetic alterations mediate toxicity from environmental chemicals. Recent findings In-vitro, animal, and human investigations have identified several classes of environmental chemicals that modify epigenetic marks, including metals (cadmium, arsenic, nickel, chromium, methylmercury), peroxisome proliferators (trichloroethylene, dichloroacetic acid, trichloroacetic acid), air pollutants (particulate matter, black carbon, benzene), and endocrine-disrupting/reproductive toxicants (diethylstilbestrol, bisphenol A, persistent organic pollutants, dioxin). Most studies conducted so far have been centered on DNA methylation, whereas only a few investigations have studied environmental chemicals in relation to histone modications and miRNA. Summary For several exposures, it has been proved that chemicals can alter epigenetic marks and that the same or similar epigenetic alterations can be found in patients with the disease of concern or in diseased tissues. Future prospective investigations are needed to determine whether exposed subjects develop epigenetic alterations over time and, in turn, which such alterations increase the risk of disease. Also, further research is needed to determine whether environmental epigenetic changes are transmitted transgenerationally. PMID:19663042

  18. Epigenetics and Bacterial Infections

    PubMed Central

    Bierne, Hélène; Hamon, Mélanie; Cossart, Pascale

    2012-01-01

    Epigenetic mechanisms regulate expression of the genome to generate various cell types during development or orchestrate cellular responses to external stimuli. Recent studies highlight that bacteria can affect the chromatin structure and transcriptional program of host cells by influencing diverse epigenetic factors (i.e., histone modifications, DNA methylation, chromatin-associated complexes, noncoding RNAs, and RNA splicing factors). In this article, we first review the molecular bases of the epigenetic language and then describe the current state of research regarding how bacteria can alter epigenetic marks and machineries. Bacterial-induced epigenetic deregulations may affect host cell function either to promote host defense or to allow pathogen persistence. Thus, pathogenic bacteria can be considered as potential epimutagens able to reshape the epigenome. Their effects might generate specific, long-lasting imprints on host cells, leading to a memory of infection that influences immunity and might be at the origin of unexplained diseases. PMID:23209181

  19. Mechanisms of epigenetic memory

    PubMed Central

    D’Urso, Agustina; Brickner, Jason H.

    2014-01-01

    Although genetics play an essential role in defining an organism’s development, morphology and physiology, epigenetic mechanisms play an essential role in modulating these properties by regulating gene expression. During development, epigenetic mechanisms establish stable gene expression patterns to ensure proper differentiation. Epigenetic mechanisms also allow organisms to adapt to environmental changes and previous experiences can impact the future responsiveness of an organism to a stimulus over long time scales and even over generations. Here we discuss the concept of epigenetic memory, defined as the stable propagation of a change in gene expression or potentially induced by developmental or environmental stimuli. We highlight three distinct paradigms of epigenetic memory that operate on different time scales. PMID:24780085

  20. Epigenetic regulation of estrogen-dependent memory

    PubMed Central

    Fortress, Ashley M.; Frick, Karyn M.

    2014-01-01

    Hippocampal memory formation is highly regulated by post-translational histone modifications and DNA methylation. Accordingly, these epigenetic processes play a major role in the effects of modulatory factors, such as sex steroid hormones, on hippocampal memory. Our laboratory recently demonstrated that the ability of the potent estrogen 17β-estradiol (E2) to enhance hippocampal-dependent novel object recognition memory in ovariectomized female mice requires ERK-dependent histone H3 acetylation and DNA methylation in the dorsal hippocampus. Although these data provide valuable insight into the chromatin modifications that mediate the memory-enhancing effects of E2, epigenetic regulation of gene expression is enormously complex. Therefore, more research is needed to fully understand how E2 and other hormones employ epigenetic alterations to shape behavior. This review discusses the epigenetic alterations shown thus far to regulate hippocampal memory, briefly reviews the effects of E2 on hippocampal function, and describes in detail our work on epigenetic regulation of estrogenic memory enhancement. PMID:24878494

  1. Maintaining Epigenetic Inheritance During DNA Replication in Plants

    PubMed Central

    Iglesias, Francisco M.; Cerdán, Pablo D.

    2016-01-01

    Biotic and abiotic stresses alter the pattern of gene expression in plants. Depending on the frequency and duration of stress events, the effects on the transcriptional state of genes are “remembered” temporally or transmitted to daughter cells and, in some instances, even to offspring (transgenerational epigenetic inheritance). This “memory” effect, which can be found even in the absence of the original stress, has an epigenetic basis, through molecular mechanisms that take place at the chromatin and DNA level but do not imply changes in the DNA sequence. Many epigenetic mechanisms have been described and involve covalent modifications on the DNA and histones, such as DNA methylation, histone acetylation and methylation, and RNAi dependent silencing mechanisms. Some of these chromatin modifications need to be stable through cell division in order to be truly epigenetic. During DNA replication, histones are recycled during the formation of the new nucleosomes and this process is tightly regulated. Perturbations to the DNA replication process and/or the recycling of histones lead to epigenetic changes. In this mini-review, we discuss recent evidence aimed at linking DNA replication process to epigenetic inheritance in plants. PMID:26870059

  2. Epigenetic Mechanisms of the Aging Human Retina

    PubMed Central

    Pennington, Katie L.; DeAngelis, Margaret M.

    2015-01-01

    Degenerative retinal diseases, such as glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy, have complex etiologies with environmental, genetic, and epigenetic contributions to disease pathology. Much effort has gone into elucidating both the genetic and the environmental risk factors for these retinal diseases. However, little is known about how these genetic and environmental risk factors bring about molecular changes that lead to pathology. Epigenetic mechanisms have received extensive attention of late for their promise of bridging the gap between environmental exposures and disease development via their influence on gene expression. Recent studies have identified epigenetic changes that associate with the incidence and/or progression of each of these retinal diseases. Therefore, these epigenetic modifications may be involved in the underlying pathological mechanisms leading to blindness. Further genome-wide epigenetic studies that incorporate well-characterized tissue samples, consider challenges similar to those relevant to gene expression studies, and combine the genome-wide epigenetic data with genome-wide genetic and expression data to identify additional potentially causative agents of disease are needed. Such studies will allow researchers to create much-needed therapeutics to prevent and/or intervene in disease progression. Improved therapeutics will greatly enhance the quality of life and reduce the burden of disease management for millions of patients living with these potentially blinding conditions. PMID:26966390

  3. The Gift of Silence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Haskins, Cathleen

    2011-01-01

    Slowing down, quieting the mind and body, and experiencing silence nourishes the spirit. Montessori educators are mandated to cultivate not just the intellect but the whole child. They recognize that nurturing the spirit of the child is part of what makes this form of education work so well. This article discusses the benefits of stillness and…

  4. Epigenetics and Triplet-Repeat Neurological Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Nageshwaran, Sathiji; Festenstein, Richard

    2015-01-01

    The term “junk DNA” has been reconsidered following the delineation of the functional significance of repetitive DNA regions. Typically associated with centromeres and telomeres, DNA repeats are found in nearly all organisms throughout their genomes. Repetitive regions are frequently heterochromatinized resulting in silencing of intrinsic and nearby genes. However, this is not a uniform rule, with several genes known to require such an environment to permit transcription. Repetitive regions frequently exist as dinucleotide, trinucleotide, and tetranucleotide repeats. The association between repetitive regions and disease was emphasized following the discovery of abnormal trinucleotide repeats underlying spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (Kennedy’s disease) and fragile X syndrome of mental retardation (FRAXA) in 1991. In this review, we provide a brief overview of epigenetic mechanisms and then focus on several diseases caused by DNA triplet-repeat expansions, which exhibit diverse epigenetic effects. It is clear that the emerging field of epigenetics is already generating novel potential therapeutic avenues for this group of largely incurable diseases. PMID:26733936

  5. Epigenetics and Triplet-Repeat Neurological Diseases.

    PubMed

    Nageshwaran, Sathiji; Festenstein, Richard

    2015-01-01

    The term "junk DNA" has been reconsidered following the delineation of the functional significance of repetitive DNA regions. Typically associated with centromeres and telomeres, DNA repeats are found in nearly all organisms throughout their genomes. Repetitive regions are frequently heterochromatinized resulting in silencing of intrinsic and nearby genes. However, this is not a uniform rule, with several genes known to require such an environment to permit transcription. Repetitive regions frequently exist as dinucleotide, trinucleotide, and tetranucleotide repeats. The association between repetitive regions and disease was emphasized following the discovery of abnormal trinucleotide repeats underlying spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (Kennedy's disease) and fragile X syndrome of mental retardation (FRAXA) in 1991. In this review, we provide a brief overview of epigenetic mechanisms and then focus on several diseases caused by DNA triplet-repeat expansions, which exhibit diverse epigenetic effects. It is clear that the emerging field of epigenetics is already generating novel potential therapeutic avenues for this group of largely incurable diseases. PMID:26733936

  6. Hidden genetic nature of epigenetic natural variation in plants.

    PubMed

    Pecinka, Ales; Abdelsamad, Ahmed; Vu, Giang T H

    2013-11-01

    Transcriptional gene silencing (TGS) is an epigenetic mechanism that suppresses the activity of repetitive DNA elements via accumulation of repressive chromatin marks. We discuss natural variation in TGS, with a particular focus on cases that affect the function of protein-coding genes and lead to developmental or physiological changes. Comparison of the examples described has revealed that most natural variation is associated with genetic determinants, such as gene rearrangements, inverted repeats, and transposon insertions that triggered TGS. Recent technical advances have enabled the study of epigenetic natural variation at a whole-genome scale and revealed patterns of inter- and intraspecific epigenetic variation. Future studies exploring non-model species may reveal species-specific evolutionary adaptations at the level of chromatin configuration.

  7. New Progress of Epigenetic Biomarkers in Urological Cancer.

    PubMed

    Wu, Peng; Cao, Ziyi; Wu, Song

    2016-01-01

    Urological cancers consist of bladder, kidney, prostate, and testis cancers and they are generally silenced at their early stage, which leads to the loss of the best opportunity for early diagnosis and treatment. Desired biomarkers are scarce for urological cancers and current biomarkers are lack of specificity and sensitivity. Epigenetic alterations are characteristic of nearly all kinds of human malignances including DNA methylation, histone modification, and miRNA regulation. Besides, the detection of these epigenetic conditions is easily accessible especially for urine, best target for monitoring the diseases of urinary system. Here, we summarize some new progress about epigenetic biomarkers in urological cancers, hoping to provide new thoughts for the diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of urological cancers. PMID:27594736

  8. New Progress of Epigenetic Biomarkers in Urological Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Cao, Ziyi

    2016-01-01

    Urological cancers consist of bladder, kidney, prostate, and testis cancers and they are generally silenced at their early stage, which leads to the loss of the best opportunity for early diagnosis and treatment. Desired biomarkers are scarce for urological cancers and current biomarkers are lack of specificity and sensitivity. Epigenetic alterations are characteristic of nearly all kinds of human malignances including DNA methylation, histone modification, and miRNA regulation. Besides, the detection of these epigenetic conditions is easily accessible especially for urine, best target for monitoring the diseases of urinary system. Here, we summarize some new progress about epigenetic biomarkers in urological cancers, hoping to provide new thoughts for the diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of urological cancers. PMID:27594736

  9. Epigenetics of schizophrenia: an open and shut case.

    PubMed

    Gavin, David P; Floreani, Christina

    2014-01-01

    During the last decade and a half, there has been an explosion of data regarding epigenetic changes in schizophrenia. Most initial studies have suggested that schizophrenia is characterized by an overly restrictive chromatin state based on increases in transcription silencing histone modifications and DNA methylation at schizophrenia candidate gene promoters and increases in the expression of enzymes that catalyze their formation. However, recent studies indicate that the pathology is more complex. This complexity may greatly impact pharmacological approaches directed at targeting epigenetic abnormalities in schizophrenia. The current review explores epigenetic studies of schizophrenia and what this can tell us about the underlying pathophysiology. We hypothesize based on recent studies that it is also plausible that drugs that further restrict chromatin may be efficacious.

  10. Rapid establishment of genetic incompatibility through natural epigenetic variation.

    PubMed

    Durand, Stéphanie; Bouché, Nicolas; Perez Strand, Elsa; Loudet, Olivier; Camilleri, Christine

    2012-02-21

    Epigenetic variation is currently being investigated with the aim of deciphering its importance in both adaptation and evolution [1]. In plants, epimutations can underlie heritable phenotypic diversity [2-4], and epigenetic mechanisms might contribute to reproductive barriers between [5] or within species [6]. The extent of epigenetic variation begins to be appreciated in Arabidopsis [7], but the origin of natural epialleles and their impact in the wild remain largely unknown. Here we show that a genetic incompatibility among Arabidopsis thaliana strains is related to the epigenetic control of a pair of duplicate genes involved in fitness: a transposition event results in a rearranged paralogous structure that causes DNA methylation and transcriptional silencing of the other copy. We further show that this natural, strain-specific epiallele is stable over numerous generations even after removal of the duplicated, rearranged gene copy through crosses. Finally, we provide evidence that the rearranged gene copy triggers de novo DNA methylation and silencing of the unlinked native gene by RNA-directed DNA methylation. Our findings suggest an important role of naturally occurring epialleles originating from structural variation in rapidly establishing genetic incompatibilities following gene duplication events.

  11. Epigenetic Control of Smooth Muscle Cell Identity and Lineage Memory.

    PubMed

    Gomez, Delphine; Swiatlowska, Pamela; Owens, Gary K

    2015-12-01

    Vascular smooth muscle cells (SMCs), like all cells, acquire a cell-specific epigenetic signature during development that includes acquisition of a unique repertoire of histone and DNA modifications. These changes are postulated to induce an open chromatin state (referred to as euchromatin) on the repertoire of genes that are expressed in differentiated SMC, including SMC-selective marker genes like Acta2 and Myh11, as well as housekeeping genes expressed by most cell types. In contrast, genes that are silenced in differentiated SMC acquire modifications associated with a closed chromatin state (ie, heterochromatin) and transcriptional silencing. Herein, we review mechanisms that regulate epigenetic control of the differentiated state of SMC. In addition, we identify some of the major limitations in the field and future challenges, including development of innovative new tools and approaches, for performing single-cell epigenetic assays and locus-selective editing of the epigenome that will allow direct studies of the functional role of specific epigenetic controls during development, injury repair, and disease, including major cardiovascular diseases, such as atherosclerosis, hypertension, and microvascular disease, associated with diabetes mellitus.

  12. A review of transgenerational epigenetics for RNAi, longevity, germline maintenance and olfactory imprinting in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Rankin, Catharine H

    2015-01-01

    Inheritance of acquired characteristics without changes in DNA sequence has been called transgenerational epigenetics. This review looks at studies that used the model system Caenorhabditis elegans to uncover mechanisms of transgenerational epigenetics in studies of RNA interference, studies of longevity, studies of germline continuity and a study on olfactory imprinting. In each case, researchers have uncovered critical roles for small RNAs and for Argonaute proteins. They have revealed several different genetic pathways that mediate RNA silencing of foreign RNA for a few or for many generations, as well as identifying a related pathway responsible for recognized self-generated RNAs. Together, these studies have greatly advanced our understanding of trangenerational epigenetics.

  13. Scrutinizing the epigenetics revolution.

    PubMed

    Meloni, Maurizio; Testa, Giuseppe

    2014-11-01

    Epigenetics is one of the most rapidly expanding fields in the life sciences. Its rise is frequently framed as a revolutionary turn that heralds a new epoch both for gene-based epistemology and for the wider discourse on life that pervades knowledge-intensive societies of the molecular age. The fundamentals of this revolution remain however to be scrutinized, and indeed the very contours of what counts as 'epigenetic' are often blurred. This is reflected also in the mounting discourse on the societal implications of epigenetics, in which vast expectations coexist with significant uncertainty about what aspects of this science are most relevant for politics or policy alike. This is therefore a suitable time to reflect on the directions that social theory could most productively take in the scrutiny of this revolution. Here we take this opportunity in both its scholarly and normative dimension, that is, proposing a roadmap for social theorizing on epigenetics that does not shy away from, and indeed hopefully guides, the framing of its most socially relevant outputs. To this end, we start with an epistemological reappraisal of epigenetic discourse that valorizes the blurring of meanings as a critical asset for the field and privileged analytical entry point. We then propose three paths of investigation. The first looks at the structuring elements of controversies and visions around epigenetics. The second probes the mutual constitution between the epigenetic reordering of living phenomena and the normative settlements that orient individual and collective responsibilities. The third highlights the material import of epigenetics and the molecularization of culture that it mediates. We suggest that these complementary strands provide both an epistemically and socially self-reflective framework to advance the study of epigenetics as a molecular juncture between nature and nurture and thus as the new critical frontier in the social studies of the life sciences. PMID

  14. Epigenetics meets endocrinology

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xiang; Ho, Shuk-Mei

    2014-01-01

    Although genetics determines endocrine phenotypes, it cannot fully explain the great variability and reversibility of the system in response to environmental changes. Evidence now suggests that epigenetics, i.e. heritable but reversible changes in gene function without changes in nucleotide sequence, links genetics and environment in shaping endocrine function. Epigenetic mechanisms, including DNA methylation, histone modification, and microRNA, partition the genome into active and inactive domains based on endogenous and exogenous environmental changes and developmental stages, creating phenotype plasticity that can explain interindividual and population endocrine variability. We will review the current understanding of epigenetics in endocrinology, specifically, the regulation by epigenetics of the three levels of hormone action (synthesis and release, circulating and target tissue levels, and target-organ responsiveness) and the epigenetic action of endocrine disruptors. We will also discuss the impacts of hormones on epigenetics. We propose a three-dimensional model (genetics, environment, and developmental stage) to explain the phenomena related to progressive changes in endocrine functions with age, the early origin of endocrine disorders, phenotype discordance between monozygotic twins, rapid shifts in disease patterns among populations experiencing major lifestyle changes such as immigration, and the many endocrine disruptions in contemporary life. We emphasize that the key for understanding epigenetics in endocrinology is the identification, through advanced high-throughput screening technologies, of plasticity genes or loci that respond directly to a specific environmental stimulus. Investigations to determine whether epigenetic changes induced by today's lifestyles or environmental `exposures' can be inherited and are reversible should open doors for applying epigenetics to the prevention and treatment of endocrine disorders. PMID:21322125

  15. Scrutinizing the epigenetics revolution

    PubMed Central

    Meloni, Maurizio; Testa, Giuseppe

    2014-01-01

    Epigenetics is one of the most rapidly expanding fields in the life sciences. Its rise is frequently framed as a revolutionary turn that heralds a new epoch both for gene-based epistemology and for the wider discourse on life that pervades knowledge-intensive societies of the molecular age. The fundamentals of this revolution remain however to be scrutinized, and indeed the very contours of what counts as ‘epigenetic' are often blurred. This is reflected also in the mounting discourse on the societal implications of epigenetics, in which vast expectations coexist with significant uncertainty about what aspects of this science are most relevant for politics or policy alike. This is therefore a suitable time to reflect on the directions that social theory could most productively take in the scrutiny of this revolution. Here we take this opportunity in both its scholarly and normative dimension, that is, proposing a roadmap for social theorizing on epigenetics that does not shy away from, and indeed hopefully guides, the framing of its most socially relevant outputs. To this end, we start with an epistemological reappraisal of epigenetic discourse that valorizes the blurring of meanings as a critical asset for the field and privileged analytical entry point. We then propose three paths of investigation. The first looks at the structuring elements of controversies and visions around epigenetics. The second probes the mutual constitution between the epigenetic reordering of living phenomena and the normative settlements that orient individual and collective responsibilities. The third highlights the material import of epigenetics and the molecularization of culture that it mediates. We suggest that these complementary strands provide both an epistemically and socially self-reflective framework to advance the study of epigenetics as a molecular juncture between nature and nurture and thus as the new critical frontier in the social studies of the life sciences. PMID

  16. Prognostic significance of aberrantly silenced ANPEP expression in prostate cancer

    PubMed Central

    Sørensen, K D; Abildgaard, M O; Haldrup, C; Ulhøi, B P; Kristensen, H; Strand, S; Parker, C; Høyer, S; Borre, M; Ørntoft, T F

    2013-01-01

    Background: Novel biomarkers for prostate cancer (PC) are urgently needed. This study investigates the expression, epigenetic regulation, and prognostic potential of ANPEP in PC. Methods: Aminopeptidase N (APN; encoded by ANPEP) expression was analysed by immunohistochemistry using tissue microarrays representing 267 radical prostatectomy (RP) and 111 conservatively treated (CT) PC patients. Clinical end points were recurrence-free survival (RFS) and cancer-specific survival (CSS), respectively. The ANPEP promoter methylation levels were determined by bisulphite sequencing or MethyLight analysis in 278 nonmalignant and PC tissue samples, and in cell lines. Results: The APN expression was significantly downregulated in PC compared with nonmalignant prostate tissue samples. Aberrant promoter hypermethylation was frequently observed in PC tissue samples, and 5-aza-2′-deoxycytidine induced ANPEP expression in three hypermethylated prostate cell lines, suggesting epigenetic silencing. Negative APN immunoreactivity was significantly associated with short RFS and short CSS in the RP and CT cohort, respectively, independently of routine clinicopathological predictors. Combining APN with a known angiogenesis marker (vascular endothelial growth factor or microvessel density) improved risk prediction significantly in both cohorts. Conclusion: Our results suggest negative APN immunoreactivity as a new independent adverse prognostic factor for patients with clinically localised PC and, furthermore, that epigenetic mechanisms are involved in silencing of ANPEP in PC. PMID:23322201

  17. Screening and identification of virus-encoded RNA silencing suppressors.

    PubMed

    Karjee, Sumona; Islam, Mohammad Nurul; Mukherjee, Sunil K

    2008-01-01

    RNA silencing, including RNA interference, is a novel method of gene regulation and one of the potent host-defense mechanisms against the viruses. In the course of evolution, the viruses have encoded proteins with the potential to suppress the host RNA silencing mechanism as a counterdefense strategy. The virus-encoded RNA silencing suppressors (RSSs) can serve as important biological tools to dissect the detailed RNA silencing pathways and also to evolve the antiviral strategies. Screening and identification of the RSSs are indeed of utmost significance in the field of plant biotechnology. We describe two Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) reporter-based plant assay systems that rely on two different principles, namely reversal of silencing and enhancement of rolling circle replication (RCR) of geminiviral replicon. These proof-of-concept examples and assay systems could be used to screen various plant, animal, and insect viral ORFs for identification of the RSS activities.

  18. Breaking through an epigenetic wall

    PubMed Central

    Juárez-Moreno, Karla; Erices, Rafaela; Beltran, Adriana S.; Stolzenburg, Sabine; Cuello-Fredes, Mauricio; Owen, Gareth I.; Qian, Haili; Blancafort, Pilar

    2013-01-01

    The gene Oct4 encodes a transcription factor critical for the maintenance of pluripotency and self-renewal in embryonic stem cells. In addition, improper re-activation of Oct4 contributes to oncogenic processes. Herein, we describe a novel designer zinc finger protein (ZFP) capable of upregulating the endogenous Oct4 promoter in a panel of breast and ovarian cell lines carrying a silenced gene. In some ovarian tumor lines, the ZFP triggered a strong reactivation of Oct4, with levels of expression comparable with exogenous Oct4 cDNA delivery. Surprisingly, the reactivation of Oct4 required a KRAB domain for effective upregulation of the endogenous gene. While KRAB-containing ZFPs are traditionally described as transcriptional repressors, our results suggest that these proteins could, in certain genomic contexts, function as potent activators and, thus, outline an emerging novel function of KRAB-ZFPs. In addition, we document a novel ZFP that could be used for the epigenetic reprograming of cancer cells. PMID:23314702

  19. Epigenetic changes in diabetes.

    PubMed

    Al-Haddad, Rami; Karnib, Nabil; Assaad, Rawad Abi; Bilen, Yara; Emmanuel, Nancy; Ghanem, Anthony; Younes, Joe; Zibara, Victor; Stephan, Joseph S; Sleiman, Sama F

    2016-06-20

    The incidence of diabetes is increasing worldwide. Diabetes is quickly becoming one of the leading causes of death. Diabetes is a genetic disease; however, the environment plays critical roles in its development and progression. Epigenetic changes often translate environmental stimuli to changes in gene expression. Changes in epigenetic marks and differential regulation of epigenetic modulators have been observed in different models of diabetes and its associated complications. In this minireview, we will focus DNA methylation, Histone acetylation and methylation and their roles in the pathogenesis of diabetes. PMID:27130819

  20. Epigenetic Mechanisms in Asthma.

    PubMed

    DeVries, Avery; Vercelli, Donata

    2016-03-01

    Asthma and allergic diseases are among the most prevalent chronic noncommunicable diseases of childhood, but the underlying pathogenetic mechanisms are poorly understood. Because epigenetic mechanisms link gene regulation to environmental cues and developmental trajectories, their contribution to asthma and allergy pathogenesis is under active investigation. DNA methylation signatures associated with concurrent disease and with the development of asthma during childhood asthma have been identified, but their significance is not easily interpretable. On the other hand, the characterization of early epigenetic predictors of asthma points to a potential role of epigenetic mechanisms in regulating the inception of, and the susceptibility to, this disease. PMID:27027952

  1. Silencing of MicroRNA-21 confers the sensitivity to tamoxifen and fulvestrant by enhancing autophagic cell death through inhibition of the PI3K-AKT-mTOR pathway in breast cancer cells.

    PubMed

    Yu, Xinfeng; Li, Ruilian; Shi, Wenna; Jiang, Tao; Wang, Yufei; Li, Cong; Qu, Xianjun

    2016-02-01

    Tamoxifen (TAM) and fulvestrant (FUL) represent the major adjuvant therapy to estrogen receptor-alpha positive (ER(+)) breast cancer patients. However, endocrine resistance to TAM and FUL is a great impediment for successful treatment. We hypothesized that miR-21 might alter the sensitivity of breast cancer cells to TAM or FUL by regulating cell autophagy. Using the ER(+) breast cancer cells, we knockdown miR-21.by transfection with miR-21 inhibitor, then the cells were exposed to TAM or FUL and the percentages of apoptosis and autophagy were determined. Knockdown of miR-21 significantly increased the TAM or FUL-induced apoptosis in ER(+) breast cancer cells. Further, silencing of miR-21 in MCF-7 cells enhanced cell autophagy at both basal and TAM or FUL-induced level. The increase of autophagy in miR-21-knockdown MCF-7 cells was also indicated by increase of beclin-1, LC3-II and increased GFP-LC3 dots. Importantly, knockdown of miR-21 contributed to autophagic cell death, which is responsible for part of TAM induced cell death in miR-21 inhibitor-transfected cells. Further analysis suggested that miR-21 inhibitor enhance autophagic cell death through inhibition of PI3K-AKT-mTOR pathway. MiR-21 coordinated the function of autophagy and apoptosis by targeting Phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) through inhibition of PI3K-AKT-mTOR pathway. In conclusion, silencing of miR-21 increased the sensitivity of ER(+) breast cancer cells to TAM or FUL by increasing autophagic cell death. Targeting autophagy-related miRNAs is a potential strategy for overcoming endocrine resistance to TAM and FUL.

  2. MicroRNA epigenetic signatures in human disease.

    PubMed

    Piletič, Klara; Kunej, Tanja

    2016-10-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short non-coding RNAs that act as important regulators of gene expression as part of the epigenetic machinery. In addition to posttranscriptional gene silencing by miRNAs, the epigenetic mechanisms also include DNA methylation, histone modifications and their crosstalk. Epigenetic modifications were reported to play an important role in many disease onsets and progressions and can be used to explain several features of complex diseases, such as late onset and fluctuation of symptoms. However, miRNAs not only function as a part of epigenetic machinery, but are also epigenetically modified by DNA methylation and histone modification like any other protein-coding gene. There is a strong connection between epigenome and miRNome, and any dysregulation of this complex system can result in various physiological and pathological conditions. In addition, miRNAs play an important role in toxicogenomics and may explain the relationship between toxicant exposure and tumorigenesis. The present review provides information on 63 miRNA genes shown to be epigenetically regulated in association with 21 diseases, including 11 cancer types: cardiac fibrosis, cardiovascular disease, preeclampsia, Hirschsprung's disease, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic sclerosis, systemic lupus erythematosus, temporal lobe epilepsy, autism, pulmonary fibrosis, melanoma, acute myeloid leukemia, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, colorectal, gastric, cervical, ovarian, prostate, lung, breast, and bladder cancer. The review revealed that hsa-miR-34a, hsa-miR-34b, and hsa-miR-34c are the most frequently reported epigenetically dysregulated miRNAs. There is a need to further study molecular mechanisms of various diseases to better understand the crosstalk between epigenetics and gene expression and to develop new therapeutic options and biomarkers. PMID:27557899

  3. MLH1-Silenced and Non-Silenced Subgroups of Hypermutated Colorectal Carcinomas Have Distinct Mutational Landscapes

    PubMed Central

    Donehower, Lawrence A.; Creighton, Chad J.; Schultz, Nikolaus; Shinbrot, Eve; Chang, Kyle; Gunaratne, Preethi H.; Muzny, Donna; Sander, Chris; Hamilton, Stanley R.; Gibbs, Richard A.; Wheeler, David

    2014-01-01

    Approximately 15% of colorectal carcinomas (CRC) exhibit a hypermutated genotype accompanied by high levels of microsatellite instability (MSI-H) and defects in DNA mismatch repair. These tumors, unlike the majority of colorectal carcinomas, are often diploid, exhibit frequent epigenetic silencing of the MLH1 DNA mismatch repair gene, and have a better clinical prognosis. As an adjunct study to The Cancer Genome Atlas consortium that recently analyzed 224 colorectal cancers by whole exome sequencing, we compared the 35 CRC (15.6%) with a hypermutated genotype to those with a non-hypermutated genotype. We found that 22 (63%) of hypermutated CRC exhibited transcriptional silencing of the MLH1 gene, a high frequency of BRAF V600E gene mutations and infrequent APC and KRAS mutations, a mutational pattern significantly different from their non-hypermutated counterparts. However, the remaining 13 (37%) hypermutated CRC lacked MLH1 silencing, contained tumors with the highest mutation rates (“ultramutated” CRC), and exhibited higher incidences of APC and KRAS mutations, but infrequent BRAF mutations. These patterns were confirmed in an independent validation set of 250 exome-sequenced CRC. Analysis of mRNA and microRNA expression signatures revealed that hypermutated CRC with MLH1 silencing had greatly reduced levels of WNT signaling and increased BRAF signaling relative non-hypermutated CRC. Our findings suggest that hypermutated CRC include one subgroup with fundamentally different pathways to malignancy than the majority of CRC. Examination of MLH1 expression status and frequencies of APC, KRAS, and BRAF mutation in CRC may provide a useful diagnostic tool that could supplement the standard microsatellite instability assays and influence therapeutic decisions. PMID:22899370

  4. [Epigenetics in atherosclerosis].

    PubMed

    Guardiola, Montse; Vallvé, Joan C; Zaina, Silvio; Ribalta, Josep

    2016-01-01

    The association studies based on candidate genes carried on for decades have helped in visualizing the influence of the genetic component in complex diseases such as atherosclerosis, also showing the interaction between different genes and environmental factors. Even with all the knowledge accumulated, there is still some way to go to decipher the individual predisposition to disease, and if we consider the great influence that environmental factors play in the development and progression of atherosclerosis, epigenetics is presented as a key element in trying to expand our knowledge on individual predisposition to atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease. Epigenetics can be described as the discipline that studies the mechanisms of transcriptional regulation, independent of changes in the sequence of DNA, and mostly induced by environmental factors. This review aims to describe what epigenetics is and how epigenetic mechanisms are involved in atherosclerosis.

  5. Epigenetics: Biology's Quantum Mechanics.

    PubMed

    Jorgensen, Richard A

    2011-01-01

    The perspective presented here is that modern genetics is at a similar stage of development as were early formulations of quantum mechanics theory in the 1920s and that in 2010 we are at the dawn of a new revolution in genetics that promises to enrich and deepen our understanding of the gene and the genome. The interrelationships and interdependence of two views of the gene - the molecular biological view and the epigenetic view - are explored, and it is argued that the classical molecular biological view is incomplete without incorporation of the epigenetic perspective and that in a sense the molecular biological view has been evolving to include the epigenetic view. Intriguingly, this evolution of the molecular view toward the broader and more inclusive epigenetic view of the gene has an intriguing, if not precise, parallel in the evolution of concepts of atomic physics from Newtonian mechanics to quantum mechanics that are interesting to consider.

  6. [Epigenetics in Parkinson's Disease].

    PubMed

    Wüllner, U

    2016-07-01

    The genetic information encoded in the DNA sequence provides a blueprint of the entire organism. The epigenetic modifications, in particular DNA methylation and histone modifications, determine how and when this information is made available and define the specific gene transcription pattern of a given cell. Epigenetic modifications determine the functional differences of genetically identical cells in multicellular organisms and are important factors in various processes from embryonic development to learning and memory consolidation. DNA methylation patterns are altered by environmental conditions and some alterations are preserved through mitosis and meiosis. Thus, DNA methylation can mediate environmental impact on health and disease, contributes to the severity of diseases and probably contributes to the effects and side effects of drugs. In addition to the classical monogenic epigenetic diseases such as Prader-Willi syndrome and Rett syndrome, recent data point to an epigenetic component also in sporadic neuro-psychiatric disorders. PMID:27299943

  7. Epigenetics: Biology's Quantum Mechanics.

    PubMed

    Jorgensen, Richard A

    2011-01-01

    The perspective presented here is that modern genetics is at a similar stage of development as were early formulations of quantum mechanics theory in the 1920s and that in 2010 we are at the dawn of a new revolution in genetics that promises to enrich and deepen our understanding of the gene and the genome. The interrelationships and interdependence of two views of the gene - the molecular biological view and the epigenetic view - are explored, and it is argued that the classical molecular biological view is incomplete without incorporation of the epigenetic perspective and that in a sense the molecular biological view has been evolving to include the epigenetic view. Intriguingly, this evolution of the molecular view toward the broader and more inclusive epigenetic view of the gene has an intriguing, if not precise, parallel in the evolution of concepts of atomic physics from Newtonian mechanics to quantum mechanics that are interesting to consider. PMID:22639577

  8. Epigenetic mechanisms in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Shorter, Kimberly R; Miller, Brooke H

    2015-07-01

    Epigenetic modifications, including DNA methylation, histone modifications, and non-coding RNAs, have been implicated in a number of complex diseases. Schizophrenia and other major psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders are associated with abnormalities in multiple epigenetic mechanisms, resulting in altered gene expression during development and adulthood. Polymorphisms and copy number variants in schizophrenia risk genes contribute to the high heritability of the disease, but environmental factors that lead to epigenetic modifications may either reduce or exacerbate the expression of molecular and behavioral phenotypes associated with schizophrenia and related disorders. In the present paper, we will review the current understanding of molecular dysregulation in schizophrenia, including disruption of the dopamine, NMDA, and GABA signaling pathways, and discuss the role of epigenetic factors underlying disease pathology.

  9. Metabolism and Epigenetics

    PubMed Central

    Rine, Jasper

    2016-01-01

    Epigenetic mechanisms by which cells inherit information are, to a large extent, enabled by DNA methylation and posttranslational modifications of histone proteins. These modifications operate both to influence the structure of chromatin per se and to serve as recognition elements for proteins with motifs dedicated to binding particular modifications. Each of these modifications results from an enzyme that consumes one of several important metabolites during catalysis. Likewise, the removal of these marks often results in the consumption of a different metabolite. Therefore, these so-called epigenetic marks have the capacity to integrate the expression state of chromatin with the metabolic state of the cell. This review focuses on the central roles played by acetyl-CoA, S-adenosyl methionine, NAD+, and a growing list of other acyl-CoA derivatives in epigenetic processes. We also review how metabolites that accumulate as a result of oncogenic mutations are thought to subvert the epigenetic program. PMID:26359776

  10. Epigenetics and pharmacology.

    PubMed

    Stefanska, Barbara; MacEwan, David J

    2015-06-01

    Recent advances in the understanding of gene regulation have shown there to be much more regulation of the genome than first thought, through epigenetic mechanisms. These epigenetic mechanisms are systems that have evolved to either switch off gene activity altogether, or fine-tune any existing genetic activation. Such systems are present in all genes and include chromatin modifications and remodelling, DNA methylation (such as CpG island methylation rates) and histone covalent modifications (e.g. acetylation, methylation), RNA interference by short interfering RNAs (siRNAs) and long non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs). These systems regulate genomic activity 'beyond' simple transcriptional factor inducer or repressor function of genes to generate mRNA. Epigenetic regulation of gene activity has been shown to be important in maintaining normal phenotypic activity of cells, as well as having a role in development and diseases such as cancer and neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's. Newer classes of drugs regulate epigenetic mechanisms to counteract disease states in humans. The reports in this issue describe some advances in epigenetic understanding that relate to human disease, and our ability to control these mechanisms by pharmacological means. Increasingly the importance of epigenetics is being uncovered - it is pharmacology that will have to keep pace.

  11. Epigenetics and pharmacology

    PubMed Central

    Stefanska, Barbara; MacEwan, David J

    2015-01-01

    Recent advances in the understanding of gene regulation have shown there to be much more regulation of the genome than first thought, through epigenetic mechanisms. These epigenetic mechanisms are systems that have evolved to either switch off gene activity altogether, or fine-tune any existing genetic activation. Such systems are present in all genes and include chromatin modifications and remodelling, DNA methylation (such as CpG island methylation rates) and histone covalent modifications (e.g. acetylation, methylation), RNA interference by short interfering RNAs (siRNAs) and long non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs). These systems regulate genomic activity ‘beyond’ simple transcriptional factor inducer or repressor function of genes to generate mRNA. Epigenetic regulation of gene activity has been shown to be important in maintaining normal phenotypic activity of cells, as well as having a role in development and diseases such as cancer and neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's. Newer classes of drugs regulate epigenetic mechanisms to counteract disease states in humans. The reports in this issue describe some advances in epigenetic understanding that relate to human disease, and our ability to control these mechanisms by pharmacological means. Increasingly the importance of epigenetics is being uncovered – it is pharmacology that will have to keep pace. PMID:25966315

  12. Epigenetic regulation in obesity.

    PubMed

    Lavebratt, C; Almgren, M; Ekström, T J

    2012-06-01

    The availability to the DNA strand and the activity of the transcription machinery is crucial for the cell to use the information in the DNA. The epigenetic mechanisms DNA methylation, modification of histone tails, other chromatin-modifying processes and interference by small RNAs regulate the cell-type-specific DNA expression. Epigenetic marks can be more or less plastic perpetuating responses to various molecular signals and environmental stimuli, but in addition apparently stochastic epigenetic marks have been found. There is substantial evidence from animal and man demonstrating that both transient and more long-term epigenetic mechanisms have a role in the regulation of the molecular events governing adipogenesis and glucose homeostasis. Intrauterine exposure such as poor maternal nutrition has consistently been demonstrated to contribute to a particular epigenotype and thereby developmental metabolic priming of the exposed offspring in animal and man. Epigenetic modifications can be passed not only from one cell generation to the next, but metabolic disease-related epigenotypes have been proposed to also be transmitted germ-line. Future more comprehensive knowledge on epigenetic regulation will complement genome sequence data for the understanding of the complex etiology of obesity and related disorder.

  13. What do we need to know prior to thinking about incorporating an epigenetic evaluation into safety assessments

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Ineternation Life Sciences Institute, Health and Environmental Sciences Institute sponsored a workgroup entitled "state of the science: evaluating epigenetic changes" hosted by NIEHS. The goal was to evaluate and enhance the scientific knowledge base regarding epigenetics an...

  14. Epigenetic alterations in preneoplastic and neoplastic lesions of the cervix

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Cervical cancer (CC) is one of the most malignant tumors and the second or third most common type of cancer in women worldwide. The association between human papillomavirus (HPV) and CC is widely known and accepted (99.7% of cases). At present, the pathogenesis mechanisms of CC are not entirely clear. It has been shown that inactivation of tumor suppressor genes and activation of oncogenes play a significant role in carcinogenesis, caused by the genetic and epigenetic alterations. In the past, it was generally thought that genetic mutation was a key event of tumor pathogenesis, especially somatic mutation of tumor suppressor genes. With deeper understanding of tumors in recent years, increasing evidence has shown that epigenetic silencing of those genes, as a result of aberrant hypermethylation of CpG islands in promoters and histone modification, is essential to carcinogenesis and metastasis. The term epigenetics refers to heritable changes in gene expression caused by regulation mechanisms, other than changes in DNA sequence. Specific epigenetic processes include DNA methylation, chromotin remodeling, histone modification, and microRNA regulations. These alterations, in combination or individually, make it possible to establish the methylation profiles, histone modification maps, and expression profiles characteristic of this pathology, which become useful tools for screening, early detection, or prognostic markers in cervical cancer. This paper reviews recent epigenetics research progress in the CC study, and tries to depict the relationships between CC and DNA methylation, histone modification, as well as microRNA regulations. PMID:22938091

  15. Silencers, silencing, and heritable transcriptional states.

    PubMed Central

    Laurenson, P; Rine, J

    1992-01-01

    Three copies of the mating-type genes, which determine cell type, are found in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The copy at the MAT locus is transcriptionally active, whereas identical copies of the mating-type genes at the HML and HMR loci are transcriptionally silent. Hence, HML and HMR, also known as the silent mating-type loci, are subject to a position effect. Regulatory sequences flank the silent mating-type loci and mediate repression of HML and HMR. These regulatory sequences are called silencers for their ability to repress the transcription of nearby genes in a distance- and orientation-independent fashion. In addition, a number of proteins, including the four SIR proteins, histone H4, and an alpha-acetyltransferase, are required for the complete repression of HML and HMR. Because alterations in the amino-terminal domain of histone H4 result in the derepression of the silent mating-type loci, the mechanism of repression may involve the assembly of a specific chromatin structure. A number of additional clues permit insight into the nature of repression at HML and HMR. First, an S phase event is required for the establishment of repression. Second, at least one gene appears to play a role in the establishment mechanism yet is not essential for the stable propagation of repression through many rounds of cell division. Third, certain aspects of repression are linked to aspects of replication. The silent mating-type loci share many similarities with heterochromatin. Furthermore, regions of S. cerevisiae chromosomes, such as telomeres, which are known to be heterochromatic in other organisms, require a subset of SIR proteins for repression. Further analysis of the transcriptional repression at the silent mating-type loci may lend insight into heritable repression in other eukaryotes. PMID:1480108

  16. Rethinking the Day of Silence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Murphy, Adriana

    2013-01-01

    Back in 2006, 7th and 8th graders at Green Acres, the K-8 independent school where the author taught in suburban Maryland, participated in the Day of Silence. The Day of Silence is a national event: Students across the country take a one-day pledge of silence to show that they want to make schools safe for all students, regardless of their sexual…

  17. Epigenetic Gene Regulation in Stem Cells and Correlation to Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Mathews, Lesley A.; Crea, Francesco; Farrar, W. L.

    2009-01-01

    Through the classic study of genetics, much has been learned about the regulation and progression of human disease. Specifically, cancer has been defined as a disease driven by genetic alterations, including mutations in tumor-suppressor genes and oncogenes, as well as chromosomal abnormalities. However, the study of normal human development has identified that in addition to classical genetics, regulation of gene expression is also modified by ‘epigenetic’ alterations including chromatin remodeling and histone variants, DNA methylation, the regulation of polycomb group proteins and the epigenetic function of non-coding RNA. These changes are modifications inherited both during meiosis and mitosis, yet they do not result in alterations of the actual DNA sequence. A number of biological questions are directly influenced by epigenetics, such as how does a cell know when to divide, differentiate or remain quiescent, and more importantly, what happens when these pathways become altered? Do these alterations lead to the development and/or progression of cancer? This review will focus on summarizing the limited current literature involving epigenetic alterations in the context of human cancer stems cells (CSCs). The extent to which epigenetic changes define cell fate, identity, and phenotype are still under intense investigation, and many questions remain largely unanswered. Before discussing epigenetic gene silencing in CSCs, the different classifications of stem cells and their properties will be introduced. This will be followed by an introduction to the different epigenetic mechanisms Finally, there will be a discussion of the current knowledge of epigenetic modifications in stem cells, specifically what is known from rodent systems and established cancer cell lines, and how they are leading us to understand human stem cells. PMID:19443100

  18. Epigenetics of Obesity.

    PubMed

    Lopomo, A; Burgio, E; Migliore, L

    2016-01-01

    Obesity is a metabolic disease, which is becoming an epidemic health problem: it has been recently defined in terms of Global Pandemic. Over the years, the approaches through family, twins and adoption studies led to the identification of some causal genes in monogenic forms of obesity but the origins of the pandemic of obesity cannot be considered essentially due to genetic factors, because human genome is not likely to change in just a few years. Epigenetic studies have offered in recent years valuable tools for the understanding of the worldwide spread of the pandemic of obesity. The involvement of epigenetic modifications-DNA methylation, histone tails, and miRNAs modifications-in the development of obesity is more and more evident. In the epigenetic literature, there are evidences that the entire embryo-fetal and perinatal period of development plays a key role in the programming of all human organs and tissues. Therefore, the molecular mechanisms involved in the epigenetic programming require a new and general pathogenic paradigm, the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease theory, to explain the current epidemiological transition, that is, the worldwide increase of chronic, degenerative, and inflammatory diseases such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, and cancer. Obesity and its related complications are more and more associated with environmental pollutants (obesogens), gut microbiota modifications and unbalanced food intake, which can induce, through epigenetic mechanisms, weight gain, and altered metabolic consequences. PMID:27288829

  19. Epigenetics of depression.

    PubMed

    Lolak, Sermsak; Suwannarat, Pim; Lipsky, Robert H

    2014-01-01

    Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a leading cause of disability worldwide and is associated with poor psychological, medical, and socioeconomic outcomes. Although much has been learned about the etiology and treatment options of MDD over the past decade, there remain unanswered questions that pose challenges to improving acute and chronic outcomes for those with MDD. MDD is a clinically heterogeneous disorder. Genetic studies to date have indicated a number of genes, including transporters, neurotransmitters, neurotrophins, and their associated signaling networks that may predispose individuals to MDD and may also predict treatment outcomes. However, twin studies indicate that genes account for only a small degree of the variation in MDD. Thus, other mechanisms, through epigenetic marks, may act to form a molecular memory of previous gene-to-environment interactions and to establish vulnerabilities (or, conversely, resistance) to MDD. Current evidence supports a role for pre-, peri-, and early postnatal adversities and stressful life events into adulthood affecting epigenetic patterns, providing a mechanistic foundation to develop epigenetic marks as biomarkers for MDD. This review presents the evidence supporting a role for epigenetic effects in MDD and in treatment response. We also discuss the controversy behind modulating epigenetic mechanisms in long-term antidepressant pharmacotherapy.

  20. The physics of epigenetics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cortini, Ruggero; Barbi, Maria; Caré, Bertrand R.; Lavelle, Christophe; Lesne, Annick; Mozziconacci, Julien; Victor, Jean-Marc

    2016-04-01

    In higher organisms, all cells share the same genome, but every cell expresses only a limited and specific set of genes that defines the cell type. During cell division, not only the genome, but also the cell type is inherited by the daughter cells. This intriguing phenomenon is achieved by a variety of processes that have been collectively termed epigenetics: the stable and inheritable changes in gene expression patterns. This article reviews the extremely rich and exquisitely multiscale physical mechanisms that govern the biological processes behind the initiation, spreading, and inheritance of epigenetic states. These include not only the changes in the molecular properties associated with the chemical modifications of DNA and histone proteins, such as methylation and acetylation, but also less conventional changes, typically in the physics that governs the three-dimensional organization of the genome in cell nuclei. Strikingly, to achieve stability and heritability of epigenetic states, cells take advantage of many different physical principles, such as the universal behavior of polymers and copolymers, the general features of dynamical systems, and the electrostatic and mechanical properties related to chemical modifications of DNA and histones. By putting the complex biological literature in this new light, the emerging picture is that a limited set of general physical rules play a key role in initiating, shaping, and transmitting this crucial "epigenetic landscape." This new perspective not only allows one to rationalize the normal cellular functions, but also helps to understand the emergence of pathological states, in which the epigenetic landscape becomes dysfunctional.

  1. The epigenetic language of circadian clocks.

    PubMed

    Sahar, Saurabh; Sassone-Corsi, Paolo

    2013-01-01

    Epigenetic control, which includes DNA methylation and histone modifications, leads to chromatin remodeling and regulated gene expression. Remodeling of chromatin constitutes a critical interface of transducing signals, such as light or nutrient availability, and how these are interpreted by the cell to generate permissive or silenced states for transcription. CLOCK-BMAL1-mediated activation of clock-controlled genes (CCGs) is coupled to circadian changes in histone modification at their promoters. Several chromatin modifiers, such as the deacetylases SIRT1 and HDAC3 or methyltransferase MLL1, have been shown to be recruited to the promoters of the CCGs in a circadian manner. Interestingly, the central element of the core clock machinery, the transcription factor CLOCK, also possesses histone acetyltransferase activity. Rhythmic expression of the CCGs is abolished in the absence of these chromatin modifiers. Here we will discuss the evidence demonstrating that chromatin remodeling is at the crossroads of circadian rhythms and regulation of metabolism and cellular proliferation. PMID:23604474

  2. "Listening Silence" and Its Discursive Effects

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Applebaum, Barbara

    2016-01-01

    While researchers have studied how white silence protects white innocence and white ignorance, in this essay Barbara Applebaum explores a form of white silence that she refers to as "listening silence" in which silence protects white innocence but does not necessarily promote resistance to learning. White listening silence can appear to…

  3. Epigenetic signaling in schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Ibi, Daisuke; González-Maeso, Javier

    2015-01-01

    Histone modifications and DNA methylation represent central dynamic and reversible processes that regulate gene expression and contribute to cellular phenotypes. These epigenetic marks have been shown to play fundamental roles in a diverse set of signaling and behavioral outcomes. Psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and depression are complex and heterogeneous diseases with multiple and independent factors that may contribute to their pathophysiology, making challenging to find a link between specific elements and the underlying mechanisms responsible for the disorder and its treatment. Growing evidences suggest that epigenetic modifications in certain brain regions and neural circuits represent a key mechanism through which environmental factors interact with individual’s genetic constitution to affect risk of psychiatric conditions throughout life. This review focuses on recent advances that directly implicate epigenetic modifications in schizophrenia and antipsychotic drug action. PMID:26120009

  4. Epigenetics and lifestyle

    PubMed Central

    Alegría-Torres, Jorge Alejandro; Baccarelli, Andrea; Bollati, Valentina

    2013-01-01

    The concept of “lifestyle” includes different factors such as nutrition, behavior, stress, physical activity, working habits, smoking and alcohol consumption. Increasing evidence shows that environmental and lifestyle factors may influence epigenetic mechanisms, such as DNA methylation, histone acetylation and microRNA expression. Several lifestyle factors have been identified that might modify epigenetic patterns, such as diet, obesity, physical activity, tobacco smoking, alcohol consumption, environmental pollutants, psychological stress, and working on night shifts. Most studies conducted so far have been centered on DNA methylation, whereas only a few investigations have studied lifestyle factors in relation to histone modifications and miRNAs. Here, we review current evidence indicating that lifestyle factors might affect human health via epigenetic mechanisms. PMID:22122337

  5. Epigenetics and gene expression.

    PubMed

    Gibney, E R; Nolan, C M

    2010-07-01

    Transcription, translation and subsequent protein modification represent the transfer of genetic information from the archival copy of DNA to the short-lived messenger RNA, usually with subsequent production of protein. Although all cells in an organism contain essentially the same DNA, cell types and functions differ because of qualitative and quantitative differences in their gene expression. Thus, control of gene expression is at the heart of differentiation and development. Epigenetic processes, including DNA methylation, histone modification and various RNA-mediated processes, are thought to influence gene expression chiefly at the level of transcription; however, other steps in the process (for example, translation) may also be regulated epigenetically. The following paper will outline the role epigenetics is believed to have in influencing gene expression.

  6. Epigenetics and cardiovascular disease.

    PubMed

    Webster, Andrew L H; Yan, Matthew Shu-Ching; Marsden, Philip A

    2013-01-01

    A commonly-assumed paradigm holds that the primary genetic determinant of cardiovascular disease resides within the DNA sequence of our genes. This paradigm can be challenged. For example, how do sequence changes in the non-coding region of the genome influence phenotype? Why are all diseases not shared between identical twins? Part of the answer lies in the fact that the environment or exogenous stimuli clearly influence disease susceptibility, but it was unclear in the past how these effects were signalled to the static DNA code. Epigenetics is providing a newer perspective on these issues. Epigenetics refers to chromatin-based mechanisms important in the regulation of gene expression that do not involve changes to the DNA sequence per se. The field can be broadly categorized into three areas: DNA base modifications (including cytosine methylation and cytosine hydroxymethylation), post-translational modifications of histone proteins, and RNA-based mechanisms that operate in the nucleus. Cardiovascular disease pathways are now being approached from the epigenetic perspective, including those associated with atherosclerosis, angiogenesis, ischemia-reperfusion damage, and the cardiovascular response to hypoxia and shear stress, among many others. With increasing interest and expanding partnerships in the field, we can expect new insights to emerge from epigenetic perspectives of cardiovascular health. This paper reviews the principles governing epigenetic regulation, discusses their presently-understood importance in cardiovascular disease, and considers the growing significance we are likely to attribute to epigenetic contributions in the future, as they provide new mechanistic insights and a host of novel clinical applications. PMID:23261320

  7. Edwin Hubble's Silence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lago, D.

    2013-04-01

    In late 1928 Edwin Hubble was right in the middle of using V. M. Slipher's redshift data to prove that the universe is expanding, when Hubble's boss, George Hale, directed him to drop everything and rush to the Grand Canyon and test it as a possible site for Hale's planned 200-inch telescope. On his way, Hubble stopped at Lowell Observatory and met with V. M. Slipher. The letters both men wrote about this visit suggest that Hubble never said a word about his being in the middle of using Slipher's research to transform the universe. At the least, this silence is symbolic of the silence with which astronomical history has often treated Slipher's work. A survey of the historical literature suggests several reasons for this. Theorists and observers in astronomy (and other sciences) have long had different perspectives about how science works, and those who place more importance on theory have tended to credit the idea of the expanding universe to the theorists. Also, many sources indicate that Edwin Hubble was not a modest man or generous about sharing credit.

  8. [Epigenetic regulation in spermatogenesis].

    PubMed

    Xu, Chen; Song, Ning

    2014-05-01

    Spermatogenesis is a process consisting of spermatogonial proliferation, spermatocytic meiosis, and spermiogenesis, and is also considered to be a process in which heterochromatins gradually aggregate and finally reach a highly condensed formation in the sperm head. Recent studies show that epigenetic regulation plays a key role in spermatogenesis. This review discusses the mechanisms of epigenetic regulation in spermatogenesis in three aspects, DNA methylation, histone modification, and noncoding RNAs. These factors are essential for spermatogenesis, fertilization, and embryogenesis by mutual regulation as well as by gene expression regulation, transposon activation, sex chromosome inactivation, and genome imprinting. PMID:24908726

  9. Cell culture-induced gradual and frequent epigenetic reprogramming of invertedly repeated tobacco transgene epialleles.

    PubMed

    Krizova, Katerina; Fojtova, Miloslava; Depicker, Ann; Kovarik, Ales

    2009-03-01

    Using a two-component transgene system involving two epiallelic variants of the invertedly repeated transgenes in locus 1 (Lo1) and a homologous single-copy transgene locus 2 (Lo2), we have studied the stability of the methylation patterns and trans-silencing interactions in cell culture and regenerated tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) plants. The posttranscriptionally silenced (PTGS) epiallele of the Lo1 trans-silences and trans-methylates the target Lo2 in a hybrid (Lo1/Lo2 line), while its transcriptionally silenced variant (Lo1E) does not. This pattern was stable over several generations in plants. However, in early Lo1E/Lo2 callus, decreased transgene expression and partial loss of Lo1E promoter methylation compared with leaf tissue in the parental plant were observed. Analysis of small RNA species and coding region methylation suggested that the transgenes were silenced by a PTGS mechanism. The Lo1/Lo2 line remained silenced, but the nonmethylated Lo1 promoter acquired partial methylation in later callus stages. These data indicate that a cell culture process has brought both epialleles to a similar epigenetic ground. Bisulfite sequencing of the 35S promoter within the Lo1 silencer revealed molecules with no, intermediate, and high levels of methylation, demonstrating, to our knowledge for the first time, cell-to-cell methylation diversity of callus. Regenerated plants showed high interindividual but low intraindividual epigenetic variability, indicating that the callus-induced epiallelic variants were transmitted to plants and became fixed. We propose that epigenetic changes associated with dedifferentiation might influence regulatory pathways mediated by trans-PTGS processes. PMID:19129419

  10. The physics of chromatin silencing: Bi-stability and front propagation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sedighi, Mohammad

    A mean-field dynamical model of chromatin silencing in budding yeast is provided and the conditions giving rise to two states: one silenced and another un-silenced, is studied. Based on these conditions, the space of control parameters is divided into two distinct regions of mono-stable and bi-stable solutions (the bifurcation diagram). Then, considering both the discrete and continuous versions of the model, the formation of a stable boundary between the silenced and un-silenced areas on DNA is investigated. As a result, a richer phase diagram is provided. The dynamics of the boundary is also studied under different conditions. Consequently, assuming negative feedback due to possible depletion of silencing proteins, the model explains a paradoxical epigenetic behavior of yeast that happens under some mutation. A stochastic treatment of the model is also considered to verify the results of the mean-field approximation and also to understand the role of intrinsic noise at single cell level. This model could be used as a general guide to discuss chromatin silencing in many organisms.

  11. The Search for Strategic Silence.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lentz, Richard

    Media content analysts seldom observe the principle that editorial omissions are as telling as what is published or broadcast; hence, the purpose of this paper is to explore, and thus stimulate debate about, editorial omissions or "strategic silence." It is observed that as a concept, strategic silence embraces both tact and strategy--the former…

  12. Organizational Silence in Sports Employees

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bastug, Gulsum; Pala, Adem; Yilmaz, Taner; Duyan, Mehdi; Gunel, Ilker

    2016-01-01

    Organizational silence can be defined as a way of behaviour belonging to men and women employees in the organization exhibited without reflecting their feelings, ideas, concerns and suggestions related with their workplaces, works for which they are responsible or other activities of the organization. In the period of organizational silence,…

  13. Epigenetic mechanisms in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Roth, Tania L; Lubin, Farah D; Sodhi, Monsheel; Kleinman, Joel E

    2009-09-01

    Epidemiological research suggests that both an individual's genes and the environment underlie the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. Molecular mechanisms mediating the interplay between genes and the environment are likely to have a significant role in the onset of the disorder. Recent work indicates that epigenetic mechanisms, or the chemical markings of the DNA and the surrounding histone proteins, remain labile through the lifespan and can be altered by environmental factors. Thus, epigenetic mechanisms are an attractive molecular hypothesis for environmental contributions to schizophrenia. In this review, we first present an overview of schizophrenia and discuss the role of nature versus nurture in its pathology, where 'nature' is considered to be inherited or genetic vulnerability to schizophrenia, and 'nurture' is proposed to exert its effects through epigenetic mechanisms. Second, we define DNA methylation and discuss the evidence for its role in schizophrenia. Third, we define posttranslational histone modifications and discuss their place in schizophrenia. This research is likely to lead to the development of epigenetic therapy, which holds the promise of alleviating cognitive deficits associated with schizophrenia. PMID:19559755

  14. Bridging epigenetics and metabolism

    PubMed Central

    Phang, James M.; Liu, Wei; Hancock, Chad

    2013-01-01

    Recent research suggests that chromatin-modifying enzymes are metabolic sensors regulating gene expression. Epigenetics is linked to metabolomics in response to the cellular microenvironment. Specific metabolites involved in this sensing mechanism include S-adenosylmethionine, acetyl-CoA, alphaketoglutarate and NAD+. Although the core metabolic pathways involving glucose have been emphasized as the source of these metabolites, the reprogramming of pathways involving non-essential amino acids may also play an important role, especially in cancer. Examples include metabolic pathways for glutamine, serine and glycine. The coupling of these pathways to the intermediates affecting epigenetic regulation occurs by “parametabolic” mechanisms. The metabolism of proline may play a special role in this parametabolic linkage between metabolism and epigenetics. Both proline degradation and biosynthesis are robustly affected by oncogenes or suppressor genes, and they can modulate intermediates involved in epigenetic regulation. A number of mechanisms in a variety of animal species have been described by our laboratory and by others. The challenge we now face is to identify the specific chromatin-modifying enzymes involved in coupling of proline metabolism to altered reprogramming of gene expression. PMID:23422013

  15. Epigenetics and memigenetics.

    PubMed

    Mann, Jeffrey R

    2014-04-01

    The field of epigenetics is expanding rapidly, yet there is persistent uncertainty in the definition of the term. The word was coined in the mid-twentieth century as a descriptor of how intrinsic, yet largely unknown, forces act with genes to channel progenitor cells along pathways of differentiation. Near the end of the twentieth century, epigenetics was defined more specifically as the study of changes in gene activity states. In some definitions, only those activity states that are inherited across cell division were considered. Other definitions were broader, also including activity states that are transient, or occurring in non-dividing cells. The greatest point of disagreement in these current definitions, is if the term should concern only inherited activity states. To alleviate this disparity, an alternative term, 'memigenetics', could be used in place of epigenetics to describe inherited chromatin activity states. The advantage of this term is that it is self-defining, and would serve to emphasize the important concept of cell memory. It would also free the term epigenetics to be used in a broader sense in accord with the meaning of the prefix 'epi', that is, as a descriptor of what is 'over' DNA at any point in time. PMID:24445814

  16. Epigenetics, Darwin, and Lamarck

    PubMed Central

    Penny, David

    2015-01-01

    It is not really helpful to consider modern environmental epigenetics as neo-Lamarckian; and there is no evidence that Lamarck considered the idea original to himself. We must all keep learning about inheritance, but attributing modern ideas to early researchers is not helpful, and can be misleading. PMID:26026157

  17. Epigenetics, Darwin, and Lamarck.

    PubMed

    Penny, David

    2015-05-29

    It is not really helpful to consider modern environmental epigenetics as neo-Lamarckian; and there is no evidence that Lamarck considered the idea original to himself. We must all keep learning about inheritance, but attributing modern ideas to early researchers is not helpful, and can be misleading.

  18. Epigenetics and Osteoarthritis

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Mingcai; Wang, Jinxi

    2015-01-01

    Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of joint disease and the leading cause of chronic disability in middle-aged and older populations. The development of disease-modifying therapy for OA currently faces major obstacles largely because the regulatory mechanisms for the function of joint tissue cells remain unclear. Previous studies have found that the alterations in gene expression of specific transcription factors (TFs), pro- or anti-inflammatory cytokines, matrix proteinases and extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins in articular cartilage may be involved in the development of OA. However, the regulatory mechanisms for the expression of those genes in OA chondrocytes are largely unknown. The recent advances in epigenetic studies have shed lights on the importance of epigenetic regulation of gene expression in the development of OA. In this review, we summarize and discuss the recent studies on the regulatory roles of various epigenetic mechanisms in the expression of genes for specific TFs, cytokines, ECM proteins and matrix proteinases, as well the significance of these epigenetic mechanisms in the pathogenesis of OA. PMID:25961070

  19. Epigenetics in the hematologic malignancies

    PubMed Central

    Fong, Chun Yew; Morison, Jessica; Dawson, Mark A.

    2014-01-01

    A wealth of genomic and epigenomic data has identified abnormal regulation of epigenetic processes as a prominent theme in hematologic malignancies. Recurrent somatic alterations in myeloid malignancies of key proteins involved in DNA methylation, post-translational histone modification and chromatin remodeling have highlighted the importance of epigenetic regulation of gene expression in the initiation and maintenance of various malignancies. The rational use of targeted epigenetic therapies requires a thorough understanding of the underlying mechanisms of malignant transformation driven by aberrant epigenetic regulators. In this review we provide an overview of the major protagonists in epigenetic regulation, their aberrant role in myeloid malignancies, prognostic significance and potential for therapeutic targeting. PMID:25472952

  20. Silence Amenity Engineering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fujita, Hajime

    Engineering civilization brought convenient and comfortable life to us. However, some environmental problems such as various pollutions have also been developed with it. Acoustical noise is one of the major problems in modern life. Noise is generated from a noise source and propagates through transmitting medium such as the air and eventually reaches a receiver, usually a human being. The noise problem can be avoided, therefore, if one of those three elements in the noise problem is removed completely. In actual case, engineers are looking for most efficient way combining the controls for these three elements. In this article, basic characteristics of noise is reviewed briefly at first, then sound field analysis to predict sound transmission is discussed Aerodynamic noise is one of the major problems in silence amenity engineering today. Basic concept of the aerodynamic noise generation mechanism is discussed in detail with applications to turbo-machinery and high speed train noise control technology.

  1. Targeting Calcium Signaling Induces Epigenetic Reactivation of Tumor Suppressor Genes in Cancer.

    PubMed

    Raynal, Noël J-M; Lee, Justin T; Wang, Youjun; Beaudry, Annie; Madireddi, Priyanka; Garriga, Judith; Malouf, Gabriel G; Dumont, Sarah; Dettman, Elisha J; Gharibyan, Vazganush; Ahmed, Saira; Chung, Woonbok; Childers, Wayne E; Abou-Gharbia, Magid; Henry, Ryan A; Andrews, Andrew J; Jelinek, Jaroslav; Cui, Ying; Baylin, Stephen B; Gill, Donald L; Issa, Jean-Pierre J

    2016-03-15

    Targeting epigenetic pathways is a promising approach for cancer therapy. Here, we report on the unexpected finding that targeting calcium signaling can reverse epigenetic silencing of tumor suppressor genes (TSG). In a screen for drugs that reactivate silenced gene expression in colon cancer cells, we found three classical epigenetic targeted drugs (DNA methylation and histone deacetylase inhibitors) and 11 other drugs that induced methylated and silenced CpG island promoters driving a reporter gene (GFP) as well as endogenous TSGs in multiple cancer cell lines. These newly identified drugs, most prominently cardiac glycosides, did not change DNA methylation locally or histone modifications globally. Instead, all 11 drugs altered calcium signaling and triggered calcium-calmodulin kinase (CamK) activity, leading to MeCP2 nuclear exclusion. Blocking CamK activity abolished gene reactivation and cancer cell killing by these drugs, showing that triggering calcium fluxes is an essential component of their epigenetic mechanism of action. Our data identify calcium signaling as a new pathway that can be targeted to reactivate TSGs in cancer.

  2. Lsh is required for meiotic chromosome synapsis and retrotransposon silencing in female germ cells.

    PubMed

    De La Fuente, Rabindranath; Baumann, Claudia; Fan, Tao; Schmidtmann, Anja; Dobrinski, Ina; Muegge, Kathrin

    2006-12-01

    Lymphoid specific helicase (Lsh) is a major epigenetic regulator that is essential for DNA methylation and transcriptional silencing of parasitic elements in the mammalian genome. However, whether Lsh is involved in the regulation of chromatin-mediated processes during meiosis is not known. Here, we show that Lsh is essential for the completion of meiosis and transcriptional repression of repetitive elements in the female gonad. Oocytes from Lsh knockout mice exhibit demethylation of transposable elements and tandem repeats at pericentric heterochromatin, as well as incomplete chromosome synapsis associated with persistent RAD51 foci and gammaH2AX phosphorylation. Failure to load crossover-associated foci results in the generation of non-exchange chromosomes. The severe oocyte loss observed and lack of ovarian follicle formation, together with the patterns of Lsh nuclear compartmentalization in the germ line, demonstrate that Lsh has a critical and previously unidentified role in epigenetic gene silencing and maintenance of genomic stability during female meiosis. PMID:17115026

  3. Posttranscriptional silencing of the lncRNA MALAT1 by miR-217 inhibits the epithelial-mesenchymal transition via enhancer of zeste homolog 2 in the malignant transformation of HBE cells induced by cigarette smoke extract.

    PubMed

    Lu, Lu; Luo, Fei; Liu, Yi; Liu, Xinlu; Shi, Le; Lu, Xiaolin; Liu, Qizhan

    2015-12-01

    Lung cancer is regarded as the leading cause of cancer-related deaths, and cigarette smoking is one of the strongest risk factors for the development of lung cancer. However, the mechanisms for cigarette smoke-induced lung carcinogenesis remain unclear. The present study investigated the effects of an miRNA (miR-217) on levels of an lncRNA (MALAT1) and examined the role of these factors in the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) induced by cigarette smoke extract (CSE) in human bronchial epithelial (HBE) cells. In these cells, CSE caused decreases of miR-217 levels and increases in lncRNA MALAT1 levels. Over-expression of miR-217 with a mimic attenuated the CSE-induced increase of MALAT1 levels, and reduction of miR-217 levels by an inhibitor enhanced expression of MALAT1. Moreover, the CSE-induced increase of MALAT1 expression was blocked by an miR-217 mimic, indicating that miR-217 negatively regulates MALAT1 expression. Knockdown of MALAT1 reversed CSE-induced increases of EZH2 (enhancer of zeste homolog 2) and H3K27me3 levels. In addition to the alteration from epithelial to spindle-like mesenchymal morphology, chronic exposure of HBE cells to CSE increased the levels of EZH2, H3K27me3, vimentin, and N-cadherin and decreased E-cadherin levels, effects that were reversed by MALAT1 siRNA or EZH2 siRNA. The results indicate that miR-217 regulation of EZH2/H3K27me3 via MALAT1 is involved in CSE-induced EMT and malignant transformation of HBE cells. The posttranscriptional silencing of MALAT1 by miR-217 provides a link, through EZH2, between ncRNAs and the EMT and establishes a mechanism for CSE-induced lung carcinogenesis.

  4. Turning on the Radio: Epigenetic Inhibitors as Potential Radiopriming Agents

    PubMed Central

    Oronsky, Bryan; Scicinski, Jan; Kim, Michelle M.; Cabrales, Pedro; Salacz, Michael E.; Carter, Corey A.; Oronsky, Neil; Lybeck, Harry; Lybeck, Michelle; Larson, Christopher; Reid, Tony R.; Oronsky, Arnold

    2016-01-01

    First introduced during the late 1800s, radiation therapy is fundamental to the treatment of cancer. In developed countries, approximately 60% of all patients receive radiation therapy (also known as the sixty percenters), which makes radioresistance in cancer an important and, to date, unsolved, clinical problem. Unfortunately, the therapeutic refractoriness of solid tumors is the rule not the exception, and the ubiquity of resistance also extends to standard chemotherapy, molecularly targeted therapy and immunotherapy. Based on extrapolation from recent clinical inroads with epigenetic agents to prime refractory tumors for maximum sensitivity to concurrent or subsequent therapies, the radioresistant phenotype is potentially reversible, since aberrant epigenetic mechanisms are critical contributors to the evolution of resistant subpopulations of malignant cells. Within the framework of a syllogism, this review explores the emerging link between epigenetics and the development of radioresistance and makes the case that a strategy of pre- or co-treatment with epigenetic agents has the potential to, not only derepress inappropriately silenced genes, but also increase reactive oxygen species production, resulting in the restoration of radiosensitivity. PMID:27384589

  5. Epigenetic Regulation of Bone Remodeling and Its Impacts in Osteoporosis

    PubMed Central

    Ghayor, Chafik; Weber, Franz E.

    2016-01-01

    Epigenetics describes mechanisms which control gene expression and cellular processes without changing the DNA sequence. The main mechanisms in epigenetics are DNA methylation in CpG-rich promoters, histone modifications and non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs). DNA methylation modifies the function of the DNA and correlates with gene silencing. Histone modifications including acetylation/deacetylation and phosphorylation act in diverse biological processes such as transcriptional activation/inactivation and DNA repair. Non-coding RNAs play a large part in epigenetic regulation of gene expression in addition to their roles at the transcriptional and post-transcriptional level. Osteoporosis is the most common skeletal disorder, characterized by compromised bone strength and bone micro-architectural deterioration that predisposes the bones to an increased risk of fracture. It is most often caused by an increase in bone resorption that is not sufficiently compensated by a corresponding increase in bone formation. Nowadays it is well accepted that osteoporosis is a multifactorial disorder and there are genetic risk factors for osteoporosis and bone fractures. Here we review emerging evidence that epigenetics contributes to the machinery that can alter DNA structure, gene expression, and cellular differentiation during physiological and pathological bone remodeling. PMID:27598138

  6. Epigenetic Regulation of Bone Remodeling and Its Impacts in Osteoporosis.

    PubMed

    Ghayor, Chafik; Weber, Franz E

    2016-01-01

    Epigenetics describes mechanisms which control gene expression and cellular processes without changing the DNA sequence. The main mechanisms in epigenetics are DNA methylation in CpG-rich promoters, histone modifications and non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs). DNA methylation modifies the function of the DNA and correlates with gene silencing. Histone modifications including acetylation/deacetylation and phosphorylation act in diverse biological processes such as transcriptional activation/inactivation and DNA repair. Non-coding RNAs play a large part in epigenetic regulation of gene expression in addition to their roles at the transcriptional and post-transcriptional level. Osteoporosis is the most common skeletal disorder, characterized by compromised bone strength and bone micro-architectural deterioration that predisposes the bones to an increased risk of fracture. It is most often caused by an increase in bone resorption that is not sufficiently compensated by a corresponding increase in bone formation. Nowadays it is well accepted that osteoporosis is a multifactorial disorder and there are genetic risk factors for osteoporosis and bone fractures. Here we review emerging evidence that epigenetics contributes to the machinery that can alter DNA structure, gene expression, and cellular differentiation during physiological and pathological bone remodeling. PMID:27598138

  7. Lack of pairing during meiosis triggers multigenerational transgene silencing in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Leopold, Luciana E.; Heestand, Bree N.; Seong, Soobin; Shtessel, Ludmila; Ahmed, Shawn

    2015-01-01

    Single-copy transgenes in Caenorhabditis elegans can be subjected to a potent, irreversible silencing process termed small RNA-induced epigenetic silencing (RNAe). RNAe is promoted by the Piwi Argonaute protein PRG-1 and associated Piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNAs), as well as by proteins that promote and respond to secondary small interfering RNA (siRNA) production. Here we define a related siRNA-mediated silencing process, termed “multigenerational RNAe,” which can occur for transgenes that are maintained in a hemizygous state for several generations. We found that transgenes that contain either GFP or mCherry epitope tags can be silenced via multigenerational RNAe, whereas a transgene that possesses GFP and a perfect piRNA target site can be rapidly and permanently silenced via RNAe. Although previous studies have shown that PRG-1 is typically dispensable for maintenance of RNAe, we found that both initiation and maintenance of multigenerational RNAe requires PRG-1 and the secondary siRNA biogenesis protein RDE-2. Although silencing via RNAe is irreversible, we found that transgene expression can be restored when hemizygous transgenes that were silenced via multigenerational RNAe become homozygous. Furthermore, multigenerational RNAe was accelerated when meiotic pairing of the chromosome possessing the transgene was abolished. We propose that persistent lack of pairing during meiosis elicits a reversible multigenerational silencing response, which can lead to permanent transgene silencing. Multigenerational RNAe may be broadly relevant to single-copy transgenes used in experimental biology and to shaping the epigenomic landscape of diverse species, where genomic polymorphisms between homologous chromosomes commonly result in unpaired DNA during meiosis. PMID:25941370

  8. 5mC oxidation by Tet2 modulates enhancer activity and timing of transcriptome reprogramming during differentiation.

    PubMed

    Hon, Gary C; Song, Chun-Xiao; Du, Tingting; Jin, Fulai; Selvaraj, Siddarth; Lee, Ah Young; Yen, Chia-An; Ye, Zhen; Mao, Shi-Qing; Wang, Bang-An; Kuan, Samantha; Edsall, Lee E; Zhao, Boxuan Simen; Xu, Guo-Liang; He, Chuan; Ren, Bing

    2014-10-23

    In mammals, cytosine methylation (5mC) is widely distributed throughout the genome but is notably depleted from active promoters and enhancers. While the role of DNA methylation in promoter silencing has been well documented, the function of this epigenetic mark at enhancers remains unclear. Recent experiments have demonstrated that enhancers are enriched for 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC), an oxidization product of the Tet family of 5mC dioxygenases and an intermediate of DNA demethylation. These results support the involvement of Tet proteins in the regulation of dynamic DNA methylation at enhancers. By mapping DNA methylation and hydroxymethylation at base resolution, we find that deletion of Tet2 causes extensive loss of 5hmC at enhancers, accompanied by enhancer hypermethylation, reduction of enhancer activity, and delayed gene induction in the early steps of differentiation. Our results reveal that DNA demethylation modulates enhancer activity, and its disruption influences the timing of transcriptome reprogramming during cellular differentiation.

  9. Local Effect of Enhancer of Zeste-Like Reveals Cooperation of Epigenetic and cis-Acting Determinants for Zygotic Genome Rearrangements

    PubMed Central

    Denby Wilkes, Cyril; Matelot, Mélody; Vervoort, Michel; Sperling, Linda; Duharcourt, Sandra

    2014-01-01

    In the ciliate Paramecium tetraurelia, differentiation of the somatic nucleus from the zygotic nucleus is characterized by massive and reproducible deletion of transposable elements and of 45,000 short, dispersed, single-copy sequences. A specific class of small RNAs produced by the germline during meiosis, the scnRNAs, are involved in the epigenetic regulation of DNA deletion but the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. Here, we show that trimethylation of histone H3 (H3K27me3 and H3K9me3) displays a dynamic nuclear localization that is altered when the endonuclease required for DNA elimination is depleted. We identified the putative histone methyltransferase Ezl1 necessary for H3K27me3 and H3K9me3 establishment and show that it is required for correct genome rearrangements. Genome-wide analyses show that scnRNA-mediated H3 trimethylation is necessary for the elimination of long, repeated germline DNA, while single copy sequences display differential sensitivity to depletion of proteins involved in the scnRNA pathway, Ezl1- a putative histone methyltransferase and Dcl5- a protein required for iesRNA biogenesis. Our study reveals cis-acting determinants, such as DNA length, also contribute to the definition of germline sequences to delete. We further show that precise excision of single copy DNA elements, as short as 26 bp, requires Ezl1, suggesting that development specific H3K27me3 and H3K9me3 ensure specific demarcation of very short germline sequences from the adjacent somatic sequences. PMID:25254958

  10. Epigenetic targets of arsenic: emphasis on epigenetic modifications during carcinogenesis.

    PubMed

    Roy, Ram Vinod; Son, Young-Ok; Pratheeshkumar, Poyil; Wang, Lei; Hitron, John Andrew; Divya, Sasidharan Padmaja; D, Rakesh; Kim, Donghern; Yin, Yuanqin; Zhang, Zhuo; Shi, Xianglin

    2015-01-01

    DNA methylation and histone modification promote opening and closure of chromatin structure, which affects gene expression without altering the DNA sequence. Epigenetic markers regulate the dynamic nature of chromatin structure at different levels: DNA, histone, noncoding RNAs, as well as the higher-order chromatin structure. Accumulating evidence strongly suggests that arsenic-induced carcinogenesis involves frequent changes in the epigenetic marker. However, progress in identifying arsenic-induced epigenetic changes has already been made using genome-wide approaches; the biological significance of these epigenetic changes remains unknown. Moreover, arsenic-induced changes in the chromatin state alter gene expression through the epigenetic mechanism. The current review provides a summary of recent literature regarding epigenetic changes caused by arsenic in carcinogenesis. We highlight the transgenerational studies needed to explicate the biological significance and toxicity of arsenic over a broad spectrum.

  11. Epigenetic Modifications by Dietary Phytochemicals: Implications for Personalized Nutrition

    PubMed Central

    Shankar, Sharmila; Kumar, Dhruv; Srivastava, Rakesh K.

    2014-01-01

    In last two decades, the study of epigenetic modification emerged as one of the major areas of cancer treatment targeted by dietary phytochemicals. Recent studies with various types of cancers revealed that the epigenetic modifications are associated with the food source corresponds to dietary phytochemicals. The dietary phytochemicals have been used in Asian countries for thousands of years to cure several diseases including cancer. They have been reported to modulate the several biological processes including histone modification, DNA methylation and non-coding microRNA expression. These events play a vital role in carcinogenesis. Various studies suggest that a number of dietary compounds present in vegetables, spices and other herbal products have epigenetic targets in cancer cells. Dietary phytochemicals have been reported to repair DNA damage by enhancing histone acetylation that helps to restrain cell death, and also alter DNA methylation. These phytochemicals are able to modulate epigenetic modifications and their targets to cure several cancers. Epigenetic aberrations dynamically contribute to cancer pathogenesis. Given the individualized traits of epigenetic biomarkers, the personalized nutrition will help us to prevent various types of cancer. In this review, we will discuss the effect of dietary phytochemicals on genetic and epigenetic modifications and how these modifications help to prevent various types of cancers and improve health outcomes. PMID:23159372

  12. Identification of genes preventing transgenerational transmission of stress-induced epigenetic states.

    PubMed

    Iwasaki, Mayumi; Paszkowski, Jerzy

    2014-06-10

    Examples of transgenerational transmission of environmentally induced epigenetic traits remain rare and disputed. Abiotic stress can release the transcription of epigenetically suppressed transposons and, noticeably, this activation is only transient. Therefore, it is likely that mechanisms countering the mitotic and meiotic inheritance of stress-triggered chromatin changes must exist but are undefined. To reveal these mechanisms, we screened for Arabidopsis mutants impaired in the resetting of stress-induced loss of epigenetic silencing and found that two chromatin regulators, Decrease in DNA methylation1 (DDM1) and Morpheus' Molecule1 (MOM1), act redundantly to restore prestress state and thus erase "epigenetic stress memory". In ddm1 mutants, stress hyperactivates heterochromatic transcription and transcription persists longer than in the wild type. However, this newly acquired state is not transmitted to the progeny. Strikingly, although stress-induced transcription in mom1 mutants is as rapidly silenced as in wild type, in ddm1 mom1 double mutants, transcriptional signatures of stress are able to persist and are found in the progeny of plants stressed as small seedlings. Our results reveal an important, previously unidentified function of DDM1 and MOM1 in rapid resetting of stress induced epigenetic states, and therefore also in preventing their mitotic propagation and transgenerational inheritance.

  13. Reconfiguration of nucleosome-depleted regions at distal regulatory elements accompanies DNA methylation of enhancers and insulators in cancer

    PubMed Central

    Taberlay, Phillippa C.; Statham, Aaron L.; Kelly, Theresa K.

    2014-01-01

    It is well established that cancer-associated epigenetic repression occurs concomitant with CpG island hypermethylation and loss of nucleosomes at promoters, but the role of nucleosome occupancy and epigenetic reprogramming at distal regulatory elements in cancer is still poorly understood. Here, we evaluate the scope of global epigenetic alterations at enhancers and insulator elements in prostate and breast cancer cells using simultaneous genome-wide mapping of DNA methylation and nucleosome occupancy (NOMe-seq). We find that the genomic location of nucleosome-depleted regions (NDRs) is mostly cell type specific and preferentially found at enhancers in normal cells. In cancer cells, however, we observe a global reconfiguration of NDRs at distal regulatory elements coupled with a substantial reorganization of the cancer methylome. Aberrant acquisition of nucleosomes at enhancer-associated NDRs is associated with hypermethylation and epigenetic silencing marks, and conversely, loss of nucleosomes with demethylation and epigenetic activation. Remarkably, we show that nucleosomes remain strongly organized and phased at many facultative distal regulatory elements, even in the absence of a NDR as an anchor. Finally, we find that key transcription factor (TF) binding sites also show extensive peripheral nucleosome phasing, suggesting the potential for TFs to organize NDRs genome-wide and contribute to deregulation of cancer epigenomes. Together, our findings suggest that “decommissioning” of NDRs and TFs at distal regulatory elements in cancer cells is accompanied by DNA hypermethylation susceptibility of enhancers and insulator elements, which in turn may contribute to an altered genome-wide architecture and epigenetic deregulation in malignancy. PMID:24916973

  14. The Trithorax-mimic allele of Enhancer of zeste renders active domains of target genes accessible to polycomb-group-dependent silencing in Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed Central

    Bajusz, I; Sipos, L; Györgypál, Z; Carrington, E A; Jones, R S; Gausz, J; Gyurkovics, H

    2001-01-01

    Two antagonistic groups of genes, the trithorax- and the Polycomb-group, are proposed to maintain the appropriate active or inactive state of homeotic genes set up earlier by transiently expressed segmentation genes. Although some details about the mechanism of maintenance are available, it is still unclear how the initially active or inactive chromatin domains are recognized by either the trithorax-group or the Polycomb-group proteins. We describe an unusual dominant allele of a Polycomb-group gene, Enhancer of zeste, which mimics the phenotype of loss-of-function mutations in trithorax-group genes. This mutation, named E(z)(Trithorax mimic) [E(z)(Trm)], contains a single-amino-acid substitution in the conserved SET domain. The strong dominant trithorax-like phenotypes elicited by this E(z) allele suggest that the mutated arginine-741 plays a critical role in distinguishing between active and inactive chromatin domains of the homeotic gene complexes. We have examined the modification of E(z)(Trm) phenotypes by mutant alleles of PcG and trxG genes and other mutations that alter the phosphorylation of nuclear proteins, covalent modifications of histones, or histone dosage. These data implicate some trxG genes in transcriptional repression as well as activation and provide genetic evidence for involvement of histone modifications in PcG/trxG-dependent transcriptional regulation. PMID:11729158

  15. RNA Silencing Is Resistant to Low-Temperature in Grapevine

    PubMed Central

    Romon, Marjorie; Soustre-Gacougnolle, Isabelle; Schmitt, Carine; Perrin, Mireille; Burdloff, Yannick; Chevalier, Elodie; Mutterer, Jérome; Himber, Christophe; Zervudacki, Jérôme; Montavon, Thomas; Zimmermann, Aude; Elmayan, Taline; Vaucheret, Hervé; Dunoyer, Patrice; Masson, Jean E.

    2013-01-01

    RNA silencing is a natural defence mechanism against viruses in plants, and transgenes expressing viral RNA-derived sequences were previously shown to confer silencing-based enhanced resistance against the cognate virus in several species. However, RNA silencing was shown to dysfunction at low temperatures in several species, questioning the relevance of this strategy in perennial plants such as grapevines, which are often exposed to low temperatures during the winter season. Here, we show that inverted-repeat (IR) constructs trigger a highly efficient silencing reaction in all somatic tissues in grapevines. Similarly to other plant species, IR-derived siRNAs trigger production of secondary transitive siRNAs. However, and in sharp contrast to other species tested to date where RNA silencing is hindered at low temperature, this process remained active in grapevine cultivated at 4°C. Consistently, siRNA levels remained steady in grapevines cultivated between 26°C and 4°C, whereas they are severely decreased in Arabidopsis grown at 15°C and almost undetectable at 4°C. Altogether, these results demonstrate that RNA silencing operates in grapevine in a conserved manner but is resistant to far lower temperatures than ever described in other species. PMID:24376561

  16. Sex, epilepsy, and epigenetics.

    PubMed

    Qureshi, Irfan A; Mehler, Mark F

    2014-12-01

    Epilepsy refers to a heterogeneous group of disorders that are associated with a wide range of pathogenic mechanisms, seizure manifestations, comorbidity profiles, and therapeutic responses. These characteristics are all influenced quite significantly by sex. As with other conditions exhibiting such patterns, sex differences in epilepsy are thought to arise-at the most fundamental level-from the "organizational" and "activational" effects of sex hormones as well as from the direct actions of the sex chromosomes. However, our understanding of the specific molecular, cellular, and network level processes responsible for mediating sex differences in epilepsy remains limited. Because increasing evidence suggests that epigenetic mechanisms are involved both in epilepsy and in brain sexual dimorphism, we make the case here that analyzing epigenetic regulation will provide novel insights into the basis for sex differences in epilepsy.

  17. Epigenetic blockade of neoplastic transformation by bromodomain and extra-terminal (BET) domain protein inhibitor JQ-1.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Chengyue; Su, Zheng-Yuan; Wang, Ling; Shu, Limin; Yang, Yuqing; Guo, Yue; Pung, Douglas; Bountra, Chas; Kong, Ah-Ng

    2016-10-01

    The neoplastic transformation of cells and inflammation are processes that contribute to tumor initiation. Recently, emerging evidence has suggested that epigenetic alterations are also implicated in the early stages of carcinogenesis. Therefore, potent small molecules targeting epigenetic regulators have been developed as novel cancer therapeutic and preventive strategies. Bromodomain and extraterminal domain (BET) proteins are epigenetic readers that play key roles at the interface between chromatin modification and transcriptional regulation. In this study, we investigated the effect of the BET inhibitor JQ-1 on malignant transformation induced by 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA) in mouse skin epidermal JB6 P+ cells. Treatment with JQ-1 effectively impaired TPA-induced colony formation in vitro. At the molecular level, the expression of several key TPA-induced pro-survival and pro-proliferative genes (Bcl2, Cyclin D1, and c-Myc) decreased rapidly after BET inhibition. In addition, JQ-1 treatment attenuated the activation of inflammatory NF-κB signaling triggered by TPA. Luciferase reporter assays using plasmids carrying different elements from the COX2 or IL6 promoters demonstrated that JQ-1 does not directly inhibit interactions between NF-κB and its binding sequence; rather, it affects CRE-element-associated transcriptional enhancement. Through siRNA gene silencing, we found that JQ-1 inhibits the p300-dependent transcriptional activation of COX2, which correlates with the results of the luciferase assay. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays showed that TPA elevated H3K27Ac enrichment in the COX2 promoter region, which is mediated by p300, and Brd4. JQ-1 treatment did not change H3K27Ac levels but decreased the recruitment of Brd4 and RNA Polymerase II. Collectively, our study reveals that the BET inhibitor JQ-1 exerts potent anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory effects by interfering with the core transcriptional program of neoplastic transformation

  18. Three-dimensional disorganization of the cancer genome occurs coincident with long-range genetic and epigenetic alterations.

    PubMed

    Taberlay, Phillippa C; Achinger-Kawecka, Joanna; Lun, Aaron T L; Buske, Fabian A; Sabir, Kenneth; Gould, Cathryn M; Zotenko, Elena; Bert, Saul A; Giles, Katherine A; Bauer, Denis C; Smyth, Gordon K; Stirzaker, Clare; O'Donoghue, Sean I; Clark, Susan J

    2016-06-01

    A three-dimensional chromatin state underpins the structural and functional basis of the genome by bringing regulatory elements and genes into close spatial proximity to ensure proper, cell-type-specific gene expression profiles. Here, we performed Hi-C chromosome conformation capture sequencing to investigate how three-dimensional chromatin organization is disrupted in the context of copy-number variation, long-range epigenetic remodeling, and atypical gene expression programs in prostate cancer. We find that cancer cells retain the ability to segment their genomes into megabase-sized topologically associated domains (TADs); however, these domains are generally smaller due to establishment of additional domain boundaries. Interestingly, a large proportion of the new cancer-specific domain boundaries occur at regions that display copy-number variation. Notably, a common deletion on 17p13.1 in prostate cancer spanning the TP53 tumor suppressor locus results in bifurcation of a single TAD into two distinct smaller TADs. Change in domain structure is also accompanied by novel cancer-specific chromatin interactions within the TADs that are enriched at regulatory elements such as enhancers, promoters, and insulators, and associated with alterations in gene expression. We also show that differential chromatin interactions across regulatory regions occur within long-range epigenetically activated or silenced regions of concordant gene activation or repression in prostate cancer. Finally, we present a novel visualization tool that enables integrated exploration of Hi-C interaction data, the transcriptome, and epigenome. This study provides new insights into the relationship between long-range epigenetic and genomic dysregulation and changes in higher-order chromatin interactions in cancer. PMID:27053337

  19. Silence and the Notion of the Commons.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Franklin, Ursula

    1994-01-01

    Stresses the value of silence, the right to have silence, and how technology has manipulated the sound environment and therefore taken silence out of common availability. Discusses noise pollution and the manipulative use of sound for private gain. Suggests taking action to restore the right to silence. (LP)

  20. Identification of Multiple Proteins Coupling Transcriptional Gene Silencing to Genome Stability in Arabidopsis thaliana

    PubMed Central

    Hale, Christopher J.; Potok, Magdalena E.; Lopez, Jennifer; Do, Truman; Liu, Ao; Michaels, Scott D.; Jacobsen, Steven E.

    2016-01-01

    Eukaryotic genomes are regulated by epigenetic marks that act to modulate transcriptional control as well as to regulate DNA replication and repair. In Arabidopsis thaliana, mutation of the ATXR5 and ATXR6 histone methyltransferases causes reduction in histone H3 lysine 27 monomethylation, transcriptional upregulation of transposons, and a genome instability defect in which there is an accumulation of excess DNA corresponding to pericentromeric heterochromatin. We designed a forward genetic screen to identify suppressors of the atxr5/6 phenotype that uncovered loss-of-function mutations in two components of the TREX-2 complex (AtTHP1, AtSAC3B), a SUMO-interacting E3 ubiquitin ligase (AtSTUbL2) and a methyl-binding domain protein (AtMBD9). Additionally, using a reverse genetic approach, we show that a mutation in a plant homolog of the tumor suppressor gene BRCA1 enhances the atxr5/6 phenotype. Through characterization of these mutations, our results suggest models for the production atxr5 atxr6-induced extra DNA involving conflicts between the replicative and transcriptional processes in the cell, and suggest that the atxr5 atxr6 transcriptional defects may be the cause of the genome instability defects in the mutants. These findings highlight the critical intersection of transcriptional silencing and DNA replication in the maintenance of genome stability of heterochromatin. PMID:27253878

  1. Epigenetics of Ancient DNA

    PubMed Central

    Zhenilo, S. V.; Sokolov, A.S.; Prokhortchouk, E. B.

    2016-01-01

    Initially, the study of DNA isolated from ancient specimens had been based on the analysis of the primary nucleotide sequence. This approach has allowed researchers to study the evolutionary changes that occur in different populations and determine the influence of the environment on genetic selection. However, the improvement of methodological approaches to genome-wide analysis has opened up new possibilities in the search for the epigenetic mechanisms involved in the regulation of gene expression. It was discovered recently that the methylation status of the regulatory elements of the HOXD cluster and MEIS1 gene changed during human evolution. Epigenetic changes in these genes played a key role in the evolution of the limbs of modern humans. Recent works have demonstrated that it is possible to determine the transcriptional activity of genes in ancient DNA samples by combining information on DNA methylation and the DNAaseI hypersensitive sequences located at the transcription start sites of genes. In the nearest future, if a preserved fossils brain is found, it will be possible to identify the evolutionary changes in the higher nervous system associated with epigenetic differences. PMID:27795845

  2. Epigenetics of cartilage diseases.

    PubMed

    Gabay, Odile; Clouse, Kathleen A

    2016-10-01

    Osteoarticular diseases, such as arthritis or osteoarthritis, are multifactorial diseases with an underlying genetic etiology that are challenging to study. Genome-Wide Association studies (GWAS) have identified several genetic loci associated with these diseases. Epigenetics is a complex mechanism of chromatin and gene modulation through DNA methylation, histone deacetylation or microRNA, which might contribute to the inheritability of disease. Some of these mechanisms have been studied for decades in other diseases or as part of the aging process, where epigenetic changes seem to play an important role. With the implementation of better technological tools, such as the Illumina next generation sequencing, altered methylation of DNA has been linked to articular diseases and these mechanisms have been shown to regulate metalloprotease (MMP) expression and cartilage matrix integrity. Some miRNA have also been identified and more extensively characterized, such as delineation of the role played by miR-140 in chondrogenesis, followed by the discovery of numerous miRNA potentially involved in the epigenetic regulation of osteoarthritic disease. Histone deacetylases have long been linked to aging, particularly with respect to the Sirtuin family with Sirt1 as the major player. Because aging is the major risk factor for osteoarthritis, the involvement of Sirtuins in the etiology of osteoarthritis has been suggested and investigated. All of these fine regulations together shed new light on cartilage disease pathophysiology. We present in this short review an update of the role of these pathways in articular diseases.

  3. The Epigenetics of Normal Pregnancy

    PubMed Central

    Best, Jonathan D; Carey, Nessa

    2013-01-01

    Epigenetic modifications to chromatin are essential for the specification and maintenance of cell fate, enabling the same genome to programme a variety of cellular outcomes. Epigenetic modulation of gene expression is also a critical mechanism by which cells stabilize their responses to environmental stimuli, including both nutritional cues and hormonal signalling. Unsurprisingly, epigenetics is proving to be vitally important in fetal development, and this review addresses our current understanding of the roles of epigenetic regulation in the prenatal phase. It is striking that while there has been a major interest in the intersection of fetal health with epigenetics, there has been relatively little discussion in the literature on epigenetic changes in the pregnant woman, and we attempt to redress this balance, drawing on the fragmented but intriguing experimental literature in this field. PMID:27757144

  4. HISTONE DEACETYLASE6 Controls Gene Expression Patterning and DNA Methylation-Independent Euchromatic Silencing1[OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Hristova, Emilija; Fal, Kateryna; Klemme, Laurin; Windels, David; Bucher, Etienne

    2015-01-01

    To investigate the role of chromatin regulators in patterning gene expression, we employed a unique epigenetically controlled and highly tissue-specific green fluorescent protein reporter line in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). Using a combination of forward and reverse genetic approaches on this line, we show here that distinct epigenetic regulators are involved in silencing the transgene in different tissues. The forward genetic screen led to the identification of a novel HISTONE DEACETYLASE6 (HDA6) mutant allele (epigenetic control1, hda6-8). This allele differs from the previously reported alleles, as it did not affect DNA methylation and only had a very modest effect on the release of transposable elements and other heterochromatic transcripts. Overall, our data shows that HDA6 has at least two clearly separable activities in different genomic regions. In addition, we present an unexpected role for HDA6 in the control of DNA methylation at CG dinucleotides. PMID:25918117

  5. Epigenetic memory in kidney diseases.

    PubMed

    Mimura, Imari

    2016-02-01

    Epigenetic mechanisms have been the focus of intensive research. De Marinis et al. demonstrated that high glucose levels exert stimulatory effects on activation histone marks, leading to the upregulation of thioredoxin-interacting protein (TXNIP) gene expression, which is proinflammatory. They also showed that the effect was reversed by the inhibition of histone acetyltransferase, suggesting a new therapeutic approach for improving diabetic kidney disease. Epigenetic changes are memorized as epigenetic memory that could exacerbate diabetic complications.

  6. RAP1 Is Essential for Silencing Telomeric Variant Surface Glycoprotein Genes in Trypanosoma brucei

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Xiaofeng; Figueiredo, Luisa M.; Espinal, Amin; Okubo, Eiji; Li, Bibo

    2009-01-01

    SUMMARY Trypanosoma brucei expresses Variant Surface Glycoprotein (VSG) genes in a strictly monoallelic fashion in its mammalian hosts, but it is unclear how this important virulence mechanism is enforced. Telomere position effect (TPE), an epigenetic phenomenon, has been proposed to play a critical role in VSG regulation, yet no telomeric protein has been identified whose disruption led to VSG derepression. We now identify tbRAP1 as an intrinsic component of the T. brucei telomere complex and a major regulator for silencing VSG expression sites (ESs). Knockdown of tbRAP1 led to derepression of all VSGs in silent ESs, but not VSGs located elsewhere, and resulted in stronger derepression of genes located within 10 kb from telomeres than genes located further upstream. This graduated silencing pattern suggests that telomere integrity plays a key role in tbRAP1-dependent silencing and VSG regulation. PMID:19345190

  7. [Several important questions of epigenetics].

    PubMed

    Xue, Kaixian

    2014-03-01

    Epigenetics is the study of heritable changes in gene expression that occurs without a change in DNA sequence. The development of epigenetics makes up for the insufficiency of classic genetics and promotes the development of genetics. The interrelationship between epigenetics and genetics is like a yin-yang, which are different from each other, and cooperatively take part in regulation of critical biological processes of development and evolution, etc. They constitute the two inseparable parts of genetics. The definition, research connotation and Chinese translation of epigenetics are also discussed.

  8. RNAi Pathway Genes Are Resistant to Small RNA Mediated Gene Silencing in the Protozoan Parasite Entamoeba histolytica

    PubMed Central

    Pompey, Justine M.; Morf, Laura; Singh, Upinder

    2014-01-01

    The RNA interference pathway in the protist Entamoeba histolytica plays important roles in permanent gene silencing as well as in the regulation of virulence determinants. Recently, a novel RNA interference (RNAi)-based silencing technique was developed in this parasite that uses a gene endogenously silenced by small RNAs as a “trigger” to induce silencing of other genes that are fused to it. Fusion to a trigger gene induces the production of gene-specific antisense small RNAs, resulting in robust and permanent silencing of the cognate gene. This approach has silenced multiple genes including those involved in virulence and transcriptional regulation. We now demonstrate that all tested genes of the amebic RNAi pathway are unable to be silenced using the trigger approach, including Argonaute genes (Ago2-1, Ago2-2, and Ago2-3), RNaseIII, and RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRP). In all situations (except for RdRP), fusion to a trigger successfully induces production of gene-specific antisense small RNAs to the cognate gene. These small RNAs are capable of silencing a target gene in trans, indicating that they are functional; despite this, however, they cannot silence the RNAi pathway genes. Interestingly, when a trigger is fused to RdRP, small RNA induction to RdRP does not occur, a unique phenotype hinting that either RdRP is highly resistant to being a target of small RNAs or that small RNA generation may be controlled by RdRP. The inability of the small RNA pathway to silence RNAi genes in E. histolytica, despite the generation of functional small RNAs to these loci suggest that epigenetic factors may protect certain genomic loci and thus determine susceptibility to small RNA mediated silencing. PMID:25198343

  9. RNAi pathway genes are resistant to small RNA mediated gene silencing in the protozoan parasite Entamoeba histolytica.

    PubMed

    Pompey, Justine M; Morf, Laura; Singh, Upinder

    2014-01-01

    The RNA interference pathway in the protist Entamoeba histolytica plays important roles in permanent gene silencing as well as in the regulation of virulence determinants. Recently, a novel RNA interference (RNAi)-based silencing technique was developed in this parasite that uses a gene endogenously silenced by small RNAs as a "trigger" to induce silencing of other genes that are fused to it. Fusion to a trigger gene induces the production of gene-specific antisense small RNAs, resulting in robust and permanent silencing of the cognate gene. This approach has silenced multiple genes including those involved in virulence and transcriptional regulation. We now demonstrate that all tested genes of the amebic RNAi pathway are unable to be silenced using the trigger approach, including Argonaute genes (Ago2-1, Ago2-2, and Ago2-3), RNaseIII, and RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRP). In all situations (except for RdRP), fusion to a trigger successfully induces production of gene-specific antisense small RNAs to the cognate gene. These small RNAs are capable of silencing a target gene in trans, indicating that they are functional; despite this, however, they cannot silence the RNAi pathway genes. Interestingly, when a trigger is fused to RdRP, small RNA induction to RdRP does not occur, a unique phenotype hinting that either RdRP is highly resistant to being a target of small RNAs or that small RNA generation may be controlled by RdRP. The inability of the small RNA pathway to silence RNAi genes in E. histolytica, despite the generation of functional small RNAs to these loci suggest that epigenetic factors may protect certain genomic loci and thus determine susceptibility to small RNA mediated silencing.

  10. Genomic patterns of DNA methylation: targets and function of an epigenetic mark.

    PubMed

    Weber, Michael; Schübeler, Dirk

    2007-06-01

    Methylation of cytosines can mediate epigenetic gene silencing and is the only known DNA modification in eukaryotes. Recent efforts to map DNA methylation across mammalian genomes revealed limited DNA methylation at regulatory regions but widespread methylation in intergenic regions and repeats. This is consistent with the idea that hypermethylation is the default epigenetic state and serves in maintaining genome integrity. DNA methylation patterns at regulatory regions are generally stable, but a minor subset of regulatory regions show variable DNA methylation between cell types, suggesting an additional dynamic component. Such promoter de novo methylation might be involved in the maintenance rather than the initiation of silencing of defined genes during development. How frequently such dynamic methylation occurs, its biological relevance and the pathways involved deserve investigation. PMID:17466503

  11. Common non-epigenetic drugs as epigenetic modulators.

    PubMed

    Lötsch, Jörn; Schneider, Gisbert; Reker, Daniel; Parnham, Michael J; Schneider, Petra; Geisslinger, Gerd; Doehring, Alexandra

    2013-12-01

    Epigenetic effects are exerted by a variety of factors and evidence increases that common drugs such as opioids, cannabinoids, valproic acid, or cytostatics may induce alterations in DNA methylation patterns or histone conformations. These effects occur via chemical structural interactions with epigenetic enzymes, through interactions with DNA repair mechanisms. Computational predictions indicate that one-twentieth of all drugs might potentially interact with human histone deacetylase, which was prospectively experimentally verified for the compound with the highest predicted interaction probability. These epigenetic effects add to wanted and unwanted drug effects, contributing to mechanisms of drug resistance or disease-related and unrelated phenotypes. Because epigenetic changes might be transmitted to offspring, the need for reliable and cost-effective epigenetic screening tools becomes acute.

  12. BCOR regulates mesenchymal stem cell function by epigenetic mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Fan, Zhipeng; Yamaza, Takayoshi; Lee, Janice S; Yu, Jinhua; Wang, Songlin; Fan, Guoping; Shi, Songtao; Wang, Cun-Yu

    2009-08-01

    The BCL-6 co-repressor (BCOR) represses gene transcription by interacting with BCL-6 (Refs 1, 2). BCOR mutation is responsible for oculo-facio-cardio-dental (OFCD) syndrome, which is characterized by canine teeth with extremely long roots, congenital cataracts, craniofacial defects and congenital heart disease. Here we show that BCOR mutation increased the osteo-dentinogenic potential of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) isolated from a patient with OFCD, providing a molecular explanation for abnormal root growth. AP-2alpha was identified as a repressive target of BCOR, and BCOR mutation resulted in abnormal activation of AP-2alpha. Gain- and loss-of-function assays suggest that AP-2alpha is a key factor that mediates the increased osteo-dentinogenic capacity of MSCs. Moreover, we found that BCOR maintained tissue homeostasis and gene silencing through epigenetic mechanisms. BCOR mutation increased histone H3K4 and H3K36 methylation in MSCs, thereby reactivating transcription of silenced target genes. By studying a rare human genetic disease, we have unravelled an epigenetic mechanism for control of human adult stem cell function. PMID:19578371

  13. Epigenetic Alterations in Alzheimer's Disease.

    PubMed

    Sanchez-Mut, Jose V; Gräff, Johannes

    2015-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the major cause of dementia in Western societies. It progresses asymptomatically during decades before being belatedly diagnosed when therapeutic strategies have become unviable. Although several genetic alterations have been associated with AD, the vast majority of AD cases do not show strong genetic underpinnings and are thus considered a consequence of non-genetic factors. Epigenetic mechanisms allow for the integration of long-lasting non-genetic inputs on specific genetic backgrounds, and recently, a growing number of epigenetic alterations in AD have been described. For instance, an accumulation of dysregulated epigenetic mechanisms in aging, the predominant risk factor of AD, might facilitate the onset of the disease. Likewise, mutations in several enzymes of the epigenetic machinery have been associated with neurodegenerative processes that are altered in AD such as impaired learning and memory formation. Genome-wide and locus-specific epigenetic alterations have also been reported, and several epigenetically dysregulated genes validated by independent groups. From these studies, a picture emerges of AD as being associated with DNA hypermethylation and histone deacetylation, suggesting a general repressed chromatin state and epigenetically reduced plasticity in AD. Here we review these recent findings and discuss several technical and methodological considerations that are imperative for their correct interpretation. We also pay particular focus on potential implementations and theoretical frameworks that we expect will help to better direct future studies aimed to unravel the epigenetic participation in AD. PMID:26734709

  14. [Epigenetic dysregulation in myelodysplastic syndrome].

    PubMed

    Sashida, Goro; Iwama, Atsushi

    2015-02-01

    Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) is a clonal hematopoietic stem cell disease characterized by impaired hematopoiesis and an increased risk of transformation to acute myeloid leukemia. Various epigenetic regulators are mutated in MDS patients, indicating that accumulation of epigenetic alterations together with genetic alterations plays a crucial role in the development of MDS.

  15. Epigenetic variation and environmental change.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Peter

    2015-06-01

    Environmental conditions can change the activity of plant genes via epigenetic effects that alter the competence of genetic information to be expressed. This may provide a powerful strategy for plants to adapt to environmental change. However, as epigenetic changes do not modify DNA sequences and are therefore reversible, only those epi-mutations that are transmitted through the germline can be expected to contribute to a long-term adaptive response. The major challenge for the investigation of epigenetic adaptation theories is therefore to identify genomic loci that undergo epigenetic changes in response to environmental conditions, which alter their expression in a heritable way and which improve the plant's ability to adapt to the inducing conditions. This review focuses on the role of DNA methylation as a prominent epigenetic mark that controls chromatin conformation, and on its potential in mediating expression changes in response to environmental signals.

  16. The changing concept of epigenetics.

    PubMed

    Jablonka, Eva; Lamb, Marion J

    2002-12-01

    We discuss the changing use of epigenetics, a term coined by Conrad Waddington in the 1940s, and how the epigenetic approach to development differs from the genetic approach. Originally, epigenetics referred to the study of the way genes and their products bring the phenotype into being. Today, it is primarily concerned with the mechanisms through which cells become committed to a particular form or function and through which that functional or structural state is then transmitted in cell lineages. We argue that modern epigenetics is important not only because it has practical significance for medicine, agriculture, and species conservation, but also because it has implications for the way in which we should view heredity and evolution. In particular, recognizing that there are epigenetic inheritance systems through which non-DNA variations can be transmitted in cell and organismal lineages broadens the concept of heredity and challenges the widely accepted gene-centered neo-Darwinian version of Darwinism.

  17. Epigenetic mechanisms in epilepsy.

    PubMed

    Kobow, Katja; Blümcke, Ingmar

    2014-01-01

    In humans, genomic DNA is organized in 23 chromosome pairs coding for roughly 25,000 genes. Not all of them are active at all times. During development, a broad range of different cell types needs to be generated in a highly ordered and reproducible manner, requiring selective gene expression programs. Epigenetics can be regarded as the information management system that is able to index or bookmark distinct regions in our genome to regulate the readout of DNA. It further comprises the molecular memory of any given cell, allowing it to store information of previously experienced external (e.g., environmental) or internal (e.g., developmental) stimuli, to learn from this experience and to respond. The underlying epigenetic mechanisms can be synergistic, antagonistic, or mutually exclusive and their large variety combined with the variability and interdependence is thought to provide the molecular basis for any phenotypic variation in physiological and pathological conditions. Thus, widespread reconfiguration of the epigenome is not only a key feature of neurodevelopment, brain maturation, and adult brain function but also disease.

  18. Epigenetic inheritance of centromeres.

    PubMed

    Henikoff, S; Furuyama, T

    2010-01-01

    Centromeres of higher eukaryotes are epigenetically maintained; however, the mechanism that underlies centromere inheritance is unknown. Centromere identity and inheritance require the assembly of nucleosomes containing the CenH3 histone variant in place of canonical H3. Work from our laboratory has led to the proposal that epigenetic inheritance of centromeres evolved as adaptations of CenH3 and other centromere proteins to resist drive of selfish centromeres during female meiosis. Our molecular studies have revealed that the Drosophila CenH3 nucleosome is equivalent to half of the canonical H3 nucleosome and induces positive supercoils, as opposed to the negative supercoils induced by an H3 nucleosome. CenH3 likewise induces positive supercoils in functional yeast centromeres in vivo. The right-handed wrapping of DNA around the histone core implied by positive supercoiling indicates that centromeric nucleosomes are unlikely to be octameric and that the exposed surfaces holding the nucleosome together would be available for kinetochore protein recruitment. The mutual incompatibility of nucleosomes with opposite topologies could explain how centromeres are efficiently maintained as unique loci on chromosomes. We propose that the opposite wrapping of DNA around a half-nucleosome core particle facilitates a mode of inheritance that does not depend on DNA sequence, DNA modification or protein conformation.

  19. ENERGETICS, EPIGENETICS, MITOCHONDRIAL GENETICS

    PubMed Central

    Wallace, Douglas C.; Fan, Weiwei

    2011-01-01

    The epigenome has been hypothesized to provide the interface between the environment and the nuclear DNA (nDNA) genes. Key factors in the environment are the availability of calories and demands on the organism’s energetic capacity. Energy is funneled through glycolysis and mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS), the cellular bioenergetic systems. Since there are thousands of bioenergetic genes dispersed across the chromosomes and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), both cis and trans regulation of the nDNA genes is required. The bioenergetic systems convert environmental calories into ATP, acetyl-Coenzyme A (acetyl-CoA), S-adenosyl-methionine (SAM), and reduced NAD+. When calories are abundant, ATP and acetyl-CoA phosphorylate and acetylate chromatin, opening the nDNA for transcription and replication. When calories are limiting, chromatin phosphorylation and acetylation are lost and gene expression is suppressed. DNA methylaton via SAM can also be modulated by mitochondrial function. Phosphorylation and acetylation are also pivotal to regulating cellular signal transduction pathways. Therefore, bioenergetics provides the interface between the environment and the epigenome. Consistent with this conclusion, the clinical phenotypes of bioenergetic diseases are strikingly similar to those observed in epigenetic diseases (Angelman, Rett, Fragile X Syndromes, the laminopathies, cancer, etc.), and an increasing number of epigenetic diseases are being associated with mitochondrial dysfunction. This bioenergetic-epigenomic hypothesis has broad implications for the etiology, pathophysiology, and treatment of a wide range of common diseases. PMID:19796712

  20. Metabolic defects provide a spark for the epigenetic switch in cancer

    PubMed Central

    Hitchler, Michael J; Domann, Frederick E

    2009-01-01

    Cancer is a pathology that is associated with aberrant gene expression and an altered metabolism. While changes in gene expression have historically been attributed to mutations, it has become apparent that epigenetic processes also play a critical role in controlling gene expression during carcinogenesis. Global changes in epigenetic processes including DNA methylation and histone modifications have been observed in cancer. These epigenetic alterations can aberrantly silence or activate gene expression during the formation of cancer; however, the process leading to this epigenetic switch in cancer remains unknown. Carcinogenesis is also associated with metabolic defects that increase mitochondrially derived reactive oxygen species, create an atypical redox state, and change the fundamental means by which cells produce energy. Here, we summarize the influence of these metabolic defects on epigenetic processes. Metabolic defects affect epigenetic enzymes by limiting availability of the cofactors like S-adenosylmethionine. Increased production of reactive oxygen species alters DNA methylation and histone modifications in tumor cells by oxidizing DNMTs and HMTs, or through direct oxidation of nucleotide bases. Lastly, the Warburg effect and increased glutamine consumption in cancer influences histone acetylation and methylation by affecting the activity of sirtuins and histone demethylases. PMID:19362589

  1. Metabolic defects provide a spark for the epigenetic switch in cancer.

    PubMed

    Hitchler, Michael J; Domann, Frederick E

    2009-07-15

    Cancer is a pathology that is associated with aberrant gene expression and an altered metabolism. Whereas changes in gene expression have historically been attributed to mutations, it has become apparent that epigenetic processes also play a critical role in controlling gene expression during carcinogenesis. Global changes in epigenetic processes, including DNA methylation and histone modifications, have been observed in cancer. These epigenetic alterations can aberrantly silence or activate gene expression during the formation of cancer; however, the process leading to this epigenetic switch in cancer remains unknown. Carcinogenesis is also associated with metabolic defects that increase mitochondrially derived reactive oxygen species, create an atypical redox state, and change the fundamental means by which cells produce energy. Here, we summarize the influence of these metabolic defects on epigenetic processes. Metabolic defects affect epigenetic enzymes by limiting the availability of cofactors like S-adenosylmethionine. Increased production of reactive oxygen species alters DNA methylation and histone modifications in tumor cells by oxidizing DNMTs and HMTs or through direct oxidation of nucleotide bases. Last, the Warburg effect and increased glutamine consumption in cancer influence histone acetylation and methylation by affecting the activity of sirtuins and histone demethylases.

  2. Epigenetics, Nervous System Tumors, and Cancer Stem Cells

    PubMed Central

    Qureshi, Irfan A.; Mehler, Mark F.

    2011-01-01

    Recent advances have begun to elucidate how epigenetic regulatory mechanisms are responsible for establishing and maintaining cell identity during development and adult life and how the disruption of these processes is, not surprisingly, one of the hallmarks of cancer. In this review, we describe the major epigenetic mechanisms (i.e., DNA methylation, histone and chromatin modification, non-coding RNA deployment, RNA editing, and nuclear reorganization) and discuss the broad spectrum of epigenetic alterations that have been uncovered in pediatric and adult nervous system tumors. We also highlight emerging evidence that suggests epigenetic deregulation is a characteristic feature of so-called cancer stem cells (CSCs), which are thought to be present in a range of nervous system tumors and responsible for tumor maintenance, progression, treatment resistance, and recurrence. We believe that better understanding how epigenetic mechanisms operate in neural cells and identifying the etiologies and consequences of epigenetic deregulation in tumor cells and CSCs, in particular, are likely to promote the development of enhanced molecular diagnostics and more targeted and effective therapeutic agents for treating recalcitrant nervous system tumors. PMID:24212967

  3. Current and upcoming approaches to exploit the reversibility of epigenetic mutations in breast cancer.

    PubMed

    Falahi, Fahimeh; van Kruchten, Michel; Martinet, Nadine; Hospers, Geke A P; Rots, Marianne G

    2014-07-29

    DNA methylation and histone modifications are important epigenetic modifications associated with gene (dys)regulation. The epigenetic modifications are balanced by epigenetic enzymes, so-called writers and erasers, such as DNA (de)methylases and histone (de)acetylases. Aberrant epigenetic alterations have been associated with various diseases, including breast cancer. Since aberrant epigenetic modifications are potentially reversible, they might represent targets for breast cancer therapy. Indeed, several drugs have been designed to inhibit epigenetic enzymes (epi-drugs), thereby reversing epigenetic modifications. US Food and Drug Administration approval has been obtained for some epi-drugs for hematological malignancies. However, these drugs have had very modest anti-tumor efficacy in phase I and II clinical trials in breast cancer patients as monotherapy. Therefore, current clinical trials focus on the combination of epi-drugs with other therapies to enhance or restore the sensitivity to such therapies. This approach has yielded some promising results in early phase II trials. The disadvantage of epi-drugs, however, is genome-wide effects, which may cause unwanted upregulation of, for example, pro-metastatic genes. Development of gene-targeted epigenetic modifications (epigenetic editing) in breast cancer can provide a novel approach to prevent such unwanted events. In this context, identification of crucial epigenetic modifications regulating key genes in breast cancer is of critical importance. In this review, we first describe aberrant DNA methylation and histone modifications as two important classes of epigenetic mutations in breast cancer. Then we focus on the preclinical and clinical epigenetic-based therapies currently being explored for breast cancer. Finally, we describe epigenetic editing as a promising new approach for possible applications towards more targeted breast cancer treatment.

  4. Structural diversity repertoire of gene silencing small interfering RNAs.

    PubMed

    Chang, Chan Il; Kim, Helena Andrade; Dua, Pooja; Kim, Soyoun; Li, Chiang J; Lee, Dong-ki

    2011-06-01

    Since the discovery of double-stranded (ds) RNA-mediated RNA interference (RNAi) phenomenon in Caenorhabditis elegans, specific gene silencing based upon RNAi mechanism has become a novel biomedical tool that has extended our understanding of cell biology and opened the door to an innovative class of therapeutic agents. To silence genes in mammalian cells, short dsRNA referred to as small interfering RNA (siRNA) is used as an RNAi trigger to avoid nonspecific interferon responses induced by long dsRNAs. An early structure-activity relationship study performed in Drosophila melanogaster embryonic extract suggested the existence of strict siRNA structural design rules to achieve optimal gene silencing. These rules include the presence of a 3' overhang, a fixed duplex length, and structural symmetry, which defined the structure of a classical siRNA. However, several recent studies performed in mammalian cells have hinted that the gene silencing siRNA structure could be much more flexible than that originally proposed. Moreover, many of the nonclassical siRNA structural variants reported improved features over the classical siRNAs, including increased potency, reduced nonspecific responses, and enhanced cellular delivery. In this review, we summarize the recent progress in the development of gene silencing siRNA structural variants and discuss these in light of the flexibility of the RNAi machinery in mammalian cells. PMID:21749289

  5. Prediction of epigenetically regulated genes in breast cancer cell lines

    SciTech Connect

    Loss, Leandro A; Sadanandam, Anguraj; Durinck, Steffen; Nautiyal, Shivani; Flaucher, Diane; Carlton, Victoria EH; Moorhead, Martin; Lu, Yontao; Gray, Joe W; Faham, Malek; Spellman, Paul; Parvin, Bahram

    2010-05-04

    Methylation of CpG islands within the DNA promoter regions is one mechanism that leads to aberrant gene expression in cancer. In particular, the abnormal methylation of CpG islands may silence associated genes. Therefore, using high-throughput microarrays to measure CpG island methylation will lead to better understanding of tumor pathobiology and progression, while revealing potentially new biomarkers. We have examined a recently developed high-throughput technology for measuring genome-wide methylation patterns called mTACL. Here, we propose a computational pipeline for integrating gene expression and CpG island methylation profles to identify epigenetically regulated genes for a panel of 45 breast cancer cell lines, which is widely used in the Integrative Cancer Biology Program (ICBP). The pipeline (i) reduces the dimensionality of the methylation data, (ii) associates the reduced methylation data with gene expression data, and (iii) ranks methylation-expression associations according to their epigenetic regulation. Dimensionality reduction is performed in two steps: (i) methylation sites are grouped across the genome to identify regions of interest, and (ii) methylation profles are clustered within each region. Associations between the clustered methylation and the gene expression data sets generate candidate matches within a fxed neighborhood around each gene. Finally, the methylation-expression associations are ranked through a logistic regression, and their significance is quantified through permutation analysis. Our two-step dimensionality reduction compressed 90% of the original data, reducing 137,688 methylation sites to 14,505 clusters. Methylation-expression associations produced 18,312 correspondences, which were used to further analyze epigenetic regulation. Logistic regression was used to identify 58 genes from these correspondences that showed a statistically signifcant negative correlation between methylation profles and gene expression in the

  6. The Epigenetic Life Cycle of Epstein-Barr Virus.

    PubMed

    Hammerschmidt, Wolfgang

    2015-01-01

    Ever since the discovery of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) more than 50 years ago, this virus has been studied for its capacity to readily establish a latent infection, which is the prominent hallmark of this member of the herpesvirus family. EBV has become an important model for many aspects of herpesviral latency, but the molecular steps and mechanisms that lead to and promote viral latency have only emerged recently. It now appears that the virus exploits diverse facets of epigenetic gene regulation in the cellular host to establish a latent infection. Most viral genes are transcriptionally repressed, and viral chromatin is densely compacted during EBV's latent phase, but latent infection is not a dead end. In order to escape from this phase, epigenetic silencing must be reverted efficiently and quickly. It appears that EBV has perfected a clever strategy to overcome transcriptional repression of its many lytic genes to initiate virus de novo synthesis within a few hours after induction of its lytic cycle. This review tries to summarize the known molecular mechanisms, the current models, concepts, and ideas underlying this viral strategy. This review also attempts to identify and address gaps in our current understanding of EBV's epigenetic mechanisms within the infected cellular host. PMID:26424645

  7. Choline and the Brain: An Epigenetic Perspective.

    PubMed

    Bekdash, Rola Aldana

    2016-01-01

    Choline is an essential nutrient that is required for normal development of the brain. Via its metabolite betaine, it participates in the synthesis of S-adenosylmethionine, a major methyl donor for histone and DNA methylation, two epigenetic mechanisms that regulate gene expression and may alter brain function. Besides its role in methyl group metabolism, choline also has pivotal functions, including the maintenance of structural integrity of membranes and modulation of cholinergic neurotransmission, functions that are often dysregulated in some neurodegenerative disorders. Emerging evidence suggests that environmental factors, including lifestyle or diet, sometimes cause epigenetic changes in the expression of neuronal genes resulting in long-term changes in brain function. Recently, choline has been implicated as an epigenetic modifier of the genome that may alter gene methylation, expression, and cellular function. Abnormal level of choline during fetal or early postnatal life has been shown to alter memory functions during adulthood. It may also contribute to the etiology of stress-related disorders and age-related decline in memory later in life. Conversely, rodent studies suggested that perinatal choline supplementation enhances performance in memory-related tasks during adulthood. In this chapter, we will focus on the impact of choline-gene interaction on brain function in early life and during adulthood. In particular, we will emphasize the potential role of choline as a neuroprotectant that may mitigate some of the adverse effects of neurodegenerative disorders and protect mental health across the lifespan. PMID:27651265

  8. Did Paul Kammerer discover epigenetic inheritance? A modern look at the controversial midwife toad experiments.

    PubMed

    Vargas, Alexander O

    2009-11-15

    The controversy surrounding the alleged Lamarckian fraud of Paul Kammerer's midwife toad experiments has intrigued generations of biologists. A re-examination of his descriptions of hybrid crosses of treated and nontreated toads reveals parent-of-origin effects like those documented in epigenetic inheritance. Modification of the extracellular matrix of the egg as described by Kammerer provides a plausible cause for altered gene methylation patterns. Traits such as altered egg and adult body size in Kammerer's "treated" toads are inherited epigenetically in other tetrapods. A preliminary model involving the environmental silencing of a maternally inherited allele can be attempted to explain the midwife toad experiments. Given available molecular tools and our current understanding of epigenetics, new experimentation with the midwife toad is strongly encouraged.

  9. Nuclear Sensing of Viral DNA, Epigenetic Regulation of Herpes Simplex Virus Infection, and Innate Immunity

    PubMed Central

    Knipe, David M.

    2015-01-01

    Herpes simplex virus (HSV) undergoes a lytic infection in epithelial cells and a latent infection in neuronal cells, and epigenetic mechanisms play a major role in the differential gene expression under the two conditions. Herpes viron DNA is not associated with histones but is rapidly loaded with heterochromatin upon entry into the cell. Viral proteins promote reversal of the epigenetic silencing in epithelial cells while the viral latency-associated transcript promotes additional heterochromatin in neuronal cells. The cellular sensors that initiate the chromatinization of foreign DNA have not been fully defined. IFI16 and cGAS are both essential for innate sensing of HSV DNA, and new evidence shows how they work together to initiate innate signaling. IFI16 also plays a role in the heterochromatinization of HSV DNA, and this review will examine how IFI16 integrates epigenetic regulation and innate sensing of foreign viral DNA to show how these two responses are related. PMID:25742715

  10. Methylation subtypes and large-scale epigenetic alterations in gastric cancer.

    PubMed

    Zouridis, Hermioni; Deng, Niantao; Ivanova, Tatiana; Zhu, Yansong; Wong, Bernice; Huang, Dan; Wu, Yong Hui; Wu, Yingting; Tan, Iain Beehuat; Liem, Natalia; Gopalakrishnan, Veena; Luo, Qin; Wu, Jeanie; Lee, Minghui; Yong, Wei Peng; Goh, Liang Kee; Teh, Bin Tean; Rozen, Steve; Tan, Patrick

    2012-10-17

    Epigenetic alterations are fundamental hallmarks of cancer genomes. We surveyed the landscape of DNA methylation alterations in gastric cancer by analyzing genome-wide CG dinucleotide (CpG) methylation profiles of 240 gastric cancers (203 tumors and 37 cell lines) and 94 matched normal gastric tissues. Cancer-specific epigenetic alterations were observed in 44% of CpGs, comprising both tumor hyper- and hypomethylation. Twenty-five percent of the methylation alterations were significantly associated with changes in tumor gene expression. Whereas most methylation-expression correlations were negative, several positively correlated methylation-expression interactions were also observed, associated with CpG sites exhibiting atypical transcription start site distances and gene body localization. Methylation clustering of the tumors revealed a CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP) subgroup associated with widespread hypermethylation, young patient age, and adverse patient outcome in a disease stage-independent manner. CIMP cell lines displayed sensitivity to 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine, a clinically approved demethylating drug. We also identified long-range regions of epigenetic silencing (LRESs) in CIMP tumors. Combined analysis of the methylation, gene expression, and drug treatment data suggests that certain LRESs may silence specific genes within the region, rather than all genes. Finally, we discovered regions of long-range tumor hypomethylation, associated with increased chromosomal instability. Our results provide insights into the epigenetic impact of environmental and biological agents on gastric epithelial cells, which may contribute to cancer.

  11. Epigenetic Changes During Cell Transformation

    PubMed Central

    Futscher, Bernard W.

    2013-01-01

    Malignant cancer emerges from normal healthy cells in a multistep process that involves both genetic and epigenetic lesions. Both genetic and environmental inputs participate in driving the epigenetic changes that occur during human carcinogenesis. The pathologic changes seen in DNA methylation and histone posttranslational modifications are complex, deeply intertwined, and act in concert to produce malignant transformation. To better understand the causes and consequences of the pathoepigenetic changes in cancer formation, a variety of experimentally tractable human cell line model systems that accurately reflect the molecular alterations seen in the clinical disease have been developed. Results from studies using these cell line model systems suggest that early critical epigenetic events occur in a stepwise fashion prior to cell immortalization. These epigenetic steps coincide with the cell's transition through well-defined cell proliferation barriers of stasis and telomere dysfunction. Following cell immortalization, stressors, such as environmental toxicants, can induce malignant transformation in a process in which the epigenetic changes occur in a smoother progressive fashion, in contrast to the stark stepwise epigenetic changes seen prior to cell immortalization. It is hoped that developing a clearer understanding of the identity, timing, and consequences of these epigenetic lesions will prove useful in future clinical applications that range from early disease detection to therapeutic intervention in malignant cancer. PMID:22956502

  12. Epigenetics in preimplantation mammalian development.

    PubMed

    Canovas, Sebastian; Ross, Pablo Juan

    2016-07-01

    Fertilization is a very dynamic period of comprehensive chromatin remodeling, from which two specialized cells result in a totipotent zygote. The formation of a totipotent cell requires extensive epigenetic remodeling that, although independent of modifications in the DNA sequence, still entails a profound cell-fate change, supported by transcriptional profile modifications. As a result of finely tuned interactions between numerous mechanisms, the goal of fertilization is to form a full healthy new individual. To avoid the persistence of alterations in epigenetic marks, the epigenetic information contained in each gamete is reset during early embryogenesis. Covalent modification of DNA by methylation, as well as posttranslational modifications of histone proteins and noncoding RNAs, appears to be the main epigenetic mechanisms that control gene expression. These allow different cells in an organism to express different transcription profiles, despite each cell containing the same DNA sequence. In the context of replacement of spermatic protamine with histones from the oocyte, active cell division, and specification of different lineages, active and passive mechanisms of epigenetic remodeling have been revealed as critical for editing the epigenetic profile of the early embryo. Importantly, redundant factors and mechanisms are likely in place, and only a few have been reported as critical for fertilization or embryo survival by the use of knockout models. The aim of this review is to highlight the main mechanisms of epigenetic remodeling that ensue after fertilization in mammals.

  13. Nucleosome Remodeling and Epigenetics

    PubMed Central

    Becker, Peter B.; Workman, Jerry L.

    2013-01-01

    Eukaryotic chromatin is kept flexible and dynamic to respond to environmental, metabolic, and developmental cues through the action of a family of so-called “nucleosome remodeling” ATPases. Consistent with their helicase ancestry, these enzymes experience conformation changes as they bind and hydrolyze ATP. At the same time they interact with DNA and histones, which alters histone–DNA interactions in target nucleosomes. Their action may lead to complete or partial disassembly of nucleosomes, the exchange of histones for variants, the assembly of nucleosomes, or the movement of histone octamers on DNA. “Remodeling” may render DNA sequences accessible to interacting proteins or, conversely, promote packing into tightly folded structures. Remodeling processes participate in every aspect of genome function. Remodeling activities are commonly integrated with other mechanisms such as histone modifications or RNA metabolism to assemble stable, epigenetic states. PMID:24003213

  14. Venturis as silencers -- Case history

    SciTech Connect

    Kelsall, T.; Gerritsen, T. ); Landon, T.S. . Steubenville Plant)

    1994-09-01

    Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel replaced a BOF scrubber stack and started to receive complaints about a tonal noise. The replacement stack was identical to the original, except that the original stack contained splitters and a venturi used to measure flow. Hatch Associates investigated and determined that removal of the venturi had caused an increase in sound level. After review of silencing options, it was decided to install a venturi similar to the original because of its inherent advantages over conventional silences. When the venturi was replaced, the sound level of the tone measured in the community dropped on the order of 10 to 15 decibels. Investigation of the physical mechanism causing this reduction has led to development of a new type of fan silencer. Based on the venturi shape, Modal Silencers (patent pending) can be designed to substantially reduce sound levels from stacks. They have low pressure drop and the absence of internal baffles or chambers means that they do not clog in dirty or wet environments.

  15. Selective repression of gene expression in neuropathic pain by the neuron-restrictive silencing factor/repressor element-1 silencing transcription (NRSF/REST).

    PubMed

    Willis, Dianna E; Wang, Meng; Brown, Elizabeth; Fones, Lilah; Cave, John W

    2016-06-20

    Neuropathic pain often develops following nerve injury as a result of maladaptive changes that occur in the injured nerve and along the nociceptive pathways of the peripheral and central nervous systems. Multiple cellular and molecular mechanisms likely account for these changes; however, the exact nature of these mechanisms remain largely unknown. A growing number of studies suggest that alteration in gene expression is an important step in the progression from acute to chronic pain states and epigenetic regulation has been proposed to drive this change in gene expression. In this review, we discuss recent evidence that the DNA-binding protein neuron-restrictive silencing factor/repressor element-1 silencing transcription factor (NRSF/REST) is an important component in the development and maintenance of neuropathic pain through its role as a transcriptional regulator for a select subset of genes that it normally represses during development. PMID:26679228

  16. Genetics and epigenetics of the X chromosome.

    PubMed

    Morey, Céline; Avner, Philip

    2010-12-01

    A consequence of Mendelian inheritance of X-linked traits is that women are more than equal to men in the face of X-linked diseases, protected as they are by the presence of two X chromosomes in their genome. This potentially beneficial inequality is diminished by the molecular mechanism known as X-chromosome inactivation (XCI), which triggers the transcriptional silencing of one of the X chromosomes in each female cell. The determination of which X to inactivate, a process that occurs during early embryogenesis, is random and clonally inherited. As a result, females are mosaic for the expression of X-linked genes. XCI is a highly regulated process involving large noncoding RNAs, chromatin remodeling, and nuclear reorganization of the X chromosome. It is a paradigm for epigenetic regulation and is frequently used as a biomarker for monitoring long-range gene reprogramming during cell differentiation and dedifferentiation. Our review analyses how XCI affects the expression of X-linked mutations, describes some of the most recent discoveries on the molecular mechanisms triggering XCI, and explores the therapeutic potentialities of the XCI process per se.

  17. Rapid epigenetic adaptation to uncontrolled heterochromatin spreading

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Jiyong; Reddy, Bharat D; Jia, Songtao

    2015-01-01

    Heterochromatin, a highly compact chromatin state characterized by histone H3K9 methylation and HP1 protein binding, silences the underlying DNA and influences the expression of neighboring genes. However, the mechanisms that regulate heterochromatin spreading are not well understood. In this study, we show that the conserved Mst2 histone acetyltransferase complex in fission yeast regulates histone turnover at heterochromatin regions to control heterochromatin spreading and prevents ectopic heterochromatin assembly. The combined loss of Mst2 and the JmjC domain protein Epe1 results in uncontrolled heterochromatin spreading and massive ectopic heterochromatin, leading to severe growth defects due to the inactivation of essential genes. Interestingly, these cells quickly recover by accumulating heterochromatin at genes essential for heterochromatin assembly, leading to their reduced expression to restrain heterochromatin spreading. Our studies discover redundant pathways that control heterochromatin spreading and prevent ectopic heterochromatin assembly and reveal a fast epigenetic adaptation response to changes in heterochromatin landscape. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.06179.001 PMID:25774602

  18. Chromatin, gene silencing and HIV latency

    PubMed Central

    Mok, Hoi-Ping; Lever, Andrew ML

    2007-01-01

    One of the cellular defenses against virus infection is the silencing of viral gene expression. There is evidence that at least two gene-silencing mechanisms are used against the human immuno-deficiency virus (HIV). Paradoxically, this cellular defense mechanism contributes to viral latency and persistence, and we review here the relationship of viral latency to gene-silencing mechanisms. PMID:18036274

  19. Combination therapy with epigenetic-targeted and chemotherapeutic drugs delivered by nanoparticles to enhance the chemotherapy response and overcome resistance by breast cancer stem cells.

    PubMed

    Li, Shi-Yong; Sun, Rong; Wang, Hong-Xia; Shen, Song; Liu, Yang; Du, Xiao-Jiao; Zhu, Yan-Hua; Jun, Wang

    2015-05-10

    Aberrant DNA hypermethylation is critical in the regulation of renewal and maintenance of cancer stem cells (CSCs), which represent targets for carcinogenic initiation by chemical and environmental agents. The administration of decitabine (DAC), which is a DNA hypermethylation inhibitor, is an attractive approach to enhancing the chemotherapeutic response and overcoming drug resistance by CSCs. In this study, we investigated whether low-dose DAC encapsulated in nanoparticles could be used to sensitize bulk breast cancer cells and CSCs to chemotherapy. In vitro studies revealed that treatment with nanoparticles loaded with low-dose DAC (NPDAC) combined with nanoparticles loaded with doxorubicin (NPDOX) better reduced the proportion of CSCs with high aldehyde dehydrogenase activity (ALDH(hi)) in the mammospheres of MDA-MB-231 cells, and better overcame the drug resistance by ALDH(hi) cells. Subsequently, systemic delivery of NPDAC significantly down-regulated the expression of DNMT1 and DNMT3b in a MB-MDA-231 xenograft murine model and induced increased caspase-9 expression, which contributed to the increased sensitivity of the bulk cancer cells and CSCs to NPDOX treatment. Importantly, the combined treatment of NPDAC and NPDOX resulted in the lowest proportion of ALDH(hi) CSCs and the highest proportion of apoptotic tumor cells, and the best tumor suppressive effects in inhibiting breast cancer growth.

  20. Is silence killing your company?

    PubMed

    Perlow, Leslie; Williams, Stephanie

    2003-05-01

    Many times, often with the best of intentions, people at work decide it's more productive to remain silent about their differences than to air them. There's no time, they think, or no point in going against what the boss says. But as new research by the authors shows, silencing doesn't smooth things over or make people more productive. It merely pushes differences beneath the surface and can set in motion powerfully destructive forces. When people stay silent about important disagreements, they can begin to fill with anxiety, anger, and resentment. As long as the conflict is unresolved, their repressed feelings remain potent, making them increasingly distrustful, self-protective, and all the more fearful that if they speak up they will be embarrassed or rejected. Their sense of insecurity grows, leading to further acts of silence, more defensiveness, and more distrust, thereby setting into motion a destructive "spiral of silence." Sooner or later, they mentally opt out--sometimes merely doing what they're told but contributing nothing of their own, sometimes spreading discontent and frustration throughout the workplace that can lead them, and others, to leave without thinking it through. These vicious spirals of silence can be replaced with virtuous spirals of communication, but that requires individuals to find the courage to act differently and executives to create the conditions in which people will value the expression of differences. All too often, behind failed products, broken processes, and mistaken career decisions are people who chose to hold their tongues. Breaking the silence can bring an outpouring of fresh ideas from all levels of an organization--ideas that might just raise the organization's performance to a whole new level. PMID:12747162

  1. ABCE1 Is a Highly Conserved RNA Silencing Suppressor

    PubMed Central

    Kärblane, Kairi; Gerassimenko, Jelena; Nigul, Lenne; Piirsoo, Alla; Smialowska, Agata; Vinkel, Kadri; Kylsten, Per; Ekwall, Karl; Swoboda, Peter; Truve, Erkki; Sarmiento, Cecilia

    2015-01-01

    ATP-binding cassette sub-family E member 1 (ABCE1) is a highly conserved protein among eukaryotes and archaea. Recent studies have identified ABCE1 as a ribosome-recycling factor important for translation termination in mammalian cells, yeast and also archaea. Here we report another conserved function of ABCE1. We have previously described AtRLI2, the homolog of ABCE1 in the plant Arabidopsis thaliana, as an endogenous suppressor of RNA silencing. In this study we show that this function is conserved: human ABCE1 is able to suppress RNA silencing in Nicotiana benthamiana plants, in mammalian HEK293 cells and in the worm Caenorhabditis elegans. Using co-immunoprecipitation and mass spectrometry, we found a number of potential ABCE1-interacting proteins that might support its function as an endogenous suppressor of RNA interference. The interactor candidates are associated with epigenetic regulation, transcription, RNA processing and mRNA surveillance. In addition, one of the identified proteins is translin, which together with its binding partner TRAX supports RNA interference. PMID:25659154

  2. Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy As a Model for Epigenetic Regulation and Disease

    PubMed Central

    Himeda, Charis L.; Jones, Takako I.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Significance: Aberrant epigenetic regulation is an integral aspect of many diseases and complex disorders. Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD), a progressive myopathy that afflicts individuals of all ages, is caused by disrupted genetic and epigenetic regulation of a macrosatellite repeat. FSHD provides a powerful model to investigate disease-relevant epigenetic modifiers and general mechanisms of epigenetic regulation that govern gene expression. Recent Advances: In the context of a genetically permissive allele, the one aspect of FSHD that is consistent across all known cases is the aberrant epigenetic state of the disease locus. In addition, certain mutations in the chromatin regulator SMCHD1 (structural maintenance of chromosomes hinge-domain protein 1) are sufficient to cause FSHD2 and enhance disease severity in FSHD1. Thus, there are multiple pathways to generate the epigenetic dysregulation required for FSHD. Critical Issues: Why do some individuals with the genetic requirements for FSHD develop disease pathology, while others remain asymptomatic? Similarly, disease progression is highly variable among individuals. What are the relative contributions of genetic background and environmental factors in determining disease manifestation, progression, and severity in FSHD? What is the interplay between epigenetic factors regulating the disease locus and which, if any, are viable therapeutic targets? Future Directions: Epigenetic regulation represents a potentially powerful therapeutic target for FSHD. Determining the epigenetic signatures that are predictive of disease severity and identifying the spectrum of disease modifiers in FSHD are vital to the development of effective therapies. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 22, 1463–1482. PMID:25336259

  3. Circulating epigenetic biomarkers in melanoma.

    PubMed

    Xin, Yu; Li, Zheng; Chan, Matthew T V; Wu, William Ka Kei

    2016-02-01

    Recent researches have shed new light on the importance of epigenetic alterations, including promoter hypermethylation and microRNA dysregulation, in the initiation and progression of melanoma. The clinical utilization of circulating epigenetic markers in melanoma has also been investigated. In this review, we explored the literature and summarized the latest progress in the discovery of circulating epigenetic markers, namely methylated DNA and microRNAs, for non-invasive diagnosis of melanoma, as well as their measurability and predictability. We also discussed the utility of these epigenetic markers as novel prognostic and predictive markers and their association with melanoma clinical phenotypes, including recurrence and patients' survival. Large-cohort validations are warranted to maximize the clinical utilization of these markers. PMID:26662802

  4. Epigenetics of sleep and chronobiology.

    PubMed

    Qureshi, Irfan A; Mehler, Mark F

    2014-03-01

    The circadian clock choreographs fundamental biological rhythms. This system is comprised of the master circadian pacemaker in the suprachiasmatic nucleus and associated pacemakers in other tissues that coordinate complex physiological processes and behaviors, such as sleep, feeding, and metabolism. The molecular circuitry that underlies these clocks and orchestrates circadian gene expression has been the focus of intensive investigation, and it is becoming clear that epigenetic factors are highly integrated into these networks. In this review, we draw attention to the fundamental roles played by epigenetic mechanisms in transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation within the circadian clock system. We also highlight how alterations in epigenetic factors and mechanisms are being linked with sleep-wake disorders. These observations provide important insights into the pathogenesis and potential treatment of these disorders and implicate epigenetic deregulation in the significant but poorly understood interconnections now emerging between circadian processes and neurodegeneration, metabolic diseases, cancer, and aging.

  5. Environmental toxicants, epigenetics, and cancer

    PubMed Central

    Pogribny, Igor P.; Rusyn, Ivan

    2014-01-01

    Tumorigenesis, a complex and multifactorial progressive process of transformation of normal cells into malignant cells, is characterized by the accumulation of multiple cancer-specific heritable phenotypes triggered by the mutational and/or non-mutational (i.e., epigenetic) events. Accumulating evidence suggests that environmental and occupational exposures to natural substances, as well as man-made chemical and physical agents, play a causative role in human cancer. In a broad sense, carcinogenesis may be induced through either genotoxic or non-genotoxic mechanisms; however, both genotoxic and non-genotoxic carcinogens also cause prominent epigenetic changes. This review presents current evidence of the epigenetic alterations induced by various chemical carcinogens, including arsenic, 1,3-butadine, and pharmaceutical and biological agents, and highlights the potential for epigenetic changes to serve as markers for carcinogen exposure and cancer risk assessment. PMID:22956504

  6. Restoring totipotency through epigenetic reprogramming

    PubMed Central

    Wasson, Jadiel A.; Ruppersburg, Chelsey C.

    2013-01-01

    Epigenetic modifications are implicated in the maintenance and regulation of transcriptional memory by marking genes that were previously transcribed to facilitate transmission of these expression patterns through cell division. During germline specification and maintenance, extensive epigenetic modifications are acquired. Yet somehow at fertilization, the fusion of the highly differentiated sperm and egg results in formation of the totipotent zygote. This massive change in cell fate implies that the selective erasure and maintenance of epigenetic modifications at fertilization may be critical for the re-establishment of totipotency. In this review, we discuss recent studies that provide insight into the extensive epigenetic reprogramming that occurs around fertilization and the mechanisms that may be involved in the re-establishment of totipotency in the embryo. PMID:23117862

  7. The epigenetic landscape of alcoholism.

    PubMed

    Krishnan, Harish R; Sakharkar, Amul J; Teppen, Tara L; Berkel, Tiffani D M; Pandey, Subhash C

    2014-01-01

    Alcoholism is a complex psychiatric disorder that has a multifactorial etiology. Epigenetic mechanisms are uniquely capable of accounting for the multifactorial nature of the disease in that they are highly stable and are affected by environmental factors, including alcohol itself. Chromatin remodeling causes changes in gene expression in specific brain regions contributing to the endophenotypes of alcoholism such as tolerance and dependence. The epigenetic mechanisms that regulate changes in gene expression observed in addictive behaviors respond not only to alcohol exposure but also to comorbid psychopathology such as the presence of anxiety and stress. This review summarizes recent developments in epigenetic research that may play a role in alcoholism. We propose that pharmacologically manipulating epigenetic targets, as demonstrated in various preclinical models, hold great therapeutic potential in the treatment and prevention of alcoholism.

  8. Epigenetics of sleep and chronobiology.

    PubMed

    Qureshi, Irfan A; Mehler, Mark F

    2014-03-01

    The circadian clock choreographs fundamental biological rhythms. This system is comprised of the master circadian pacemaker in the suprachiasmatic nucleus and associated pacemakers in other tissues that coordinate complex physiological processes and behaviors, such as sleep, feeding, and metabolism. The molecular circuitry that underlies these clocks and orchestrates circadian gene expression has been the focus of intensive investigation, and it is becoming clear that epigenetic factors are highly integrated into these networks. In this review, we draw attention to the fundamental roles played by epigenetic mechanisms in transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation within the circadian clock system. We also highlight how alterations in epigenetic factors and mechanisms are being linked with sleep-wake disorders. These observations provide important insights into the pathogenesis and potential treatment of these disorders and implicate epigenetic deregulation in the significant but poorly understood interconnections now emerging between circadian processes and neurodegeneration, metabolic diseases, cancer, and aging. PMID:24477387

  9. Epigenetics of Sleep and Chronobiology

    PubMed Central

    Qureshi, Irfan A.; Mehler, Mark F.

    2014-01-01

    The circadian clock choreographs fundamental biological rhythms. This system is comprised of the master circadian pacemaker in the suprachiasmatic nucleus and associated pacemakers in other tissues that coordinate complex physiological processes and behaviors, such as sleep, feeding, and metabolism. The molecular circuitry that underlies these clocks and orchestrates circadian gene expression has been the focus of intensive investigation, and it is becoming clear that epigenetic factors are highly integrated into these networks. In this review, we draw attention to the fundamental roles played by epigenetic mechanisms in transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation within the circadian clock system. We also highlight how alterations in epigenetic factors and mechanisms are being linked with sleep-wake disorders. These observations provide important insights into the pathogenesis and potential treatment of these disorders and implicate epigenetic deregulation in the significant but poorly understood interconnections now emerging between circadian processes and neurodegeneration, metabolic diseases, cancer, and aging. PMID:24477387

  10. Targeted transcriptional activation of silent oct4 pluripotency gene by combining designer TALEs and inhibition of epigenetic modifiers.

    PubMed

    Bultmann, Sebastian; Morbitzer, Robert; Schmidt, Christine S; Thanisch, Katharina; Spada, Fabio; Elsaesser, Janett; Lahaye, Thomas; Leonhardt, Heinrich

    2012-07-01

    Specific control of gene activity is a valuable tool to study and engineer cellular functions. Recent studies uncovered the potential of transcription activator-like effector (TALE) proteins that can be tailored to activate user-defined target genes. It remains however unclear whether and how epigenetic modifications interfere with TALE-mediated transcriptional activation. We studied the activity of five designer TALEs (dTALEs) targeting the oct4 pluripotency gene. In vitro assays showed that the five dTALEs that target distinct sites in the oct4 promoter had the expected DNA specificity and comparable affinities to their corresponding DNA targets. In contrast to their similar in vitro properties, transcriptional activation of oct4 by these distinct dTALEs varied up to 25-fold. While dTALEs efficiently upregulated transcription of the active oct4 promoter in embryonic stem cells (ESCs) they failed to activate the silenced oct4 promoter in ESC-derived neural stem cells (NSCs), indicating that as for endogenous transcription factors also dTALE activity is limited by repressive epigenetic mechanisms. We therefore targeted the activity of epigenetic modulators and found that chemical inhibition of histone deacetylases by valproic acid or DNA methyltransferases by 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine facilitated dTALE-mediated activation of the epigenetically silenced oct4 promoter in NSCs. Notably, demethylation of the oct4 promoter occurred only if chemical inhibitors and dTALEs were applied together but not upon treatment with inhibitors or dTALEs only. These results show that dTALEs in combination with chemical manipulation of epigenetic modifiers facilitate targeted transcriptional activation of epigenetically silenced target genes.

  11. Targeted transcriptional activation of silent oct4 pluripotency gene by combining designer TALEs and inhibition of epigenetic modifiers

    PubMed Central

    Bultmann, Sebastian; Morbitzer, Robert; Schmidt, Christine S.; Thanisch, Katharina; Spada, Fabio; Elsaesser, Janett; Lahaye, Thomas; Leonhardt, Heinrich

    2012-01-01

    Specific control of gene activity is a valuable tool to study and engineer cellular functions. Recent studies uncovered the potential of transcription activator-like effector (TALE) proteins that can be tailored to activate user-defined target genes. It remains however unclear whether and how epigenetic modifications interfere with TALE-mediated transcriptional activation. We studied the activity of five designer TALEs (dTALEs) targeting the oct4 pluripotency gene. In vitro assays showed that the five dTALEs that target distinct sites in the oct4 promoter had the expected DNA specificity and comparable affinities to their corresponding DNA targets. In contrast to their similar in vitro properties, transcriptional activation of oct4 by these distinct dTALEs varied up to 25-fold. While dTALEs efficiently upregulated transcription of the active oct4 promoter in embryonic stem cells (ESCs) they failed to activate the silenced oct4 promoter in ESC-derived neural stem cells (NSCs), indicating that as for endogenous transcription factors also dTALE activity is limited by repressive epigenetic mechanisms. We therefore targeted the activity of epigenetic modulators and found that chemical inhibition of histone deacetylases by valproic acid or DNA methyltransferases by 5-aza-2′-deoxycytidine facilitated dTALE-mediated activation of the epigenetically silenced oct4 promoter in NSCs. Notably, demethylation of the oct4 promoter occurred only if chemical inhibitors and dTALEs were applied together but not upon treatment with inhibitors or dTALEs only. These results show that dTALEs in combination with chemical manipulation of epigenetic modifiers facilitate targeted transcriptional activation of epigenetically silenced target genes. PMID:22387464

  12. Chromatin Modifications during Repair of Environmental Exposure-Induced DNA Damage: A Potential Mechanism for Stable Epigenetic Alterations

    PubMed Central

    O’Hagan, Heather M.

    2014-01-01

    Exposures to environmental toxicants and toxins cause epigenetic changes that likely play a role in the development of diseases associated with exposure. The mechanism behind these exposure-induced epigenetic changes is currently unknown. One commonality between most environmental exposures is that they cause DNA damage either directly or through causing an increase in reactive oxygen species, which can damage DNA. Like transcription, DNA damage repair must occur in the context of chromatin requiring both histone modifications and ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling. These chromatin changes aid in DNA damage accessibility and signaling. Several proteins and complexes involved in epigenetic silencing during both development and cancer have been found to be localized to sites of DNA damage. The chromatin-based response to DNA damage is considered a transient event, with chromatin being restored to normal as DNA damage repair is completed. However, in individuals chronically exposed to environmental toxicants or with chronic inflammatory disease, repeated DNA damage-induced chromatin rearrangement may ultimately lead to permanent epigenetic alterations. Understanding the mechanism behind exposure-induced epigenetic changes will allow us to develop strategies to prevent or reverse these changes. This review focuses on epigenetic changes and DNA damage induced by environmental exposures, the chromatin changes that occur around sites of DNA damage, and how these transient chromatin changes may lead to heritable epigenetic alterations at sites of chronic exposure. PMID:24259318

  13. Epigenetic regulation of persistent pain

    PubMed Central

    Bai, Guang; Ren, Ke; Dubner, Ronald

    2014-01-01

    Persistent or chronic pain is tightly associated with various environmental changes and linked to abnormal gene expression within cells processing nociceptive signaling. Epigenetic regulation governs gene expression in response to environmental cues. Recent animal model and clinical studies indicate that epigenetic regulation plays an important role in the development/maintenance of persistent pain and, possibly the transition of acute pain to chronic pain, thus shedding light in a direction for development of new therapeutics for persistent pain. PMID:24948399

  14. Diet, Nutrition, and Cancer Epigenetics.

    PubMed

    Sapienza, Carmen; Issa, Jean-Pierre

    2016-07-17

    The search for a connection between diet and human cancer has a long history in cancer research, as has interest in the mechanisms by which dietary factors might increase or decrease cancer risk. The realization that altering diet can alter the epigenetic state of genes and that these epigenetic alterations might increase or decrease cancer risk is a more modern notion, driven largely by studies in animal models. The connections between diet and epigenetic alterations, on the one hand, and between epigenetic alterations and cancer, on the other, are supported by both observational studies in humans as well as animal models. However, the conclusion that diet is linked directly to epigenetic alterations and that these epigenetic alterations directly increase or decrease the risk of human cancer is much less certain. We suggest that true and measurable effects of diet or dietary supplements on epigenotype and cancer risk are most likely to be observed in longitudinal studies and at the extremes of the intersection of dietary risk factors and human population variability. Careful analysis of such outlier populations is most likely to shed light on the molecular mechanisms by which suspected environmental risk factors drive the process of carcinogenesis.

  15. Epigenetics in the perioperative period

    PubMed Central

    Lirk, P; Fiegl, H; Weber, N C; Hollmann, M W

    2015-01-01

    The perioperative period is characterized by profound changes in the body's homoeostatic processes. This review seeks to address whether epigenetic mechanisms may influence an individual's reaction to surgery and anaesthesia. Evidence from animal and human studies suggests that epigenetic mechanisms can explain many facets of susceptibility to acute and chronic pain, making them potential therapeutic targets. Modern pain management is still based upon opiates, and both the developmental expression of opioid receptors and opioid-induced hyperalgesia have been linked to epigenetic mechanisms. In general, opiates seem to increase global DNA methylation levels. This is in contrast to local anaesthetics, which have been ascribed a global demethylating effect. Even though no direct investigations have been carried out, the potential influence of epigenetics on the inflammatory response that follows surgery seems a promising area for research. There is a considerable body of evidence that supports the involvement of epigenetics in the complex process of wound healing. Epigenetics is an important emerging research topic in perioperative medicine, with a huge potential to positively influence patient outcome. PMID:25073649

  16. Advances in plant gene silencing methods.

    PubMed

    Pandey, Prachi; Senthil-Kumar, Muthappa; Mysore, Kirankumar S

    2015-01-01

    Understanding molecular mechanisms of transcriptional and posttranscriptional gene silencing pathways in plants over the past decades has led to development of tools and methods for silencing a target gene in various plant species. In this review chapter, both the recent understanding of molecular basis of gene silencing pathways and advances in various widely used gene silencing methods are compiled. We also discuss the salient features of the different methods like RNA interference (RNAi) and virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) and highlight their advantages and disadvantages. Gene silencing technology is constantly progressing as reflected by rapidly emerging new methods. A succinct discussion on the recently developed methods like microRNA-mediated virus-induced gene silencing (MIR-VIGS) and microRNA-induced gene silencing (MIGS) is also provided. One major bottleneck in gene silencing approaches has been the associated off-target silencing. The other hurdle has been the lack of a universal approach that can be applied to all plants. For example, we face hurdles like incompatibility of VIGS vectors with the host and inability to use MIGS for plant species which are not easily transformable. However, the overwhelming research in this direction reflects the scope for overcoming the short comings of gene silencing technology.

  17. Synergistic epigenetic reactivation of estrogen receptor-α (ERα) by combined green tea polyphenol and histone deacetylase inhibitor in ERα-negative breast cancer cells

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background The status of estrogen receptor-α (ERα) is critical to the clinical prognosis and therapeutic approach in breast cancer. ERα-negative breast cancer is clinically aggressive and has a poor prognosis because of the lack of hormone target-directed therapies. Previous studies have shown that epigenetic regulation plays a major role in ERα silencing in human breast cancer cells. Dietary green tea polyphenol, (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), is believed to be an anticancer agent in part through its regulation of epigenetic processes. Results In our current studies, we found that EGCG can reactivate ERα expression in ERα-negative MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. Combination studies using EGCG with the histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor, trichostatin A (TSA), revealed a synergistic effect of reactivation of ERα expression in ERα-negative breast cancer cells. Reactivation of ERα expression by EGCG and TSA treatment was found to sensitize ERα-dependent cellular responses to activator 17β-estradiol (E2) and antagonist tamoxifen in ERα-negative breast cancer cells. We also found that EGCG can lead to remodeling of the chromatin structure of the ERα promoter by altering histone acetylation and methylation status thereby resulting in ERα reactivation. A decreased binding of the transcription repressor complex, Rb/p130-E2F4/5-HDAC1-SUV39H1-DNMT1, in the regulatory region of the ERα promoter also contributes to ERα transcriptional activation through treatment with EGCG and/or TSA. Conclusions Collectively, these studies show that green tea EGCG can restore ERα expression by regulating epigenetic mechanisms, and this effect is enhanced when combined with an HDAC inhibitor. This study will facilitate more effective uses of combination approaches in breast cancer therapy and will help to explore more effective chemotherapeutic strategies toward hormone-resistant breast cancer. PMID:20946668

  18. RNA silencing as a tool to uncover gene function and engineer novel traits in soybean

    PubMed Central

    Kasai, Megumi; Kanazawa, Akira

    2012-01-01

    RNA silencing refers collectively to diverse RNA-mediated pathways of nucleotide-sequence-specific inhibition of gene expression. It has been used to analyze gene function and engineer novel traits in various organisms. Here, we review the application of RNA silencing in soybean. To produce soybean lines, in which a particular gene is stably silenced, researchers have frequently used a transgene that transcribes inverted repeats of a target gene segment. Suppression of gene expression in developing soybean embryos has been one of the main focuses of metabolic engineering using transgene-induced silencing. Plants that have enhanced resistance against diseases caused by viruses or cyst nematode have also been produced. Meanwhile, Agrobacterium rhizogenes-mediated transformation has been used to induce RNA silencing in roots, which enabled analysis of the roles of gene products in nodulation or disease resistance. RNA silencing has also been induced using viral vectors, which is particularly useful for gene function analysis. So far, three viral vectors for virus-induced gene silencing have been developed for soybean. One of the features of the soybean genome is the presence of a large number of duplicated genes. Potential use of RNA silencing technology in combination with forward genetic approaches for analyzing duplicated genes is discussed. PMID:23136487

  19. Epigenetic integration of environmental and genomic signals in honey bees: the critical interplay of nutritional, brain and reproductive networks.

    PubMed

    Maleszka, Ryszard

    2008-01-01

    The discovery of a family of highly conserved DNA cytosine methylases in honey bees and other insects suggests that, like mammals, invertebrates possess a mechanism for storing epigenetic information that controls heritable states of gene expression. Recent data also show that silencing DNA methylation in young larvae mimics the effects of nutrition on early developmental processes that determine the reproductive fate of honey bee females. We evaluate the impact of these findings on future studies of environmentally-driven phenotypic plasticity in social insects, and discuss how they may help in understanding the nutritional basis of epigenetic reprogramming in humans.

  20. [Research progress of epigenetic transgenerational phenotype].

    PubMed

    Kexue, Ma; Keshi, Ma; Xingzi, Xi

    2014-05-01

    The epigenome undergoes a reprogramming process during gametogenesis and early embryogenesis. Therefore, it is believed that epigenetic information cannot be transmitted across generations. However, the occurrence of epigenetic transgenerational phenotype suggests that certain epigenetic marks may escape reprogramming. Although the existence of such a mode of inheritance has been controversial, there is increasing evidence that epigenetic memory does occur in mammals. Due to the reversibility of epigenetic modification, the epigenome is easily changed by a variety of environ-mental factors, such as chemicals, nutrition and behaviour. Therefore, it provides a potential mechanism for the transgenerational transmission of the impact of environmental factors. The purpose of this review is to introduce the concept of epi-genetic transgenerational phenotype, to discuss the epigenetic reprogramming and the molecular mechanism of epigenetic transgenerational transmission, and to list some environmental factors that are associated with epigenetic transgenerational diseases.

  1. Exploiting epigenetic vulnerabilities for cancer therapeutics.

    PubMed

    Mair, Barbara; Kubicek, Stefan; Nijman, Sebastian M B

    2014-03-01

    Epigenetic deregulation is a hallmark of cancer, and there has been increasing interest in therapeutics that target chromatin-modifying enzymes and other epigenetic regulators. The rationale for applying epigenetic drugs to treat cancer is twofold. First, epigenetic changes are reversible, and drugs could therefore be used to restore the normal (healthy) epigenetic landscape. However, it is unclear whether drugs can faithfully restore the precancerous epigenetic state. Second, chromatin regulators are often mutated in cancer, making them attractive drug targets. However, in most instances it is unknown whether cancer cells are addicted to these mutated chromatin proteins, or whether their mutation merely results in epigenetic instability conducive to the selection of secondary aberrations. An alternative incentive for targeting chromatin regulators is the exploitation of cancer-specific vulnerabilities, including synthetic lethality, caused by epigenetic deregulation. We review evidence for the hypothesis that mechanisms other than oncogene addiction are a basis for the application of epigenetic drugs, and propose future research directions.

  2. Introduction to the Special Section on Epigenetics.

    PubMed

    Lester, Barry M; Conradt, Elisabeth; Marsit, Carmen

    2016-01-01

    Epigenetics provides the opportunity to revolutionize our understanding of the role of genetics and the environment in explaining human behavior, although the use of epigenetics to study human behavior is just beginning. In this introduction, the authors present the basics of epigenetics in a way that is designed to make this exciting field accessible to a wide readership. The authors describe the history of human behavioral epigenetic research in the context of other disciplines and graphically illustrate the burgeoning of research in the application of epigenetic methods and principles to the study of human behavior. The role of epigenetics in normal embryonic development and the influence of biological and environmental factors altering behavior through epigenetic mechanisms and developmental programming are discussed. Some basic approaches to the study of epigenetics are reviewed. The authors conclude with a discussion of challenges and opportunities, including intervention, as the field of human behavioral epigenetics continue to grow.

  3. Introduction to the Special Section on Epigenetics

    PubMed Central

    Lester, Barry M.; Conradt, Elisabeth; Marsit, Carmen

    2016-01-01

    Epigenetics provides the opportunity to revolutionize our understanding of the role of genetics and the environment in explaining human behavior, although the use of epigenetics to study human behavior is just beginning. In this introduction, the authors present the basics of epigenetics in a way that is designed to make this exciting field accessible to a wide readership. The authors describe the history of human behavioral epigenetic research in the context of other disciplines and graphically illustrate the burgeoning of research in the application of epigenetic methods and principles to the study of human behavior. The role of epigenetics in normal embryonic development and the influence of biological and environmental factors altering behavior through epigenetic mechanisms and developmental programming are discussed. Some basic approaches to the study of epigenetics are reviewed. The authors conclude with a discussion of challenges and opportunities, including intervention, as the field of human behavioral epigenetics continue to grow. PMID:26822440

  4. Epigenetic techniques in pharmacogenetics.

    PubMed

    Heil, Sandra G

    2013-01-01

    Pharmacoepigenetics is an emerging field, which can be studied by several approaches. Addressing DNA methylation status of drug-metabolizing enzymes and transporters (DMET) is challenging and might provide answers in relation to interindividual differences in pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. Studying genetic variation in DMET genes in relation to drug response has been the main focus of pharmacogenetics laboratories; it is, however, expected that epigenetic modifications will play a role in drug responses as well. Some of the variations in drug-responses cannot be explained by genetic variation in DMET genes. For those particular genes it might be interesting to examine the DNA methylation status in relation to pharmacokinetics. In this chapter we discuss the methods available and provide a protocol to quantify DNA methylation status of CpG sites in candidate genes, which can readily be applied to most pharmacogenetics laboratories. In addition, we provide details about optimization and validation of the method in terms of technical specificity and technical sensitivity and precision of the method.

  5. Epigenetic predictor of age.

    PubMed

    Bocklandt, Sven; Lin, Wen; Sehl, Mary E; Sánchez, Francisco J; Sinsheimer, Janet S; Horvath, Steve; Vilain, Eric

    2011-01-01

    From the moment of conception, we begin to age. A decay of cellular structures, gene regulation, and DNA sequence ages cells and organisms. DNA methylation patterns change with increasing age and contribute to age related disease. Here we identify 88 sites in or near 80 genes for which the degree of cytosine methylation is significantly correlated with age in saliva of 34 male identical twin pairs between 21 and 55 years of age. Furthermore, we validated sites in the promoters of three genes and replicated our results in a general population sample of 31 males and 29 females between 18 and 70 years of age. The methylation of three sites--in the promoters of the EDARADD, TOM1L1, and NPTX2 genes--is linear with age over a range of five decades. Using just two cytosines from these loci, we built a regression model that explained 73% of the variance in age, and is able to predict the age of an individual with an average accuracy of 5.2 years. In forensic science, such a model could estimate the age of a person, based on a biological sample alone. Furthermore, a measurement of relevant sites in the genome could be a tool in routine medical screening to predict the risk of age-related diseases and to tailor interventions based on the epigenetic bio-age instead of the chronological age. PMID:21731603

  6. Epigenetics and Breast Cancers

    PubMed Central

    Vo, An T.; Millis, Richard M.

    2012-01-01

    Several of the active compounds in foods, poisons, drugs, and industrial chemicals may, by epigenetic mechanisms, increase or decrease the risk of breast cancers. Enzymes that are involved in DNA methylation and histone modifications have been shown to be altered in several types of breast and other cancers resulting in abnormal patterns of methylation and/or acetylation. Hypermethylation at the CpG islands found in estrogen response element (ERE) promoters occurs in conjunction with ligand-bonded alpha subunit estrogen receptor (Erα) dimers wherein the ligand ERα dimer complex acts as a transcription factor and binds to the ERE promoter. Ligands could be 17-β-estradiol (E2), phytoestrogens, heterocyclic amines, and many other identified food additives and heavy metals. The dimer recruits DNA methyltransferases which catalyze the transfer of methyl groups from S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAM) to 5′-cytosine on CpG islands. Other enzymes are recruited to the region by ligand-ERα dimers which activate DNA demethylases to act simultaneously to increase gene expression of protooncogenes and growth-promoting genes. Ligand-ERα dimers also recruit histone acetyltransferase to the ERE promoter region. Histone demethylases such as JMJD2B and histone methyltransferases are enzymes which demethylate lysine residues on histones H3 and/or H4. This makes the chromatin accessible for transcription factors and enzymes. PMID:22567014

  7. Epigenetic and transcriptional determinants of the human breast.

    PubMed

    Gascard, Philippe; Bilenky, Misha; Sigaroudinia, Mahvash; Zhao, Jianxin; Li, Luolan; Carles, Annaick; Delaney, Allen; Tam, Angela; Kamoh, Baljit; Cho, Stephanie; Griffith, Malachi; Chu, Andy; Robertson, Gordon; Cheung, Dorothy; Li, Irene; Heravi-Moussavi, Alireza; Moksa, Michelle; Mingay, Matthew; Hussainkhel, Angela; Davis, Brad; Nagarajan, Raman P; Hong, Chibo; Echipare, Lorigail; O'Geen, Henriette; Hangauer, Matthew J; Cheng, Jeffrey B; Neel, Dana; Hu, Donglei; McManus, Michael T; Moore, Richard; Mungall, Andrew; Ma, Yussanne; Plettner, Patrick; Ziv, Elad; Wang, Ting; Farnham, Peggy J; Jones, Steven J M; Marra, Marco A; Tlsty, Thea D; Costello, Joseph F; Hirst, Martin

    2015-01-01

    While significant effort has been dedicated to the characterization of epigenetic changes associated with prenatal differentiation, relatively little is known about the epigenetic changes that accompany post-natal differentiation where fully functional differentiated cell types with limited lifespans arise. Here we sought to address this gap by generating epigenomic and transcriptional profiles from primary human breast cell types isolated from disease-free human subjects. From these data we define a comprehensive human breast transcriptional network, including a set of myoepithelial- and luminal epithelial-specific intronic retention events. Intersection of epigenetic states with RNA expression from distinct breast epithelium lineages demonstrates that mCpG provides a stable record of exonic and intronic usage, whereas H3K36me3 is dynamic. We find a striking asymmetry in epigenomic reprogramming between luminal and myoepithelial cell types, with the genomes of luminal cells harbouring more than twice the number of hypomethylated enhancer elements compared with myoepithelial cells. PMID:25690954

  8. Epigenetic contribution to age distribution of mortality within the Penna model.

    PubMed

    Magdoń-Maksymowicz, M S; Maksymowicz, A Z

    2015-06-01

    Some modifications of the simple asexual Penna model, enriched by epigenetic contributions, are presented. The standard bit-string Penna model of biological aging and population evolution is based on an inherited DNA structure which defines the future life of a newly born individuals, when genes are activated by the biological clock, and the predefined genetic death is fully controlled by the number of defected genes. Epigenomes allow to introduce additional mechanism of gene activation or silencing without affecting the DNA genome itself. It may be either inherited or may reflect external, environmental factors. In the presented model, information read from the introduced epigenome may alter gene expression that may be stopped or re-activated. We concentrate on the influence of epigenetics on the age a distribution of genetic mortality m(a). Changes in m(a) are strong for the case of inherited epigenetic contribution with nearly perfect inheritance and 'positive' epigenome that partly ignores the 'bad' mutations. We conclude that the epigenetic contribution may influence population structure m(a) and could be, at least partly, responsible for deviation of m(a) distribution from the Gompertz law. In short, we claim that proposed epigenetic contribution may be seen as a candidate for possible explanation of observed deviation from the Gompertz law, also among senior members of society. A very simple model was used in this paper and many crucial mechanisms of biological aging were omitted. Therefore, further work based on a more realistic models is necessary. PMID:25666268

  9. Epigenetic Alterations Associated with War Trauma and Childhood Maltreatment.

    PubMed

    Ramo-Fernández, Laura; Schneider, Anna; Wilker, Sarah; Kolassa, Iris-Tatjana

    2015-10-01

    Survivors of war trauma or childhood maltreatment are at increased risk for trauma-spectrum disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In addition, traumatic stress has been associated with alterations in the neuroendocrine and the immune system, enhancing the risk for physical diseases. Traumatic experiences might even affect psychological as well as biological parameters in the next generation, i.e. traumatic stress might have transgenerational effects. This article outlines how epigenetic processes, which represent a pivotal biological mechanism for dynamic adaptation to environmental challenges, might contribute to the explanation of the long-lasting and transgenerational effects of trauma. In particular, epigenetic alterations in genes regulating the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis as well as the immune system have been observed in survivors of childhood and adult trauma. These changes could result in enduring alterations of the stress response as well as the physical health risk. Furthermore, the effects of parental trauma could be transmitted to the next generation by parental distress and the pre- and postnatal environment, as well as by epigenetic marks transmitted via the germline. While epigenetic research has a high potential of advancing our understanding of the consequences of trauma, the findings have to be interpreted with caution, as epigenetics only represent one piece of a complex puzzle of interacting biological and environmental factors. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  10. Epigenetic Control of Gene Expression in the Lung

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Ivana V.; Schwartz, David A.

    2011-01-01

    Epigenetics is traditionally defined as the study of heritable changes in gene expression caused by mechanisms other than changes in the underlying DNA sequence. There are three main classes of epigenetic marks—DNA methylation, modifications of histone tails, and noncoding RNAs—each of which may be influenced by the environment, diet, diseases, and ageing. Importantly, epigenetic marks have been shown to influence immune cell maturation and are associated with the risk of developing various forms of cancer, including lung cancer. Moreover, there is emerging evidence that these epigenetic marks affect gene expression in the lung and are associated with benign lung diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and interstitial lung disease. Technological advances have made it feasible to study epigenetic marks in the lung, and it is anticipated that this knowledge will enhance our understanding of the dynamic biology in the lung and lead to the development of novel diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for our patients with lung disease. PMID:21596832

  11. Erasure of histone acetylation by Arabidopsis HDA6 mediates large-scale gene silencing in nucleolar dominance

    PubMed Central

    Earley, Keith; Lawrence, Richard J.; Pontes, Olga; Reuther, Rachel; Enciso, Angel J.; Silva, Manuela; Neves, Nuno; Gross, Michael; Viegas, Wanda; Pikaard, Craig S.

    2006-01-01

    Nucleolar dominance describes the silencing of one parental set of ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes in a genetic hybrid, an epigenetic phenomenon that occurs on a scale second only to X-chromosome inactivation in mammals. An RNA interference (RNAi) knockdown screen revealed that the predicted Arabidopsis histone deacetylase, HDA6, is required for rRNA gene silencing in nucleolar dominance. In vivo, derepression of silenced rRNA genes upon knockdown of HDA6 is accompanied by nucleolus organizer region (NOR) decondensation, loss of promoter cytosine methylation, and replacement of histone H3 Lys 9 (H3K9) dimethylation with H3K4 trimethylation, H3K9 acetylation, H3K14 acetylation, and histone H4 tetra-acetylation. Consistent with these in vivo results, purified HDA6 deacetylates lysines modified by histone acetyltransferases whose substrates include H3K14, H4K5, and H4K12. HDA6 localizes, in part, to the nucleolus, supporting a model whereby HDA6 erases histone acetylation as a key step in an epigenetic switch mechanism that silences rRNA genes through concerted histone and DNA modifications. PMID:16648464

  12. The nucleoporin Nup153 regulates embryonic stem cell pluripotency through gene silencing

    PubMed Central

    Jacinto, Filipe V.; Benner, Chris; Hetzer, Martin W.

    2015-01-01

    Nucleoporins (Nups) are a family of proteins best known as the constituent building blocks of nuclear pore complexes (NPCs), membrane-embedded channels that mediate nuclear transport across the nuclear envelope. Recent evidence suggests that several Nups have additional roles in controlling the activation and silencing of developmental genes; however, the mechanistic details of these functions remain poorly understood. Here, we show that depletion of Nup153 in mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) causes the derepression of developmental genes and induction of early differentiation. This loss of stem cell identity is not associated with defects in the nuclear import of key pluripotency factors. Rather, Nup153 binds around the transcriptional start site (TSS) of developmental genes and mediates the recruitment of the polycomb-repressive complex 1 (PRC1) to a subset of its target loci. Our results demonstrate a chromatin-associated role of Nup153 in maintaining stem cell pluripotency by functioning in mammalian epigenetic gene silencing. PMID:26080816

  13. Milk: an epigenetic amplifier of FTO-mediated transcription? Implications for Western diseases.

    PubMed

    Melnik, Bodo C

    2015-01-01

    Single-nucleotide polymorphisms within intron 1 of the FTO (fat mass and obesity-associated) gene are associated with enhanced FTO expression, increased body weight, obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). The N (6) -methyladenosine (m(6)A) demethylase FTO plays a pivotal regulatory role for postnatal growth and energy expenditure. The purpose of this review is to provide translational evidence that links milk signaling with FTO-activated transcription of the milk recipient. FTO-dependent demethylation of m(6)A regulates mRNA splicing required for adipogenesis, increases the stability of mRNAs, and affects microRNA (miRNA) expression and miRNA biosynthesis. FTO senses branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) and activates the nutrient sensitive kinase mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1), which plays a key role in translation. Milk provides abundant BCAAs and glutamine, critical components increasing FTO expression. CpG hypomethylation in the first intron of FTO has recently been associated with T2DM. CpG methylation is generally associated with gene silencing. In contrast, CpG demethylation generally increases transcription. DNA de novo methylation of CpG sites is facilitated by DNA methyltransferases (DNMT) 3A and 3B, whereas DNA maintenance methylation is controlled by DNMT1. MiRNA-29s target all DNMTs and thus reduce DNA CpG methylation. Cow´s milk provides substantial amounts of exosomal miRNA-29s that reach the systemic circulation and target mRNAs of the milk recipient. Via DNMT suppression, milk exosomal miRNA-29s may reduce the magnitude of FTO methylation, thereby epigenetically increasing FTO expression in the milk consumer. High lactation performance with increased milk yield has recently been associated with excessive miRNA-29 expression of dairy cow mammary epithelial cells (DCMECs). Notably, the galactopoietic hormone prolactin upregulates the transcription factor STAT3, which induces miRNA-29 expression. In a retrovirus-like manner

  14. Milk: an epigenetic amplifier of FTO-mediated transcription? Implications for Western diseases.

    PubMed

    Melnik, Bodo C

    2015-01-01

    Single-nucleotide polymorphisms within intron 1 of the FTO (fat mass and obesity-associated) gene are associated with enhanced FTO expression, increased body weight, obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). The N (6) -methyladenosine (m(6)A) demethylase FTO plays a pivotal regulatory role for postnatal growth and energy expenditure. The purpose of this review is to provide translational evidence that links milk signaling with FTO-activated transcription of the milk recipient. FTO-dependent demethylation of m(6)A regulates mRNA splicing required for adipogenesis, increases the stability of mRNAs, and affects microRNA (miRNA) expression and miRNA biosynthesis. FTO senses branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) and activates the nutrient sensitive kinase mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1), which plays a key role in translation. Milk provides abundant BCAAs and glutamine, critical components increasing FTO expression. CpG hypomethylation in the first intron of FTO has recently been associated with T2DM. CpG methylation is generally associated with gene silencing. In contrast, CpG demethylation generally increases transcription. DNA de novo methylation of CpG sites is facilitated by DNA methyltransferases (DNMT) 3A and 3B, whereas DNA maintenance methylation is controlled by DNMT1. MiRNA-29s target all DNMTs and thus reduce DNA CpG methylation. Cow´s milk provides substantial amounts of exosomal miRNA-29s that reach the systemic circulation and target mRNAs of the milk recipient. Via DNMT suppression, milk exosomal miRNA-29s may reduce the magnitude of FTO methylation, thereby epigenetically increasing FTO expression in the milk consumer. High lactation performance with increased milk yield has recently been associated with excessive miRNA-29 expression of dairy cow mammary epithelial cells (DCMECs). Notably, the galactopoietic hormone prolactin upregulates the transcription factor STAT3, which induces miRNA-29 expression. In a retrovirus-like manner

  15. Nature, nurture and epigenetics.

    PubMed

    Crews, David; Gillette, Ross; Miller-Crews, Isaac; Gore, Andrea C; Skinner, Michael K

    2014-12-01

    Real life by definition combines heritability (e.g., the legacy of exposures) and experience (e.g. stress during sensitive or 'critical' periods), but how to study or even model this interaction has proven difficult. The hoary concept of evaluating traits according to nature versus nurture continues to persist despite repeated demonstrations that it retards, rather than advances, our understanding of biological processes. Behavioral ge