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Sample records for epigenetic enhancer silencing

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-03

    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.

  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. Nickel and Epigenetic Gene Silencing

    PubMed Central

    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

  4. Regulation of Ubx expression by epigenetic enhancer silencing in response to Ubx levels and genetic variation.

    PubMed

    Crickmore, Michael A; Ranade, Vikram; Mann, Richard S

    2009-09-01

    For gene products that must be present in cells at defined concentrations, expression levels must be tightly controlled to ensure robustness against environmental, genetic, and developmental noise. By studying the regulation of the concentration-sensitive Drosophila melanogaster Hox gene Ultrabithorax (Ubx), we found that Ubx enhancer activities respond to both increases in Ubx levels and genetic background. Large, transient increases in Ubx levels are capable of silencing all enhancer input into Ubx transcription, resulting in the complete silencing of this gene. Small increases in Ubx levels, brought about by duplications of the Ubx locus, cause sporadic silencing of subsets of Ubx enhancers. Ubx enhancer silencing can also be induced by outcrossing laboratory stocks to D. melanogaster strains established from wild flies from around the world. These results suggest that enhancer activities are not rigidly determined, but instead are sensitive to genetic background. Together, these findings suggest that enhancer silencing may be used to maintain gene product levels within the correct range in response to natural genetic variation.

  5. Small RNA-Mediated Epigenetic Myostatin Silencing.

    PubMed

    Roberts, Thomas C; Andaloussi, Samir El; Morris, Kevin V; McClorey, Graham; Wood, Matthew Ja

    2012-05-15

    Myostatin (Mstn) is a secreted growth factor that negatively regulates muscle mass and is therefore a potential pharmacological target for the treatment of muscle wasting disorders such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Here we describe a novel Mstn blockade approach in which small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) complementary to a promoter-associated transcript induce transcriptional gene silencing (TGS) in two differentiated mouse muscle cell lines. Silencing is sensitive to treatment with the histone deacetylase inhibitor trichostatin A, and the silent state chromatin mark H3K9me2 is enriched at the Mstn promoter following siRNA transfection, suggesting epigenetic remodeling underlies the silencing effect. These observations suggest that long-term epigenetic silencing may be feasible for Mstn and that TGS is a promising novel therapeutic strategy for the treatment of muscle wasting disorders.

  6. Titration and hysteresis in epigenetic chromatin silencing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dayarian, Adel; Sengupta, Anirvan M.

    2013-06-01

    Epigenetic mechanisms of silencing via heritable chromatin modifications play a major role in gene regulation and cell fate specification. We consider a model of epigenetic chromatin silencing in budding yeast and study the bifurcation diagram and characterize the bistable and the monostable regimes. The main focus of this paper is to examine how the perturbations altering the activity of histone modifying enzymes affect the epigenetic states. We analyze the implications of having the total number of silencing proteins, given by the sum of proteins bound to the nucleosomes and the ones available in the ambient, to be constant. This constraint couples different regions of chromatin through the shared reservoir of ambient silencing proteins. We show that the response of the system to perturbations depends dramatically on the titration effect caused by the above constraint. In particular, for a certain range of overall abundance of silencing proteins, the hysteresis loop changes qualitatively with certain jump replaced by continuous merger of different states. In addition, we find a nonmonotonic dependence of gene expression on the rate of histone deacetylation activity of Sir2. We discuss how these qualitative predictions of our model could be compared with experimental studies of the yeast system under anti-silencing drugs.

  7. 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.

  8. Histone Methylation and Epigenetic Silencing in Breast Cancer

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-07-01

    by asterisks in Figure 1A. Similar results implicating YY1 in Polycomb silencing of a Hox target gene in differentiating human ES cells have...demonstrate reporter silencing by a Hox gene DNA fragment targeted by PRC2 and PRC1 in mesenchymal stem cells (Woo et al. 2010). We transfected SKBR3...of histone H3, an epigenetic mark linked to gene silencing and implicated in tumor suppressor silencing during breast cancer progression. Progress

  9. 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

  10. Genetic and epigenetic silencing of mircoRNA-506-3p enhances COTL1 oncogene expression to foster non-small lung cancer progression.

    PubMed

    Guo, Shanqi; Yang, Peiying; Jiang, Xingkang; Li, Xiaojiang; Wang, Yuanyuan; Zhang, Xin; Sun, Binxu; Zhang, Yao; Jia, Yingjie

    2017-01-03

    Although previous studies suggested that microRNA-506-3p (miR-506-3p) was frequently downregulated, and functioned as a tumor suppressor in several cancers, the biological role and intrinsic regulatory mechanisms of miR-506-3p in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) remain elusive. The present study found miR-506-3p expression was downregulated in advanced NSCLC tissues and cell lines. The expression of miR-506-3p in NSCLC was inversely correlated with larger tumor size, advanced TNM stage and lymph node metastasis. In addition, we also found patients with lower expression of miR-506-3p had a poor prognosis than those patients with higher expression of miR-506-3p. Function studies demonstrated that aberrant miR-506-3p expression modulates tumor cell growth, cell mobility, cell migration and invasion in vitro and in vivo. Mechanistic investigations manifested that coactosin-like protein 1 (COTL1) was a direct downstream target of miR-506-3p. Knockdown of COTL1 mimicked the tumor-suppressive effects of miR-506-3p overexpression in A549 cells, whereas COTL1 overexpression enhanced the tumorigenic function in HCC827 cells. Importantly, we also found GATA3 transcriptionally actives miR-506-3p expression, and the long non-coding RNA urothelial carcinoma-associated 1 (UCA1) exerts oncogenic function in NSCLC by competitively 'sponging' miRNA-506. Together, our combined results elucidated genetic and epigenetic silencing of miR-506-3p enhances COTL1 oncogene expression to foster NSCLC progression.

  11. Genetic and epigenetic silencing of mircoRNA-506-3p enhances COTL1 oncogene expression to foster non-small lung cancer progression

    PubMed Central

    Li, Xiaojiang; Wang, Yuanyuan; Zhang, Xin; Sun, Binxu; Zhang, Yao; Jia, Yingjie

    2017-01-01

    Although previous studies suggested that microRNA-506-3p (miR-506-3p) was frequently downregulated, and functioned as a tumor suppressor in several cancers, the biological role and intrinsic regulatory mechanisms of miR-506-3p in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) remain elusive. The present study found miR-506-3p expression was downregulated in advanced NSCLC tissues and cell lines. The expression of miR-506-3p in NSCLC was inversely correlated with larger tumor size, advanced TNM stage and lymph node metastasis. In addition, we also found patients with lower expression of miR-506-3p had a poor prognosis than those patients with higher expression of miR-506-3p. Function studies demonstrated that aberrant miR-506-3p expression modulates tumor cell growth, cell mobility, cell migration and invasion in vitro and in vivo. Mechanistic investigations manifested that coactosin-like protein 1 (COTL1) was a direct downstream target of miR-506-3p. Knockdown of COTL1 mimicked the tumor-suppressive effects of miR-506-3p overexpression in A549 cells, whereas COTL1 overexpression enhanced the tumorigenic function in HCC827 cells. Importantly, we also found GATA3 transcriptionally actives miR-506-3p expression, and the long non-coding RNA urothelial carcinoma-associated 1 (UCA1) exerts oncogenic function in NSCLC by competitively ‘sponging’ miRNA-506. Together, our combined results elucidated genetic and epigenetic silencing of miR-506-3p enhances COTL1 oncogene expression to foster NSCLC progression. PMID:27893417

  12. Epigenetic silencing of TIMP4 in heart failure.

    PubMed

    Chaturvedi, Pankaj; Tyagi, Suresh C

    2016-11-01

    Tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloprotease 4 (TIMP4) is endogenously one of the key modulators of matrix metalloprotease 9 (MMP9) and we have reported earlier that cardiac specific TIMP4 instigates contractility and helps in differentiation of cardiac progenitor cells. Although studies show that the expression of TIMP4 goes down in heart failure but the mechanism is unknown. This study aims to determine the mechanism of silencing of TIMP4 in heart failure progression created by aorta-vena cava (AV) fistula. We hypothesize that there is epigenetic silencing of TIMP4 in heart failure. To validate this hypothesis, we created heart failure model by creating AV fistula in C57BL/6 mice and looked into the promoter methylation (methylation specific PCR, high resolution melting, methylation sensitive restriction enzyme and Na bisulphite treatment followed by sequencing), histone modification (ChIP assay) and microRNAs that regulate TIMP4 (mir122a) and MMP9 (mir29b and mir455-5p). The physiological parameters in terms of cardiac function after AV fistula were assessed by echocardiography. We observed that there are 7 CpG islands in the TIMP4 promoter which get methylated during the progression of heart failure which leads to its epigenetic silencing. In addition, the up-regulated levels of mir122a in part, contribute to regulation of TIMP4. Consequently, MMP9 gets up-regulated and leads to cardiac remodeling. This is a novel report to explain the epigenetic silencing of TIMP4 in heart failure.

  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.

  14. Epigenetic Silencing of Plasmodium falciparum Genes Linked to Erythrocyte Invasion

    PubMed Central

    Cortés, Alfred; Carret, Celine; Kaneko, Osamu; Yim Lim, Brian Y. S.; Ivens, Alasdair; Holder, Anthony A

    2007-01-01

    The process of erythrocyte invasion by merozoites of Plasmodium falciparum involves multiple steps, including the formation of a moving junction between parasite and host cell, and it is characterised by the redundancy of many of the receptor–ligand interactions involved. Several parasite proteins that interact with erythrocyte receptors or participate in other steps of invasion are encoded by small subtelomerically located gene families of four to seven members. We report here that members of the eba, rhoph1/clag, acbp, and pfRh multigene families exist in either an active or a silenced state. In the case of two members of the rhoph1/clag family, clag3.1 and clag3.2, expression was mutually exclusive. Silencing was clonally transmitted and occurred in the absence of detectable DNA alterations, suggesting that it is epigenetic. This was demonstrated for eba-140. Our data demonstrate that variant or mutually exclusive expression and epigenetic silencing in Plasmodium are not unique to genes such as var, which encode proteins that are exported to the surface of the erythrocyte, but also occur for genes involved in host cell invasion. Clonal variant expression of invasion-related ligands increases the flexibility of the parasite to adapt to its human host. PMID:17676953

  15. Telomeric Trans-Silencing: An Epigenetic Repression Combining RNA Silencing and Heterochromatin Formation

    PubMed Central

    Josse, Thibaut; Teysset, Laure; Todeschini, Anne-Laure; Sidor, Clara M; Anxolabéhère, Dominique; Ronsseray, Stéphane

    2007-01-01

    The study of P-element repression in Drosophila melanogaster led to the discovery of the telomeric Trans-Silencing Effect (TSE), a repression mechanism by which a transposon or a transgene inserted in subtelomeric heterochromatin (Telomeric Associated Sequence or TAS) has the capacity to repress in trans in the female germline, a homologous transposon, or transgene located in euchromatin. TSE shows variegation among egg chambers in ovaries when silencing is incomplete. Here, we report that TSE displays an epigenetic transmission through meiosis, which involves an extrachromosomal maternally transmitted factor. We show that this silencing is highly sensitive to mutations affecting both heterochromatin formation (Su(var)205 encoding Heterochromatin Protein 1 and Su(var)3–7) and the repeat-associated small interfering RNA (or rasiRNA) silencing pathway (aubergine, homeless, armitage, and piwi). In contrast, TSE is not sensitive to mutations affecting r2d2, which is involved in the small interfering RNA (or siRNA) silencing pathway, nor is it sensitive to a mutation in loquacious, which is involved in the micro RNA (or miRNA) silencing pathway. These results, taken together with the recent discovery of TAS homologous small RNAs associated to PIWI proteins, support the proposition that TSE involves a repeat-associated small interfering RNA pathway linked to heterochromatin formation, which was co-opted by the P element to establish repression of its own transposition after its recent invasion of the D. melanogaster genome. Therefore, the study of TSE provides insight into the genetic properties of a germline-specific small RNA silencing pathway. PMID:17941712

  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. Epigenetic silencing of a foreign gene in nuclear transformants of Chlamydomonas.

    PubMed Central

    Cerutti, H; Johnson, A M; Gillham, N W; Boynton, J E

    1997-01-01

    The unstable expression of introduced genes poses a serious problem for the application of transgenic technology in plants. In transformants of the unicellular green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, expression of a eubacterial aadA gene, conferring spectinomycin resistance, is transcriptionally suppressed by a reversible epigenetic mechanism(s). Variations in the size and frequency of colonies surviving on different concentrations of spectinomycin as well as the levels of transcriptional activity of the introduced transgene(s) suggest the existence of intermediate expression states in genetically identical cells. Gene silencing does not correlate with methylation of the integrated DNA and does not involve large alterations in its chromatin structure, as revealed by digestion with restriction endonucleases and DNase I. Transgene repression is enhanced by lower temperatures, similar to position effect variegation in Drosophila. By analogy to epigenetic phenomena in several eukaryotes, our results suggest a possible role for (hetero)chromatic chromosomal domains in transcriptional inactivation. PMID:9212467

  18. Promoter-Bound Trinucleotide Repeat mRNA Drives Epigenetic Silencing in Fragile X Syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Colak, Dilek; Zaninovic, Nikica; Cohen, Michael S.; Rosenwaks, Zev; Yang, Wang-Yong; Gerhardt, Jeannine; Disney, Matthew D.; Jaffrey, Samie R.

    2015-01-01

    Epigenetic gene silencing is seen in several repeat-expansion diseases. In fragile X syndrome, the most common genetic form of mental retardation, a CGG trinucleotide–repeat expansion adjacent to the fragile X mental retardation 1 (FMR1) gene promoter results in its epigenetic silencing. Here, we show that FMR1 silencing is mediated by the FMR1 mRNA. The FMR1 mRNA contains the transcribed CGG-repeat tract as part of the 5′ untranslated region, which hybridizes to the complementary CGG-repeat portion of the FMR1 gene to form an RNA·DNA duplex. Disrupting the interaction of the mRNA with the CGG-repeat portion of the FMR1 gene prevents promoter silencing. Thus, our data link trinucleotide-repeat expansion to a form of RNA-directed gene silencing mediated by direct interactions of the trinucleotide-repeat RNA and DNA. PMID:24578575

  19. Promoter-bound trinucleotide repeat mRNA drives epigenetic silencing in fragile X syndrome.

    PubMed

    Colak, Dilek; Zaninovic, Nikica; Cohen, Michael S; Rosenwaks, Zev; Yang, Wang-Yong; Gerhardt, Jeannine; Disney, Matthew D; Jaffrey, Samie R

    2014-02-28

    Epigenetic gene silencing is seen in several repeat-expansion diseases. In fragile X syndrome, the most common genetic form of mental retardation, a CGG trinucleotide-repeat expansion adjacent to the fragile X mental retardation 1 (FMR1) gene promoter results in its epigenetic silencing. Here, we show that FMR1 silencing is mediated by the FMR1 mRNA. The FMR1 mRNA contains the transcribed CGG-repeat tract as part of the 5' untranslated region, which hybridizes to the complementary CGG-repeat portion of the FMR1 gene to form an RNA·DNA duplex. Disrupting the interaction of the mRNA with the CGG-repeat portion of the FMR1 gene prevents promoter silencing. Thus, our data link trinucleotide-repeat expansion to a form of RNA-directed gene silencing mediated by direct interactions of the trinucleotide-repeat RNA and DNA.

  20. 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.

  1. Vernalization-mediated epigenetic silencing by a long intronic noncoding RNA.

    PubMed

    Heo, Jae Bok; Sung, Sibum

    2011-01-07

    Vernalization is an environmentally-induced epigenetic switch in which winter cold triggers epigenetic silencing of floral repressors and thus provides competence to flower in spring. In Arabidopsis, winter cold triggers enrichment of tri-methylated histone H3 Lys(27) at chromatin of the floral repressor, FLOWERING LOCUS C (FLC), and results in epigenetically stable repression of FLC. This epigenetic change is mediated by an evolutionarily conserved repressive complex, polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2). Here, we show that a long intronic noncoding RNA [termed COLD ASSISTED INTRONIC NONCODING RNA (COLDAIR)] is required for the vernalization-mediated epigenetic repression of FLC. COLDAIR physically associates with a component of PRC2 and targets PRC2 to FLC. Our results show that COLDAIR is required for establishing stable repressive chromatin at FLC through its interaction with PRC2.

  2. Epigenetic silencing of TET2 and TET3 induces an EMT-like process in melanoma

    PubMed Central

    Gong, Fuxing; Guo, Yu; Niu, Yiqian; Jin, Jiawei; Zhang, Xiaojuan; Shi, Xiaoqian; Zhang, Limeng; Li, Runting; Chen, Longxin; Ma, Runlin Z.

    2017-01-01

    Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition (EMT) is a critical step in the progression of cancer. Malignant melanoma, a cancer developed from pigmented melanocytes, metastasizes through an EMT-like process. Ten-eleven translocation (TET) enzymes, catalyzing the conversion of 5-methylcytosine (5mC) to 5-hydroxylmethylcytosine (5-hmC), are down regulated in melanoma. However, their roles in the progression and the EMT-like process of melanoma are not fully understood. Here we report that DNA methylation induced silencing of TET2 and TET3 are responsible for the EMT-like process and the metastasis of melanoma. TET2 and TET3 are down regulated in the TGF-β1-induced EMT-like process, and the knocking down of TET2 or TET3 induced this EMT-like process. A DNA demethylating agent antagonized the TGF-β-induced suppression of TET2 and TET3. Furthermore, a ChIP analysis indicated that enhanced recruitment of DNMT3A (DNA Methyltransferase 3A) is the mechanism by which TGF-β induces the silencing of TET2 and TET3. Finally, the overexpression of the TET2 C-terminal sequence partially rescues the TGF-β1-induced EMT-like process in vitro and inhibits tumor growth and metastasis in vivo. Hence, our data suggest an epigenetic circuitry that mediates the EMT activated by TGF-β. As an effector, DNMT3A senses the TGF-β signal and silences TET2 and TET3 promoters to induce the EMT-like process and metastasis in melanoma. PMID:27852070

  3. Epigenetic silencing mediated through activated PI3K/AKT signaling in breast cancer.

    PubMed

    Zuo, Tao; Liu, Ta-Ming; Lan, Xun; Weng, Yu-I; Shen, Rulong; Gu, Fei; Huang, Yi-Wen; Liyanarachchi, Sandya; Deatherage, Daniel E; Hsu, Pei-Yin; Taslim, Cenny; Ramaswamy, Bhuvaneswari; Shapiro, Charles L; Lin, Huey-Jen L; Cheng, Alfred S L; Jin, Victor X; Huang, Tim H-M

    2011-03-01

    Trimethylation of histone 3 lysine 27 (H3K27me3) is a critical epigenetic mark for the maintenance of gene silencing. Additional accumulation of DNA methylation in target loci is thought to cooperatively support this epigenetic silencing during tumorigenesis. However, molecular mechanisms underlying the complex interplay between the two marks remain to be explored. Here we show that activation of PI3K/AKT signaling can be a trigger of this epigenetic processing at many downstream target genes. We also find that DNA methylation can be acquired at the same loci in cancer cells, thereby reinforcing permanent repression in those losing the H3K27me3 mark. Because of a link between PI3K/AKT signaling and epigenetic alterations, we conducted epigenetic therapies in conjunction with the signaling-targeted treatment. These combined treatments synergistically relieve gene silencing and suppress cancer cell growth in vitro and in xenografts. The new finding has important implications for improving targeted cancer therapies in the future.

  4. Epigenetic Silencing Mediated Through Activated PI3K/AKT Signaling in Breast Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Zuo, Tao; Liu, Ta-Ming; Lan, Xun; Weng, Yu-I; Shen, Rulong; Gu, Fei; Huang, Yi-Wen; Liyanarachchi, Sandya; Deatherage, Daniel E.; Hsu, Pei-Yin; Taslim, Cenny; Ramaswamy, Bhuvaneswari; Shapiro, Charles L.; Lin, Huey-Jen L.; Cheng, Alfred S.L.; Jin, Victor X.; Huang, Tim H.-M.

    2011-01-01

    Trimethylation of histone 3 lysine 27 (H3K27me3) is a critical epigenetic mark for the maintenance of gene silencing. Additional accumulation of DNA methylation in target loci is thought to cooperatively support this epigenetic silencing during tumorigenesis. However, molecular mechanisms underlying the complex interplay between the two marks remain to be explored. Here we demonstrate that activation of PI3K/AKT signaling can be a trigger of this epigenetic processing at many downstream target genes. We also find that DNA methylation can be acquired at the same loci in cancer cells, thereby reinforcing permanent repression in those losing the H3K27me3 mark. Because of a link between PI3K/AKT signaling and epigenetic alterations, we conducted epigenetic therapies in conjunction with the signaling-targeted treatment. These combined treatments synergistically relieve gene silencing and suppress cancer cell growth in vitro and in xenografts. The new finding has important implications for improving targeted cancer therapies in the future. PMID:21216892

  5. 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

  6. FMR1 epigenetic silencing commonly occurs in undifferentiated fragile X-affected embryonic stem cells.

    PubMed

    Avitzour, Michal; Mor-Shaked, Hagar; Yanovsky-Dagan, Shira; Aharoni, Shira; Altarescu, Gheona; Renbaum, Paul; Eldar-Geva, Talia; Schonberger, Oshrat; Levy-Lahad, Ephrat; Epsztejn-Litman, Silvina; Eiges, Rachel

    2014-11-11

    Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the most common heritable form of cognitive impairment. It results from epigenetic silencing of the X-linked FMR1 gene by a CGG expansion in its 5'-untranslated region. Taking advantage of a large set of FXS-affected human embryonic stem cell (HESC) lines and isogenic subclones derived from them, we show that FMR1 hypermethylation commonly occurs in the undifferentiated state (six of nine lines, ranging from 24% to 65%). In addition, we demonstrate that hypermethylation is tightly linked with FMR1 transcriptional inactivation in undifferentiated cells, coincides with loss of H3K4me2 and gain of H3K9me3, and is unrelated to CTCF binding. Taken together, these results demonstrate that FMR1 epigenetic gene silencing takes place in FXS HESCs and clearly highlights the importance of examining multiple cell lines when investigating FXS and most likely other epigenetically regulated diseases.

  7. Heat-Induced Release of Epigenetic Silencing Reveals the Concealed Role of an Imprinted Plant Gene

    PubMed Central

    Sanchez, Diego H.; Paszkowski, Jerzy

    2014-01-01

    Epigenetic mechanisms suppress the transcription of transposons and DNA repeats; however, this suppression can be transiently released under prolonged heat stress. Here we show that the Arabidopsis thaliana imprinted gene SDC, which is silent during vegetative growth due to DNA methylation, is activated by heat and contributes to recovery from stress. SDC activation seems to involve epigenetic mechanisms but not canonical heat-shock perception and signaling. The heat-mediated transcriptional induction of SDC occurs particularly in young developing leaves and is proportional to the level of stress. However, this occurs only above a certain window of absolute temperatures and, thus, resembles a thermal-sensing mechanism. In addition, the re-silencing kinetics during recovery can be entrained by repeated heat stress cycles, suggesting that epigenetic regulation in plants may conserve memory of stress experience. We further demonstrate that SDC contributes to the recovery of plant biomass after stress. We propose that transcriptional gene silencing, known to be involved in gene imprinting, is also co-opted in the specific tuning of SDC expression upon heat stress and subsequent recovery. It is therefore possible that dynamic properties of the epigenetic landscape associated with silenced or imprinted genes may contribute to regulation of their expression in response to environmental challenges. PMID:25411840

  8. Identification of BMP2 as an epigenetically silenced growth inhibitor in rhabdomyosarcoma.

    PubMed

    Wolf, Sebastian; Hagl, Beate; Kappler, Roland

    2014-05-01

    Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is the most common soft-tissue sarcoma of infancy and although therapy has improved over the years, mortality is still fairly high. The establishment of new treatments has been hampered by the limited knowledge of the molecular mechanisms driving development of RMS. One characteristic of cancer cells is aberrant DNA methylation, which could lead to silencing of tumor suppressor genes. However, only a few epigenetically silenced genes have been described in RMS so far. We performed an expression profiling analysis of three RMS cell lines that were treated with the demethylating agent 5'-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (5-Aza‑dC) facilitating re-expression of epigenetically silenced genes. This treatment induced the gene BMP2 (bone morphogenetic protein 2) throughout all cell lines. Detailed methylation analysis of CpG sites in the BMP2 promoter region by bisulfite sequencing and methylation-specific PCR revealed that a high degree of DNA methylation is causatively associated with the suppression of BMP2 in RMS cells. Consequently, treatment of the RMS cell lines with 5-Aza-dC resulted in DNA demethylation of the BMP2 promoter, most prominently in alveolar RMS. Supplementation of recombinant human BMP2 (rhBMP2) led to a reduced viability of RMS cells. Altogether, these findings suggest that suppression of BMP2 by epigenetic silencing may play a critical role in the genesis of RMS, thereby providing a rationale for the development of a new treatment strategy for RMS.

  9. Histone Methylation and Epigenetic Silencing in Breast Cancer

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-07-01

    binding proteins have been implicated in EZH2 targeting in studies on embryonic stem cells and muscle cells (Caretti et al. 2004; Squazzo et al. 2006...functions together with other Polycomb proteins in target gene silencing. In the Drosophila system, a DNA- binding protein called PHO helps recruit...site housed within the EZH2 SET domain, there are potentially many surfaces and binding pockets that could provide useful targets for binding

  10. The Paf1 complex represses small RNA-mediated epigenetic gene silencing

    PubMed Central

    Flury, Valentin; Stadler, Michael Beda; Batki, Julia; Bühler, Marc

    2015-01-01

    RNA interference (RNAi) refers to the ability of exogenously introduced double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) to silence expression of homologous sequences. Silencing is initiated when the enzyme Dicer processes the dsRNA into small interfering RNAs (siRNAs). Small RNA molecules are incorporated into Argonaute protein-containing effector complexes, which they guide to complementary targets to mediate different types of gene silencing, specifically post-transcriptional gene silencing (PTGS) and chromatin-dependent gene silencing1. Although endogenous small RNAs play critical roles in chromatin-mediated processes across kingdoms, efforts to initiate chromatin modifications in trans by using siRNAs have been inherently difficult to achieve in all eukaryotic cells. Using fission yeast, we show that RNAi-directed heterochromatin formation is negatively controlled by the highly conserved RNA polymerase-associated factor 1 complex (Paf1C). Temporary expression of a synthetic hairpin RNA in Paf1C mutants triggers stable heterochromatin formation at homologous loci, effectively silencing genes in trans. This repressed state is propagated across generations by continual production of secondary siRNAs, independently of the synthetic hairpin RNA. Our data support a model where Paf1C prevents targeting of nascent transcripts by the siRNA-containing RNA-induced transcriptional silencing (RITS) complex and thereby epigenetic gene silencing, by promoting efficient transcription termination and rapid release of the RNA from the site of transcription. We show that although compromised transcription termination is sufficient to initiate the formation of bi-stable heterochromatin by trans-acting siRNAs, impairment of both transcription termination and nascent transcript release is imperative to confer stability to the repressed state. Our work uncovers a novel mechanism for small RNA- mediated epigenome regulation and highlights fundamental roles for Paf1C and the RNAi machinery in building

  11. Sustained IL-6/STAT-3 Signaling in Cholangiocarcinoma Cells due to SOCS-3 Epigenetic Silencing

    PubMed Central

    Isomoto, Hajime; Mott, Justin L.; Kobayashi, Shogo; Werneburg, Nathan W.; Bronk, Steve F.; Haan, Serge; Gores, Gregory J.

    2008-01-01

    Background and aims IL-6 mediated STAT-3 phosphorylation (activation) is aberrantly sustained in cholangiocarcinoma cells resulting in enhanced Mcl-1 expression and resistance to apoptosis. Because SOCS-3 controls the IL-6/STAT-3 signaling pathway by a classic feedback loop, the aims of this study were to examine SOCS-3 regulation in human cholangiocarcinoma. Methods SOCS-3 expression was assessed in human cholangiocarcinoma tissue and the Mz-ChA-1 and CCLP1 human cholangiocarcinoma cell lines. Results An inverse correlation was observed between phospho-STAT-3 and SOCS-3 protein expression in cholangiocarcinoma. In those cancers failing to express SOCS-3, extensive methylation of the SOCS-3 promoter was demonstrated in tumor but not in paired non-tumor tissue. Likewise, methylation of the socs-3 promoter was also identified in two cholangiocarcinoma cell lines. Treatment with a demethylating agent, 5-aza-2′-deoxycytidine (DAC), restored IL-6 induction of SOCS-3, terminated the phospho-STAT-3 response, and reduced cellular levels of Mcl-1. Enforced expression of SOCS-3 also reduced IL-6 induction of phospho-STAT-3 and Mcl-1. Either DAC treatment or enforced SOCS-3 expression sensitized the cells to TRAIL-mediated apoptosis. Conclusion SOCS-3 epigenetic silencing is responsible for sustained IL-6/STAT-3 signaling and enhanced Mcl-1 expression in cholangiocarcinoma. PMID:17241887

  12. Genetic unmasking of an epigenetically silenced microRNA in human cancer cells.

    PubMed

    Lujambio, Amaia; Ropero, Santiago; Ballestar, Esteban; Fraga, Mario F; Cerrato, Celia; Setién, Fernando; Casado, Sara; Suarez-Gauthier, Ana; Sanchez-Cespedes, Montserrat; Git, Anna; Gitt, Anna; Spiteri, Inmaculada; Das, Partha P; Caldas, Carlos; Miska, Eric; Esteller, Manel

    2007-02-15

    The mechanisms underlying microRNA (miRNA) disruption in human disease are poorly understood. In cancer cells, the transcriptional silencing of tumor suppressor genes by CpG island promoter hypermethylation has emerged as a common hallmark. We wondered if the same epigenetic disruption can "hit" miRNAs in transformed cells. To address this issue, we have used cancer cells genetically deficient for the DNA methyltransferase enzymes in combination with a miRNA expression profiling. We have observed that DNA hypomethylation induces a release of miRNA silencing in cancer cells. One of the main targets is miRNA-124a, which undergoes transcriptional inactivation by CpG island hypermethylation in human tumors from different cell types. Interestingly, we functionally link the epigenetic loss of miRNA-124a with the activation of cyclin D kinase 6, a bona fide oncogenic factor, and the phosphorylation of the retinoblastoma, a tumor suppressor gene.

  13. Epigenetic silencing of ARRDC3 expression in basal-like breast cancer cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Soung, Young Hwa; Pruitt, Kevin; Chung, Jun

    2014-01-01

    Arrestin domain-containing 3 (ARRDC3) is a tumor suppressor whose expression is either lost or suppressed in basal-like breast cancer (BLBC). However, the mechanism by which BLBC suppresses ARRDC3 expression is not established. Here, we show that expression of ARRDC3 in BLBC cells is suppressed at the transcriptional level. Suppression of ARRDC3 expression in BLBC cells involves epigenetic silencing as inhibitors of class III histone deacetylases (HDACs) significantly restores ARRDC3 levels in BLBC cells. SIRT2, among class III HDACs, plays a major role in epigenetic silencing of ARRDC3 in MDA-MB-231 cells. Acetylation levels of the ARRDC3 promoter in BLBC cells is significantly lower than that of other sub-types of BC cells. Chromatin immunopreciptitation analysis established SIRT2 binding at ARRDC3 promoter in BLBC cells. Our studies indicate that SIRT2 dependent epigenetic silencing of ARRDC3 is one of the important events that may contribute to the aggressive nature of BLBC cells.

  14. 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

  15. Epigenetic silencing of endogenous repetitive sequences by MORPHEUS' MOLECULE1 in Arabidopsis thaliana.

    PubMed

    Habu, Yoshiki

    2010-10-01

    Morpheus' molecule1 (MOM1) is a plant-specific epigenetic regulator of transcriptional gene silencing. Mutants of MOM1 release silencing of subsets of endogenous repetitive elements and transgenes without affecting their cytosine methylation status. Although MOM1 is evolutionarily related to chromodomain helicase DNA binding protein3 (CHD3), a family of chromatin remodeling proteins involved in repression of gene expression, MOM1 does not carry the functional ATPase/helicase domain essential for chromatin remodeling activity, and therefore, its mode of action is unknown. We recently performed a genome-wide survey for endogenous targets silenced by MOM1 and identified loci that are concentrated around centromeres and rich in sequences homologous to the 24-nt small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) that accumulate in wild type plants. Further and independent analyses indicated that the degree of contribution of MOM1 to maintenance of the silent states varies in different loci and that other silencing machineries, including those in the RNA-directed DNA methylation (RdDM) pathway, interact genetically with MOM1. In this short article, I review what we know about MOM1 and discuss its possible functions in silencing through examination of other silencing factors that interact genetically with MOM1.

  16. Tle4 regulates epigenetic silencing of gamma interferon expression during effector T helper cell tolerance.

    PubMed

    Bandyopadhyay, Sanmay; Valdor, Rut; Macian, Fernando

    2014-01-01

    In response to suboptimal activation, T cells become hyporesponsive, with a severely reduced capacity to proliferate and produce cytokines upon reencounter with antigen. Chromatin analysis of T cells made tolerant by use of different in vitro and in vivo approaches reveals that the expression of gamma interferon (IFN-γ) is epigenetically silenced in anergic effector TH1 cells. In those T cells, calcium signaling triggers the expression of Tle4, a member of the Groucho family of corepressors, which is then recruited to a distal regulatory element in the Ifng locus and causes the establishment of repressive epigenetic marks at the Ifng gene regulatory elements. Consequently, impaired Tle4 activity results in a markedly reduced capacity to inhibit IFN-γ production in tolerized T cells. We propose that Blimp1-dependent recruitment of Tle4 to the Ifng locus causes epigenetic silencing of the expression of the Ifng gene in anergic TH1 cells. These results define a novel function of Groucho family corepressors in peripheral T cells and demonstrate that specific mechanisms are activated in tolerant T helper cells to directly repress expression of effector cytokines, supporting the hypothesis that stable epigenetic imprinting contributes to the maintenance of the tolerance-associated hyporesponsive phenotype in T cells.

  17. Epigenetic silencing of diacylglycerol kinase gamma in colorectal cancer.

    PubMed

    Kai, Masahiro; Yamamoto, Eiichiro; Sato, Akiko; Yamano, Hiro-O; Niinuma, Takeshi; Kitajima, Hiroshi; Harada, Taku; Aoki, Hironori; Maruyama, Reo; Toyota, Mutsumi; Hatahira, Tomo; Nakase, Hiroshi; Sugai, Tamotsu; Yamashita, Toshiharu; Toyota, Minoru; Suzuki, Hiromu

    2017-02-20

    Diacylglycerol kinases (DGKs) are important regulators of cell signaling and have been implicated in human malignancies. Whether epigenetic alterations are involved in the dysregulation of DGKs in cancer is unknown, however. We therefore analyzed methylation of the promoter CpG islands of DGK genes in colorectal cancer (CRC) cell lines. We found that DGKG, which encodes DGKγ, was hypermethylated in all CRC cell lines tested (n = 9), but was not methylated in normal colonic tissue. Correspondingly, DGKG expression was suppressed in CRC cell lines but not in normal colonic tissue, and was restored in CRC cells by treatment with the DNA methyltransferase inhibitor 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (5-aza-dC). DGKG methylation was frequently observed in primary CRCs (73/141, 51.8%) and was positively associated with KRAS and BRAF mutations and with the CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP). DGKG methylation was also frequently detected in colorectal adenomas (89 of 177, 50.3%), which suggests it is an early event during colorectal tumorigenesis. Ectopic expression of wild-type DGKγ did not suppress CRC cell proliferation, but did suppress cell migration and invasion. Notably, both constitutively active and kinase-dead DGKγ mutants exerted inhibitory effects on CRC cell proliferation, migration and invasion, and the wild-type and mutant forms of DGKγ all suppressed Rac1 activity in CRC cells. These data suggest DGKG may play a tumor suppressor role in CRC.

  18. Upregulated UHRF1 Promotes Bladder Cancer Cell Invasion by Epigenetic Silencing of KiSS1

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Zhiqiang; Zheng, Xin; Liu, Jianwei; Han, Zhiyou; Ma, Xuetao; Zhang, Yuhai

    2014-01-01

    Ubiquitin-like with PHD and RING finger domains 1 (UHRF1), as an epigenetic regulator, plays important roles in the tumorigenesis and cancer progression. KiSS1 functions as a metastasis suppressor in various cancers, and epigenetic silencing of KiSS1 increases the metastatic potential of cancer cells. We therefore investigated whether UHRF1 promotes bladder cancer cell invasion by inhibiting KiSS1. The expression levels of UHRF1 and KiSS1 were examined by quantitative real-time PCR assay in vitro and in vivo. The role of UHRF1 in regulating bladder cancer metastasis was evaluated in bladder cancer cell. We found that UHRF1 levels are upregulated in most clinical specimens of bladder cancer when compared with paired normal tissues, and UHRF1 expression levels are significantly increased in primary tumors that subsequently metastasized compared with non-metastatic tumors. Forced expression of UHRF1 promotes bladder cancer cell invasion, whereas UHRF1 knockdown decreases cell invasion. Overexpression of UHRF1 increases the methylation of CpG nucleotides and reduces the expression of KiSS1. UHRF1 and KiSS1 expression level is negatively correlated in vivo and in vitro. Knockdown of KiSS1 promotes bladder cancer cell invasion. Importantly, forced expression of KiSS1 partly abrogates UHRF1-induced cell invasion. These data demonstrated that upregulated UHRF1 increases bladder cancer cell invasion by epigenetic silencing of KiSS1. PMID:25272010

  19. Upregulated UHRF1 promotes bladder cancer cell invasion by epigenetic silencing of KiSS1.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yu; Huang, Zhen; Zhu, Zhiqiang; Zheng, Xin; Liu, Jianwei; Han, Zhiyou; Ma, Xuetao; Zhang, Yuhai

    2014-01-01

    Ubiquitin-like with PHD and RING finger domains 1 (UHRF1), as an epigenetic regulator, plays important roles in the tumorigenesis and cancer progression. KiSS1 functions as a metastasis suppressor in various cancers, and epigenetic silencing of KiSS1 increases the metastatic potential of cancer cells. We therefore investigated whether UHRF1 promotes bladder cancer cell invasion by inhibiting KiSS1. The expression levels of UHRF1 and KiSS1 were examined by quantitative real-time PCR assay in vitro and in vivo. The role of UHRF1 in regulating bladder cancer metastasis was evaluated in bladder cancer cell. We found that UHRF1 levels are upregulated in most clinical specimens of bladder cancer when compared with paired normal tissues, and UHRF1 expression levels are significantly increased in primary tumors that subsequently metastasized compared with non-metastatic tumors. Forced expression of UHRF1 promotes bladder cancer cell invasion, whereas UHRF1 knockdown decreases cell invasion. Overexpression of UHRF1 increases the methylation of CpG nucleotides and reduces the expression of KiSS1. UHRF1 and KiSS1 expression level is negatively correlated in vivo and in vitro. Knockdown of KiSS1 promotes bladder cancer cell invasion. Importantly, forced expression of KiSS1 partly abrogates UHRF1-induced cell invasion. These data demonstrated that upregulated UHRF1 increases bladder cancer cell invasion by epigenetic silencing of KiSS1.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Chicken alpha-globin switching depends on autonomous silencing of the embryonic pi globin gene by epigenetics mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Rincón-Arano, Héctor; Guerrero, Georgina; Valdes-Quezada, Christian; Recillas-Targa, Félix

    2009-10-15

    Switching in hemoglobin gene expression is an informative paradigm for studying transcriptional regulation. Here we determined the patterns of chicken alpha-globin gene expression during development and erythroid differentiation. Previously published data suggested that the promoter regions of alpha-globin genes contain the complete information for proper developmental regulation. However, our data show a preferential trans-activation of the embryonic alpha-globin gene independent of the developmental or differentiation stage. We also found that DNA methylation and histone deacetylation play key roles in silencing the expression of the embryonic pi gene in definitive erythrocytes. However, drug-mediated reactivation of the embryonic gene during definitive erythropoiesis dramatically impaired the expression of the adult genes, suggesting gene competition or interference for enhancer elements. Our results also support a model in which the lack of open chromatin marks and localized recruitment of chicken MeCP2 contribute to autonomous gene silencing of the embryonic alpha-globin gene in a developmentally specific manner. We propose that epigenetic mechanisms are necessary for in vivo chicken alpha-globin gene switching through differential gene silencing of the embryonic alpha-globin gene in order to allow proper activation of adult alpha-globin genes.

  3. An Epigenetic Role for Maternally Inherited piRNAs in Transposon Silencing

    PubMed Central

    Brennecke, Julius; Malone, Colin D.; Aravin, Alexei A.; Sachidanandam, Ravi; Stark, Alexander; Hannon, Gregory J.

    2009-01-01

    In plants and mammals, small RNAs indirectly mediate epigenetic inheritance by specifying cytosine methylation. We found that small RNAs themselves serve as vectors for epigenetic information. Crosses between Drosophila strains that differ in the presence of a particular transposon can produce sterile progeny, a phenomenon called hybrid dysgenesis. This phenotype manifests itself only if the transposon is paternally inherited, suggesting maternal transmission of a factor that maintains fertility. In both P- and I-element–mediated hybrid dysgenesis models, daughters show a markedly different content of Piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) targeting each element, depending on their parents of origin. Such differences persist from fertilization through adulthood. This indicates that maternally deposited piRNAs are important for mounting an effective silencing response and that a lack of maternal piRNA inheritance underlies hybrid dysgenesis. PMID:19039138

  4. Epigenetic reprogramming and small RNA silencing of transposable elements in pollen

    PubMed Central

    Slotkin, R. Keith; Vaughn, Matthew; Tanurdžic, Miloš; Borges, Filipe; Becker, Jörg D.; Feijó, José A.; Martienssen, Robert A.

    2009-01-01

    Summary The mutagenic activity of transposable elements (TEs) is suppressed by epigenetic silencing and small interfering RNAs (siRNAs), especially in gametes that would transmit transposed elements to the next generation. In pollen from the model plant Arabidopsis, we show that TEs are unexpectedly reactivated and transpose, but only in the pollen vegetative nucleus, which accompanies the sperm cells but does not provide DNA to the fertilized zygote. TE expression coincides with down-regulation of the heterochromatin remodeler DECREASE IN DNA METHYLATION 1 and of most TE siRNAs. However, 21 nucleotide siRNA from Athila retrotransposons is generated in pollen and accumulates in sperm, indicating that siRNA from TEs activated in the vegetative nucleus can target silencing in gametes. We propose a conserved role for reprogramming in germline companion cells, such as nurse cells in insects and vegetative nuclei in plants, to reveal intact TEs in the genome and regulate their activity in gametes. PMID:19203581

  5. 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

  6. Overexpression of MYC and EZH2 cooperates to epigenetically silence MST1 expression

    PubMed Central

    Kuser-Abali, Gamze; Alptekin, Ahmet; Cinar, Bekir

    2014-01-01

    Hippo-like MST1 protein kinase regulates cell growth, organ size, and carcinogenesis. Reduction or loss of MST1 expression is implicated in poor cancer prognosis. However, the mechanism leading to MST1 silencing remains elusive. Here, we report that both MYC and EZH2 function as potent suppressors of MST1 expression in human prostate cancer cells. We demonstrated that concurrent overexpression of MYC and EZH2 correlated with the reduction or loss of MST1 expression, as shown by RT-qPCR and immunoblotting. Methylation sensitive PCR and bisulfite genomic DNA sequencing showed that DNA methylation caused MST1 silencing. Pharmacologic and RNAi experiments revealed that MYC and EZH2 silenced MST1 expression by inhibiting its promoter activity, and that EZH2 was a mediator of the MYC-induced silencing of MST1. In addition, MYC contributed to MST1 silencing by partly inhibiting the expression of microRNA-26a/b, a negative regulator of EZH2. As shown by ChIP assays, EZH2-induced DNA methylation and H3K27me3 modification, which was accompanied by a reduced H3K4me3 mark and RNA polymerase II occupancy on the MST1 promoter CpG region, were the underlying cause of MST1 silencing. Moreover, potent pharmacologic inhibitors of MYC or EZH2 suppressed prostate cancer cell growth in vitro, and the knockdown of MST1 caused cells’ resistance to MYC and EZH2 inhibitor-induced growth retardation. These findings indicate that MYC, in concert with EZH2, epigenetically attenuates MST1 expression and suggest that the loss of MST1/Hippo functions is critical for the MYC or EZH2 mediation of cancer cell survival. PMID:24499724

  7. Epigenetic Silencing of the Key Antioxidant Enzyme Catalase in Karyotypically Abnormal Human Pluripotent Stem Cells

    PubMed Central

    Konki, Mikko; Pasumarthy, Kalyan; Malonzo, Maia; Sainio, Annele; Valensisi, Cristina; Söderström, Mirva; Emani, Maheswara Reddy; Stubb, Aki; Närvä, Elisa; Ghimire, Bishwa; Laiho, Asta; Järveläinen, Hannu; Lahesmaa, Riitta; Lähdesmäki, Harri; Hawkins, R. David; Lund, Riikka J.

    2016-01-01

    Epigenomic regulation is likely to be important in the maintenance of genomic integrity of human pluripotent stem cells, however, the mechanisms are unknown. We explored the epigenomes and transcriptomes of human pluripotent stem cells before and after spontaneous transformation to abnormal karyotypes and in correlation to cancer cells. Our results reveal epigenetic silencing of Catalase, a key regulator of oxidative stress and DNA damage control in abnormal cells. Our findings provide novel insight into the mechanisms associated with spontaneous transformation of human pluripotent stem cells towards malignant fate. The same mechanisms may control the genomic stability of cells in somatic tissues. PMID:26911679

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-15

    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.

  9. A PHD-polycomb repressive complex 2 triggers the epigenetic silencing of FLC during vernalization.

    PubMed

    De Lucia, Filomena; Crevillen, Pedro; Jones, Alexandra M E; Greb, Thomas; Dean, Caroline

    2008-11-04

    Vernalization, the acceleration of flowering by winter, involves cold-induced epigenetic silencing of Arabidopsis FLC. This process has been shown to require conserved Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 (PRC2) components including the Su(z)12 homologue, VRN2, and two plant homeodomain (PHD) finger proteins, VRN5 and VIN3. However, the sequence of events leading to FLC repression was unclear. Here we show that, contrary to expectations, VRN2 associates throughout the FLC locus independently of cold. The vernalization-induced silencing is triggered by the cold-dependent association of the PHD finger protein VRN5 to a specific domain in FLC intron 1, and this association is dependent on the cold-induced PHD protein VIN3. In plants returned to warm conditions, VRN5 distribution changes, and it associates more broadly over FLC, coincident with significant increases in H3K27me3. Biochemical purification of a VRN5 complex showed that during prolonged cold a PHD-PRC2 complex forms composed of core PRC2 components (VRN2, SWINGER [an E(Z) HMTase homologue], FIE [an ESC homologue], MSI1 [p55 homologue]), and three related PHD finger proteins, VRN5, VIN3, and VEL1. The PHD-PRC2 activity increases H3K27me3 throughout the locus to levels sufficient for stable silencing. Arabidopsis PHD-PRC2 thus seems to act similarly to Pcl-PRC2 of Drosophila and PHF1-PRC2 of mammals. These data show FLC silencing involves changed composition and dynamic redistribution of Polycomb complexes at different stages of the vernalization process, a mechanism with greater parallels to Polycomb silencing of certain mammalian loci than the classic Drosophila Polycomb targets.

  10. Epigenetic engineering of ribosomal RNA genes enhances protein production.

    PubMed

    Santoro, Raffaella; Lienemann, Philipp; Fussenegger, Martin

    2009-08-14

    Selection of mammalian high-producer cell lines remains a major challenge for the biopharmaceutical manufacturing industry. Ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes encode the major component of the ribosome but many rRNA gene copies are not transcribed due to epigenetic silencing by the nucleolar remodelling complex (NoRC) [6], which may limit the cell's full production capacity. Here we show that the knockdown of TIP5, a subunit of NoRC, decreases the number of silent rRNA genes, upregulates rRNA transcription, enhances ribosome synthesis and increases production of recombinant proteins. However, general enhancement of rRNA transcription rate did not stimulate protein synthesis. Our data demonstrates that the number of transcriptionally competent rRNA genes limits efficient ribosome synthesis. Epigenetic engineering of ribosomal RNA genes offers new possibilities for improving biopharmaceutical manufacturing and provides novel insights into the complex regulatory network which governs the translation machinery in normal cellular processes as well as in pathological conditions like cancer.

  11. Genome-wide unmasking of epigenetically silenced genes in lung adenocarcinoma from smokers and never smokers

    PubMed Central

    Yingling, Christin M.; Liu, Yushi; Tellez, Carmen S.; Van Neste, Leander; Baylin, Stephen S.; Belinsky, Steven A.

    2014-01-01

    Lung cancer in never smokers (NS) shows striking demographic, clinicopathological and molecular distinctions from the disease in smokers (S). Studies on selected genetic and epigenetic alterations in lung cancer identified that the frequency and profile of some abnormalities significantly differ by smoking status. This study compared the transcriptome of lung adenocarcinoma cell lines derived from S (n = 3) and NS (n = 3) each treated with vehicle (control), histone deacetylation inhibitor (trichostatin A) or DNA methylation inhibitor (5-aza-2′-deoxycytidine). Among 122 genes reexpressed following 5-aza-2′-deoxycytidine but not trichostatin A treatment in two or more cell lines (including 32 genes in S-only and 12 NS-only), methylation was validated for 80% (98/122 genes). After methylation analysis of 20 normal tissue samples and 14 additional non–small cell lung cancer cell lines (total 20), 39 genes frequently methylated in normal (>20%, 4/20) and 21 genes rarely methylated in non–small cell lung cancer (≤10%, 2/20) were excluded. The prevalence for methylation of the remaining 38 genes in lung adenocarcinomas from S (n = 97) and NS (n = 75) ranged from 8–89% and significantly differs between S and NS for CPEB1, CST6, EMILIN2, LAYN and MARVELD3 (P < 0.05). Furthermore, methylation of EMILIN2, ROBO3 and IGDCC4 was more prevalent in advanced (Stage II–IV, n = 61) than early (Stage I, n = 110) tumors. Knockdown of MARVELD3, one of the novel epigenetically silenced genes, by small interfering RNA significantly reduced anchorage-independent growth of lung cancer cells (P < 0.001). Collectively, this study has identified multiple, novel, epigenetically silenced genes in lung cancer and provides invaluable resources for the development of diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers. PMID:24398667

  12. Epigenetic silencing of the chaperone Cosmc in human leukocytes expressing tn antigen.

    PubMed

    Mi, Rongjuan; Song, Lina; Wang, Yingchun; Ding, Xiaokun; Zeng, Junwei; Lehoux, Sylvain; Aryal, Rajindra P; Wang, Jianmei; Crew, Vanja K; van Die, Irma; Chapman, Arlene B; Cummings, Richard D; Ju, Tongzhong

    2012-11-30

    Cosmc is the specific molecular chaperone in the endoplasmic reticulum for T-synthase, a Golgi β3-galactosyltransferase that generates the core 1 O-glycan, Galβ1-3GalNAcα-Ser/Thr, in glycoproteins. Dysfunctional Cosmc results in the formation of inactive T-synthase and consequent expression of the Tn antigen (GalNAcα1-Ser/Thr), which is associated with several human diseases. However, the molecular regulation of expression of Cosmc, which is encoded by a single gene on Xq24, is poorly understood. Here we show that epigenetic silencing of Cosmc through hypermethylation of its promoter leads to loss of Cosmc transcripts in Tn4 cells, an immortalized B cell line from a male patient with a Tn-syndrome-like phenotype. These cells lack T-synthase activity and express the Tn antigen. Treatment of cells with 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine causes restoration of Cosmc transcripts, restores T-synthase activity, and reduces Tn antigen expression. Bisulfite sequencing shows that CG dinucleotides in the Cosmc core promoter are hypermethylated. Interestingly, several other X-linked genes associated with glycosylation are not silenced in Tn4 cells, and we observed no correlation of a particular DNA methyltransferase to aberrant methylation of Cosmc in these cells. Thus, hypermethylation of the Cosmc promoter in Tn4 cells is relatively specific. Epigenetic silencing of Cosmc provides another mechanism underlying the abnormal expression of the Tn antigen, which may be important in understanding aberrant Tn antigen expression in human diseases, including IgA nephropathy and cancer.

  13. Epigenetic Silencing of the Chaperone Cosmc in Human Leukocytes Expressing Tn Antigen*

    PubMed Central

    Mi, Rongjuan; Song, Lina; Wang, Yingchun; Ding, Xiaokun; Zeng, Junwei; Lehoux, Sylvain; Aryal, Rajindra P.; Wang, Jianmei; Crew, Vanja K.; van Die, Irma; Chapman, Arlene B.; Cummings, Richard D.; Ju, Tongzhong

    2012-01-01

    Cosmc is the specific molecular chaperone in the endoplasmic reticulum for T-synthase, a Golgi β3-galactosyltransferase that generates the core 1 O-glycan, Galβ1–3GalNAcα-Ser/Thr, in glycoproteins. Dysfunctional Cosmc results in the formation of inactive T-synthase and consequent expression of the Tn antigen (GalNAcα1-Ser/Thr), which is associated with several human diseases. However, the molecular regulation of expression of Cosmc, which is encoded by a single gene on Xq24, is poorly understood. Here we show that epigenetic silencing of Cosmc through hypermethylation of its promoter leads to loss of Cosmc transcripts in Tn4 cells, an immortalized B cell line from a male patient with a Tn-syndrome-like phenotype. These cells lack T-synthase activity and express the Tn antigen. Treatment of cells with 5-aza-2′-deoxycytidine causes restoration of Cosmc transcripts, restores T-synthase activity, and reduces Tn antigen expression. Bisulfite sequencing shows that CG dinucleotides in the Cosmc core promoter are hypermethylated. Interestingly, several other X-linked genes associated with glycosylation are not silenced in Tn4 cells, and we observed no correlation of a particular DNA methyltransferase to aberrant methylation of Cosmc in these cells. Thus, hypermethylation of the Cosmc promoter in Tn4 cells is relatively specific. Epigenetic silencing of Cosmc provides another mechanism underlying the abnormal expression of the Tn antigen, which may be important in understanding aberrant Tn antigen expression in human diseases, including IgA nephropathy and cancer. PMID:23035125

  14. A key role for EZH2 in epigenetic silencing of HOX genes in mantle cell lymphoma.

    PubMed

    Kanduri, Meena; Sander, Birgitta; Ntoufa, Stavroula; Papakonstantinou, Nikos; Sutton, Lesley-Ann; Stamatopoulos, Kostas; Kanduri, Chandrasekhar; Rosenquist, Richard

    2013-12-01

    The chromatin modifier EZH2 is overexpressed and associated with inferior outcome in mantle cell lymphoma (MCL). Recently, we demonstrated preferential DNA methylation of HOX genes in MCL compared with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), despite these genes not being expressed in either entity. Since EZH2 has been shown to regulate HOX gene expression, to gain further insight into its possible role in differential silencing of HOX genes in MCL vs. CLL, we performed detailed epigenetic characterization using representative cell lines and primary samples. We observed significant overexpression of EZH2 in MCL vs. CLL. Chromatin immune precipitation (ChIP) assays revealed that EZH2 catalyzed repressive H3 lysine 27 trimethylation (H3K27me3), which was sufficient to silence HOX genes in CLL, whereas in MCL H3K27me3 is accompanied by DNA methylation for a more stable repression. More importantly, hypermethylation of the HOX genes in MCL resulted from EZH2 overexpression and subsequent recruitment of the DNA methylation machinery onto HOX gene promoters. The importance of EZH2 upregulation in this process was further underscored by siRNA transfection and EZH2 inhibitor experiments. Altogether, these observations implicate EZH2 in the long-term silencing of HOX genes in MCL, and allude to its potential as a therapeutic target with clinical impact.

  15. Communication to Enhance Silence: The Trappist Experience

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jaksa, James A.; Stech, Ernest L.

    1978-01-01

    Investigates perceptions of the amount of interpersonal communication and attitudes towards communication frequency after the Trappist monk's rule of enforced silence and solitude was lifted in 1969. Concludes that increased interpersonal communication resulted in increased self-awareness and therefore more meaningful and effective silence. (MH)

  16. Genetic and epigenetic silencing of SCARA5 may contribute to human hepatocellular carcinoma by activating FAK signaling

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Jian; Zheng, Da-Li; Qin, Feng-Song; Cheng, Na; Chen, Hui; Wan, Bing-Bing; Wang, Yu-Ping; Xiao, Hua-Sheng; Han, Ze-Guang

    2009-01-01

    The epigenetic silencing of tumor suppressor genes is a crucial event during carcinogenesis and metastasis. Here, in a human genome-wide survey, we identified scavenger receptor class A, member 5 (SCARA5) as a candidate tumor suppressor gene located on chromosome 8p. We found that SCARA5 expression was frequently downregulated as a result of promoter hypermethylation and allelic imbalance and was associated with vascular invasion in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Furthermore, SCARA5 knockdown via RNAi markedly enhanced HCC cell growth in vitro, colony formation in soft agar, and invasiveness, tumorigenicity, and lung metastasis in vivo. By contrast, SCARA5 overexpression suppressed these malignant behaviors. Interestingly, SCARA5 was found to physically associate with focal adhesion kinase (FAK) and inhibit the tyrosine phosphorylation cascade of the FAK-Src-Cas signaling pathway. Conversely, silencing SCARA5 stimulated the signaling pathway via increased phosphorylation of certain tyrosine residues of FAK, Src, and p130Cas; it was also associated with activation of MMP9, a tumor metastasis–associated enzyme. Taken together, these data suggest that the plasma membrane protein SCARA5 can contribute to HCC tumorigenesis and metastasis via activation of the FAK signaling pathway. PMID:20038795

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Warm temperatures induce transgenerational epigenetic release of RNA silencing by inhibiting siRNA biogenesis in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Zhong, Si-Hui; Liu, Jun-Zhong; Jin, Hua; Lin, Lin; Li, Qun; Chen, Ying; Yuan, Yue-Xing; Wang, Zhi-Yong; Huang, Hai; Qi, Yi-Jun; Chen, Xiao-Ya; Vaucheret, Hervé; Chory, Joanne; Li, Jianming; He, Zu-Hua

    2013-05-28

    Owing to their sessile nature, plants have evolved sophisticated genetic and epigenetic regulatory systems to respond quickly and reversibly to daily and seasonal temperature changes. However, our knowledge of how plants sense and respond to warming ambient temperatures is rather limited. Here we show that an increase in growth temperature from 22 °C to 30 °C effectively inhibited transgene-induced posttranscriptional gene silencing (PTGS) in Arabidopsis. Interestingly, warmth-induced PTGS release exhibited transgenerational epigenetic inheritance. We discovered that the warmth-induced PTGS release occurred during a critical step that leads to the formation of double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) for producing small interfering RNAs (siRNAs). Deep sequencing of small RNAs and RNA blot analysis indicated that the 22-30 °C increase resulted in a significant reduction in the abundance of many trans-acting siRNAs that require dsRNA for biogenesis. We discovered that the temperature increase reduced the protein abundance of SUPPRESSOR OF GENE SILENCING 3, as a consequence, attenuating the formation of stable dsRNAs required for siRNA biogenesis. Importantly, SUPPRESSOR OF GENE SILENCING 3 overexpression released the warmth-triggered inhibition of siRNA biogenesis and reduced the transgenerational epigenetic memory. Thus, our study reveals a previously undescribed association between warming temperatures, an epigenetic system, and siRNA biogenesis.

  1. Consolidation of the cancer genome into domains of repressive chromatin by long range epigenetic silencing (LRES) reduces transcriptional plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Coolen, Marcel W.; Stirzaker, Clare; Song, Jenny Z.; Statham, Aaron L.; Kassir, Zena; Moreno, Carlos S.; Young, Andrew N.; Varma, Vijay; Speed, Terence P.; Cowley, Mark; Lacaze, Paul; Kaplan, Warren; Robinson, Mark D.; Clark, Susan J.

    2011-01-01

    SUMMARY Silencing of individual genes can occur by genetic and epigenetic processes during carcinogenesis, but the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. By creating an integrated prostate cancer epigenome map using tiling arrays, we show that contiguous regions of gene suppression commonly occur due to Long Range Epigenetic Silencing (LRES). We identified 47 novel LRES regions in prostate cancer, typically spanning ~2 Mb and harbouring ~12 genes, with a prevalence of tumour suppressor genes and miRNAs. Our data reveal that LRES is associated with regional histone deacetylation combined with sub-domains of different epigenetic remodelling patterns, that include re-enforcement, gain or exchange of repressive histone and DNA methylation marks. The transcriptional and epigenetic state of genes in normal prostate epithelial and human embryonic stem cells can play a critical role in defining the mode of cancer-associated epigenetic remodelling. We propose that a consolidation or effective reduction of the cancer genome commonly occurs in domains, due to a combination of LRES and LOH or genomic deletion, resulting in reduced transcriptional plasticity within these regions. PMID:20173741

  2. Is there a role for epigenetic enhancement of immunomodulatory approaches to cancer treatment?

    PubMed

    Flower, Kirsty J; Ghaem-Maghami, Sadaf; Brown, Robert

    2017-02-05

    The efficacy of cancer immunotherapy relies on the ability of the host immune system to recognise the cancer as non-self and eliminate it from the body. Whilst this is an extremely fertile area of medical research, with positive clinical trials showing durable responses, attention must be paid to the subset of patients that do not respond to these treatments. Immune surveillance and immunoediting by the host could itself select for immune-evasive tumour cells during tumour development leading to immunotherapy resistance. One such mechanism of non-efficacy or resistance is the epigenetic silencing of a specific gene required in the immunotherapy response pathway. Epigenetics is the study of the control of expression patterns in a cell via mechanisms not involving a change in DNA sequence. All tumour types show aberrant epigenetic regulation of genes involved in all the hallmarks of cancer, including immunomodulation. Inhibition of key enzymes involved in maintenance of epigenetic states is another important area of research for new treatment strategies for cancer. Could epigenetic therapies be used to successfully enhance the action of immunomodulatory agents in cancer, and are they acting in the way we imagine? An understanding of the effects of epigenetic therapies on immunological pathways in both the tumour and host cells, especially the tumour microenvironment, will be essential to further develop such combination approaches.

  3. Epigenetic silencing of glutaminase 2 in human liver and colon cancers

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Glutaminase 2 (Gls2) is a p53 target gene and is known to play an important role in energy metabolism. Gls2 has been reported to be downregulated in human hepatocellular carcinomas (HCC). However, the underlying mechanism responsible for its downregulation is still unclear. Here, we investigated Gls2 expression and its promoter methylation status in human liver and colon cancers. Methods mRNA expression of Gls2 was determined in human liver and colon cancer cell lines and HCC tissues by real-time PCR and promoter methylation was analyzed by methylation-specific PCR (MSP) and validated by bisulfite genome sequencing (BGS). Cell growth was determined by colony formation assay and MTS assay. Statistical analysis was performed by Wilcoxon matched-pairs test or non-parametric t test. Results First, we observed reduced Gls2 mRNA level in a selected group of liver and colon cancer cell lines and in the cancerous tissues from 20 HCC and 5 human colon cancer patients in comparison to their non-cancerous counter parts. Importantly, the lower level of Gls2 in cancer cells was closely correlated to its promoter hypermethylation; and chemical demethylation treatment with 5-aza-2′-deoxycytidine (Aza) increased Gls2 mRNA level in both liver and colon cancer cells, indicating that direct epigenetic silencing suppressed Gls2 expression by methylation. Next, we further examined this correlation in human HCC tissues, and 60% of primary liver tumor tissues had higher DNA methylation levels when compared with adjacent non-tumor tissues. Detailed methylation analysis of 23 CpG sites at a 300-bp promoter region by bisulfite genomic sequencing confirmed its methylation. Finally, we examined the biological function of Gls2 and found that restoring Gls2 expression in cancer cells significantly inhibited cancer cell growth and colony formation ability through induction of cell cycle arrest. Conclusions We provide evidence showing that epigenetic silencing of Gls2 via promoter

  4. A Screen for Epigenetically Silenced microRNA Genes in Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors

    PubMed Central

    Nojima, Masanori; Kai, Masahiro; Yamamoto, Eiichiro; Maruyama, Reo; Nobuoka, Takayuki; Nishida, Toshirou; Kanda, Tatsuo; Taguchi, Takahiro; Hasegawa, Tadashi; Tokino, Takashi; Hirata, Koichi; Suzuki, Hiromu; Shinomura, Yasuhisa

    2015-01-01

    Background Dysregulation of microRNA (miRNA) has been implicated in gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) but the mechanism is not fully understood. In this study, we aimed to explore the involvement of epigenetic alteration of miRNA genes in GISTs. Methods GIST-T1 cells were treated with 5-aza-2’-deoxycytidine (5-aza-dC) and 4-phenylbutyric acid (PBA), after which miRNA expression profiles were analyzed using TaqMan miRNA arrays. DNA methylation was then analyzed using bisulfite pyrosequencing. The functions of miRNAs were examined using MTT assays, wound-healing assays, Boyden chamber assays and Matrigel invasion assays. Gene expression microarrays were analyzed to assess effect of ectopic miRNA expression in GIST-T1 cells. Results Of the 754 miRNAs analyzed, 61 were significantly upregulated in GIST-T1 cells treated with 5-aza-dC plus PBA. Among those, 21 miRNA genes were associated with an upstream CpG island (CGI), and the CGIs of miR-34a and miR-335 were frequently methylated in GIST-T1 cells and primary GIST specimens. Transfection of miR-34a or miR-335 mimic molecules into GIST-T1 cells suppressed cell proliferation, and miR-34a also inhibited migration and invasion by GIST-T1 cells. Moreover, miR-34a downregulated a number of predicted target genes, including PDGFRA. RNA interference-mediated knockdown of PDGFRA in GIST-T1 cells suppressed cell proliferation, suggesting the tumor suppressive effect of miR-34a is mediated, at least in part, through targeting PDGFRA. Conclusions Our results suggest that miR-34a and miR-335 are candidate tumor suppressive miRNAs in GISTs, and that they are frequent targets of epigenetic silencing in GISTs. PMID:26214687

  5. 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.

  6. LncRNA H19 inhibits autophagy by epigenetically silencing of DIRAS3 in diabetic cardiomyopathy

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Xiaodong; Shao, Mingjing

    2017-01-01

    We previously generated a rat model of diabetic cardiomyopathy and found that the expression of long non-coding RNA H19 was downregulated. The present study was aimed to explore the pathogenic role of H19 in the development of diabetic cardiomyopathy. Overexpression of H19 in diabetic rats attenuated cardiomyocyte autophagy and improved left ventricular function. High glucose was found to reduce H19 expression and increase autophagy in cultured neonatal cardiomyocytes. The results of RNA-binding protein immunoprecipitation showed that H19 could directly bind with EZH2 in cardiomyocytes. The chromatin immunoprecipitation assays indicated that H19 knockdown could reduce EZH2 occupancy and H3K27me3 binding in the promoter of DIRAS3. In addition, overexpression of H19 was found to downregulate DIRAS3 expression, promote mTOR phosphorylation and inhibit autophagy activation in cardiomyocytes exposed to high glucose. Furthermore, we also found that high glucose increased DIRAS3 expression in cardiomyocytes and DIRAS3 induced autophagy by inhibiting mTOR signaling. In conclusion, our study suggested that H19 could inhibit autophagy in cardiomyocytes by epigenetically silencing of DIRAS3, which might provide novel insights into understanding the molecular mechanisms of diabetic cardiomyopathy. PMID:27903964

  7. EZH2 mediates epigenetic silencing of neuroblastoma suppressor genes CASZ1, CLU, RUNX3 and NGFR

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Chunxi; Liu, Zhihui; Woo, Chan-Wook; Li, Zhijie; Wang, Lifeng; Wei, Jun S.; Marquez, Victor E.; Bates, Susan E.; Jin, Qihuang; Khan, Javed; Ge, Kai; Thiele, Carol J.

    2012-01-01

    Neuroblastoma (NB) is the most common extracranial pediatric solid tumor with an undifferentiated status and generally poor prognosis, but the basis for these characteristics remains unknown. In this study, we show that upregulation of the Polycomb complex histone methytransferase EZH2, which limits differentiation in many tissues, is critical to maintain the undifferentiated state and poor prognostic status of NB by epigenetic repression of multiple tumor suppressor genes. We identified this role for EZH2 by examining the regulation of CASZ1, a recently identified NB tumor suppressor gene whose ectopic restoration inhibits NB cell growth and induces differentiation. Reducing EZH2 expression by RNAi-mediated knockdown or pharmacological inhibiton with 3-deazaneplanocin A (DZNep) increased CASZ1 expression, inhibited NB cell growth and induced neurite extension. Similarly, EZH2−/− mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) displayed 3-fold higher levels of CASZ1 mRNA compared to EZH2+/+ MEFs. In cells with increased expression of CASZ1, treatment with HDAC inhibitors decreased expression of EZH2 and the Polycomb complex component SUZ12. Under steady-state conditions H3K27me3 and PRC2 components bound to the CASZ1 gene were enriched, but this enrichment was decreased after HDAC inhibitor treatment. We determined that the tumor suppressors CLU, NGFR and RUNX3 were also directly repressed by EZH2 like CASZ1 in NB cells. Together, our findings establish that aberrant upregulation of EZH2 in NB cells silences several tumor suppressors, which contribute to the genesis and maintenance of the undifferentiated phenotype of NB tumors. PMID:22068036

  8. The epigenetic H3S10 phosphorylation mark is required for counteracting heterochromatic spreading and gene silencing in Drosophila melanogaster

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Chao; Cai, Weili; Li, Yeran; Deng, Huai; Bao, Xiaomin; Girton, Jack; Johansen, Jørgen; Johansen, Kristen M.

    2011-01-01

    The JIL-1 kinase localizes specifically to euchromatin interband regions of polytene chromosomes and is the kinase responsible for histone H3S10 phosphorylation at interphase. Genetic interaction assays with strong JIL-1 hypomorphic loss-of-function alleles have demonstrated that the JIL-1 protein can counterbalance the effect of the major heterochromatin components on position-effect variegation (PEV) and gene silencing. However, it is unclear whether this was a causative effect of the epigenetic H3S10 phosphorylation mark, or whether the effect of the JIL-1 protein on PEV was in fact caused by other functions or structural features of the protein. By transgenically expressing various truncated versions of JIL-1, with or without kinase activity, and assessing their effect on PEV and heterochromatic spreading, we show that the gross perturbation of polytene chromosome morphology observed in JIL-1 null mutants is unrelated to gene silencing in PEV and is likely to occur as a result of faulty polytene chromosome alignment and/or organization, separate from epigenetic regulation of chromatin structure. Furthermore, the findings provide evidence that the epigenetic H3S10 phosphorylation mark itself is necessary for preventing the observed heterochromatic spreading independently of any structural contributions from the JIL-1 protein. PMID:22247192

  9. 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

  10. The Initiation of Epigenetic Silencing of Active Transposable Elements Is Triggered by RDR6 and 21-22 Nucleotide Small Interfering RNAs1[W][OA

    PubMed Central

    Nuthikattu, Saivageethi; McCue, Andrea D.; Panda, Kaushik; Fultz, Dalen; DeFraia, Christopher; Thomas, Erica N.; Slotkin, R. Keith

    2013-01-01

    Transposable elements (TEs) are mobile fragments of DNA that are repressed in both plant and animal genomes through the epigenetic inheritance of repressed chromatin and expression states. The epigenetic silencing of TEs in plants is mediated by a process of RNA-directed DNA methylation (RdDM). Two pathways of RdDM have been identified: RNA Polymerase IV (Pol IV)-RdDM, which has been shown to be responsible for the de novo initiation, corrective reestablishment, and epigenetic maintenance of TE and/or transgene silencing; and RNA-dependent RNA Polymerase6 (RDR6)-RdDM, which was recently identified as necessary for maintaining repression for a few TEs. We have further characterized RDR6-RdDM using a genome-wide search to identify TEs that generate RDR6-dependent small interfering RNAs. We have determined that TEs only produce RDR6-dependent small interfering RNAs when transcriptionally active, and we have experimentally identified two TE subfamilies as direct targets of RDR6-RdDM. We used these TEs to test the function of RDR6-RdDM in assays for the de novo initiation, corrective reestablishment, and maintenance of TE silencing. We found that RDR6-RdDM plays no role in maintaining TE silencing. Rather, we found that RDR6 and Pol IV are two independent entry points into RdDM and epigenetic silencing that perform distinct functions in the silencing of TEs: Pol IV-RdDM functions to maintain TE silencing and to initiate silencing in an RNA Polymerase II expression-independent manner, while RDR6-RdDM functions to recognize active Polymerase II-derived TE mRNA transcripts to both trigger and correctively reestablish TE methylation and epigenetic silencing. PMID:23542151

  11. Unmasking of epigenetically silenced genes reveals DNA promoter methylation and reduced expression of PTCH in breast cancer.

    PubMed

    Wolf, Ido; Bose, Shikha; Desmond, Julian C; Lin, Bryan T; Williamson, Elizabeth A; Karlan, Beth Y; Koeffler, H Phillip

    2007-10-01

    A pharmacological-based global screen for epigenetically silenced tumor suppressor genes was performed in MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. Eighty-one genes in MCF-7 cells and 131 in MDA-MB-231 cells were identified, that had low basal expression and were significantly upregulated following treatment. Eighteen genes were studied for methylation and/or expression in breast cancer; PTCH, the receptor for the hedgehog (Hh) pathway and a known tumor suppressor gene, was selected for further analysis. Methylation of the PTCH promoter was found in MCF-7 cells and in breast cancer samples, and correlated with low PTCH expression. Immunohistochemical analysis of breast tissue arrays revealed high expression of PTCH in normal breast compared to ductal carcinomas in situ (DCIS) and invasive ductal carcinomas; furthermore, association was found between PTCH expression and favorable prognostic factors. PTCH is an inhibitor of the Hh pathway, and its silencing activates the pathway and promotes growth. Indeed, high activity of the Hh pathway was identified in MCF-7 cells and overexpression of PTCH inhibited the pathway. Moreover, treatment with cyclopamine, an inhibitor of the pathway, reduced cell growth and slowed the cell cycle in these cells. Thus, unmasking of epigenetic silencing in breast cancer enabled us to discover a large number of candidate tumor suppressor genes. Further analysis suggested a role of one of these genes, PTCH, in breast cancer tumorigenesis.

  12. 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

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

    DOE PAGES

    Vrba, Lukas; Garbe, James C.; Stampfer, Martha R.; ...

    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

  14. B29 Gene Silencing in Pituitary Cells is Regulated by Its 3′ Enhancer

    PubMed Central

    Malone, Cindy S.; Kuraishy, Ali I.; Fike, Francesca M.; Loya, Ruchika G.; Mikkili, Minil R.; Teitell, Michael A.; Wall, Randolph

    2007-01-01

    Summary B cell-specific B29 (Igβ, CD79b) genes in rat, mouse, and human are situated between the 5′ growth hormone (GH) locus control region (LCR) and the 3′ GH gene cluster. The entire GH genomic region is DNase1 hypersensitive in GH-expressing pituitary cells, which predicts an “open” chromatin configuration, and yet B29 is not expressed. The B29 promoter and enhancers exhibit histone deacetylation in pituitary cells, but histone deacetylase inhibition failed to activate B29 expression. The B29 promoter and a 3′ enhancer showed local dense DNA methylation in both pituitary and non-lymphoid cells consistent with gene silencing. However, DNA methyltransferase inhibition did not activate B29 expression either. B29 promoter constructs were minimally activated in transfected pituitary cells. Co-transfection of the B cell-specific octamer transcriptional co-activator Bob1 with the B29 promoter construct resulted in high level promoter activity in pituitary cells comparable to B29 promoter activity in transfected B cells. Unexpectedly, inclusion of the B29 3′ enhancer in B29 promoter constructs strongly inhibited B29 transcriptional activity even when pituitary cells were co-transfected with Bob1. Both Oct-1 and Pit-1 bind the B29 3′ enhancer in in vitro EMSA and in in vivo chromatin immunoprecipitation analyses. These data indicate that the GH locus-embedded, tissue-specific B29 gene is silenced in GH-expressing pituitary cells by epigenetic mechanisms, the lack of a B cell-specific transcription factor, and likely by the B29 3′ enhancer acting as a powerful silencer in a context and tissue-specific manner. PMID:16920149

  15. 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

  16. Epigenetic transcriptional silencing and 5-azacytidine-mediated reactivation of a complex transgene in rice.

    PubMed

    Kumpatla, S P; Teng, W; Buchholz, W G; Hall, T C

    1997-10-01

    Despite a growing number of reports indicating non-Mendelian inheritance of transgene expression in monocots, no detailed description of the structure and stability of the transgene exists for transformants generated by direct DNA-transfer techniques, making the cause for these observations difficult to determine. In this paper we describe the complex organization of Btt cryIIIA and bar transgenes in rice (Oryza sativa L.) that displayed aberrant segregation in R1 progeny. Silencing rather than rearrangement of the bar gene was implicated because the herbicide-sensitive R1 plants had a DNA hybridization profile identical to that of the resistant R0 parent and R1 siblings. Genomic DNA analysis revealed substantial methylation of the Ubi1/bar sequences in silenced plants and, to a lesser degree, in herbicide-resistant plants, suggesting that the transgene locus was potentiated for silencing. Nuclease protection and nuclear run-on assays confirmed that silencing was due to transcriptional inactivation. Treatment of R2 progeny of silenced plants with 5-azacytidine resulted in demethylation of the Ubi1 promoter and reactivation of bar gene expression, demonstrating a functional relationship for methylation in gene silencing. These findings indicate that methylation-based silencing may be frequent in cereals transformed by direct DNA protocols that insert multiple, often rearranged sequences.

  17. Mechanisms of epigenetic silencing of the Rassf1a gene during estrogen-induced breast carcinogenesis in ACI rats.

    PubMed

    Starlard-Davenport, Athena; Tryndyak, Volodymyr P; James, Smitha R; Karpf, Adam R; Latendresse, John R; Beland, Frederick A; Pogribny, Igor P

    2010-03-01

    Breast cancer, the most common malignancy in women, emerges through a multistep process, encompassing the progressive sequential evolution of morphologically distinct stages from a normal cell to hyperplasia (with and without atypia), carcinoma in situ, invasive carcinoma and metastasis. The success of treatment of breast cancer could be greatly improved by the detection at early stages of cancer. In the present study, we investigated the underlying molecular mechanisms involved in breast carcinogenesis in Augustus and Copenhagen-Irish female rats, a cross between the ACI strains, induced by continuous exposure to 17beta-estradiol. The results of our study demonstrate that early stages of estrogen-induced breast carcinogenesis are characterized by altered global DNA methylation, aberrant expression of proteins responsible for the proper maintenance of DNA methylation pattern and epigenetic silencing of the critical Rassf1a (Ras-association domain family 1, isoform A) tumor suppressor gene. Interestingly, transcriptional repression of the Rassf1a gene in mammary glands during early stages of breast carcinogenesis was associated with an increase in trimethylation of histones H3 lysine 9 and H3 lysine 27 and de novo CpG island methylation and at the Rassf1a promoter and first exon. In conclusion, we demonstrate that epigenetic alterations precede formation of preneoplastic lesions indicating the significance of epigenetic events in induction of oncogenic pathways in early stages of carcinogenesis.

  18. PRC2 Epigenetically Silences Th1-Type Chemokines to Suppress Effector T-Cell Trafficking in Colon Cancer.

    PubMed

    Nagarsheth, Nisha; Peng, Dongjun; Kryczek, Ilona; Wu, Ke; Li, Wei; Zhao, Ende; Zhao, Lili; Wei, Shuang; Frankel, Timothy; Vatan, Linda; Szeliga, Wojciech; Dou, Yali; Owens, Scott; Marquez, Victor; Tao, Kaixiong; Huang, Emina; Wang, Guobin; Zou, Weiping

    2016-01-15

    Infiltration of tumors with effector T cells is positively associated with therapeutic efficacy and patient survival. However, the mechanisms underlying effector T-cell trafficking to the tumor microenvironment remain poorly understood in patients with colon cancer. The polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2) is involved in cancer progression, but the regulation of tumor immunity by epigenetic mechanisms has yet to be investigated. In this study, we examined the relationship between the repressive PRC2 machinery and effector T-cell trafficking. We found that PRC2 components and demethylase JMJD3-mediated histone H3 lysine 27 trimethylation (H3K27me3) repress the expression and subsequent production of Th1-type chemokines CXCL9 and CXCL10, mediators of effector T-cell trafficking. Moreover, the expression levels of PRC2 components, including EZH2, SUZ12, and EED, were inversely associated with those of CD4, CD8, and Th1-type chemokines in human colon cancer tissue, and this expression pattern was significantly associated with patient survival. Collectively, our findings reveal that PRC2-mediated epigenetic silencing is not only a crucial oncogenic mechanism, but also a key circuit controlling tumor immunosuppression. Therefore, targeting epigenetic programs may have significant implications for improving the efficacy of current cancer immunotherapies relying on effective T-cell-mediated immunity at the tumor site.

  19. Epigenetic silencing of the proapoptotic gene BIM in anaplastic large cell lymphoma through an MeCP2/SIN3a deacetylating complex.

    PubMed

    Piazza, Rocco; Magistroni, Vera; Mogavero, Angela; Andreoni, Federica; Ambrogio, Chiara; Chiarle, Roberto; Mologni, Luca; Bachmann, Petra S; Lock, Richard B; Collini, Paola; Pelosi, Giuseppe; Gambacorti-Passerini, Carlo

    2013-05-01

    BIM is a proapoptotic member of the Bcl-2 family. Here, we investigated the epigenetic status of the BIM locus in NPM/ALK+ anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) cell lines and in lymph node biopsies from NPM/ALK+ ALCL patients. We show that BIM is epigenetically silenced in cell lines and lymph node specimens and that treatment with the deacetylase inhibitor trichostatin A restores the histone acetylation, strongly upregulates BIM expression, and induces cell death. BIM silencing occurs through recruitment of MeCP2 and the SIN3a/histone deacetylase 1/2 (HDAC1/2) corepressor complex. This event requires BIM CpG methylation/demethylation with 5-azacytidine that leads to detachment of the MeCP2 corepressor complex and reacetylation of the histone tails. Treatment with the ALK inhibitor PF2341066 or with an inducible shRNA targeting NPM/ALK does not restore BIM locus reacetylation; however, enforced expression of NPM/ALK in an NPM/ALK-negative cell line significantly increases the methylation at the BIM locus. This study demonstrates that BIM is epigenetically silenced in NPM/ALK-positive cells through recruitment of the SIN3a/HDAC1/2 corepressor complex and that NPM/ALK is dispensable to maintain BIM epigenetic silencing but is able to act as an inducer of BIM methylation.

  20. 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

  1. The NOR1/OSCP1 proteins in cancer: from epigenetic silencing to functional characterization of a novel tumor suppressor

    PubMed Central

    Yi, Mei; Yang, Jianbo; Li, Wenjuan; Li, Xiaoling; Xiong, Wei; McCarthy, James B.; Li, Guiyuan; Xiang, Bo

    2017-01-01

    NOR1 (Oxidored-nitro domain-containing protein 1), also known as OSCP1, was first identified in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) cells in 2003. NOR1 is evolutionarily conserved among species with its expression is restricted to brain, testis and respiratory epithelial cells. NOR1 was downregulated in NPC and the downregulation associates with poor prognosis. Previous study demonstrated that hypermethylation of NOR1 promoter was observed in NPC and hematological malignancies, which has been believed to be the main epigenetic cause for NOR1 silencing in these cancers. Recently, the NOR1 tumor suppressor status has been fully established. NOR1 inhibited cancer cell growth by disturbing tumor cell energe metabolism. NOR1 also promote tumor cells apoptosis in oxidative stress and hypoxia by inhibition of stress induced autophagy. Moreover, NOR1 suppressed cancer cell epithelial-mesenchymal transition, invasion and metastasis via activation of FOXA1/HDAC2-slug regulatory network. Deciphering the molecular mechanisms underlying NOR1 mediated tumor suppressive role would be helpful to a deeper understanding of carcinogenesis and, furthermore, to the development of new therapeutic approaches. Here we summarize the current knowledge on NOR1 focusing on its expression pattern, epigenetic and genetic association with human cancers and its biological functions. This review will also elucidate the potential application of NOR1/OSCP1 for some human malignancies. PMID:28367242

  2. Epigenetic silencing of HIC1 promotes epithelial-mesenchymal transition and drives progression in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma

    PubMed Central

    Li, Pei; Liu, Xiang; Dong, Zi-Ming; Ling, Zhi-Qiang

    2015-01-01

    Downregulation of the novel tumor suppressor gene HIC1 (hypermethylated in cancer 1) occurs frequently in various tumors where it causes tumor progression and metastasis. In this study, we investigated a role of HIC1 in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) and the underlying mechanisms. Downregulation of HIC1 occurred in approximately 70% of primary ESCCs at both mRNA and protein level where it was associated significantly with vascular invasion, advanced clinical stage, lymph node metastasis, and poor disease free survival (DFS). The promoter methylation analyses suggested that loss of HIC1 expression was mediated by epigenetic mechanisms. Functional studies established that ectopic re-expression of HIC1 in ESCC cells inhibited cell proliferation, clonogenicity, cell motility, tumor formation and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Our results decipher the mechanism through which HIC1 deficiency induce ESCC cells to undergo EMT and promote tumor progression and metastasis through activation of EphA2 signaling pathway. Together, loss of the regulation of EphA2 pathway through HIC1 epigenetic silencing could be an important mechanism in the ESCC progression. We identify a novel pathway that linking HIC1 downregulation to EphA2-inducing EMT in ESCC cells and may shed light on the development of novel anti-tumor therapeutics. PMID:26510908

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Epigenetic silencing of the c-fms locus during B-lymphopoiesis occurs in discrete steps and is reversible

    PubMed Central

    Tagoh, Hiromi; Schebesta, Alexandra; Lefevre, Pascal; Wilson, Nicola; Hume, David; Busslinger, Meinrad; Bonifer, Constanze

    2004-01-01

    The murine c-fms (Csf1r) gene encodes the macrophage colony-stimulating factor receptor, which is essential for macrophage development. It is expressed at a low level in haematopoietic stem cells and is switched off in all non-macrophage cell types. To examine the role of chromatin structure in this process we studied epigenetic silencing of c-fms during B-lymphopoiesis. c-fms chromatin in stem cells and multipotent progenitors is in the active conformation and bound by transcription factors. A similar result was obtained with specified common myeloid and lymphoid progenitor cells. In developing B cells, c-fms chromatin is silenced in distinct steps, whereby first the binding of transcription factors and RNA expression is lost, followed by a loss of nuclease accessibility. Interestingly, regions of de novo DNA methylation in B cells overlap with an intronic antisense transcription unit that is differently regulated during lymphopoiesis. However, even at mature B cell stages, c-fms chromatin is still in a poised conformation and c-fms expression can be re-activated by conditional deletion of the transcription factor Pax5. PMID:15483629

  6. Global identification of genes targeted by DNMT3b for epigenetic silencing in lung cancer.

    PubMed

    Teneng, I; Tellez, C S; Picchi, M A; Klinge, D M; Yingling, C M; Snider, A M; Liu, Y; Belinsky, S A

    2015-01-29

    The maintenance cytosine DNA methyltransferase DNMT1 and de novo methyltransferase DNMT3b cooperate to establish aberrant DNA methylation and chromatin complexes to repress gene transcription during cancer development. The expression of DNMT3b was constitutively increased 5-20-fold in hTERT/CDK4-immortalized human bronchial epithelial cells (HBECs) before treatment with low doses of tobacco carcinogens. Overexpression of DNMT3b increased and accelerated carcinogen-induced transformation. Genome-wide profiling of transformed HBECs identified 143 DNMT3b-target genes, many of which were transcriptionally regulated by the polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2) complex and silenced through aberrant methylation in non-small-cell lung cancer cell lines. Two genes studied in detail, MAL and OLIG2, were silenced during transformation, initially through enrichment for H3K27me3 and H3K9me2, commonly methylated in lung cancer, and exert tumor suppressor effects in vivo through modulating cancer-related pathways. Re-expression of MAL and OLIG2 to physiological levels dramatically reduced the growth of lung tumor xenografts. Our results identify a key role for DNMT3b in the earliest stages of initiation and provide a comprehensive catalog of genes targeted for silencing by this methyltransferase in non-small-cell lung cancer.

  7. SAC3B, a central component of the mRNA export complex TREX-2, is required for prevention of epigenetic gene silencing in Arabidopsis

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Yu; La, Honggui; Tang, Kai; Miki, Daisuke; Yang, Lan; Wang, Bangshing; Duan, Cheng-Guo; Nie, Wenfeng; Wang, Xingang; Wang, Siwen; Pan, Yufeng; Tran, Elizabeth J.; An, Lizhe; Zhang, Huiming; Zhu, Jian-Kang

    2017-01-01

    Epigenetic regulation is important for organismal development and response to the environment. Alteration in epigenetic status has been known mostly from the perspective of enzymatic actions of DNA methylation and/or histone modifications. In a genetic screen for cellular factors involved in preventing epigenetic silencing, we isolated an Arabidopsis mutant defective in SAC3B, a component of the conserved TREX-2 complex that couples mRNA transcription with nuleo-cytoplasmic export. Arabidopsis SAC3B dysfunction causes gene silencing at transgenic and endogenous loci, accompanied by elevation in the repressive histone mark H3K9me2 and by reduction in RNA polymerase Pol II occupancy. SAC3B dysfunction does not alter promoter DNA methylation level of the transgene d35S::LUC, although the DNA demethylase ROS1 is also required for d35S::LUC anti-silencing. THP1 and NUA were identified as SAC3B-associated proteins whose mutations also caused d35S::LUC silencing. RNA-DNA hybrid exists at the repressed loci but is unrelated to gene suppression by the sac3b mutation. Genome-wide analyses demonstrated minor but clear involvement of SAC3B in regulating siRNAs and DNA methylation, particularly at a group of TAS and TAS-like loci. Together our results revealed not only a critical role of mRNA-export factors in transcriptional anti-silencing but also the contribution of SAC3B in shaping plant epigenetic landscapes. PMID:27672037

  8. Gluco-Incretins Regulate Beta-Cell Glucose Competence by Epigenetic Silencing of Fxyd3 Expression

    PubMed Central

    Vallois, David; Niederhäuser, Guy; Ibberson, Mark; Nagaray, Vini; Marselli, Lorella; Marchetti, Piero; Chatton, Jean-Yves; Thorens, Bernard

    2014-01-01

    Background/Aims Gluco-incretin hormones increase the glucose competence of pancreatic beta-cells by incompletely characterized mechanisms. Methods We searched for genes that were differentially expressed in islets from control and Glp1r−/−; Gipr−/− (dKO) mice, which show reduced glucose competence. Overexpression and knockdown studies; insulin secretion analysis; analysis of gene expression in islets from control and diabetic mice and humans as well as gene methylation and transcriptional analysis were performed. Results Fxyd3 was the most up-regulated gene in glucose incompetent islets from dKO mice. When overexpressed in beta-cells Fxyd3 reduced glucose-induced insulin secretion by acting downstream of plasma membrane depolarization and Ca++ influx. Fxyd3 expression was not acutely regulated by cAMP raising agents in either control or dKO adult islets. Instead, expression of Fxyd3 was controlled by methylation of CpGs present in its proximal promoter region. Increased promoter methylation reduced Fxyd3 transcription as assessed by lower abundance of H3K4me3 at the transcriptional start site and in transcription reporter assays. This epigenetic imprinting was initiated perinatally and fully established in adult islets. Glucose incompetent islets from diabetic mice and humans showed increased expression of Fxyd3 and reduced promoter methylation. Conclusions/Interpretation Because gluco-incretin secretion depends on feeding the epigenetic regulation of Fxyd3 expression may link nutrition in early life to establishment of adult beta-cell glucose competence; this epigenetic control is, however, lost in diabetes possibly as a result of gluco-incretin resistance and/or de-differentiation of beta-cells that are associated with the development of type 2 diabetes. PMID:25058609

  9. Reversal of epigenetic silencing of MHC class I chain-related protein A and B improves immune recognition of Merkel cell carcinoma

    PubMed Central

    Ritter, Cathrin; Fan, Kaiji; Paulson, Kelly G.; Nghiem, Paul; Schrama, David; Becker, Jürgen C.

    2016-01-01

    Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a virally associated cancer characterized by its aggressive behavior and strong immunogenicity. Both viral infection and malignant transformation induce expression of MHC class I chain-related protein (MIC) A and B, which signal stress to cells of the immune system via Natural Killer group 2D (NKG2D) resulting in elimination of target cells. However, despite transformation and the continued presence of virally-encoded proteins, MICs are only expressed in a minority of MCC tumors in situ and are completely absent on MCC cell lines in vitro. This lack of MIC expression was due to epigenetic silencing via MIC promoter hypo-acetylation; indeed, MIC expression was re-induced by pharmacological inhibition of histone deacetylases (HDACs) both in vitro and in vivo. This re-induction of MICs rendered MCC cells more sensitive to immune-mediated lysis. Thus, epigenetic silencing of MICs is an important immune escape mechanism of MCCs. PMID:26902929

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

    2015-05-06

    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.

  15. 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

  16. Epigenetic silencing of miR-181b contributes to tumorigenicity in colorectal cancer by targeting RASSF1A.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Lun-De; Zheng, Wei-Wei; Wang, Gao-Xiang; Kang, Xiao-Chun; Qin, Lei; Ji, Juan-Juan; Hao, Sha

    2016-05-01

    Aberrant microRNA expression is common in colorectal cancer and DNA methylation is believed to be responsible for this alteration. In this study, we performed evaluation in vivo and in vitro to determine the role of miR-181b as a potential diagnostic and prognostic biomarker in colorectal cancer. Ninety-seven pairs of colorectal cancer tissues and adjacent normal tissues were collected. The expression level and methylation status of miR-181b was determined in tissue samples and multiple colorectal cancer cell lines. RASSF1A, a predicted target gene of miR-181b, was investigated in vitro. Further mechanistic explorations were conducted. It was found that miR-181b expression was frequently downregulated in cancer samples. This lower expression level resulted from higher hypermethylation in cancer tissue and was closely related to TNM stage. Following artificial synthesis of miR-181b stimulation, colorectal cancer cell proliferation was greatly inhibited in CRC cells while apoptosis percentage markedly increased. miR-181b achieved the tumor suppressive effects via direct targeting of the RASSF1A gene. This study indicated the clinical significance of miR-181b and the influence of miR-181b promoter region in epigenetic silencing of tumorigenicity in colorectal cancer, and implied the possible usage of miR-181b as a diagnostic and prognostic biomarker in colorectal cancer.

  17. 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

  18. Mutations in CG8878, a Novel Putative Protein Kinase, Enhance P Element Dependent Silencing (PDS) and Position Effect Variegation (PEV) in Drosophila melanogaster

    PubMed Central

    McCracken, Allen; Locke, John

    2014-01-01

    Genes in multicellular organisms are expressed as part of a developmental program that is largely dependent on self-perpetuating higher-order chromatin states. The mechanism of establishing and maintaining these epigenetic events is well studied in Drosophila. The first known example of an epigenetic effect was that of (PEV) in Drosophila, which has been shown to be due to gene silencing via heterochromatin formation. We are investigating a process similar to Position Effect Variegation (PEV) using a mini-w transgene, called Pci, inserted in the upstream regulatory region of ci. The mini-white+ transgene in Pci is 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. This P element dependent silencing (PDS) can be modified by the haplo-suppressors/triplo-enhancers, Su(var)205 and Su(var)3–7, indicating that these heterochromatic modifiers also act dose dependently in PDS. Here we use a spontaneous derivative mutation of Pci called PciE1 (E1) that variegates like PDS in the absence of P elements, presumably due to an adjacent gypsy element insertion, to screen for second-site modifier mutations that enhance variable silencing of white+ in E1. We isolated 7 mutations in CG8878, an essential gene, that enhance the E1 variegated phenotype. CG8878, a previously uncharacterized gene, potentially encodes a serine/threonine kinase whose closest Drosophila paralogue, ballchen (nhk-1), phosphorylates histones. These mutant alleles enhance both PDS at E1 and Position Effect Variegation (PEV) at wm4, indicating a previously unknown common silencing mechanism between the two. PMID:24614804

  19. Epigenetic silencing of TPM2 contributes to colorectal cancer progression upon RhoA activation.

    PubMed

    Cui, Ji; Cai, Yonghua; Hu, Ying; Huang, Zenghong; Luo, Yanxin; Kaz, Andrew M; Yang, Zihuan; Chen, Dianke; Fan, Xinjuan; Grady, William M; Wang, Jianping

    2016-09-01

    Beta-tropomyosin (β-tropomyosin, TPM2) has been found to be downregulated in colorectal cancer (CRC) in previous studies. In this study, we aimed to investigate the mechanisms and potential biological consequences of the downregulation of TPM2 in colorectal cancer. TPM2 expression in colorectal cancer was assessed by qRT-PCR and immunostaining. The biological functions of TPM2 were assessed in cell lines either overexpressing or underexpressingTPM2. Aberrant DNA methylation in the promoter region is associated with suppression of TPM2 expression in primary colorectal cancer tissue samples. Treatment with the demethylation agent 5-AZA can induceTPM2 expression in colorectal cancer cell lines. Reconstitution of TPM2 suppresses cell proliferation and migration in colorectal cancer cell lines, whereas the loss of TPM2 expression is associated with increased tumor proliferation and migration in vitro, which was accompanied by RhoA activation. In summary, our findings indicate that TPM2 appears to be commonly silenced by aberrant DNA methylation in colon cancer. TPM2 loss is associated with RhoA activation and tumor proliferation.

  20. Epigenetic silencing of NTSR1 is associated with lateral and noninvasive growth of colorectal tumors

    PubMed Central

    Niinuma, Takeshi; Yamano, Hiro-o; Nojima, Masanori; Yoshikawa, Kennjiro; Kimura, Tomoaki; Takagi, Ryo; Harada, Eiji; Harada, Taku; Maruyama, Reo; Sasaki, Yasushi; Tokino, Takashi; Shinomura, Yasuhisa; Sugai, Tamotsu; Imai, Kohzoh; Suzuki, Hiromu

    2015-01-01

    Our aim was to identify DNA methylation changes associated with the growth pattern and invasiveness of colorectal cancers (CRCs). Comparison of the methylation statuses of large (≥20 mm in diameter along the colonic surface) noninvasive tumors (NTs) and small (<20 mm in diameter along the colonic surface) invasive tumors (ITs) using CpG island microarray analysis showed neurotensin receptor 1 (NTSR1) to be hypermethylated in large NTs. Quantitative bisulfite pyrosequencing revealed that NTSR1 is frequently methylated in colorectal tumors, with large NTs exhibiting the highest methylation levels. The higher NTSR1 methylation levels were associated with better prognoses. By contrast, NTSR1 copy number gains were most frequent among small ITs. Methylation of NTSR1 was associated with the gene's silencing in CRC cell lines, whereas ectopic expression of NTSR1 promoted proliferation and invasion by CRC cells. Analysis of primary tumors composed of adenomatous and malignant portions revealed that NTSR1 is frequently methylated in the adenomatous portion, while methylation levels are generally lower in the cancerous portions. These results suggest that NTSR1 methylation is associated with lateral and noninvasive growth of colorectal tumors, while low levels of methylation may contribute to the malignant potential through activation of NTSR1. Our data also indicate that NTSR1 methylation may be a prognostic biomarker in CRC. PMID:26334593

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26420484

  3. 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

    2015-11-06

    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.

  4. ROR1/RPA2A, a Putative Replication Protein A2, Functions in Epigenetic Gene Silencing and in Regulation of Meristem Development in ArabidopsisW⃞

    PubMed Central

    Xia, Ran; Wang, Junguo; Liu, Chunyan; Wang, Yu; Wang, Youqun; Zhai, Jixian; Liu, Jun; Hong, Xuhui; Cao, Xiaofeng; Zhu, Jian-Kang; Gong, Zhizhong

    2006-01-01

    We screened for suppressors of repressor of silencing1 (ros1) using the silenced 35S promoter-neomycin phosphotransferase II (Pro35S:NPTII) gene as a marker and identified two allelic mutants, ror1-1 and ror1-2 (for suppressor of ros1). Map-based cloning revealed that ROR1 encodes a 31-kD protein similar to DNA replication protein A2 (RPA2A). Mutations in ROR1 reactivate the silenced Pro35S:NPTII gene but not RD29A promoter-luciferase in the ros1 mutant. DNA methylation in rDNA, centromeric DNA, and RD29A promoter regions is not affected by ror1. However, chromatin immunoprecipitation data suggest that histone H3 acetylation is increased and histone H3K9 dimethylation is decreased in the 35S promoter in the ror1 ros1 mutant compared with ros1. These results indicate that release of silenced Pro35S:NPTII by ror1 mutations is independent of DNA methylation. ROR1/RPA2A is strongly expressed in shoot and root meristems. Mutations in ROR1/RPA2A affect cell division in meristems but not final cell sizes. Our work suggests important roles of ROR1/RPA2A in epigenetic gene silencing and in the regulation of plant development. PMID:16326925

  5. The Epigenetic Trans-Silencing Effect in Drosophila Involves Maternally-Transmitted Small RNAs Whose Production Depends on the piRNA Pathway and HP1

    PubMed Central

    Todeschini, Anne-Laure; Teysset, Laure; Delmarre, Valérie; Ronsseray, Stéphane

    2010-01-01

    Background The study of P transposable element repression in Drosophila melanogaster led to the discovery of the Trans-Silencing Effect (TSE), a homology-dependent repression mechanism by which a P-transgene inserted in subtelomeric heterochromatin (Telomeric Associated Sequences, “TAS”) has the capacity to repress in trans, in the female germline, a homologous P-lacZ transgene located in euchromatin. Phenotypic and genetic analysis have shown that TSE exhibits variegation in ovaries, displays a maternal effect as well as epigenetic transmission through meiosis and involves heterochromatin (including HP1) and RNA silencing. Principal Findings Here, we show that mutations in squash and zucchini, which are involved in the piwi-interacting RNA (piRNA) silencing pathway, strongly affect TSE. In addition, we carried out a molecular analysis of TSE and show that silencing is correlated to the accumulation of lacZ small RNAs in ovaries. Finally, we show that the production of these small RNAs is sensitive to mutations affecting squash and zucchini, as well as to the dose of HP1. Conclusions and Significance Thus, our results indicate that the TSE represents a bona fide piRNA-based repression. In addition, the sensitivity of TSE to HP1 dose suggests that in Drosophila, as previously shown in Schizosaccharomyces pombe, a RNA silencing pathway can depend on heterochromatin components. PMID:20559422

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. High-Throughput Screening Using iPSC-Derived Neuronal Progenitors to Identify Compounds Counteracting Epigenetic Gene Silencing in Fragile X Syndrome.

    PubMed

    Kaufmann, Markus; Schuffenhauer, Ansgar; Fruh, Isabelle; Klein, Jessica; Thiemeyer, Anke; Rigo, Pierre; Gomez-Mancilla, Baltazar; Heidinger-Millot, Valerie; Bouwmeester, Tewis; Schopfer, Ulrich; Mueller, Matthias; Fodor, Barna D; Cobos-Correa, Amanda

    2015-10-01

    Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the most common form of inherited mental retardation, and it is caused in most of cases by epigenetic silencing of the Fmr1 gene. Today, no specific therapy exists for FXS, and current treatments are only directed to improve behavioral symptoms. Neuronal progenitors derived from FXS patient induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) represent a unique model to study the disease and develop assays for large-scale drug discovery screens since they conserve the Fmr1 gene silenced within the disease context. We have established a high-content imaging assay to run a large-scale phenotypic screen aimed to identify compounds that reactivate the silenced Fmr1 gene. A set of 50,000 compounds was tested, including modulators of several epigenetic targets. We describe an integrated drug discovery model comprising iPSC generation, culture scale-up, and quality control and screening with a very sensitive high-content imaging assay assisted by single-cell image analysis and multiparametric data analysis based on machine learning algorithms. The screening identified several compounds that induced a weak expression of fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP) and thus sets the basis for further large-scale screens to find candidate drugs or targets tackling the underlying mechanism of FXS with potential for therapeutic intervention.

  10. TGF-β1 induces epigenetic silence of TIP30 to promote tumor metastasis in esophageal carcinoma

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Shukun; Tong, Xin; Ma, Chunsheng; Mao, Hui; Pan, Fei; Li, Xiaoyan; Chen, Bo; Xu, Liyan; Li, Enmin; Kou, Geng; Han, Jun; Guo, Shangjing; Zhao, Jian; Guo, Yajun

    2015-01-01

    TGF-β1, a potent EMT (epithelial-mesenchymal transition) inducer present in the tumor microenvironment, is involved in the metastasis and progression of various carcinomas, including esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). TIP30 (30kDa HIV-1 Tat interacting protein) is a putative tumor metastasis suppressor. Here, we found TIP30 was decreased in cells undergoing EMT induced by TGF-β1, an occurrence that was related to promoter hypermethylation. TGF-β1 induced TIP30 hypermethylation via increasing DNMT1 and DNMT3A expression, which could be restored by TGF-β antibodies. In our in vitro and in vivo studies, we showed that silence of TIP30 led to EMT, enhanced migrative and invasive abilities of ESCC cells, promoted tumor metastasis in xenografted mice; alternatively, overexpression of TIP30inhibited TGF-β1-induced EMT, and metastatic abilities of ESCC cells. Mechanically, TIP30 silencing induced the nuclear translocation and transcriptional activation of β-catenin in an AKT-dependent manner, which further resulted in the initiation of EMT. Consistently, TIP30 was frequently methylated and downregulated in ESCC patients. Loss of TIP30 correlated with nuclear β-catenin and aberrant E-cadherin expression. TIP30 was a powerful marker in predicting the prognosis of ESCC. Taken together, our results suggest a novel and critical role of TIP30 involved in TGF-β1-induced activation of AKT/β-catenin signaling and ESCC metastasis. PMID:25544767

  11. Aberrant TGFβ/SMAD4 signaling contributes to epigenetic silencing of a putative tumor suppressor, RunX1T1 in ovarian cancer.

    PubMed

    Yeh, Kun-Tu; Chen, Tze-Ho; Yang, Hui-Wen; Chou, Jian-Liang; Chen, Lin-Yu; Yeh, Chia-Ming; Chen, Yu-Hsin; Lin, Ru-Inn; Su, Her-Young; Chen, Gary C W; Deatherage, Daniel E; Huang, Yi-Wen; Yan, Pearlly S; Lin, Huey-Jen; Nephew, Kenneth P; Huang, Tim H-M; Lai, Hung-Cheng; Chan, Michael W Y

    2011-06-01

    Aberrant TGFβ signaling pathway may alter the expression of down-stream targets and promotes ovarian carcinogenesis. However, the mechanism of this impairment is not fully understood. Our previous study has identified RunX1T1 as a putative SMAD4 target in an immortalized ovarian surface epithelial cell line, IOSE. In this study, we report that transcription of RunX1T1 was confirmed to be positively regulated by SMAD4 in IOSE cells and epigenetically silenced in a panel of ovarian cancer cell lines by promoter hypermethylation and histone methylation at H3 lysine 9. SMAD4 depletion increased repressive histone modifications of RunX1T1 promoter without affecting promoter methylation in IOSE cells. Epigenetic treatment can restore RunX1T1 expression by reversing its epigenetic status in MCP3 ovarian cancer cells. When transiently treated with a demethylating agent, the expression of RunX1T1 was partially restored in MCP3 cells, but gradual re-silencing through promoter re-methylation was observed after the treatment. Interestingly, SMAD4 knockdown accelerated this re-silencing process, suggesting that normal TGF-beta signaling is essential for the maintenance of RunX1T1 expression. In vivo analysis confirmed that hypermethylation of RunX1T1 was detected in 35.7% (34/95) of ovarian tumors with high clinical stages (P=0.035) and in 83% (5/6) of primary ovarian cancer-initiating cells. Additionally, concurrent methylation of RunX1T1 and another SMAD4 target, FBXO32 which was previously found to be hypermethylated in ovarian cancer was observed in this same sample cohort (P< 0.05). Restoration of RunX1T1 inhibited cancer cell growth. Taken together, dysregulated TGFβ/SMAD4 signaling may lead to epigenetic silencing of a putative tumor suppressor, RunX1T1, during ovarian carcinogenesis.

  12. DNA supercoiling enhances cooperativity and efficiency of an epigenetic switch

    PubMed Central

    Norregaard, Kamilla; Andersson, Magnus; Sneppen, Kim; Nielsen, Peter Eigil; Brown, Stanley; Oddershede, Lene B.

    2013-01-01

    Bacteriophage λ stably maintains its dormant prophage state but efficiently enters lytic development in response to DNA damage. The mediator of these processes is the λ repressor protein, CI, and its interactions with λ operator DNA. This λ switch is a model on the basis of which epigenetic switch regulation is understood. Using single molecule analysis, we directly examined the stability of the CI-operator structure in its natural, supercoiled state. We marked positions adjacent to the λ operators with peptide nucleic acids and monitored their movement by tethered particle tracking. Compared with relaxed DNA, the presence of supercoils greatly enhances juxtaposition probability. Also, the efficiency and cooperativity of the λ switch is significantly increased in the supercoiled system compared with a linear assay, increasing the Hill coefficient. PMID:24101469

  13. Epigenetic regulation of cell adhesion and communication by enhancer of zeste homolog 2 in human endothelial cells.

    PubMed

    Dreger, Henryk; Ludwig, Antje; Weller, Andrea; Stangl, Verena; Baumann, Gert; Meiners, Silke; Stangl, Karl

    2012-11-01

    The histone methyltransferase enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (Ezh2) mediates trimethylation of lysine 27 in histone 3, which acts as a repressive epigenetic mark. Ezh2 is essential for maintaining pluripotency of stem cells, but information on its role in differentiated cells is sparse. Whole-genome mRNA expression arrays identified 964 genes that were regulated by >2-fold 72 hours after small interfering RNA-mediated silencing of Ezh2 in human umbilical vein endothelial cells. Among them, genes associated with the gene ontology terms cell communication and cell adhesion were significantly overrepresented, suggesting a functional role for Ezh2 in the regulation of angiogenesis. Indeed, adhesion, migration, and tube formation assays revealed significantly altered angiogenic properties of human umbilical vein endothelial cells after silencing of Ezh2. To identify direct target genes of Ezh2, we performed chromatin immunoprecipitation experiments followed by whole-genome promoter arrays (chromatin immunoprecipitation-on-chip) and identified 5585 genes associated with trimethylation of lysine 27 in histone 3. Comparative analysis with our mRNA expression data identified 276 genes that met our criteria for putative Ezh2 target genes, upregulation by >2-fold after Ezh2 silencing and association with trimethylation of lysine 27 in histone 3. Notably, we observed a striking overrepresentation of genes involved in wingless-type mouse mammary tumor virus integration site (WNT) signaling pathways. Epigenetic regulation of several of these genes by Ezh2 was specifically confirmed by polymerase chain reaction analysis of DNA enrichment after chromatin immunoprecipitation using an antibody specific for trimethylation of lysine 27 in histone 3. Combining mRNA expression arrays and chromatin immunoprecipitation-on-chip analysis, we identified 276 Ezh2 target genes in endothelial cells. Ezh2-dependent repression of genes involved in cell adhesion and communication contributes to the

  14. The neuron-restrictive silencer element: A dual enhancer/silencer crucial for patterned expression of a nicotinic receptor gene in the brain

    PubMed Central

    Bessis, Alain; Champtiaux, Nicolas; Chatelin, Laurent; Changeux, Jean-Pierre

    1997-01-01

    The neuron-restrictive silencer element (NRSE) has been identified in several neuronal genes and confers neuron specificity by silencing transcription in nonneuronal cells. NRSE is present in the promoter of the neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor β2-subunit gene that determines its neuron-specific expression in the nervous system. Using transgenic mice, we show that NRSE may either silence or enhance transcription depending on the cellular context within the nervous system. In vitro in neuronal cells, NRSE activates transcription of synthetic promoters when located downstream in the 5′ untranslated region, or at less than 50 bp upstream from the TATA box, but switches to a silencer when located further upstream. In contrast, in nonneuronal cells NRSE always functions as a silencer. Antisense RNA inhibition shows that the NRSE-binding protein REST contributes to the activation of transcription in neuronal cells. PMID:9159173

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

    PubMed Central

    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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25591738

  16. Long noncoding RNA PVT1 promotes cervical cancer progression through epigenetically silencing miR-200b.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Shaorong; Zhang, Guanli; Liu, Jingying

    2016-08-01

    Long noncoding RNA PVT1 has been reported to be dysregulated and play vital roles in a variety of cancers. However, the functions and molecular mechanisms of PVT1 in cervical cancer remain unclear. The objective of this study was to investigate the expression, clinical significance, biological roles, and underlying functional mechanisms of PVT1 in cervical cancer. Our results revealed that PVT1 is upregulated in cervical cancer tissues. Enhanced expression of PVT1 is associated with larger tumor size, advanced International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics stage, and poor prognosis of cervical cancer patients. Using gain-of-function and loss-of-function approaches, we demonstrated that overexpression of PVT1 promotes cervical cancer cells proliferation, cell cycle progression and migration, and depletion of PVT1 inhibits cervical cancer cell proliferation, cell cycle progression, and migration. Mechanistically, we verified that PVT1 binds to EZH2, recruits EZH2 to the miR-200b promoter, increases histone H3K27 trimethylation level on the miR-200b promoter, and inhibits miR-200b expression. Furthermore, the effects of PVT1 on cervical cell proliferation and migration depend upon silencing of miR-200b. Taken together, our findings confirmed that PVT1 functions as an oncogene in cervical cancer and indicated that PVT1 is not only an important prognostic marker, but also a potential therapy target for cervical cancer.

  17. 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

  18. Epigenetic silencing of the immunoglobulin heavy-chain gene in classical Hodgkin lymphoma-derived cell lines contributes to the loss of immunoglobulin expression.

    PubMed

    Ushmorov, Alexey; Ritz, Olga; Hummel, Michael; Leithäuser, Frank; Möller, Peter; Stein, Harald; Wirth, Thomas

    2004-11-15

    Immunoglobulin production is impaired in Hodgkin and Reed-Sternberg (HRS) cells of classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL) in spite of functional clonal rearrangements. The presence of "crippling" mutations in coding and regulatory regions, as well as down-regulation of B-cell-specific transcription factors, has been suggested as a potential reason for the lack of immunoglobulin (Ig) chain gene transcription. We have investigated the impact of epigenetic silencing in suppressing Ig heavy (H)-chain expression. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) was used to analyze transcription factor binding to octamer motifs present in the IgH regulatory regions. Transcription factors were bound to these motifs in control cell lines, however, they were absent in the cHL-derived cell lines KMH2, L1236, and L428. Ectopic expression of octamer-binding transcription factor (Oct2) and/or B-cell Oct binding protein/Oct-binding factor (BOB.1/OBF.1) did not result in any measurable binding to these sites. Increased histone 3 Lysine 9 (H3-K9) methylation was observed in the promoter region of the IgH locus in L428 and L1236 cells. This is a typical feature of heterochromatic, transcriptionally silent regions. Treatment of cHL-derived cell lines with the DNA demethylating agent 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (5-aza-dC) partially reactivated IgH transcription and affected chromatin modifications. Our results suggest an important role of epigenetic silencing in the inhibition of IgH transcription in HRS cells.

  19. Oct4 Methylation-Mediated Silencing As an Epigenetic Barrier Preventing Müller Glia Dedifferentiation in a Murine Model of Retinal Injury

    PubMed Central

    Reyes-Aguirre, Luis I.; Lamas, Monica

    2016-01-01

    Müller glia (MG) is the most abundant glial type in the vertebrate retina. Among its many functions, it is capable of responding to injury by dedifferentiating, proliferating, and differentiating into every cell types lost to damage. This regenerative ability is notoriously absent in mammals. We have previously reported that cultured mammalian MG undergoes a partial dedifferentiation, but fails to fully acquire a progenitor phenotype and differentiate into neurons. This might be explained by a mnemonic mechanism comprised by epigenetic traits, such as DNA methylation. To achieve a better understanding of this epigenetic memory, we studied the expression of pluripotency-associated genes, such as Oct4, Nanog, and Lin28, which have been reported as necessary for regeneration in fish, at early times after NMDA-induced retinal injury in a mouse experimental model. We found that although Oct4 is expressed rapidly after damage (4 hpi), it is silenced at 24 hpi. This correlates with a significant decrease in the DNA methyltransferase Dnmt3b expression, which returns to basal levels at 24 hpi. By MS-PCR, we observed a decrease in Oct4 methylation levels at 4 and 12 hpi, before returning to a fully methylated state at 24 hpi. To demonstrate that these changes are restricted to MG, we separated these cells using a GLAST antibody coupled with magnetic beads. Finally, intravitreous administration of the DNA-methyltransferase inhibitor SGI-1027 induced Oct4 expression at 24 hpi in MG. Our results suggest that mammalian MG injury-induced dedifferentiation could be restricted by DNA methylation, which rapidly silences Oct4 expression, preventing multipotency acquisition. PMID:27895551

  20. Mecp2-mediated Epigenetic Silencing of miR-137 Contributes to Colorectal Adenoma-Carcinoma Sequence and Tumor Progression via Relieving the Suppression of c-Met

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Tao; Cai, Shi-Lun; Li, Jian; Qi, Zhi-Peng; Li, Xu-Quan; Ye, Le-Chi; Xie, Xiao-Feng; Hou, Ying-Yong; Yao, Li-Qing; Xu, Mei-Dong; Zhou, Ping-Hong; Xu, Jian-Min; Zhong, Yun-Shi

    2017-01-01

    The molecular mechanisms underlying colorectal cancer (CRC) development remain elusive. In this study, we examined the miRNA and mRNA expressions in the adenoma-carcinoma sequence (ACS), a critical neoplastic progression in CRC development. We found that miR-137 was down-regulated in all adenoma and carcinoma tissues. Low miR-137 levels were correlated negatively with tumor progression and metastasis. Then we identified the inhibition effect of the miR-137 in CRC development, both in CRC cell lines and mouse models. MiR-137 was shown to control CRC cell proliferation, colony formation, migration and invasion and to control tumor growth and metastasis. We further confirmed the negative association between miR-137 and c-Met expression and thus validated this important oncogene as the target of miR-137 in CRC. In addition, we found a DNA methyl-CpG-binding protein, Mecp2, was up-regulated in ACS tissues via mRNA sequencing. Further experiment showed that miR-137 expression in CRC was subjected to epigenetic regulation mediated by Mecp2. We also confirmed c-Met expression can be up-regulated by silencing of miR-137 and suppressed by coexpression of Mecp2 and miR-137. These findings highlight the critical role of miR-137-c-Met nexus in CRC development and reveal Mecp2-regulated epigenetic silence causes the downregulation of miR-137 in colorectal adenoma and carcinoma. PMID:28291253

  1. 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.

  2. HDAC Inhibitors Upregulate B Cell microRNAs that Silence AID and Blimp-1 Expression for Epigenetic Modulation of Antibody and Autoantibody Responses

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Class-switch DNA recombination (CSR) and somatic hypermutation (SHM), which require AID, and plasma cell differentiation, which requires Blimp-1, are critical for the generation of class-switched and hypermutated (mature) antibody and autoantibody responses. We showed here that the histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors (HDI) valproic acid (VPA) and butyrate upregulated miR-155, miR-181b and miR-361, which silenced AICDA/Aicda (AID) mRNA, and miR-23b, miR-30a and miR-125b, which silenced PRDM1/Prdm1 (Blimp-1) mRNA, in human and mouse B cells. This led to downregulation of AID, Blimp-1 and Xbp-1 expression, thereby dampening CSR, SHM and plasma cell differentiation without altering B cell viability or proliferation. The selectivity of HDI-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, VPA blunted class-switched and hypermutated T-dependent and T-independent antibody responses in C57BL/6 mice. In addition, it decreased class-switched and hypermutated autoantibodies, ameliorated disease and extended survival in lupus MRL/Faslpr/lpr mice. Our findings outline epigenetic mechanisms that modulate expression of an enzyme (AID) and transcription factors (Blimp-1 and Xbp-1) that critical to the B cell differentiation processes that underpin antibody and autoantibody responses. They also provide therapeutics proof-of-principle in autoantibody-mediated autoimmunity. PMID:25392531

  3. Silencing of ATF2 inhibits growth of pancreatic cancer cells and enhances sensitivity to chemotherapy.

    PubMed

    Li, Mu; Wu, Xingda; Liu, Ning; Li, Xiaoying; Meng, Fanbin; Song, Shaowei

    2017-03-20

    Pancreatic cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer-related death worldwide. Activating transcription factor 2 (ATF2) is a multifunctional transcription factor, and is implicated in tumor progress, yet its role in pancreatic cancer remains unclear. In the present study, the level of ATF2 in pancreatic cancer tissues and the adjacent non-tumorous tissues was detected by quantitative real-time PCR and western blot. The roles of ATF2 in the proliferation, cell cycle, and apoptosis of pancreatic cancer cells were investigated through ATF2 silencing, and the effect of ATF2 shRNA on the sensitivity of pancreatic cancer cells to gemcitabine, an anti-tumor drug, was explored. The results of our study showed that the ATF2 level in the pancreatic cancer tissues was higher than that in the adjacent non-tumorous tissues. Silencing of ATF2 was found to inhibit proliferation, arrest cell cycle at G1 phase and induce apoptosis in pancreatic cancer cells. Moreover, ATF2 silencing enhanced gemcitabine-induced growth-inhibition and apoptosis-induction effects in pancreatic cancer cells. In summary, silencing of ATF2 inhibited the growth of pancreatic cancer cells and enhanced the anti-tumor effects of gemcitabine, suggesting that ATF2 plays a pro-survival role in pancreatic cancer. Our results also propose that a high level of ATF2 may serve as a potential biomarker of pancreatic cancer, and that ATF2 may become a potential target for anti-tumor therapy.

  4. p21(WAF1) gene promoter is epigenetically silenced by CTIP2 and SUV39H1.

    PubMed

    Cherrier, T; Suzanne, S; Redel, L; Calao, M; Marban, C; Samah, B; Mukerjee, R; Schwartz, C; Gras, G; Sawaya, B E; Zeichner, S L; Aunis, D; Van Lint, C; Rohr, O

    2009-09-24

    Mainly regulated at the transcriptional level, the cellular cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor, CDKN1A/p21(WAF1) (p21), is a major cell cycle regulator of the response to DNA damage, senescence and tumor suppression. Here, we report that COUP-TF-interacting protein 2 (CTIP2), recruited to the p21 gene promoter, silenced p21 gene transcription through interactions with histone deacetylases and methyltransferases. Importantly, treatment with the specific SUV39H1 inhibitor, chaetocin, repressed histone H3 lysine 9 trimethylation at the p21 gene promoter, stimulated p21 gene expression and induced cell cycle arrest. In addition, CTIP2 and SUV39H1 were recruited to the silenced p21 gene promoter to cooperatively inhibit p21 gene transcription. Induction of p21(WAF1) gene upon human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV-1) infection benefits viral expression in macrophages. Here, we report that CTIP2 further abolishes Vpr-mediated stimulation of p21, thereby indirectly contributing to HIV-1 latency. Altogether, our results suggest that CTIP2 is a constitutive p21 gene suppressor that cooperates with SUV39H1 and histone methylation to silence the p21 gene transcription.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Silencing Receptor EphA2 Enhanced Sensitivity to Lipoplatin™ in Lung Tumor and MPM Cells.

    PubMed

    Lee, Hung-Yen; Mohammed, Kamal A; Goldberg, Eugene P; Kaye, Frederic; Najmunnisa, Nasreen

    2016-08-08

    Receptor EphA2 is overexpressed in lung cancer and malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) which promote tumorogenesis. Lipoplatin™, a new liposomal cisplatin formulation, is used against resistant tumors. Use of cisplatin-based drugs leads to unacceptable toxicities. To improve the effectiveness of Lipoplatin, enhancing the cellular sensitivity of lung tumor and MPM cells is critical. Therefore, we targeted receptor EphA2 by silencing interference RNA (siRNA) and treated tumor cells with Lipoplatin. The combined effects of siRNA-EphA2 and Lipoplatin were determined. We report that silencing EphA2 significantly enhanced the cellular sensitivity of lung tumor and MPM cells to Lipoplatin and maybe a potential therapy for lung cancer.

  8. 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.

  9. Epigenetic gene silencing by the SRY protein is mediated by a KRAB-O protein that recruits the KAP1 co-repressor machinery.

    PubMed

    Peng, Hongzhuang; Ivanov, Alexey V; Oh, Hyun J; Lau, Yun-Fai C; Rauscher, Frank J

    2009-12-18

    The sex determination transcription factor SRY is a cell fate-determining transcription factor that mediates testis differentiation during embryogenesis. It may function by repressing the ovarian determinant gene, RSPO1, action in the ovarian developmental pathway and activates genes, such as SOX9, important for testis differentiation at the onset of gonadogenesis. Further, altered expression of SRY and related SOX genes contribute to oncogenesis in many human cancers. Little is known of the mechanisms by which SRY regulates its target genes. Recently a KRAB domain protein (KRAB-O) that lacks a zinc finger motif has been demonstrated to interact with SRY and hypothesized to function as an adaptor molecule for SRY by tethering the KAP1-NuRD-SETDB1-HP1 silencing machinery to repress SRY targets. We have critically examined this hypothesis by reconstituting and characterizing SRY-KRAB-O-KAP1 interactions. These recombinant molecules can form a ternary complex by direct and high affinity interactions. The KRAB-O protein can simultaneously bind KAP1 and SRY in a noncompetitive but also noncooperative manner. An extensive mutagenesis analysis suggests that different surfaces on KRAB-O are utilized for these independent interactions. Transcriptional repression by SRY requires binding to KRAB-O, thus bridging to the KAP1 repression machinery. This repression machinery is recruited to SRY target promoters in chromatin templates via SRY. These results suggest that SRY has co-opted the KRAB-O protein to recruit the KAP1 repression machinery to sex determination target genes. Other KRAB domain proteins, which lack a zinc finger DNA-binding motif, may function in similar roles as adaptor proteins for epigenetic gene silencing.

  10. Long range epigenetic silencing is a trans-species mechanism that results in cancer specific deregulation by overriding the chromatin domains of normal cells.

    PubMed

    Forn, Marta; Muñoz, Mar; Tauriello, Daniele V F; Merlos-Suárez, Anna; Rodilla, Verónica; Bigas, Anna; Batlle, Eduard; Jordà, Mireia; Peinado, Miguel A

    2013-12-01

    DNA methylation and chromatin remodeling are frequently implicated in the silencing of genes involved in carcinogenesis. Long Range Epigenetic Silencing (LRES) is a mechanism of gene inactivation that affects multiple contiguous CpG islands and has been described in different human cancer types. However, it is unknown whether there is a coordinated regulation of the genes embedded in these regions in normal cells and in early stages of tumor progression. To better characterize the molecular events associated with the regulation and remodeling of these regions we analyzed two regions undergoing LRES in human colon cancer in the mouse model. We demonstrate that LRES also occurs in murine cancer in vivo and mimics the molecular features of the human phenomenon, namely, downregulation of gene expression, acquisition of inactive histone marks, and DNA hypermethylation of specific CpG islands. The genes embedded in these regions showed a dynamic and autonomous regulation during mouse intestinal cell differentiation, indicating that, in the framework considered here, the coordinated regulation in LRES is restricted to cancer. Unexpectedly, benign adenomas in Apc(Min/+) mice showed overexpression of most of the genes affected by LRES in cancer, which suggests that the repressive remodeling of the region is a late event. Chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis of the transcriptional insulator CTCF in mouse colon cancer cells revealed disrupted chromatin domain boundaries as compared with normal cells. Malignant regression of cancer cells by in vitro differentiation resulted in partial reversion of LRES and gain of CTCF binding. We conclude that genes in LRES regions are plastically regulated in cell differentiation and hyperproliferation, but are constrained to a coordinated repression by abolishing boundaries and the autonomous regulation of chromatin domains in cancer cells.

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

    PubMed

    Murray-Stewart, T; Sierra, J C; Piazuelo, M B; Mera, R M; Chaturvedi, R; Bravo, L E; Correa, P; Schneider, B G; Wilson, K T; Casero, R A

    2016-10-20

    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 h. 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 before 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.

  12. 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

  13. Epigenetic silencing of miR-137 contributes to early colorectal carcinogenesis by impaired Aurora-A inhibition.

    PubMed

    Huang, Yu-Chuan; Lee, Chung-Ta; Lee, Jenq-Chang; Liu, Yao-Wen; Chen, Ying-Jen; Tseng, Joseph T; Kang, Jui-Wen; Sheu, Bor-Shyang; Lin, Bo-Wen; Hung, Liang-Yi

    2016-11-22

    MicorRNA-137 is silenced in human colorectal cancer tissues and colon polyps. Our study showed that the decreased expression of miR-137 is significantly different in various types of polyp which maintain different potentials to lead to CRC development. The expression of miR-137 gradually decreases during the process of colorectal carcinogenesis. Receiver operating characteristic curve (ROC) analysis indicates that the loss of miR-137 expression in colon polyps can serve as a biomarker to predict the predisposition of colorectal carcinogenesis. By cell model and xenograft animal model, the enforced expression of miR-137 in colorectal cancer cells can inhibit cell proliferation and tumor formation, induce G2/M arrest, and lead to apoptosis. The expression pattern of miR-137 and Aurora-A or PTGS2 is negatively correlated in human colorectal cancer tissues and colon polyps. Those effects induced by overexpressed miR-137 can be rescued by the overexpression of Aurora-A. In summary, our study suggests that the loss of miR-137 expression in colon polyps can serve as a biomarker to predict the tendency toward to CRC formation through the impaired inhibitory effect of Aurora-A. The investigation of the regulatory mechanism of miR-137-mediated Aurora-A inhibition may shed new light on the early prognosis of cancer therapy for CRC in the future.

  14. Epigenetic silencing of miR-137 contributes to early colorectal carcinogenesis by impaired Aurora-A inhibition

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Yu-Chuan; Liu, Yao-Wen; Chen, Ying-Jen; Tseng, Joseph T.; Kang, Jui-Wen; Sheu, Bor-Shyang; Lin, Bo-Wen; Hung, Liang-Yi

    2016-01-01

    MicorRNA-137 is silenced in human colorectal cancer tissues and colon polyps. Our study showed that the decreased expression of miR-137 is significantly different in various types of polyp which maintain different potentials to lead to CRC development. The expression of miR-137 gradually decreases during the process of colorectal carcinogenesis. Receiver operating characteristic curve (ROC) analysis indicates that the loss of miR-137 expression in colon polyps can serve as a biomarker to predict the predisposition of colorectal carcinogenesis. By cell model and xenograft animal model, the enforced expression of miR-137 in colorectal cancer cells can inhibit cell proliferation and tumor formation, induce G2/M arrest, and lead to apoptosis. The expression pattern of miR-137 and Aurora-A or PTGS2 is negatively correlated in human colorectal cancer tissues and colon polyps. Those effects induced by overexpressed miR-137 can be rescued by the overexpression of Aurora-A. In summary, our study suggests that the loss of miR-137 expression in colon polyps can serve as a biomarker to predict the tendency toward to CRC formation through the impaired inhibitory effect of Aurora-A. The investigation of the regulatory mechanism of miR-137-mediated Aurora-A inhibition may shed new light on the early prognosis of cancer therapy for CRC in the future. PMID:27764771

  15. Epigenetic reprogramming during plant reproduction and seed development.

    PubMed

    Wollmann, Heike; Berger, Frédéric

    2012-02-01

    Epigenetic processes such as DNA methylation are crucial for the development of flowering plants, and for protection of genome integrity via silencing of transposable elements (TEs). Recent advances in genome-wide profiling suggest that during reproduction DNA methylation patterns are at least partially transmitted or even enhanced in the next generation to ensure stable silencing of TEs. At the same time, parent-of-origin specific removal of DNA methylation in the accompanying tissue allows imprinted expression of genes. Here we summarize the dynamics of DNA methylation as a major epigenetic regulatory pathway during reproduction and seed development.

  16. Epigenetic Silencing of the Human 18 kDa Translocator Protein in a T Cell Leukemia Cell Line.

    PubMed

    Middleton, Ryan J; Kam, Winnie Wai-Ying; Liu, Guo-Jun; Banati, Richard B

    2017-02-01

    The mitochondrial membrane 18 kDa translocator protein (TSPO), previously known as the peripheral benzodiazepine receptor, is constitutively expressed in most organs, most abundantly in hormonal tissue and cells of mononuclear phagocyte lineage, while in the brain, TSPO expression is induced in the wake of injury, inflammation, and neurodegeneration. Increased TSPO expression is also prominent in several cancerous tissues where it appears to correlate with the degree of malignancy. Currently, TSPO is thus actively investigated as a generic biomarker for disease activity and a therapeutic target for a wide range of diseases. In this study, we report a Jurkat human T cell leukemia cell line that has only trace expression of TSPO mRNA. Through the use of bisulphite genomic sequencing, we show that the Jurkat TSPO promoter is highly methylated except for CpG sites that are adjacent to the transcription start site. Control measurements in HEK-293, HeLa, and U87-MG cells with high TSPO mRNA expression showed low levels of TSPO promoter methylation. Demethylation with 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (5-aza-dC) caused a dose-dependent increase in TSPO mRNA with a corresponding demethylation of the TSPO promoter in Jurkat cells. Treating HeLa and U87-MG cells with 5-aza-dC caused no change in the level of TSPO mRNA. These observations confirm the epigenetic regulation of TSPO and suggest it to be a more common mechanism by which the differential expression of TSPO in various cell types and in health and disease may be explained.

  17. 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.

  18. The effect of epigenetic silencing and TP53 mutation on the expression of DLL4 in human cancer stem disorder

    PubMed Central

    Yao, Zhixing; Sherif, Zaki A.

    2016-01-01

    The Li-Fraumeni Syndrome (LFS), a genetically rare heterogeneous cancer syndrome, is characterized primarily by a germline p53 (TP53) gene mutation. We recently discovered a balanced reciprocal chromosomal translocation t(11;15)(q23;q15) in the non-cancerous skin fibroblasts of a bilateral breast cancer patient in LFS family. This prompted us to investigate the breakpoint region of the translocation, which uncovered a gene that encodes a Notch ligand, DLL4, (locus at 15q15.1), a key target in tumor vasculature. We analyzed DLL4 gene expression and protein level in LFS non-cancerous skin fibroblast cell lines and non-LFS cancer cell lines. DLL4 is abrogated in all the LFS cells and drastically down-regulated in breast (MCF7) and brain (IMR32) cancer cells and tumor tissue samples. However, DNA methylation studies revealed that DLL4 promoter is silenced only in MCF7 but not in LFS cells. We further investigated the regulation of DLL4 gene expression by ChIP assays, which demonstrated that p53 binds to DLL4 promoter through its association with CTCF, a chromosomal networking protein CCCTC binding factor. This implies a possible karyotype-phenotype correlation with respect to DLL4 in LFS and breast cancer initiation and progression. The drastic reduction or absence in the expression of DLL4 in LFS as well as breast and brain cancer cells is significant and supports the concept that this ligand may also play a role in cancer immune-surveillance; and its resuscitation in the tumor microenvironment may stimulate T-cell immunity and suppress tumor growth. Therefore, DLL4 may provide a strong platform as an immuno-therapeutic target in LFS and cancer patients. PMID:27542210

  19. 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.

  20. Epigenetic Silencing of β-Spectrin, a TGF-β Signaling/Scaffolding Protein in a Human Cancer Stem Cell Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Yao, Zhi-Xing; Jogunoori, Wilma; Choufani, Sanaa; Rashid, Asif; Blake, Tiffany; Yao, Wenguo; Kreishman, Peter; Amin, Rupen; Sidawy, Anton A.; Evans, Stephen R. T.; Finegold, Milton; Reddy, E. Premkumar; Mishra, Bibhuti; Weksberg, Rosanna; Kumar, Rakesh; Mishra, Lopa

    2010-01-01

    Hereditary cancer syndromes provide powerful insights into dysfunctional signaling pathways that lead to sporadic cancers. Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome (BWS) is a hereditary human cancer stem cell syndrome currently linked to deregulated imprinting at chromosome 11p15 and uniparental disomy. However, causal molecular defects and genetic models have remained elusive to date in the majority of cases. The non-pleckstrin homology domain β-spectrin (β2SP) (the official name for human is Spectrin, beta, nonerythrocytic 1 (SPTBN1), isoform 2; the official name for mouse is Spectrin beta 2 (Spnb2), isoform 2), a scaffolding protein, functions as a potent TGF-β signaling member adaptor in tumor suppression and development. Yet, the role of the β2SP in human tumor syndromes remains unclear. Here, we report that β2SP+/− mice are born with many phenotypic characteristics observed in BWS patients, suggesting that β2SP mutant mice phenocopy BWS, and β2SP loss could be one of the mechanisms associated with BWS. Our results also suggest that epigenetic silencing of β2SP is a new potential causal factor in human BWS patients. Furthermore, β2SP+/− mice provide an important animal model for BWS, as well as sporadic cancers associated with it, including lethal gastrointestinal and pancreatic cancer. Thus, these studies could lead to further insight into defects generated by dysfunctional stem cells and identification of new treatment strategies and functional markers for the early detection of these lethal cancers that otherwise cannot be detected at an early stage. PMID:20739274

  1. 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

    2012-05-07

    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.

  2. Silencing the livin gene enhances the cytotoxic effects of anticancer drugs on colon cancer cells

    PubMed Central

    Oh, Bo Young; Kim, Kwang Ho; Chung, Soon Sup

    2016-01-01

    Purpose Livin is associated with drug response in several cancers. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of silencing the livin gene expression on anticancer drug response in colorectal cancer. Methods siRNA was transfected at different concentrations (0, 10, and 30nM) into HCT116 cells, then cells were treated with either 5-fluorouracil (FU)/leucovorin (LV) or oxaliplatin (L-OHP)/5-FU/LV. Cellular viability and apoptosis were evaluated following silencing of livin gene expression combined with treatment with anticancer drugs. Results Livin gene expression was effectively suppressed by 30nM siRNA compared with control and 10nM siRNA. The 3-(4, 5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2, 5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide assay showed that proliferation was effectively inhibited in cells treated with a combination of both siRNA and an anticancer drug, compared to cells treated with siRNA-Livin or anticancer drug alone. In particular, the combination of 30nM siRNA and L-OHP/5-FU/LV resulted in a 93.8% and 91.4% decrease, compared to untreated control or L-OHP/5-FU/LV alone, respectively. Cellular proliferation was most effectively suppressed by a combination of 30nM of siRNA and L-OHP/5-FU/LV compared to other combinations. Conclusion siRNA-mediated down-regulation of livin gene expression could significantly suppress colon cancer growth and enhance the cytotoxic effects of anticancer drugs such as 5-FU and L-OHP. The results of this study suggest that silencing livin gene expression in combination with treatment with anticancer drugs might be a novel cancer therapy for colorectal cancer. PMID:27904848

  3. Viral epigenetics.

    PubMed

    Milavetz, Barry I; Balakrishnan, Lata

    2015-01-01

    DNA tumor viruses including members of the polyomavirus, adenovirus, papillomavirus, and herpes virus families are presently the subject of intense interest with respect to the role that epigenetics plays in control of the virus life cycle and the transformation of a normal cell to a cancer cell. To date, these studies have primarily focused on the role of histone modification, nucleosome location, and DNA methylation in regulating the biological consequences of infection. Using a wide variety of strategies and techniques ranging from simple ChIP to ChIP-chip and ChIP-seq to identify histone modifications, nuclease digestion to genome wide next generation sequencing to identify nucleosome location, and bisulfite treatment to MeDIP to identify DNA methylation sites, the epigenetic regulation of these viruses is slowly becoming better understood. While the viruses may differ in significant ways from each other and cellular chromatin, the role of epigenetics appears to be relatively similar. Within the viral genome nucleosomes are organized for the expression of appropriate genes with relevant histone modifications particularly histone acetylation. DNA methylation occurs as part of the typical gene silencing during latent infection by herpesviruses. In the simple tumor viruses like the polyomaviruses, adenoviruses, and papillomaviruses, transformation of the cell occurs via integration of the virus genome such that the virus's normal regulation is disrupted. This results in the unregulated expression of critical viral genes capable of redirecting cellular gene expression. The redirected cellular expression is a consequence of either indirect epigenetic regulation where cellular signaling or transcriptional dysregulation occurs or direct epigenetic regulation where epigenetic cofactors such as histone deacetylases are targeted. In the more complex herpersviruses transformation is a consequence of the expression of the viral latency proteins and RNAs which again can

  4. Nanovector-based prolyl hydroxylase domain 2 silencing system enhances the efficiency of stem cell transplantation for infarcted myocardium repair

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Kai; Lai, Hao; Guo, Changfa; Li, Jun; Wang, Yulin; Wang, Lingyan; Wang, Chunsheng

    2014-01-01

    Mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) transplantation has attracted much attention in myocardial infarction therapy. One of the limitations is the poor survival of grafted cells in the ischemic microenvironment. Small interfering RNA-mediated prolyl hydroxylase domain protein 2 (PHD2) silencing in MSCs holds tremendous potential to enhance their survival and paracrine effect after transplantation. However, an efficient and biocompatible PHD2 silencing system for clinical application is lacking. Herein, we developed a novel PHD2 silencing system based on arginine-terminated generation 4 poly(amidoamine) (Arg-G4) nanoparticles. The system exhibited effective and biocompatible small interfering RNA delivery and PHD2 silencing in MSCs in vitro. After genetically modified MSC transplantation in myocardial infarction models, MSC survival and paracrine function of IGF-1 were enhanced significantly in vivo. As a result, we observed decreased cardiomyocyte apoptosis, scar size, and interstitial fibrosis, and increased angiogenesis in the diseased myocardium, which ultimately attenuated ventricular remodeling and improved heart function. This work demonstrated that an Arg-G4 nanovector-based PHD2 silencing system could enhance the efficiency of MSC transplantation for infarcted myocardium repair. PMID:25429216

  5. Novel Oxidatively Activated Agents Modify DNA and are Enhanced by Ercc1 Silencing

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    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-Hq2, which are activated by a hallmark of some cancers: elevated concentrations of reactive oxygen species. Elevated reactive oxygen species are linked to oncogenesis and is 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 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-Hq2 compared to controls. Little sequence dependence was observed with 76% of guanine, adenine, and cytosine residues showing an increase in extension stops between two and four 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 monitored after injection of an agent. As expected, bulky cross-linking DNA modifying agents, cisplatin and

  6. LncRNA PVT1 epigenetically silences miR-195 and modulates EMT and chemoresistance in cervical cancer cells.

    PubMed

    Shen, Ching-Ju; Cheng, Ya-Min; Wang, Chiu-Lin

    2017-03-15

    The plasmacytoma variant translocation 1 gene (PVT1) is an oncogenic lncRNA with regulative effect on chemosensitivity in cervical cancer. However, the underlying mechanisms were not fully understood. In this study, HPV16 positive CaSki and SiHa cells were used as in-vitro cell model. Knockdown of HPV16 E7 significantly inhibited PVT1 and restored miR-195 expression. PVT1 directly interacts with EZH2 and the complex anchors in the promoter region of miR-195. PVT1 overexpression resulted in increased H3K27me3 levels in the miR-195 promoter region, while PVT1 knockdown decreased H3K27me3 levels in the promoter region. In addition, PVT1 could competitively bind with miR-195. MiR-195 overexpression suppressed PVT1 expression in the cancer cells. Both PVT1 and miR-195 could inhibit paclitaxel (PTX) induced epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and also sensitize CaSki cells to PTX. Based on these findings, we infer that PVT1 could decrease miR-195 expression via enhancing histone H3K27me3 in the miR-195 promoter region and also via direct sponging of miR-195. In addition, the PVT1/miR-195 axis can modulate responses of the cancer cells to PTX via regulating EMT.

  7. Immune disease-associated variants in gene enhancers point to BET epigenetic mechanisms for therapeutic intervention.

    PubMed

    Tough, David F; Prinjha, Rab K

    2016-12-07

    Genome-wide association studies have identified thousands of single nucleotide polymorphisms in the human genome that are statistically associated with particular disease traits. In this Perspective, we review emerging data suggesting that most single nucleotide polymorphisms associated with immune-mediated diseases are found in regulatory regions of the DNA - parts of the genome that control expression of the protein encoding genes - rather than causing mutations in proteins. We discuss how the emerging understanding of particular gene regulatory regions, gene enhancers and the epigenetic mechanisms by which they are regulated is opening up new opportunities for the treatment of immune-mediated diseases, focusing particularly on the BET family of epigenetic reader proteins as potential therapeutic targets.

  8. 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

  9. 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

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

    2014-03-01

    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 post-translational 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{N (5)-[3,3-(diphenyl)propyl]-N(1)-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 re-expression of e-cadherin, a tumor suppressor gene frequently silenced by epigenetic modification in AML. Quantitative chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis of the e-cadherin 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

  10. Gene silencing of TACE enhances plaque stability and improves vascular remodeling in a rabbit model of atherosclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Xueqiang; Kong, Jing; Zhao, Yuxia; Wang, Xuping; Bu, Peili; Zhang, Cheng; Zhang, Yun

    2015-01-01

    We aimed to test the hypothesis that gene silencing of tumor necrosis factor alpha converting enzyme (TACE) may attenuate lesion inflammation and positive vascular remodeling and enhance plaque stability in a rabbit model of atherosclerosis. Lentivirus-mediated TACE shRNA was injected into the abdominal aortic plaques of rabbits which effectively down-regulated TACE expression and activities from week 8 to week 16. TACE gene silencing reduced remodeling index and plaque burden, and diminished the content of macrophages and lipids while increased that of smooth muscle cells and collagen in the aortic plaques. In addition, TACE gene silencing attenuated the local expression of P65, iNOS, ICAM-1, VEGF and Flt-1 and activities of MMP9 and MMP2 while increased the local expression of TGF-β1 together with reduced number of neovessels in the aorta. TACE shRNA treatment resulted in down-regulated expression of TACE in macrophages and blunted ERK-P38 phosphorylation and tube formation of co-cultured mouse vascular smooth muscle cells or human umbilical vein endothelial cells. In conclusion, gene silencing of TACE enhanced plaque stability and improved vascular positive remodeling. The mechanisms may involve attenuated local inflammation, neovascularization and MMP activation, as well as enhanced collagen production probably via down-regulated ERK-NF-κB and up-regulated TGF-β1 signaling pathways. PMID:26655882

  11. 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.

  12. Silencing of LncRNA HULC Enhances Chemotherapy Induced Apoptosis in Human Gastric Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yifei; Song, Xiaojing; Wang, Xixun; Hu, Jinchen

    2016-01-01

    Summary Background Gastric cancer (GC) is one of the most common cancers in the world; however, chemoresistance greatly decreases the efficacy of therapy in gastric cancer. Long noncoding RNAs (IncRNAs) participate in a variety of biological processes, and we hypothesize that lncRNA HULC regulates the multidrug resistance in GC treatment. Methods We obtained GC tissue samples from 42 GC patients and detected the expression level of HULC in the plasma and tissues via qRT-PCR. The relationship between HULC expression and survival rate was confirmed by Kaplan-Meier survival analysis. We verified the expression of HULC in GC cell lines via qRT-PCR, and the function of HULC was detected via flow cytometry assay and CCK-8 assay. Results HULC was highly expressed in the plasma and tissues of the GC patients compared with controls, with HULC high expression indicating lower survival rate. HULC knockdown enhanced cisplatin-induced apoptosis in GC cells. Conclusions Our results suggest that silencing lncRNA HULC could enhance chemotherapy induced apoptosis in GC cells, which could provide a novel approach for therapeutic strategies. PMID:28356873

  13. Genetic silencing of Nrf2 enhances X-ROS in dysferlin-deficient muscle

    PubMed Central

    Kombairaju, Ponvijay; Kerr, Jaclyn P.; Roche, Joseph A.; Pratt, Stephen J. P.; Lovering, Richard M.; Sussan, Thomas E.; Kim, Jung-Hyun; Shi, Guoli; Biswal, Shyam; Ward, Christopher W.

    2014-01-01

    Oxidative stress is a critical disease modifier in the muscular dystrophies. Recently, we discovered a pathway by which mechanical stretch activates NADPH Oxidase 2 (Nox2) dependent ROS generation (X-ROS). Our work in dystrophic skeletal muscle revealed that X-ROS is excessive in dystrophin-deficient (mdx) skeletal muscle and contributes to muscle injury susceptibility, a hallmark of the dystrophic process. We also observed widespread alterations in the expression of genes associated with the X-ROS pathway and redox homeostasis in muscles from both Duchenne muscular dystrophy patients and mdx mice. As nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) plays an essential role in the transcriptional regulation of genes involved in redox homeostasis, we hypothesized that Nrf2 deficiency may contribute to enhanced X-ROS signaling by reducing redox buffering. To directly test the effect of diminished Nrf2 activity, Nrf2 was genetically silenced in the A/J model of dysferlinopathy—a model with a mild histopathologic and functional phenotype. Nrf2-deficient A/J mice exhibited significant muscle-specific functional deficits, histopathologic abnormalities, and dramatically enhanced X-ROS compared to control A/J and WT mice, both with functional Nrf2. Having identified that reduced Nrf2 activity is a negative disease modifier, we propose that strategies targeting Nrf2 activation may address the generalized reduction in redox homeostasis to halt or slow dystrophic progression. PMID:24600403

  14. Combined genetic and epigenetic interferences with interferon signaling expose prostate cancer cells to viral infection

    PubMed Central

    Sabo, Yosef; Bacharach, Eran; Ehrlich, Marcelo

    2016-01-01

    Interferons (IFNs) induce anti-viral programs, regulate immune responses, and exert anti-proliferative effects. To escape anti-tumorigenic effects of IFNs, malignant cells attenuate JAK/STAT signaling and expression of IFN stimulated genes (ISGs). Such attenuation may enhance the susceptibility of tumor cells to oncolytic virotherapy. Here we studied genetic and epigenetic mechanisms of interference with JAK/STAT signaling and their contribution to susceptibility of prostate cancer cells to viral infection. Bioinformatics analysis of gene-expression in cohorts of prostate cancer patients revealed genetic and epigenetic interference with the IFN program. To correlate lack of IFN signaling and susceptibility to viral infection and oncolysis; we employed LNCaP prostate cancer cells as cellular model, and the human metapneumovirus and the epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus as infectious agents. In LNCaP cells, JAK1 is silenced by bi-allelic inactivating mutations and epigenetic silencing, which also silences ISGs. Chemical inhibition of epigenetic silencing partially restored IFN-sensitivity, induced low levels of expression of selected ISGs and attenuated, but failed to block, viral infection and oncolysis. Since viral infection was not blocked by epigenetic modifiers, and these compounds may independently-induce anti-tumor effects, we propose that epigenetic modifiers and virotherapy are compatible in treatment of prostate tumors defective in JAK1 expression and IFN signaling. PMID:27366948

  15. Yin Yang 1-mediated epigenetic silencing of tumour-suppressive microRNAs activates nuclear factor-κB in hepatocellular carcinoma.

    PubMed

    Tsang, Daisy P F; Wu, William K K; Kang, Wei; Lee, Ying-Ying; Wu, Feng; Yu, Zhuo; Xiong, Lei; Chan, Anthony W; Tong, Joanna H; Yang, Weiqin; Li, May S M; Lau, Suki S; Li, Xiangchun; Lee, Sau-Dan; Yang, Yihua; Lai, Paul B S; Yu, Dae-Yeul; Xu, Gang; Lo, Kwok-Wai; Chan, Matthew T V; Wang, Huating; Lee, Tin L; Yu, Jun; Wong, Nathalie; Yip, Kevin Y; To, Ka-Fai; Cheng, Alfred S L

    2016-04-01

    Enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2) catalyses histone H3 lysine 27 trimethylation (H3K27me3) to silence tumour-suppressor genes in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) but the process of locus-specific recruitment remains elusive. Here we investigated the transcription factors involved and the molecular consequences in HCC development. The genome-wide distribution of H3K27me3 was determined by chromatin immunoprecipitation coupled with high-throughput sequencing or promoter array analyses in HCC cells from hepatitis B virus (HBV) X protein transgenic mouse and human cell models. Transcription factor binding site analysis was performed to identify EZH2-interacting transcription factors followed by functional characterization. Our cross-species integrative analysis revealed a crucial link between Yin Yang 1 (YY1) and EZH2-mediated H3K27me3 in HCC. Gene expression analysis of human HBV-associated HCC specimens demonstrated concordant overexpression of YY1 and EZH2, which correlated with poor survival of patients in advanced stages. The YY1 binding motif was significantly enriched in both in vivo and in vitro H3K27me3-occupied genes, including genes for 15 tumour-suppressive microRNAs. Knockdown of YY1 reduced not only global H3K27me3 levels, but also EZH2 and H3K27me3 promoter occupancy and DNA methylation, leading to the transcriptional up-regulation of microRNA-9 isoforms in HCC cells. Concurrent EZH2 knockdown and 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine treatment synergistically increased the levels of microRNA-9, which reduced the expression and transcriptional activity of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB). Functionally, YY1 promoted HCC tumourigenicity and inhibited apoptosis of HCC cells, at least partially through NF-κB activation. In conclusion, YY1 overexpression contributes to EZH2 recruitment for H3K27me3-mediated silencing of tumour-suppressive microRNAs, thereby activating NF-κB signalling in hepatocarcinogenesis.

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:26938745

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. The Arabidopsis STRESS RESPONSE SUPPRESSOR DEAD-box RNA helicases are nucleolar- and chromocenter-localized proteins that undergo stress-mediated relocalization and are involved in epigenetic gene silencing.

    PubMed

    Khan, Asif; Garbelli, Anna; Grossi, Serena; Florentin, Assa; Batelli, Giorgia; Acuna, Tania; Zolla, Gaston; Kaye, Yuval; Paul, Laju K; Zhu, Jian-Kang; Maga, Giovanni; Grafi, Gideon; Barak, Simon

    2014-07-01

    DEAD-box RNA helicases are involved in many aspects of RNA metabolism and in diverse biological processes in plants. Arabidopsis thaliana mutants of two DEAD-box RNA helicases, STRESS RESPONSE SUPPRESSOR1 (STRS1) and STRS2 were previously shown to exhibit tolerance to abiotic stresses and up-regulated stress-responsive gene expression. Here, we show that Arabidopsis STRS-overexpressing lines displayed a less tolerant phenotype and reduced expression of stress-induced genes confirming the STRSs as attenuators of Arabidopsis stress responses. GFP-STRS fusion proteins exhibited localization to the nucleolus, nucleoplasm and chromocenters and exhibited relocalization in response to abscisic acid (ABA) treatment and various stresses. This relocalization was reversed when stress treatments were removed. The STRS proteins displayed mis-localization in specific gene-silencing mutants and exhibited RNA-dependent ATPase and RNA-unwinding activities. In particular, STRS2 showed mis-localization in three out of four mutants of the RNA-directed DNA methylation (RdDM) pathway while STRS1 was mis-localized in the hd2c mutant that is defective in histone deacetylase activity. Furthermore, heterochromatic RdDM target loci displayed reduced DNA methylation and increased expression in the strs mutants. Taken together, our findings suggest that the STRS proteins are involved in epigenetic silencing of gene expression to bring about suppression of the Arabidopsis stress response.

  1. Epigenetic Regulation in Plants

    PubMed Central

    Pikaard, Craig S.; Mittelsten Scheid, Ortrun

    2014-01-01

    The study of epigenetics in plants has a long and rich history, from initial descriptions of non-Mendelian gene behaviors to seminal discoveries of chromatin-modifying proteins and RNAs that mediate gene silencing in most eukaryotes, including humans. Genetic screens in the model plant Arabidopsis have been particularly rewarding, identifying more than 130 epigenetic regulators thus far. The diversity of epigenetic pathways in plants is remarkable, presumably contributing to the phenotypic plasticity of plant postembryonic development and the ability to survive and reproduce in unpredictable environments. PMID:25452385

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Two enhancers and one silencer located in the introns of regA control somatic cell differentiation in Volvox carteri

    PubMed Central

    Stark, Klaus; Kirk, David L.; Schmitt, Rüdiger

    2001-01-01

    The regA gene plays a central role in germ-soma differentiation of Volvox carteri by suppressing all reproductive functions in somatic cells. Here we show that the minimal promoter of regA consists of only 42 bp immediately upstream of the transcription start site, and that it contains no discernible regulatory elements. However, introns 3 and 5 are both required for regA expression in somatic cells, and intron 7 is essential for silencing regA in gonidia (asexual reproductive cells). A regA gene lacking intron 7 rescues the normal phenotype of mutant somatic cells, but also results in gonidia that reproduce only weakly and soon die out. The same phenotype is observed when a regA gene containing intron 7 is placed under control of a constitutive promoter, suggesting that the silencing activity of intron 7 is promoter specific. Intron 7 is unusual in that it contains a potential ORF that is in frame with exons 7 and 8, and some transcripts are produced in which intron 7 is retained. However, a regulatory role for the intron 7 translation product can be ruled out, because a construct in which intron 7 must be translated, and one in which it cannot be translated, both result in wild-type development of both cell types. Furthermore, intron 7 is unable to act in trans to silence regA, but is able to exert its normal effect when placed in a different location within the gene. Therefore, it appears that intron 7 functions in gonidia as a classical cell-type-specific and promoter-specific enhancer, of the inhibitory type that is often referred to as a silencer. PMID:11390364

  5. 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

  6. Repositioning FDA-Approved Drugs in Combination with Epigenetic Drugs to Reprogram Colon Cancer Epigenome.

    PubMed

    Raynal, Noël J-M; Da Costa, Elodie M; Lee, Justin T; Gharibyan, Vazganush; Ahmed, Saira; Zhang, Hanghang; Sato, Takahiro; Malouf, Gabriel G; Issa, Jean-Pierre J

    2017-02-01

    Epigenetic drugs, such as DNA methylation inhibitors (DNMTi) or histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi), are approved in monotherapy for cancer treatment. These drugs reprogram gene expression profiles, reactivate tumor suppressor genes (TSG) producing cancer cell differentiation and apoptosis. Epigenetic drugs have been shown to synergize with other epigenetic drugs or various anticancer drugs. To discover new molecular entities that enhance epigenetic therapy, we performed a high-throughput screening using FDA-approved libraries in combination with DNMTi or HDACi. As a screening model, we used YB5 system, a human colon cancer cell line, which contains an epigenetically silenced CMV-GFP locus, mimicking TSG silencing in cancer. CMV-GFP reactivation is triggered by DNMTi or HDACi and responds synergistically to DNMTi/HDACi combination, which phenocopies TSG reactivation upon epigenetic therapy. GFP fluorescence was used as a quantitative readout for epigenetic activity. We discovered that 45 FDA-approved drugs (4% of all drugs tested) in our FDA-approved libraries enhanced DNMTi and HDACi activity, mainly belonging to anticancer and antiarrhythmic drug classes. Transcriptome analysis revealed that combination of decitabine (DNMTi) with the antiarrhythmic proscillaridin A produced profound gene expression reprogramming, which was associated with downregulation of 153 epigenetic regulators, including two known oncogenes in colon cancer (SYMD3 and KDM8). Also, we identified about 85 FDA-approved drugs that antagonized DNMTi and HDACi activity through cytotoxic mechanisms, suggesting detrimental drug interactions for patients undergoing epigenetic therapy. Overall, our drug screening identified new combinations of epigenetic and FDA-approved drugs, which can be rapidly implemented into clinical trials. Mol Cancer Ther; 16(2); 397-407. ©2016 AACR.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. An HDAC-dependent epigenetic mechanism that enhances the efficacy of the antidepressant drug fluoxetine

    PubMed Central

    Schmauss, C.

    2015-01-01

    Depression is a prevalent and debilitating psychiatric illnesses. However, currently prescribed antidepressant drugs are only efficacious in a limited group of patients. Studies on Balb/c mice suggested that histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibition may enhance the efficacy of the widely-prescribed antidepressant drug fluoxetine. This study shows that reducing HDAC activity in fluoxetine-treated Balb/c mice leads to robust antidepressant and anxiolytic effects. While reducing the activity of class I HDACs 1 and 3 led to antidepressant effects, additional class II HDAC inhibition was necessary to exert anxiolytic effects. In fluoxetine-treated mice, HDAC inhibitors increased enrichment of acetylated histone H4 protein and RNA polymerase II at promotor 3 of the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (Bdnf) gene and increased Bdnf transcription from this promotor. Reducing Bdnf-stimulated tropomyosin kinase B receptor activation in fluoxetine-treated mice with low HDAC activity abolished the behavioral effects of fluoxetine, suggesting that the HDAC-triggered epigenetic stimulation of Bdnf expression is critical for therapeutic efficacy. PMID:25639887

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Silencing Fibronectin Extra Domain A Enhances Radiosensitivity in Nasopharyngeal Carcinomas Involving an FAK/Akt/JNK Pathway

    SciTech Connect

    Ou Juanjuan; Pan Feng; Geng Peiliang; Wei Xing; Xie Ganfeng; Deng Jia; Pang Xueli; Liang Houjie

    2012-03-15

    Purpose: Fibronectin extra domain A (EDA) is known to play important roles in angiogenesis, lymphangiogenesis, and metastasis in malignant tumors. The present study examined the effect of EDA on the radioresistance potential of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). Methods and Materials: EDA expression levels in blood samples and tumor tissues of NPC patients were tested by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and immunohistochemistry. Radiosensitivity was tested by colony survival assay. Apoptosis was determined by flow cytometry. The expressions of EDA, cleaved caspase 9, cleaved caspase 3, cleaved PARP, Bcl-2, and the levels of phosphorylated FAK, Akt, and JNK were measured by Western blot. Xenografts were used to confirm the effect of EDA on radiosensitivity in vivo. Results: EDA levels in blood samples of advanced NPC patients were much higher than those in early-stage patients. In tumor tissues, the positive expressions of EDA in NPC tumor tissues were shown to be correlated with the differentiation degrees of cancer cells and lymph node metastases. Additionally, the expression of EDA is positively correlated with the expression of antiapoptotic gene (Bcl2), but negatively correlated with the expressions of apoptotic genes (cleaved caspase-3, cleaved caspase-9, cleaved PARP). In vitro, EDA-silenced NPC cells CNE-2 shows substantially enhanced radiosensitivity with lower colony survival and more apoptosis in response to radiation. In vivo, EDA-silenced xenografts were more sensitive to radiation. At the molecular level, FAK/Akt/JNK signaling was demonstrated to be inactivated in EDA-silenced CNE-2 cells. Conclusions: EDA strongly affected the radiosensitivity of NPC cells. FAK/Akt/JNK signaling was found to be a potential signaling mediating EDA function.

  13. Enhanced Gene Silencing through Human Serum Albumin-Mediated Delivery of Polyethylenimine-siRNA Polyplexes

    PubMed Central

    Nicolì, Elena; Syga, Marie Isabel; Bosetti, Michela; Shastri, V. Prasad

    2015-01-01

    Small interfering RNA (siRNA) targeted therapeutics (STT) offers a compelling alternative to tradition medications for treatment of genetic diseases by providing a means to silence the expression of specific aberrant proteins, through interference at the expression level. The perceived advantage of siRNA therapy is its ability to target, through synthetic antisense oligonucleotides, any part of the genome. Although STT provides a high level of specificity, it is also hindered by poor intracellular uptake, limited blood stability, high degradability and non-specific immune stimulation. Since serum proteins has been considered as useful vehicles for targeting tumors, in this study we investigated the effect of incorporation of human serum albumin (HSA) in branched polyethylenimine (bPEI)-siRNA polyplexes in their internalization in epithelial and endothelial cells. We observed that introduction of HSA preserves the capacity of bPEI to complex with siRNA and protect it against extracellular endonucleases, while affording significantly improved internalization and silencing efficiency, compared to bPEI-siRNA polyplexes in endothelial and metastatic breast cancer epithelial cells. Furthermore, the uptake of the HSA-bPEI-siRNA ternary polyplexes occurred primarily through a caveolae-mediated endocytosis, thus providing evidence for a clear role for HSA in polyplex internalization. These results provide further impetus to explore the role of serum proteins in delivery of siRNA. PMID:25856158

  14. Epigenetic silencing of miR-218 by the lncRNA CCAT1, acting via BMI1, promotes an altered cell cycle transition in the malignant transformation of HBE cells induced by cigarette smoke extract.

    PubMed

    Lu, Lu; Xu, Hui; Luo, Fei; Liu, Xinlu; Lu, Xiaolin; Yang, Qianlei; Xue, Junchao; Chen, Chao; Shi, Le; Liu, Qizhan

    2016-08-01

    Cigarette smoking is the strongest risk factor for the development of lung cancer, the leading cause of cancer-related deaths. However, the molecular mechanisms leading to lung cancer are largely unknown. A long-noncoding RNA (lncRNA), CCAT1, regarded as cancer-associated, has been investigated extensively. Moreover, the molecular mechanisms of lncRNAs in regulation of microRNAs (miRNAs) induced by cigarette smoke remain unclear. In the present investigation, cigarette smoke extract (CSE) caused an altered cell cycle and increased CCAT1 levels and decreased miR-218 levels in human bronchial epithelial (HBE) cells. Depletion of CCAT1 attenuated the CSE-induced decreases of miR-218 levels, suggesting that miR-218 is negatively regulated by CCAT1 in HBE cells exposed to CSE. The CSE-induced increases of BMI1 levels and blocked by CCAT1 siRNA were attenuated by an miR-218 inhibitor. Moreover, in CSE-transformed HBE cells, the CSE-induced cell cycle changes and elevated neoplastic capacity were reversed by CCAT1 siRNA or BMI1 siRNA. This epigenetic silencing of miR-218 by CCAT1 induces an altered cell cycle transition through BMI1 and provides a new mechanism for CSE-induced lung carcinogenesis.

  15. Maternal dietary zinc supplementation enhances the epigenetic-activated antioxidant ability of chick embryos from maternal normal and high temperatures.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Yongwen; Liao, Xiudong; Lu, Lin; Li, Wenxiang; Zhang, Liyang; Ji, Cheng; Lin, Xi; Liu, Hsiao-Ching; Odle, Jack; Luo, Xugang

    2017-02-03

    The role of maternal dietary zinc supplementation in protecting the embryos from maternal hyperthermia-induced negative effects via epigenetic mechanisms was examined using an avian model (Gallus gallus). Broiler breeder hens were exposed to two maternal temperatures (21°C and 32°C) × three maternal dietary zinc treatments (zinc-unsupplemented control diet, the control diet + 110 mg zinc/kg inorganic or organic zinc) for 8 weeks. Maternal hyperthermia increased the embryonic mortality and induced oxidative damage evidenced by the elevated mRNA expressions of heat shock protein genes. Maternal dietary zinc deficiency damaged the embryonic development associated with the global DNA hypomethylation and histone 3 lysine 9 hyperacetylation in the embryonic liver. Supplementation of zinc in maternal diets effectively eliminated the embryonic mortality induced by maternal hyperthermia and enhanced antioxidant ability with the increased mRNA and protein expressions of metallothionein IV in the embryonic liver. The increased metallothionein IV mRNA expression was due to the reduced DNA methylation and increased histone 3 lysine 9 acetylation of the metallothionein IV promoter regardless of zinc source. These data demonstrate that maternal dietary zinc addition as an epigenetic modifier could protect the offspring embryonic development against maternal heat stress via enhancing the epigenetic-activated antioxidant ability.

  16. 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

  17. Epigenetic regulation of human retinoblastoma.

    PubMed

    Singh, Usha; Malik, Manzoor Ahmad; Goswami, Sandeep; Shukla, Swati; Kaur, Jasbir

    2016-11-01

    Retinoblastoma is a rare type of eye cancer of the retina that commonly occurs in early childhood and mostly affects the children before the age of 5. It occurs due to the mutations in the retinoblastoma gene (RB1) which inactivates both alleles of the RB1. RB1 was first identified as a tumor suppressor gene, which regulates cell cycle components and associated with retinoblastoma. Previously, genetic alteration was known as the major cause of its occurrence, but later, it is revealed that besides genetic changes, epigenetic changes also play a significant role in the disease. Initiation and progression of retinoblastoma could be due to independent or combined genetic and epigenetic events. Remarkable work has been done in understanding retinoblastoma pathogenesis in terms of genetic alterations, but not much in the context of epigenetic modification. Epigenetic modifications that silence tumor suppressor genes and activate oncogenes include DNA methylation, chromatin remodeling, histone modification and noncoding RNA-mediated gene silencing. Epigenetic changes can lead to altered gene function and transform normal cell into tumor cells. This review focuses on important epigenetic alteration which occurs in retinoblastoma and its current state of knowledge. The critical role of epigenetic regulation in retinoblastoma is now an emerging area, and better understanding of epigenetic changes in retinoblastoma will open the door for future therapy and diagnosis.

  18. Testicular Dysgenesis Syndrome and Long-Lasting Epigenetic Silencing of Mouse Sperm Genes Involved in the Reproductive System after Prenatal Exposure to DEHP

    PubMed Central

    Escoffier, Jessica; Rahban, Rita; Nef, Serge; Paoloni-Giacobino, Ariane

    2017-01-01

    The endocrine disruptor bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) has been shown to exert adverse effects on the male animal reproductive system. However, its mode of action is unclear and a systematic analysis of its molecular targets is needed. In the present study, we investigated the effects of prenatal exposure to 300 mg/kg/day DEHP during a critical period for gonads differentiation to testes on male mice offspring reproductive parameters, including the genome-wide RNA expression and associated promoter methylation status in the sperm of the first filial generation. It was observed that adult male offspring displayed symptoms similar to the human testicular dysgenesis syndrome. A combination of sperm transcriptome and methylome data analysis allowed to detect a long-lasting DEHP-induced and robust promoter methylation-associated silencing of almost the entire cluster of the seminal vesicle secretory proteins and antigen genes, which are known to play a fundamental role in sperm physiology. It also resulted in the detection of a DEHP-induced promoter demethylation associated with an up-regulation of three genes apparently not relevant for sperm physiology and partially related to the immune system. As previously reported, DEHP induced an increase in mir-615 microRNA expression and a genome-wide decrease in microRNA promoter methylation. A functional analysis revealed DEHP-induced enrichments in down-regulated gene transcripts coding for peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors and tumor necrosis factor signaling pathways, and in up-regulated gene transcripts coding for calcium binding and numerous myosin proteins. All these enriched pathways and networks have been described to be associated in some way with the reproductive system. This study identifies a large new array of genes dysregulated by DEHP that may play a role in the complex system controlling the development of the male reproductive system. PMID:28085963

  19. Testicular Dysgenesis Syndrome and Long-Lasting Epigenetic Silencing of Mouse Sperm Genes Involved in the Reproductive System after Prenatal Exposure to DEHP.

    PubMed

    Stenz, Ludwig; Escoffier, Jessica; Rahban, Rita; Nef, Serge; Paoloni-Giacobino, Ariane

    2017-01-01

    The endocrine disruptor bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) has been shown to exert adverse effects on the male animal reproductive system. However, its mode of action is unclear and a systematic analysis of its molecular targets is needed. In the present study, we investigated the effects of prenatal exposure to 300 mg/kg/day DEHP during a critical period for gonads differentiation to testes on male mice offspring reproductive parameters, including the genome-wide RNA expression and associated promoter methylation status in the sperm of the first filial generation. It was observed that adult male offspring displayed symptoms similar to the human testicular dysgenesis syndrome. A combination of sperm transcriptome and methylome data analysis allowed to detect a long-lasting DEHP-induced and robust promoter methylation-associated silencing of almost the entire cluster of the seminal vesicle secretory proteins and antigen genes, which are known to play a fundamental role in sperm physiology. It also resulted in the detection of a DEHP-induced promoter demethylation associated with an up-regulation of three genes apparently not relevant for sperm physiology and partially related to the immune system. As previously reported, DEHP induced an increase in mir-615 microRNA expression and a genome-wide decrease in microRNA promoter methylation. A functional analysis revealed DEHP-induced enrichments in down-regulated gene transcripts coding for peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors and tumor necrosis factor signaling pathways, and in up-regulated gene transcripts coding for calcium binding and numerous myosin proteins. All these enriched pathways and networks have been described to be associated in some way with the reproductive system. This study identifies a large new array of genes dysregulated by DEHP that may play a role in the complex system controlling the development of the male reproductive system.

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

    Hore, Timothy Alexander; von Meyenn, Ferdinand; Ravichandran, Mirunalini; Bachman, Martin; Ficz, Gabriella; Oxley, David; Santos, Fátima; Balasubramanian, Shankar; Jurkowski, Tomasz P; Reik, Wolf

    2016-10-25

    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 Fe(2+) 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.

  2. 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

  3. Selective Modification of HK Peptides Enhances siRNA Silencing of Tumor Targets In Vivo

    PubMed Central

    Chou, Szu-Ting; Leng, Qixin; Scaria, Puthupparampil; Woodle, Martin; Mixson, A. James

    2011-01-01

    Our research has focused on systemic delivery of small interference RNA (siRNA) by branched peptides composed of histidine and lysine, called HK peptides. After studying several HK peptides, one four-branched peptide, H3K(+H)4b, with a predominant repeating pattern of -HHHK-, was found to be an effective carrier of siRNA. Although the unmodified H3K(+H)4b carrier of siRNA targeting an oncogene was previously shown to have promise in a tumor-bearing mouse model, we sought to develop a more effective HK carrier of siRNA in the current study. Our primary goal was to determine whether different ligand (cyclic RGD)-pegylation patterns on the H3K(+H)4b peptide affect siRNA delivery in vitro and in vivo. We compared the unmodified H3K(+H)4b with two modified H3K(+H)4b peptides for their ability to deliver siRNA in a tumor-bearing mouse model; one modified HK peptide, (RGD-PEG)4-H3K(+H)4b, had four cRGD-PEG conjugated to each molecule, while the other peptide, (RGD-PEG)-H3K(+H)4b, had one cRGD-PEG per molecule. Although the modified HK peptides by themselves did not form stable nanoplexes with siRNA, combination of a highly charged unmodified HK peptide, H2K4b, with either of the modified HK peptides did form stable siRNA nanoparticles. For in vitro experiments with MDA-MB-435 cells that expressed luciferase, the H3K(+H)4b siRNA nanoplexes targeting luciferase decreased its activity by 90% compared with negligible down-regulation by the modified H3K(+H)4b nanoplexes (P<0.01). In contrast, the two modified H3K(+H)4b siRNA nanoplexes administered intravenously were more effective than the H3K(+H)4b nanoplexes in silencing luciferase in a tumor xenograft model. The luciferase activity in tumor lysates of mice administered H3K(+H)4b, (RGD-PEG)-H3K(+H)4b, and (RGD-PEG)4-H3K(+H)4b nanoplexes decreased by 18%, 35%, and 75%, respectively. Thus, the siRNA nanoplex incorporating the highly modified peptide, (RGD-PEG)4-H3K(+H)4b, was the most effective at silencing its target in vivo

  4. 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.

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

    McGhee, Katie E; Bell, Alison M

    2014-11-07

    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.

  7. The epigenetics of estrogen

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Zaorui; Fan, Lu

    2011-01-01

    Epigenetic processes have been implicated in everything from cell proliferation to maternal behavior. Epigenetic alterations, including histone alterations and DNA methylation, have also been shown to play critical roles in the formation of some types of memory, and in the modulatory effects that factors, such as stress, drugs of abuse and environmental stimulation, have on the brain and memory function. Recently, we demonstrated that the ability of the sex-steroid hormone 17β-estradiol (E2) to enhance memory formation is dependent on histone acetylation and DNA methylation, a finding that has important implications for understanding how hormones influence cognition in adulthood and aging. In this article, we provide an overview of the literature demonstrating that epigenetic processes and E2 influence memory, describe our findings indicating that epigenetic alterations regulate E2-induced memory enhancement, and discuss directions for future work on the epigenetics of estrogen. PMID:21593594

  8. Epigenetic silencing of microRNA-149 in cancer-associated fibroblasts mediates prostaglandin E2/interleukin-6 signaling in the tumor microenvironment

    PubMed Central

    Li, Pu; Shan, Jing-Xuan; Chen, Xue-Hua; Zhang, Di; Su, Li-Ping; Huang, Xiu-Ying; Yu, Bei-Qin; Zhi, Qiao-Ming; Li, Cheng-Long; Wang, Ya-Qing; Tomei, Sara; Cai, Qu; Ji, Jun; Li, Jian-Fang; Chouchane, Lotfi; Yu, Ying-Yan; Sun, Fang-Zhen; Xu, Zhi-Heng; Liu, Bing-Ya; Zhu, Zheng-Gang

    2015-01-01

    Tumor initiation and growth depend on its microenvironment in which cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) in tumor stroma play an important role. Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and interleukin (IL)-6 signal pathways are involved in the crosstalk between tumor and stromal cells. However, how PGE2-mediated signaling modulates this crosstalk remains unclear. Here, we show that microRNA (miR)-149 links PGE2 and IL-6 signaling in mediating the crosstalk between tumor cells and CAFs in gastric cancer (GC). miR-149 inhibited fibroblast activation by targeting IL-6 and miR-149 expression was substantially suppressed in the CAFs of GC. miR-149 negatively regulated CAFs and their effect on GC development both in vitro and in vivo. CAFs enhanced epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and the stem-like properties of GC cells in a miR-149-IL-6-dependent manner. In addition to IL-6, PGE2 receptor 2 (PTGER2/EP2) was revealed as another potential target of miR-149 in fibroblasts. Furthermore, H. pylori infection, a leading cause of human GC, was able to induce cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2)/PGE2 signaling and to enhance PGE2 production, resulting in the hypermethylation of miR-149 in CAFs and increased IL-6 secretion. Our findings indicate that miR-149 mediates the crosstalk between tumor cells and CAFs in GC and highlight the potential of interfering miRNAs in stromal cells to improve cancer therapy. PMID:25916550

  9. Enhancement of gene silencing potency and nuclease stability by chemically modified duplex RNA.

    PubMed

    Kubo, Takanori; Zhelev, Zhivko; Bakalova, Rumiana; Ohba, Hideki

    2007-01-01

    In this study, we describe a development of chemically modified dsRNAs with improved biological properties. These dsRNAs possess an enhanced RNAi activity and a dramatically increased stability in cell cultured medium (containing 10% serum) in comparison with widely used 21nt siRNA. The chemically modified dsRNAs manifested a high longterm gene suppression after one week post-transfection, whereas 21nt siRNA showed a high RNAi activity only after 48 h cell transfection.

  10. Enhancement of Vitamin D Action in Prostate Cancer through Silencing of CYP24

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-02-01

    PCR analysis of endogenous CYP24A1 mRNA levels in presence of 10nM Vitamin D3 or vehicle (ethanol; EtOH) in LnCAP, DU145 and PC3 prostate cancer...p. 5 C.4. Androgen Administration Enhances the Growth Inhibitory Effect of Vitamin D3 : We studied the actions of androgen (alone or together...with vitamin D3 ) administration on cell using WST-1 colorimetric assay (Fig.5). In LNCaP (expresses a mutant AR and displays androgen

  11. Transcriptional gene silencing in humans

    PubMed Central

    Weinberg, Marc S.; Morris, Kevin V.

    2016-01-01

    It has been over a decade since the first observation that small non-coding RNAs can functionally modulate epigenetic states in human cells to achieve functional transcriptional gene silencing (TGS). TGS is mechanistically distinct from the RNA interference (RNAi) gene-silencing pathway. TGS can result in long-term stable epigenetic modifications to gene expression that can be passed on to daughter cells during cell division, whereas RNAi does not. Early studies of TGS have been largely overlooked, overshadowed by subsequent discoveries of small RNA-directed post-TGS and RNAi. A reappraisal of early work has been brought about by recent findings in human cells where endogenous long non-coding RNAs function to regulate the epigenome. There are distinct and common overlaps between the proteins involved in small and long non-coding RNA transcriptional regulatory mechanisms, suggesting that the early studies using small non-coding RNAs to modulate transcription were making use of a previously unrecognized endogenous mechanism of RNA-directed gene regulation. Here we review how non-coding RNA plays a role in regulation of transcription and epigenetic gene silencing in human cells by revisiting these earlier studies and the mechanistic insights gained to date. We also provide a list of mammalian genes that have been shown to be transcriptionally regulated by non-coding RNAs. Lastly, we explore how TGS may serve as the basis for development of future therapeutic agents. PMID:27060137

  12. 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.

  13. Silencing myotubularin related protein 7 enhances proliferation and early differentiation of C2C12 myoblast.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Zhuning; Chen, Yaosheng; Zhang, Xumeng; Zhou, Xingyu; Li, Mingsen; Chen, Hu; Wu, Ming; Zhang, Ying; Mo, Delin

    2017-03-11

    Myotubularin related protein 7 (MTMR7) is a key member of the highly conserved myotubularin related proteins (MTMRs) family, which has phosphatase activity. MTMR7 was increased during myoblast differentiation and exhibited high expression level at primary fibers formation stages in pigs. This suggests that MTMR7 may be involved in myogenesis. In our study, we investigated the roles of MTMR7 on proliferation and differentiation of C2C12 myoblasts. Knocking down MTMR7 not only enhanced myoblast early differentiation via altering the expression of Myf5, but also promoted myoblast proliferation through increasing cyclinA2 expression. The improved proliferation capacity was related to the increased phosphorylation of AKT. Taken together, our research demonstrates that MTMR7 plays an important role in proliferation and early differentiation of C2C12 myoblast.

  14. 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

  15. RNA-dependent RNA polymerase 1 from Nicotiana tabacum suppresses RNA silencing and enhances viral infection in Nicotiana benthamiana.

    PubMed

    Ying, Xiao-Bao; Dong, Li; Zhu, Hui; Duan, Cheng-Guo; Du, Quan-Sheng; Lv, Dian-Qiu; Fang, Yuan-Yuan; Garcia, Juan Antonio; Fang, Rong-Xiang; Guo, Hui-Shan

    2010-04-01

    Endogenous eukaryotic RNA-dependent RNA polymerases (RDRs) produce double-stranded RNA intermediates in diverse processes of small RNA synthesis in RNA silencing pathways. RDR6 is required in plants for posttranscriptional gene silencing induced by sense transgenes (S-PTGS) and has an important role in amplification of antiviral silencing. Whereas RDR1 is also involved in antiviral defense in plants, this does not necessarily proceed through triggering silencing. In this study, we show that Nicotiana benthamiana transformed with RDR1 from Nicotiana tabacum (Nt-RDR1 plants) exhibits hypersusceptibility to Plum pox potyvirus and other viruses, resembling RDR6-silenced (RDR6i) N. benthamiana. Analysis of transient induction of RNA silencing in N. benthamiana Nt-RDR1 and RDR6i plants revealed that Nt-RDR1 possesses silencing suppression activity. We found that Nt-RDR1 does not interfere with RDR6-dependent siRNA accumulation but turns out to suppress RDR6-dependent S-PTGS. Our results, together with previously published data, suggest that RDR1 might have a dual role, contributing, on one hand, to salicylic acid-mediated antiviral defense, and suppressing, on the other hand, the RDR6-mediated antiviral RNA silencing. We propose a scenario in which the natural loss-of-function variant of RDR1 in N. benthamiana may be the outcome of selective pressure to maintain a high RDR6-dependent antiviral defense, which would be required to face the hypersensitivity of this plant to a large number of viruses.

  16. HPV16E7 silencing enhances susceptibility of CaSki cells to natural killer cells.

    PubMed

    Guo, Huimin; Hu, Ruili; Guan, Xinlei; Guo, Fang; Zhao, Shuzhen; Zhang, Xueying

    2014-04-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate the cytotoxicity of natural killer (NK) cells to CaSki cells following knockdown of the E7 protein of the human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV16E7). Recombinant adenovirus-short hairpin-E7 protein of the human panillomavirus type 16 (Ad‑sh‑HPV16E7) was constructed and used to infect CaSki cells. The expression of HPV16E7 in CaSki cells was assessed using western blot analysis. The expression of cell surface molecule major histocompatibility complex‑I (MHC‑I) in CaSki cells infected with Ad‑sh‑HPV16E7 was examined using flow cytometry. The cytotoxicity of NK cells isolated and expanded from healthy volunteers on Ad‑sh‑HPV16E7‑infected CaSki cells was assessed using the lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release assay. Ad‑sh‑HPV16E7 was successfully constructed and able to inhibit HPV16E7 the expression in CaSki cells. The expression of major histocompa-tibility complex I (MHC‑I), a surface molecule, in CaSki cells was increased after infection with Ad‑sh‑HPV16E7. Compared with the controls, the cytotoxicity of NK cells on CaSki cells, which were infected with Ad‑sh‑HPV16E7, was decreased (p<0.05). In conclusion, HPV16E7 suppresses the expression of MHC‑I on CaSki cells to evade cytotoxic T‑cell (CTL) response. However, it was possible to enhance the cytotoxicity of expanded NK cells to cervical cancer cells or HPV16‑infected cells in vitro, indicating that NK cells may be used for immunotherapy of cervical cancer.

  17. Exogenous Transposable Elements Circumvent Identity-Based Silencing, Permitting the Dissection of Expression-Dependent Silencing[OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Fultz, Dalen

    2017-01-01

    The propagation of epigenetic marks has received a great deal of attention, yet the initiation of epigenetic silencing of a new transgene, virus, or transposable element (TE) remains enigmatic. The overlapping and simultaneous function of multiple silencing mechanisms has obscured this area of investigation. Here, we revealed two broad mechanisms that can initiate silencing independently: identity-based and expression-dependent silencing. We found that identity-based silencing is targeted by 21- to 22-nucleotide or 24-nucleotide small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) generated from previously silenced regions of the genome. By transforming exogenous TEs into Arabidopsis thaliana, we circumvented identity-based silencing, allowing us to isolate and investigate the molecular mechanism of expression-dependent silencing. We found that several siRNA-generating mechanisms all trigger de novo expression-dependent RNA-directed DNA methylation (RdDM) through RNA Polymerase V. In addition, while full-length TEs quickly progress beyond RdDM to heterochromatin formation and the final maintenance methylation state, TE fragments stall at the RdDM phase. Lastly, we found that transformation into a mutant genotype followed by introgression into the wild type does not result in the same level of silencing as direct transformation into the wild type. This demonstrates that the plant genotype during a narrow window of time at TE insertion (or transgene transformation) is key for establishing the transgenerational extent of epigenetic silencing. PMID:28193737

  18. Co-silencing of tomato S-adenosylhomocysteine hydrolase genes confers increased immunity against Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000 and enhanced tolerance to drought stress.

    PubMed

    Li, Xiaohui; Huang, Lei; Hong, Yongbo; Zhang, Yafen; Liu, Shixia; Li, Dayong; Zhang, Huijuan; Song, Fengming

    2015-01-01

    S-adenosylhomocysteine hydrolase (SAHH), catalyzing the reversible hydrolysis of S-adenosylhomocysteine (SAH) to adenosine and homocysteine, is a key enzyme that maintain the cellular methylation potential in all organisms. We report here the biological functions of tomato SlSAHHs in stress response. The tomato genome contains three SlSAHH genes that encode SlSAHH proteins with high level of sequence identity. qRT-PCR analysis revealed that SlSAHHs responded with distinct expression induction patterns to Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato (Pst) DC3000 and Botrytis cinerea as well as to defense signaling hormones such as salicylic acid, jasmonic acid and a precursor of ethylene. Virus-induced gene silencing-based knockdown of individual SlSAHH gene did not affect the growth performance and the response to Pst DC3000. However, co-silencing of three SlSAHH genes using a conserved sequence led to significant inhibition of vegetable growth. The SlSAHH-co-silenced plants displayed increased resistance to Pst DC3000 but did not alter the resistance to B. cinerea. Co-silencing of SlSAHHs resulted in constitutively activated defense responses including elevated SA level, upregulated expression of defense-related and PAMP-triggered immunity marker genes and increased callose deposition and H2O2 accumulation. Furthermore, the SlSAHH-co-silenced plants also exhibited enhanced drought stress tolerance although they had relatively small roots. These data demonstrate that, in addition to the functions in growth and development, SAHHs also play important roles in regulating biotic and abiotic stress responses in plants.

  19. Involvement of elevated proline accumulation in enhanced osmotic stress tolerance in Arabidopsis conferred by chimeric repressor gene silencing technology.

    PubMed

    Kazama, Daisuke; Kurusu, Takamitsu; Mitsuda, Nobutaka; Ohme-Takagi, Masaru; Tada, Yuichi

    2014-01-01

    Arabidopsis plants transformed with a chimeric repressor for 6 transcription factors (TFs), including ADA2b, Msantd, DDF1, DREB26, AtGeBP, and ATHB23, that were converted by Chimeric REpressor gene Silencing Technology (CRES-T), show elevated salt and osmotic stress tolerance compared with wild type (WT) plants. However, the roles of TFs in salt and osmotic signaling remain largely unknown. Their hyper-osmotic stress tolerance was evaluated using 3 criteria: germination rate, root length, and rate of seedlings with visible cotyledons at the germination stage. All CRES-T lines tested exhibited better performance than WT, at least for one criterion under stress conditions. Under 600 mM mannitol stress, 3-week-old CRES-T lines accumulated proline, which is a major compatible solute involved in osmoregulation, at higher levels than WT. Expression levels of the delta 1-pyrroline-5-carboxylate synthase gene in CRES-T lines were similar to or lower than those in WT. In contrast, expression of the proline dehydrogenase (PHD) gene in DREB26-SRDX was significantly downregulated and that in ADA2b-SRDX and AtGeBP-SRDX was also rather downregulated compared with that in WT. Although plants at different stages were used for stress tolerance test and proline measurement in this study, we previously reported that 4 out of the 6 CRES-T lines showed better growth than WT after 4 weeks of incubation under 400 mM mannitol. These results suggest that proline accumulation caused by PHD gene suppression may be involved in enhanced osmotic stress tolerance in the CRES-T lines, and that these TFs may be involved in regulating proline metabolism in Arabidopsis.

  20. Mammalian homologues of the Polycomb-group gene Enhancer of zeste mediate gene silencing in Drosophila heterochromatin and at S. cerevisiae telomeres.

    PubMed Central

    Laible, G; Wolf, A; Dorn, R; Reuter, G; Nislow, C; Lebersorger, A; Popkin, D; Pillus, L; Jenuwein, T

    1997-01-01

    Gene silencing is required to stably maintain distinct patterns of gene expression during eukaryotic development and has been correlated with the induction of chromatin domains that restrict gene activity. We describe the isolation of human (EZH2) and mouse (Ezh1) homologues of the Drosophila Polycomb-group (Pc-G) gene Enhancer of zeste [E(z)], a crucial regulator of homeotic gene expression implicated in the assembly of repressive protein complexes in chromatin. Mammalian homologues of E(z) are encoded by two distinct loci in mouse and man, and the two murine Ezh genes display complementary expression profiles during mouse development. The E(z) gene family reveals a striking functional conservation in mediating gene repression in eukaryotic chromatin: extra gene copies of human EZH2 or Drosophila E(z) in transgenic flies enhance position effect variegation of the heterochromatin-associated white gene, and expression of either human EZH2 or murine Ezh1 restores gene repression in Saccharomyces cerevisiae mutants that are impaired in telomeric silencing. Together, these data provide a functional link between Pc-G-dependent gene repression and inactive chromatin domains, and indicate that silencing mechanism(s) may be broadly conserved in eukaryotes. PMID:9214638

  1. Maternal obesity induces epigenetic modifications to facilitate Zfp423 expression and enhance adipogenic differentiation in fetal mice.

    PubMed

    Yang, Qi-Yuan; Liang, Jun-Fang; Rogers, Carl J; Zhao, Jun-Xing; Zhu, Mei-Jun; Du, Min

    2013-11-01

    Maternal obesity (MO) predisposes offspring to obesity and type 2 diabetes despite poorly defined mechanisms. Zfp423 is the key transcription factor committing cells to the adipogenic lineage, with exceptionally dense CpG sites in its promoter. We hypothesized that MO enhances adipogenic differentiation during fetal development through inducing epigenetic changes in the Zfp423 promoter and elevating its expression. Female mice were subjected to a control (Con) or obesogenic (OB) diet for 2 months, mated, and maintained on their diets during pregnancy. Fetal tissue was harvested at embryonic day 14.5 (E14.5), when the early adipogenic commitment is initiated. The Zfp423 expression was 3.6-fold higher and DNA methylation in the Zfp423 promoter was lower in OB compared with Con. Correspondingly, repressive histone methylation (H3K27me3) was lower in the Zfp423 promoter of OB fetal tissue, accompanied by reduced binding of enhancer of zeste 2 (EZH2). Gain- and loss-of-function analysis showed that Zfp423 regulates early adipogenic differentiation in fetal progenitor cells. In summary, MO enhanced Zfp423 expression and adipogenic differentiation during fetal development, at least partially through reducing DNA methylation in the Zfp423 promoter, which is expected to durably elevate adipogenic differentiation of progenitor cells in adult tissue, programming adiposity and metabolic dysfunction later in life.

  2. Environmental Epigenetics

    PubMed Central

    Bollati, Valentina; Baccarelli, Andrea

    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 and histone modifications, can change genome function under exogenous influence. We review current evidence indicating that epigenetic alterations mediate effects from exposure to environmental toxicants. Recent findings Results from animal models indicate that in-utero or early-life environmental exposures produce effects that can be inherited transgenerationally and are accompanied by epigenetic alterations. The search for human equivalents of the epigenetic mechanisms identified in animal models is under way. Recent investigations have identified a number of environmental toxicants that cause altered methylation of human repetitive elements or genes. Some exposures can alter epigenetic states and the same and/or similar epigenetic alterations can be found in patients with the disease of concern. Based on current evidence, we propose possible models for the interplay between environmental exposures and the human epigenome. Summary Several investigations have examined the relation between exposure to environmental chemicals and epigenetics, and identified toxicants that modify epigenetic states. Whether environmental exposures have transgenerational epigenetic effects in humans remains to be elucidated. In spite of the current limitations, available evidence supports the concept that epigenetics holds substantial potential for furthering our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of environmental toxicants, as well as for predicting health-related risks due to conditions of environmental exposure and individual susceptibility. PMID:20179736

  3. The analysis of novel distal Cebpa enhancers and silencers using a transcriptional model reveals the complex regulatory logic of hematopoietic lineage specification.

    PubMed

    Bertolino, Eric; Reinitz, John; Manu

    2016-05-01

    C/EBPα plays an instructive role in the macrophage-neutrophil cell-fate decision and its expression is necessary for neutrophil development. How Cebpa itself is regulated in the myeloid lineage is not known. We decoded the cis-regulatory logic of Cebpa, and two other myeloid transcription factors, Egr1 and Egr2, using a combined experimental-computational approach. With a reporter design capable of detecting both distal enhancers and silencers, we analyzed 46 putative cis-regulatory modules (CRMs) in cells representing myeloid progenitors, and derived early macrophages or neutrophils. In addition to novel enhancers, this analysis revealed a surprisingly large number of silencers. We determined the regulatory roles of 15 potential transcriptional regulators by testing 32,768 alternative sequence-based transcriptional models against CRM activity data. This comprehensive analysis allowed us to infer the cis-regulatory logic for most of the CRMs. Silencer-mediated repression of Cebpa was found to be effected mainly by TFs expressed in non-myeloid lineages, highlighting a previously unappreciated contribution of long-distance silencing to hematopoietic lineage resolution. The repression of Cebpa by multiple factors expressed in alternative lineages suggests that hematopoietic genes are organized into densely interconnected repressive networks instead of hierarchies of mutually repressive pairs of pivotal TFs. More generally, our results demonstrate that de novo cis-regulatory dissection is feasible on a large scale with the aid of transcriptional modeling. Current address: Department of Biology, University of North Dakota, 10 Cornell Street, Stop 9019, Grand Forks, ND 58202-9019, USA.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Epigenetics in disease: leader or follower?

    PubMed

    Martin, David I K; Cropley, Jennifer E; Suter, Catherine M

    2011-07-01

    Epigenetic silencing is a pervasive mode of gene regulation in multicellular eukaryotes: stable differentiation of somatic cell types requires the maintenance of subsets of genes in an active or silent state. The variety of molecules involved, and the requirement for active maintenance of epigenetic states, creates the potential for errors on a large scale. When epigenetic errors - or epimutations - activate or inactivate a critical gene, they may cause disease. An epimutation that occurs in the germline or early embryo can affect all, or most, of the soma and phenocopy genetic disease. But the stochastic and reversible nature of epigenetic phenomena predicts that epimutations are likely to be mosaic and inherited in a nonmendelian manner; epigenetic diseases will thus rarely behave in the comfortably predictable manner of genetic diseases but will display variable expressivity and complex patterns of inheritance. Much phenotypic variation and common disease might be explained by epigenetic variation and aberration. The known examples of true epigenetic disease are at present limited, but this may reflect only the difficulty in distinguishing causal epigenetic aberrations from those that are merely consequences of disease, a challenge further extended by the impact of environmental agents on epigenetic mechanisms. The rapidly developing molecular characterization of epigenomes, and the new ability to survey epigenetic marks on whole genomes, may answer many questions about the causal role of epigenetics in disease; these answers have the potential to transform our understanding of human disease.

  9. Ecological epigenetics.

    PubMed

    Kilvitis, Holly J; Alvarez, Mariano; Foust, Christy M; Schrey, Aaron W; Robertson, Marta; Richards, Christina L

    2014-01-01

    Biologists have assumed that heritable variation due to DNA sequence differences (i.e., genetic variation) allows populations of organisms to be both robust and adaptable to extreme environmental conditions. Natural selection acts on the variation among different genotypes and ultimately changes the genetic composition of the population. While there is compelling evidence about the importance of genetic polymorphisms, evidence is accumulating that epigenetic mechanisms (e.g., chromatin modifications, DNA methylation) can affect ecologically important traits, even in the absence of genetic variation. In this chapter, we review this evidence and discuss the consequences of epigenetic variation in natural populations. We begin by defining the term epigenetics, providing a brief overview of various epigenetic mechanisms, and noting the potential importance of epigenetics in the study of ecology. We continue with a review of the ecological epigenetics literature to demonstrate what is currently known about the amount and distribution of epigenetic variation in natural populations. Then, we consider the various ecological contexts in which epigenetics has proven particularly insightful and discuss the potential evolutionary consequences of epigenetic variation. Finally, we conclude with suggestions for future directions of ecological epigenetics research.

  10. Acrolein enhances epigenetic modifications, FasL expression and hepatocyte toxicity induced by anti-HIV drug Zidovudine.

    PubMed

    Ghare, Smita S; Donde, Hridgandh; Chen, Wei-Yang; Barker, David F; Gobejishvilli, Leila; McClain, Craig J; Barve, Shirish S; Joshi-Barve, Swati

    2016-09-01

    Zidovudine (AZT) remains the mainstay of antiretroviral therapy against HIV in resource-poor countries; however, its use is frequently associated with hepatotoxicity. Not all HIV patients on AZT develop hepatotoxicity, and the determining factors are unclear. Alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking are known risk factors for HIV hepatotoxicity, and both are significant sources of acrolein, a highly reactive and toxic aldehyde. This study examines the potential hepatotoxic interactions between acrolein and AZT. Our data demonstrate that acrolein markedly enhanced AZT-induced transcriptionally permissive histone modifications (H3K9Ac and H3K9Me3) allowing the recruitment of transcription factor NF-kB and RNA polymerase II at the FasL gene promoter, resulting in FasL upregulation and apoptosis in hepatocytes. Notably, the acrolein scavenger, hydralazine prevented these promoter-associated epigenetic changes and inhibited FasL upregulation and apoptosis induced by the combination of AZT and acrolein, as well as AZT alone. Our data strongly suggest that acrolein enhancement of promoter histone modifications and FasL upregulation are major pathogenic mechanisms driving AZT-induced hepatotoxicity. Moreover, these data also indicate the therapeutic potential of hydralazine in mitigating AZT hepatotoxicity.

  11. Impact of epigenetic dietary compounds on transgenerational prevention of human diseases.

    PubMed

    Li, Yuanyuan; Saldanha, Sabita N; Tollefsbol, Trygve O

    2014-01-01

    The etiology of most human diseases involves complicated interactions of multiple environmental factors with individual genetic background which is initially generated early in human life, for example, during the processes of embryogenesis and fetal development in utero. Early embryogenesis includes a series of programming processes involving extremely accurate time-controlled gene activation/silencing expressions, and epigenetic control is believed to play a key role in regulating early embryonic development. Certain dietary components with properties in influencing epigenetic processes are believed to have preventive effects on many human diseases such as cancer. Evidence shows that in utero exposure to certain epigenetic diets may lead to reprogramming of primary epigenetic profiles such as DNA methylation and histone modifications on the key coding genes of the fetal genome, leading to different susceptibility to diseases later in life. In this review, we assess the current advances in dietary epigenetic intervention on transgenerational human disease control. Enhanced understanding of the important role of early life epigenetics control may lead to cost-effective translational chemopreventive potential by appropriate administration of prenatal and/or postnatal dietary supplements leading to early disease prevention.

  12. Functional Diversity of Silencers in Budding Yeasts

    PubMed Central

    Sjöstrand, Jimmy O. O.; Kegel, Andreas; Åström, Stefan U.

    2002-01-01

    We studied the silencing of the cryptic mating-type loci HMLα and HMRa in the budding yeast Kluyveromyces lactis. A 102-bp minimal silencer fragment was defined that was both necessary and sufficient for silencing of HMLα. Mutagenesis of the silencer revealed three distinct regions (A, B, and C) that were important for silencing. Recombinant K. lactis ribosomal DNA enhancer binding protein 1 (Reb1p) could bind the silencer in vitro, and point mutations in the B box abolished both Reb1p binding and silencer function. Furthermore, strains carrying temperature-sensitive alleles of the REB1 gene derepressed the transcription of the HMLα1 gene at the nonpermissive temperature. A functional silencer element from the K. lactis cryptic HMRa locus was also identified, which contained both Reb1p binding sites and A boxes, strongly suggesting a general role for these sequences in K. lactis silencing. Our data indicate that different proteins bind to Kluyveromyces silencers than to Saccharomyces silencers. We suggest that the evolution of silencers is rapid in budding yeasts and discuss the similarities and differences between silencers in Saccharomyces and Kluyveromyces. PMID:12456003

  13. Silencing of Foxp3 enhances the antitumor efficacy of GM-CSF genetically modified tumor cell vaccine against B16 melanoma

    PubMed Central

    Miguel, Antonio; Sendra, Luis; Noé, Verónica; Ciudad, Carles J; Dasí, Francisco; Hervas, David; Herrero, María José; Aliño, Salvador F

    2017-01-01

    The antitumor response after therapeutic vaccination has a limited effect and seems to be related to the presence of T regulatory cells (Treg), which express the immunoregulatory molecules CTLA4 and Foxp3. The blockage of CTLA4 using antibodies has shown an effective antitumor response conducing to the approval of the human anti-CTLA4 antibody ipilimumab by the US Food and Drug Administration. On the other hand, Foxp3 is crucial for Treg development. For this reason, it is an attractive target for cancer treatment. This study aims to evaluate whether combining therapeutic vaccination with CTLA4 or Foxp3 gene silencing enhances the antitumor response. First, the “in vitro” cell entrance and gene silencing efficacy of two tools, 2′-O-methyl phosphorotioate-modified oligonucleotides (2′-OMe-PS-ASOs) and polypurine reverse Hoogsteen hairpins (PPRHs), were evaluated in EL4 cells and cultured primary lymphocytes. Following B16 tumor transplant, C57BL6 mice were vaccinated with irradiated B16 tumor cells engineered to produce granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) and were intraperitoneally treated with CTLA4 and Foxp3 2′-OMe-PS-ASO before and after vaccination. Tumor growth, mice survival, and CTLA4 and Foxp3 expression in blood cells were measured. The following results were obtained: 1) only 2′-OMe-PS-ASO reached gene silencing efficacy “in vitro”; 2) an improved survival effect was achieved combining both therapeutic vaccine and Foxp3 antisense or CTLA4 antisense oligonucleotides (50% and 20%, respectively); 3) The blood CD4+CD25+Foxp3+ (Treg) and CD4+CTLA4+ cell counts were higher in mice that developed tumor on the day of sacrifice. Our data showed that tumor cell vaccine combined with Foxp3 or CTLA4 gene silencing can increase the efficacy of therapeutic antitumor vaccination. PMID:28176947

  14. Establishing epigenetic variation during genome reprogramming

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Transgenerational reprogramming of DNA methylation is important for transposon silencing and epigenetic inheritance. A stochastic regulation of methylation states in the germline may lead to epigenetic variation and the formation of epialleles that contribute to phenotypic variation. In Arabidopsis thaliana inbred lines, the frequency of single base variation of DNA methylation is much higher than genetic mutation and, interestingly, variable epialleles are pre-methylated in the male germline. However, these same alleles are targeted for demethylation in the pollen vegetative nucleus, by a mechanism that seems to contribute to the accumulation of small RNAs that reinforce transcriptional gene silencing in the gametes. These observations are paving the way toward understanding the extent of epigenetic reprogramming in higher plants, and the mechanisms regulating the stability of acquired epigenetic states across generations. PMID:23774895

  15. Epigenetics of asthma.

    PubMed

    Durham, Andrew L; Wiegman, Coen; Adcock, Ian M

    2011-11-01

    Asthma is caused by both heritable and environmental factors. It has become clear that genetic studies do not adequately explain the heritability and susceptibility to asthma. The study of epigenetics, heritable non-coding changes to DNA may help to explain the heritable component of asthma. Additionally, epigenetic modifications can be influenced by the environment, including pollution and cigarette smoking, which are known asthma risk factors. These environmental trigger-induced epigenetic changes may be involved in skewing the immune system towards a Th2 phenotype following in utero exposure and thereby enhancing the risk of asthma. Alternatively, they may directly or indirectly modulate the immune and inflammatory processes in asthmatics via effects on treatment responsiveness. The study of epigenetics may therefore play an important role in our understanding and possible treatment of asthma and other allergic diseases. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Biochemistry of Asthma.

  16. Long-term exposure to estrogen enhances chemotherapeutic efficacy potentially through epigenetic mechanism in human breast cancer cells

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Yu-Wei

    2017-01-01

    Chemotherapy is the most common clinical option for treatment of breast cancer. However, the efficacy of chemotherapy depends on the age of breast cancer patients. Breast tissues are estrogen responsive and the levels of ovarian estrogen vary among the breast cancer patients primarily between pre- and post-menopausal age. Whether this age-dependent variation in estrogen levels influences the chemotherapeutic efficacy in breast cancer patients is not known. Therefore, the objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of natural estrogen 17 beta-estradiol (E2) on the efficacy of chemotherapeutic drugs in breast cancer cells. Estrogen responsive MCF-7 and T47D breast cancer cells were long-term exposed to 100 pg/ml estrogen, and using these cells the efficacy of chemotherapeutic drugs doxorubicin and cisplatin were determined. The result of cell viability and cell cycle analysis revealed increased sensitivities of doxorubicin and cisplatin in estrogen-exposed MCF-7 and T47D cells as compared to their respective control cells. Gene expression analysis of cell cycle, anti-apoptosis, DNA repair, and drug transporter genes further confirmed the increased efficacy of chemotherapeutic drugs in estrogen-exposed cells at molecular level. To further understand the role of epigenetic mechanism in enhanced chemotherapeutic efficacy by estrogen, cells were pre-treated with epigenetic drugs, 5-aza-2-deoxycytidine and Trichostatin A prior to doxorubicin and cisplatin treatments. The 5-aza-2 deoxycytidine pre-treatment significantly decreased the estrogen-induced efficacy of doxorubicin and cisplatin, suggesting the role of estrogen-induced hypermethylation in enhanced sensitivity of these drugs in estrogen-exposed cells. In summary, the results of this study revealed that sensitivity to chemotherapy depends on the levels of estrogen in breast cancer cells. Findings of this study will have clinical implications in selecting the chemotherapy strategies for treatment of breast

  17. DUOX1 silencing in lung cancer promotes EMT, cancer stem cell characteristics and invasive properties

    PubMed Central

    Little, A C; Sham, D; Hristova, M; Danyal, K; Heppner, D E; Bauer, R A; Sipsey, L M; Habibovic, A; van der Vliet, A

    2016-01-01

    Dual oxidase 1 (DUOX1) is an oxidant-generating enzyme within the airway epithelium that participates in innate airway host defense and epithelial homeostasis. Recent studies indicate that DUOX1 is suppressed in lung cancers by epigenetic silencing, although the importance of DUOX1 silencing in lung cancer development or progression is unknown. Here we show that loss of DUOX1 expression in a panel of lung cancer cell lines is strongly associated with loss of the epithelial marker E-cadherin. Moreover, RNAi-mediated DUOX1 silencing in lung epithelial cells and the cancer cell line NCI-H292 was found to result in loss of epithelial characteristics/molecular features (altered morphology, reduced barrier function and loss of E-cadherin) and increased mesenchymal features (increased migration, anchorage-independent growth and gain of vimentin/collagen), suggesting a direct contribution of DUOX1 silencing to epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), an important feature of metastatic cancer. Conversely, overexpression of DUOX1 in A549 cells was capable of reversing EMT features. DUOX1 silencing in H292 cells also led to enhanced resistance to epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors such as erlotinib, and enhanced levels of cancer stem cell (CSC) markers CD133 and ALDH1. Furthermore, acquired resistance of H292 cells to erlotinib resulted in enhanced EMT and CSC features, as well as loss of DUOX1. Finally, compared with control H292 cells, H292-shDUOX1 cells displayed enhanced invasive features in vitro and in vivo. Collectively, our findings indicate that DUOX1 silencing in lung epithelial cancer cells promotes features of EMT, and may be strongly associated with invasive and metastatic lung cancer. PMID:27694834

  18. Epigenetic Regulation in Plant Responses to the Environment

    PubMed Central

    Baulcombe, David C.; Dean, Caroline

    2014-01-01

    In this article, we review environmentally mediated epigenetic regulation in plants using two case histories. One of these, vernalization, mediates adaptation of plants to different environments and it exemplifies processes that are reset in each generation. The other, virus-induced silencing, involves transgenerationally inherited epigenetic modifications. Heritable epigenetic marks may result in heritable phenotypic variation, influencing fitness, and so be subject to natural selection. However, unlike genetic inheritance, the epigenetic modifications show instability and are influenced by the environment. These two case histories are then compared with other phenomena in plant biology that are likely to represent epigenetic regulation in response to the environment. PMID:25183832

  19. Alzheimer's disease and epigenetic diet.

    PubMed

    Sezgin, Zeynep; Dincer, Yildiz

    2014-12-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common neurodegenerative disease. Many efforts have been directed to prevent AD due to its rising prevalence and the lack of an effective curative treatment. Various epigenetic mechanisms are linked to pathogenesis of AD. Epigenetic alterations may occur through external factors and are known for their reversibility. Dietary factors can influence epigenetic mechanisms. Several neuroprotective nutrients have been shown to enhance cognition, memory and other impaired functions seen in AD. Within recent years neuroprotective nutrients have gained more attention in the field of epigenetic. A growing body of evidence suggest that epigenetic changes triggered by dietary nutrients have an important role in health and in prevention of some diseases, especially neurodegenerative disorders. Several studies have shown that folic acid, vitamin B12, choline, zinc, selenium, dietary polyphenols are capable of interacting with epigenetic mechanisms and ultimately gene expression. Epigenetic mechanisms resulting in neuronal dysfunction may be modified by diet. Therefore manipulation of epigenetic mechanisms via dietary nutrients may affect influence the vulnerability of neurons to degeneration which is seen in AD. The aim of this article is to provide a brief overview about the recent findings related to epigenetic alterations that are linked to AD pathogenesis, and to discuss the bioactive nutrients which can affect these epigenetic mechanisms.

  20. 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

  1. A Chimeric HS4-SAR Insulator (IS2) That Prevents Silencing and Enhances Expression of Lentiviral Vectors in Pluripotent Stem Cells

    PubMed Central

    Gutierrez-Guerrero, Alejandra; Cobo, Marién; Muñoz, Pilar

    2014-01-01

    Chromatin insulators, such as the chicken β-globin locus control region hypersensitive site 4 (HS4), and scaffold/matrix attachment regions (SARs/MARs) have been incorporated separately or in combination into retroviral vectors (RVs) in order to increase transgene expression levels, avoid silencing and reduce expression variability. However, their incorporation into RVs either produces a reduction on titer and/or expression levels or do not have sufficient effect on stem cells. In order to develop an improved insulator we decided to combine SAR elements with HS4 insulators. We designed several synthetic shorter SAR elements containing 4 or 5 MAR/SARs recognition signatures (MRS) and studied their effects on a lentiviral vector (LV) expressing eGFP through the SFFV promoter (SE). A 388 bp SAR element containing 5 MRS, named SAR2, was as efficient or superior to the other SARs analyzed. SAR2 enhanced transgene expression and reduced silencing and variability on human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). We next compared the effect of different HS4-based insulators, the HS4-Core (250 bp), the HS4-Ext (400 bp) and the HS4-650 (650 bp). All HS4 elements reduced silencing and expression variability but they also had a negative effect on transgene expression levels and titer. In general, the HS4-650 element had a better overall effect. Based on these data we developed a chimeric insulator, IS2, combining the SAR2 and the HS4-650. When incorporated into the 3′ LTR of the SE LV, the IS2 element was able to enhance expression, avoid silencing and reduce variability of expression on hESCs. Importantly, these effects were maintained after differentiation of the transduced hESCs toward the hematopoietic linage. Neither the HS4-650 nor the SAR2 elements had these effects. The IS2 element is therefore a novel insulator that confers expression stability and enhances expression of LVs on stem cells. PMID:24400083

  2. Silencing of RUNX2 enhances gemcitabine sensitivity of p53-deficient human pancreatic cancer AsPC-1 cells through the stimulation of TAp63-mediated cell death

    PubMed Central

    Sugimoto, H; Nakamura, M; Yoda, H; Hiraoka, K; Shinohara, K; Sang, M; Fujiwara, K; Shimozato, O; Nagase, H; Ozaki, T

    2015-01-01

    Runt-related transcription factor 2 (RUNX2) has been considered to be one of master regulators for osteoblast differentiation and bone formation. Recently, we have described that RUNX2 attenuates p53/TAp73-dependent cell death of human osteosarcoma U2OS cells bearing wild-type p53 in response to adriamycin. In this study, we have asked whether RUNX2 silencing could enhance gemcitabine (GEM) sensitivity of p53-deficient human pancreatic cancer AsPC-1 cells. Under our experimental conditions, GEM treatment increased the expression level of p53 family TAp63, whereas RUNX2 was reduced following GEM exposure, indicating that there exists an inverse relationship between the expression level of TAp63 and RUNX2 following GEM exposure. To assess whether TAp63 could be involved in the regulation of GEM sensitivity of AsPC-1 cells, small interfering RNA-mediated knockdown of TAp63 was performed. As expected, silencing of TAp63 significantly prohibited GEM-dependent cell death as compared with GEM-treated non-silencing cells. As TAp63 was negatively regulated by RUNX2, we sought to examine whether RUNX2 knockdown could enhance the sensitivity to GEM. Expression analysis demonstrated that depletion of RUNX2 apparently stimulates the expression of TAp63, as well as proteolytic cleavage of poly ADP ribose polymerase (PARP) after GEM exposure, and further augmented GEM-mediated induction of p53/TAp63-target genes, such as p21WAF1, PUMA and NOXA, relative to GEM-treated control-transfected cells, implying that RUNX2 has a critical role in the regulation of GEM resistance through the downregulation of TAp63. Notably, ablation of TAp63 gave a decrease in number of γH2AX-positive cells in response to GEM relative to control-transfected cells following GEM exposure. Consistently, GEM-dependent phosphorylation of ataxia telangiectasia-mutated protein was remarkably impaired in TAp63 knockdown cells. Collectively, our present findings strongly suggest that RUNX2-mediated repression of

  3. 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...

  4. 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

  5. Epigenetic control.

    PubMed

    Delcuve, Geneviève P; Rastegar, Mojgan; Davie, James R

    2009-05-01

    Epigenetics refers to mitotically and/or meiotically heritable variations in gene expression that are not caused by changes in DNA sequence. Epigenetic mechanisms regulate all biological processes from conception to death, including genome reprogramming during early embryogenesis and gametogenesis, cell differentiation and maintenance of a committed lineage. Key epigenetic players are DNA methylation and histone post-translational modifications, which interplay with each other, with regulatory proteins and with non-coding RNAs, to remodel chromatin into domains such as euchromatin, constitutive or facultative heterochromatin and to achieve nuclear compartmentalization. Besides epigenetic mechanisms such as imprinting, chromosome X inactivation or mitotic bookmarking which establish heritable states, other rapid and transient mechanisms, such as histone H3 phosphorylation, allow cells to respond and adapt to environmental stimuli. However, these epigenetic marks can also have long-term effects, for example in learning and memory formation or in cancer. Erroneous epigenetic marks are responsible for a whole gamut of diseases including diseases evident at birth or infancy or diseases becoming symptomatic later in life. Moreover, although epigenetic marks are deposited early in development, adaptations occurring through life can lead to diseases and cancer. With epigenetic marks being reversible, research has started to focus on epigenetic therapy which has had encouraging success. As we witness an explosion of knowledge in the field of epigenetics, we are forced to revisit our dogma. For example, recent studies challenge the idea that DNA methylation is irreversible. Further, research on Rett syndrome has revealed an unforeseen role for methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MeCP2) in neurons.

  6. 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

  7. [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.

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

    PubMed

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

    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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Silencing NFBD1/MDC1 enhances the radiosensitivity of human nasopharyngeal cancer CNE1 cells and results in tumor growth inhibition

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Z; Zeng, Q; Chen, T; Liao, K; Bu, Y; Hong, S; Hu, G

    2015-01-01

    NFBD1 functions in cell cycle checkpoint activation and DNA repair following ionizing radiation (IR). In this study, we defined the NFBD1 as a tractable molecular target to radiosensitize nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) cells. Silencing NFBD1 using lentivirus-mediated shRNA-sensitized NPC cells to radiation in a dose-dependent manner, increasing apoptotic cell death, decreasing clonogenic survival and delaying DNA damage repair. Furthermore, downregulation of NFBD1 inhibited the amplification of the IR-induced DNA damage signal, and failed to accumulate and retain DNA damage-response proteins at the DNA damage sites, which leaded to defective checkpoint activation following DNA damage. We also implicated the involvement of NFBD1 in IR-induced Rad51 and DNA-dependent protein kinase catalytic subunit foci formation. Xenografts models in nude mice showed that silencing NFBD1 significantly enhanced the antitumor activity of IR, leading to tumor growth inhibition of the combination therapy. Our studies suggested that a combination of gene therapy and radiation therapy may be an effective strategy for human NPC treatment. PMID:26247734

  12. MutS HOMOLOG1-Derived Epigenetic Breeding Potential in Tomato1[OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Kundariya, Hardik; Xu, Ying-Zhi; Sandhu, Ajay; Yu, Jiantao; Zhang, Mingfang

    2015-01-01

    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

  13. Epigenetics in Stroke Recovery

    PubMed Central

    Kassis, Haifa; Shehadah, Amjad; Chopp, Michael; Zhang, Zheng Gang

    2017-01-01

    Abstract: While the death rate from stroke has continually decreased due to interventions in the hyperacute stage of the disease, long-term disability and institutionalization have become common sequelae in the aftermath of stroke. Therefore, identification of new molecular pathways that could be targeted to improve neurological recovery among survivors of stroke is crucial. Epigenetic mechanisms such as post-translational modifications of histone proteins and microRNAs have recently emerged as key regulators of the enhanced plasticity observed during repair processes after stroke. In this review, we highlight the recent advancements in the evolving field of epigenetics in stroke recovery. PMID:28264471

  14. 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

  15. Epigenetic regulation of immune checkpoints: another target for cancer immunotherapy?

    PubMed

    Ali, Mahmoud A; Matboli, Marwa; Tarek, Marwa; Reda, Maged; Kamal, Kamal M; Nouh, Mahmoud; Ashry, Ahmed M; El-Bab, Ahmed Fath; Mesalam, Hend A; Shafei, Ayman El-Sayed; Abdel-Rahman, Omar

    2017-01-01

    Epigenetic changes in oncogenes and tumor-suppressor genes contribute to carcinogenesis. Understanding the epigenetic and genetic components of tumor immune evasion is crucial. Few cancer genetic mutations have been linked to direct correlations with immune evasion. Studies on the epigenetic modulation of the immune checkpoints have revealed a critical interaction between epigenetic and immune modulation. Epigenetic modifiers can activate many silenced genes. Some of them are immune checkpoints regulators that turn on immune responses and others turn them off resulting in immune evasion. Many forms of epigenetic inheritance mechanisms may play a role in regulation of immune checkpoints including: covalent modifications, noncoding RNA and histone modifications. In this review, we will show how the potential interaction between epigenetic and immune modulation may lead to new approaches for specific epigenome/immunome-targeted therapies for cancer.

  16. Epigenetic induction of tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinase-3 by green tea polyphenols in breast cancer cells.

    PubMed

    Deb, Gauri; Thakur, Vijay S; Limaye, Anil M; Gupta, Sanjay

    2015-06-01

    Aberrant epigenetic silencing of the tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinase-3 (TIMP-3) gene that negatively regulates matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) activity has been implicated in the pathogenesis and metastasis of breast cancer. In the present study, we demonstrate that green tea polyphenols (GTP) and its major constituent, epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) mediate epigenetic induction of TIMP-3 levels and play a key role in suppressing invasiveness and gelatinolytic activity of MMP-2 and MMP-9 in breast cancer cells. Treatment of MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells with 20 µM EGCG and 10 µg/mL GTP for 72 h significantly induces TIMP-3 mRNA and protein levels. Interestingly, investigations into the molecular mechanism revealed that TIMP-3 repression in breast cancer cells is mediated by epigenetic silencing mechanism(s) involving increased activity of the enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2) and class I histone deacetylases (HDACs), independent of promoter DNA hypermethylation. Treatment of breast cancer cells with GTP and EGCG significantly reduced EZH2 and class I HDAC protein levels. Furthermore, transcriptional activation of TIMP-3 was found to be associated with decreased EZH2 localization and H3K27 trimethylation enrichment at the TIMP-3 promoter with a concomitant increase in histone H3K9/18 acetylation. Our findings highlight TIMP-3 induction as a key epigenetic event modulated by GTPs in restoring the MMP:TIMP balance to delay breast cancer progression and invasion.

  17. 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.…

  18. 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

  19. Epigenetics in breast and prostate cancer.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    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 cutting-edge 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.

  20. Epigenetics and ocular diseases: from basic biology to clinical study.

    PubMed

    Yan, Biao; Yao, Jin; Tao, Zhi-Fu; Jiang, Qin

    2014-07-01

    Epigenetics is an emerging field in ophthalmology and has opened a new avenue for understanding ocular development and ocular diseases related to aging and environment. Epigenetic mechanisms, including DNA methylation, histone modifications, chromatin remodeling, and deployment of non-coding RNAs, result in the heritable silencing of gene expression without any change in DNA sequence. Accumulating evidence suggests a potential link between gene expression, chromatin structure, non-coding RNAs, and cellular differentiation during ocular development. Disruption of the balance of epigenetic networks could become the etiology of several ocular diseases. Here, we summarized the current knowledge about epigenetic regulatory mechanisms in ocular development and diseases.

  1. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26437669

  3. 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

  4. Increased TET1 Expression in Inflammatory Microenvironment of Hyperinsulinemia Enhances the Response of Endometrial Cancer to Estrogen by Epigenetic Modulation of GPER

    PubMed Central

    Lv, Qiao-Ying; Xie, Bing-Ying; Yang, Bing-Yi; Ning, Cheng-Cheng; Shan, Wei-Wei; Gu, Chao; Luo, Xue-Zhen; Chen, Xiao-Jun; Zhang, Zhen-Bo; Feng, You-Ji

    2017-01-01

    Background: Insulin resistance (IR) has been well studied in the initiation and development of endometrial endometrioid carcinoma (EEC). As yet, it has been largely neglected for estrogen sensitivity in local endometrium in hyperinsulinemia-induced systemic microenvironment. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of insulin in regulating estrogen sensitivity and explore the potential mechanisms in insulin-driven inflammatory microenvironment. Methods: We first investigated the effect of insulin on estradiol-driven endometrial cancer cells proliferation in vitro to address the roles of insulin in modulating estrogen sensitivity. Then GPER, ERα and TET1 in EEC samples with or without insulin resistance were screened by immunohistochemistry to confirm whether insulin resistance regulates estrogen receptors. Further mechanism analysis was carried out to address whether TET1 was mediated epigenetic modulation of GPER in insulin-induced microenvironment. Results: Insulin enhanced estradiol-driven endometrial cancer cells proliferation by up-regulating G-protein-coupled estrogen receptor (GPER) expression, but not ERα or ERβ. Immunohistochemistry of EEC tissues showed that GPER expression was greatly increased in endometrial tissues from EEC subjects with insulin resistance and was positively correlated with Ten-eleven-translocation 1 (TET1) expression. Mechanistically, insulin up-regulates TET1 expression, and the latter, an important DNA hydroxymethylase, could up-regulate GPER expression through epigenetic modulation. Conclusion: This study identified TET1 as the upstream regulator of GPER expression and provides a possible mechanism that insulin-induced positive regulation of estrogen sensitivity in endometrial cancer cells. Increasing expression of GPER through TET1-mediated epigenetic modulation may emerge as the main regulator to enhance the response of endometrial cancer to estrogen in insulin-driven inflammatory microenvironment. PMID:28382153

  5. 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

    2016-07-05

    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.

  6. Morphological changes induced by class III chitin synthase gene silencing could enhance penicillin production of Penicillium chrysogenum.

    PubMed

    Liu, Hui; Zheng, Zhiming; Wang, Peng; Gong, Guohong; Wang, Li; Zhao, Genhai

    2013-04-01

    Chitin synthases catalyze the formation of β-(1,4)-glycosidic bonds between N-acetylglucosamine residues to form the unbranched polysaccharide chitin, which is the major component of cell walls in most filamentous fungi. Several studies have shown that chitin synthases are structurally and functionally divergent and play crucial roles in the growth and morphogenesis of the genus Aspergillus although little research on this topic has been done in Penicillium chrysogenum. We used BLAST to find the genes encoding chitin synthases in P. chrysogenum related to chitin synthase genes in Aspergillus nidulans. Three homologous sequences coding for a class III chitin synthase CHS4 and two hypothetical proteins in P. chrysogenum were found. The gene which product showed the highest identity and encoded the class III chitin synthase CHS4 was studied in detail. To investigate the role of CHS4 in P. chrysogenum morphogenesis, we developed an RNA interference system to silence the class III chitin synthase gene chs4. After transformation, mutants exhibited a slow growth rate and shorter and more branched hyphae, which were distinct from those of the original strain. The results also showed that the conidiation efficiency of all transformants was reduced sharply and indicated that chs4 is essential in conidia development. The morphologies of all transformants and the original strain in penicillin production were investigated by light microscopy, which showed that changes in chs4 expression led to a completely different morphology during fermentation and eventually caused distinct penicillin yields, especially in the transformants PcRNAi1-17 and PcRNAi2-1 where penicillin production rose by 27 % and 41 %, respectively.

  7. Silencing NKG2D ligand-targeting miRNAs enhances natural killer cell-mediated cytotoxicity in breast cancer.

    PubMed

    Shen, Jiaying; Pan, Jie; Du, Chengyong; Si, Wengong; Yao, Minya; Xu, Liang; Zheng, Huilin; Xu, Mingjie; Chen, Danni; Wang, Shu; Fu, Peifen; Fan, Weimin

    2017-04-06

    NKG2D is one of the major activating receptors of natural killer (NK) cells and binds to several ligands (NKG2DLs). NKG2DLs are expressed on malignant cells and sensitize them to early elimination by cytotoxic lymphocytes. We investigated the clinical importance of NKG2DLs and the mechanism of NKG2DL regulation in breast cancer (BC). Among the NKG2DLs MICA/B and ULBP1/2/3, the expression levels of MICA/B in BC tissues were inversely associated with the Tumor Node Metastasis stage. We first found that the high expression of MICB, but not MICA, was an independent prognostic factor for overall survival in patients with BC. Investigation into the mechanism revealed that a group of microRNAs (miRNAs) belonging to the miR-17-92 cluster, especially miR-20a, decreased the expression of ULBP2 and MICA/B. These miRNAs downregulated the expression of MICA/B by targeting the MICA/B 3'-untranslated region and downregulated ULBP2 by inhibiting the MAPK/ERK signaling pathway. Functional analysis showed that the silencing of NKG2DL-targeting miRNAs in BC cells increased NK cell-mediated cytotoxicity in vitro and inhibited immune escape in vivo. In addition, histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACis) increased NKG2DL expression in BC cells by inhibiting members of the miR-17-92 cluster. Thus, targeting miRNAs with antisense inhibitors or HDACis may represent a novel approach for increasing the immunogenicity of BC.

  8. Novel tumor-suppressor gene epidermal growth factor-containing fibulin-like extracellular matrix protein 1 is epigenetically silenced and associated with invasion and metastasis in human gastric cancer.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Xin-Jiang; Liu, Jian; Xu, Xiao-Yang; Zhang, Chun-Dong; Dai, Dong-Qiu

    2014-06-01

    The present study aimed to investigate the role of histone modification and DNA methylation in epidermal growth factor-containing fibulin-like extracellular matrix protein 1 (EFEMP1) silencing in gastric cancer (GC). In the present study, four GC cell lines, and 45 paired normal and GC tissue samples were used to assess EFEMP1 expression using quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and EFEMP1 gene methylation status was evaluated by methylation-specific PCR. The involvement of histone modification in GC cell lines was examined by a chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assay. The results demonstrated that EFEMP1 mRNA level and methylation status in the EFEMP1 promoter region was associated with tumor differentiation, depth of tumor invasion and lymph node metastasis. DNA methyltransferase inhibitor 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (DAC) rapidly reduced DNA methylation and histone H3-K9 trimethylation at the silenced loci and reactivated EFEMP1 expression. By contrast, the histone deacetylase inhibitor trichostatin A markedly increased histone H3-K9 acetylation. However, it had no effect on DNA methylation, histone H3-K9 trimethylation or gene expression. In conclusion, the results suggested that EFEMP1 may function as a tumor suppressor in GC. Aberrant DNA methylation and histone H3-K9 trimethylation of EFEMP1 may be responsible for its downregulation in GC, and thus have an important role in tumor invasion and metastasis.

  9. Behavioral epigenetics.

    PubMed

    Moore, David S

    2017-01-01

    Why do we grow up to have the traits we do? Most 20th century scientists answered this question by referring only to our genes and our environments. But recent discoveries in the emerging field of behavioral epigenetics have revealed factors at the interface between genes and environments that also play crucial roles in development. These factors affect how genes work; scientists now know that what matters as much as which genes you have (and what environments you encounter) is how your genes are affected by their contexts. The discovery that what our genes do depends in part on our experiences has shed light on how Nature and Nurture interact at the molecular level inside of our bodies. Data emerging from the world's behavioral epigenetics laboratories support the idea that a person's genes alone cannot determine if, for example, he or she will end up shy, suffering from cardiovascular disease, or extremely smart. Among the environmental factors that can influence genetic activity are parenting styles, diets, and social statuses. In addition to influencing how doctors treat diseases, discoveries about behavioral epigenetics are likely to alter how biologists think about evolution, because some epigenetic effects of experience appear to be transmissible from generation to generation. This domain of research will likely change how we think about the origins of human nature. WIREs Syst Biol Med 2017, 9:e1333. doi: 10.1002/wsbm.1333 For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website.

  10. Silencing of tubulin binding cofactor C modifies microtubule dynamics and cell cycle distribution and enhances sensitivity to gemcitabine in breast cancer cells.

    PubMed

    Hage-Sleiman, Rouba; Herveau, Stéphanie; Matera, Eva-Laure; Laurier, Jean-Fabien; Dumontet, Charles

    2011-02-01

    Tubulin binding cofactor C (TBCC) is essential for the proper folding of α- and β-tubulins into microtubule polymerizable heterodimers. Because microtubules are considered major targets in the treatment of breast cancer, we investigated the influence of TBCC silencing on tubulin pools, microtubule dynamics, and cell cycle distribution of breast cancer cells by developing a variant MCF7 cells with reduced content of TBCC (MC-). MC- cells displayed decreased content in nonpolymerizable tubulins and increased content of polymerizable/microtubule tubulins when compared with control MP6 cells. Microtubules in MC- cells showed stronger dynamics than those of MP6 cells. MC- cells proliferated faster than MP6 cells and showed an altered cell cycle distribution, with a higher percentage in S-phase of the cell cycle. Consequently, MC- cells presented higher sensitivity to the S-phase-targeting agent gemcitabine than MP6 cells in vitro. Although the complete duration of mitosis was shorter in MC- cells and their microtubule dynamics was enhanced, the percentage of cells in G(2)-M phase was not altered nor was there any difference in sensitivity to antimicrotubule-targeting agents when compared with MP6 cells. Xenografts derived from TBCC variants displayed significantly enhanced tumor growth in vivo and increased sensitivity to gemcitabine in comparison to controls. These results are the first to suggest that proteins involved in the proper folding of cytoskeletal components may have an important influence on the cell cycle distribution, proliferation, and chemosensitivity of tumor cells.

  11. Epigenetic modifications in rheumatoid arthritis.

    PubMed

    Strietholt, Simon; Maurer, Britta; Peters, Marvin A; Pap, Thomas; Gay, Steffen

    2008-01-01

    Over the last decades, genetic factors for rheumatoid diseases like the HLA haplotypes have been studied extensively. However, during the past years of research, it has become more and more evident that the influence of epigenetic processes on the development of rheumatic diseases is probably as strong as the genetic background of a patient. Epigenetic processes are heritable changes in gene expression without alteration of the nucleotide sequence. Such modifications include chromatin methylation and post-translational modification of histones or other chromatin-associated proteins. The latter comprise the addition of methyl, acetyl, and phosphoryl groups or even larger moieties such as binding of ubiquitin or small ubiquitin-like modifier. The combinatory nature of these processes forms a complex network of epigenetic modifications that regulate gene expression through activation or silencing of genes. This review provides insight into the role of epigenetic alterations in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis and points out how a better understanding of such mechanisms may lead to novel therapeutic strategies.

  12. Epigenetic and disease targets by polyphenols.

    PubMed

    Pan, Min-Hsiung; Lai, Ching-Shu; Wu, Jia-Ching; Ho, Chi-Tang

    2013-01-01

    An epigenetic change is defined as an alteration in gene expression that does not involve a change in the DNA sequence. Epigenetic modifications, including DNA methylation, histone modification (acetylation, methylation and phosphorylation) and miRNA, are critical for regulating developmental events. However, aberrant epigenetic mechanisms may lead to pathological consequences such as cardiovascular disease (CAD), neurodegenerative disease, obesity, metabolic disorder, bone and skeletal diseases and various cancers. Given that epigenetic modifications are heritable and reversible, in contrast to genetic changes, they have been identified as promising targets for disease prevention strategies. Over the past few decades, polyphenols, which are widely present in foods such as fruits and vegetables, have been shown to exhibit a broad spectrum of biological activities for human health. Polyphenols reverse adverse epigenetic regulation by altering DNA methylation and histone modification, and they modulate microRNA expression or directly interact with enzymes that result in the reactivation of silenced tumor suppressor genes or the inactivation of oncogenes. Therefore, dietary polyphenol- targeted epigenetics becomes an attractive approach for disease prevention and intervention. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge and underlying mechanisms of the most common dietary polyphenols and their influence on major epigenetic mechanisms associated with disease intervention.

  13. 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.

  14. Hitchcock's Melodramatic Silence.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hemmeter, Thomas

    1996-01-01

    Argues that the filmwork of Alfred Hitchcock shows his manipulation of melodramatic silence in that his films demonstrate a link between silence and truth. Concludes that in the simultaneous longing for and denial of the power of film silence lies the modernist complexity of Hitchcock's films that suggests the uses of melodramatic language in a…

  15. Clinical applications of epigenetic markers and epigenetic profiling in myeloid malignancies.

    PubMed

    McDevitt, Michael A

    2012-02-01

    Aberrant DNA methylation is frequent in the myeloid malignancies, particularly myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). Promoter CpG methylation is correlated with silencing of tumor-suppressor genes (TSGs) in specific pathways that are also targets of mutation or other mechanisms of inactivation, and is thought to contribute to disease progression and poor prognosis. Epigenetic contributions to myeloid pathogenesis are more complex. Examples include TSG inactivation and oncogenic activation associated with formation of altered chromatin separate from CpG methylation. Epigenetic dysregulation occurs at multiple disease stages and at non-CpG island genomic sites, and also includes genomic hypomethylation and small RNA mechanisms of epigenetic regulation. Identification of recurrent mutations in potential epigenetic regulators, including TET2, IDH1, IDH2, DNMT3A, UTX, and ASXL1, were recently described. Accordingly, therapeutics directed towards epigenetic mechanisms including methylation inhibitors and histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors have had some clinical success when applied to MDS and AML. However, identification of the underlying mechanisms associated with clinical responses and drug resistance remain enigmatic. Remarkably, in spite of significant molecular and translational progress, there are currently no epigenetic biomarkers in widespread clinical use. In this review, we explore the potential applications of epigenetic biomarker discovery, including epigenetic profiling for myeloid malignancy pathogenesis understanding, diagnostic classification, and development of effective treatment paradigms for these generally considered poor prognosis disorders.

  16. Transcriptional silencing of the Wnt-antagonist DKK1 by promoter methylation is associated with enhanced Wnt signaling in advanced multiple myeloma.

    PubMed

    Kocemba, Kinga A; Groen, Richard W J; van Andel, Harmen; Kersten, Marie José; Mahtouk, Karène; Spaargaren, Marcel; Pals, Steven T

    2012-01-01

    The Wnt/β-catenin pathway plays a crucial role in the pathogenesis of various human cancers. In multiple myeloma (MM), aberrant auto-and/or paracrine activation of canonical Wnt signaling promotes proliferation and dissemination, while overexpression of the Wnt inhibitor Dickkopf1 (DKK1) by MM cells contributes to osteolytic bone disease by inhibiting osteoblast differentiation. Since DKK1 itself is a target of TCF/β-catenin mediated transcription, these findings suggest that DKK1 is part of a negative feedback loop in MM and may act as a tumor suppressor. In line with this hypothesis, we show here that DKK1 expression is low or undetectable in a subset of patients with advanced MM as well as in MM cell lines. This absence of DKK1 is correlated with enhanced Wnt pathway activation, evidenced by nuclear accumulation of β-catenin, which in turn can be antagonized by restoring DKK1 expression. Analysis of the DKK1 promoter revealed CpG island methylation in several MM cell lines as well as in MM cells from patients with advanced MM. Moreover, demethylation of the DKK1 promoter restores DKK1 expression, which results in inhibition of β-catenin/TCF-mediated gene transcription in MM lines. Taken together, our data identify aberrant methylation of the DKK1 promoter as a cause of DKK1 silencing in advanced stage MM, which may play an important role in the progression of MM by unleashing Wnt signaling.

  17. Oomycete pathogens encode RNA silencing suppressors.

    PubMed

    Qiao, Yongli; Liu, Lin; Xiong, Qin; Flores, Cristina; Wong, James; Shi, Jinxia; Wang, Xianbing; Liu, Xigang; Xiang, Qijun; Jiang, Shushu; Zhang, Fuchun; Wang, Yuanchao; Judelson, Howard S; Chen, Xuemei; Ma, Wenbo

    2013-03-01

    Effectors are essential virulence proteins produced by a broad range of parasites, including viruses, bacteria, fungi, oomycetes, protozoa, insects and nematodes. Upon entry into host cells, pathogen effectors manipulate specific physiological processes or signaling pathways to subvert host immunity. Most effectors, especially those of eukaryotic pathogens, remain functionally uncharacterized. Here, we show that two effectors from the oomycete plant pathogen Phytophthora sojae suppress RNA silencing in plants by inhibiting the biogenesis of small RNAs. Ectopic expression of these Phytophthora suppressors of RNA silencing enhances plant susceptibility to both a virus and Phytophthora, showing that some eukaryotic pathogens have evolved virulence proteins that target host RNA silencing processes to promote infection. These findings identify RNA silencing suppression as a common strategy used by pathogens across kingdoms to cause disease and are consistent with RNA silencing having key roles in host defense.

  18. Non-coding genomic regions possessing enhancer and silencer potential are associated with healthy aging and exceptional survival.

    PubMed

    Kim, Sangkyu; Welsh, David A; Myers, Leann; Cherry, Katie E; Wyckoff, Jennifer; Jazwinski, S Michal

    2015-02-28

    We have completed a genome-wide linkage scan for healthy aging using data collected from a family study, followed by fine-mapping by association in a separate population, the first such attempt reported. The family cohort consisted of parents of age 90 or above and their children ranging in age from 50 to 80. As a quantitative measure of healthy aging, we used a frailty index, called FI34, based on 34 health and function variables. The linkage scan found a single significant linkage peak on chromosome 12. Using an independent cohort of unrelated nonagenarians, we carried out a fine-scale association mapping of the region suggestive of linkage and identified three sites associated with healthy aging. These healthy-aging sites (HASs) are located in intergenic regions at 12q13-14. HAS-1 has been previously associated with multiple diseases, and an enhancer was recently mapped and experimentally validated within the site. HAS-2 is a previously uncharacterized site possessing genomic features suggestive of enhancer activity. HAS-3 contains features associated with Polycomb repression. The HASs also contain variants associated with exceptional longevity, based on a separate analysis. Our results provide insight into functional genomic networks involving non-coding regulatory elements that are involved in healthy aging and longevity.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Epigenetic Control of Female Puberty

    PubMed Central

    Lomniczi, Alejandro; Loche, Alberto; Castellano, Juan Manuel; Ronnekleiv, Oline K.; Bosch, Martha; Kaidar, Gabi; Knoll, J. Gabriel; Wright, Hollis; Pfeifer, Gerd. P.; Ojeda, Sergio R.

    2013-01-01

    The timing of puberty is controlled by many genes. The elements coordinating this process have not, however, been identified. Here we show that an epigenetic mechanism of transcriptional repression times the initiation of female puberty in rats. We identify silencers of the Polycomb group (PcG) as major contributors to this mechanism, and show that PcG proteins repress Kiss1, a puberty-activating gene. Hypothalamic expression of two key PcG genes, Eed and Cbx7, decreases and methylation of their promoters increases preceding puberty. Inhibiting DNA methylation blocks both events and results in pubertal failure. The pubertal increase in Kiss1 is accompanied by EED loss from the Kiss1 promoter and enrichment of histone H3 modifications associated with gene activation. Preventing the eviction of EED from the Kiss1 promoter disrupts pulsatile GnRH release, delays puberty, and compromises fecundity. Our results identify epigenetic silencing as a novel mechanism underlying the neuroendocrine control of female puberty. PMID:23354331

  2. RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase 1 from Nicotiana tabacum Suppresses RNA Silencing and Enhances Viral Infection in Nicotiana benthamiana[W

    PubMed Central

    Ying, Xiao-Bao; Dong, Li; Zhu, Hui; Duan, Cheng-Guo; Du, Quan-Sheng; Lv, Dian-Qiu; Fang, Yuan-Yuan; Garcia, Juan Antonio; Fang, Rong-Xiang; Guo, Hui-Shan

    2010-01-01

    Endogenous eukaryotic RNA-dependent RNA polymerases (RDRs) produce double-stranded RNA intermediates in diverse processes of small RNA synthesis in RNA silencing pathways. RDR6 is required in plants for posttranscriptional gene silencing induced by sense transgenes (S-PTGS) and has an important role in amplification of antiviral silencing. Whereas RDR1 is also involved in antiviral defense in plants, this does not necessarily proceed through triggering silencing. In this study, we show that Nicotiana benthamiana transformed with RDR1 from Nicotiana tabacum (Nt-RDR1 plants) exhibits hypersusceptibility to Plum pox potyvirus and other viruses, resembling RDR6-silenced (RDR6i) N. benthamiana. Analysis of transient induction of RNA silencing in N. benthamiana Nt-RDR1 and RDR6i plants revealed that Nt-RDR1 possesses silencing suppression activity. We found that Nt-RDR1 does not interfere with RDR6-dependent siRNA accumulation but turns out to suppress RDR6-dependent S-PTGS. Our results, together with previously published data, suggest that RDR1 might have a dual role, contributing, on one hand, to salicylic acid–mediated antiviral defense, and suppressing, on the other hand, the RDR6-mediated antiviral RNA silencing. We propose a scenario in which the natural loss-of-function variant of RDR1 in N. benthamiana may be the outcome of selective pressure to maintain a high RDR6-dependent antiviral defense, which would be required to face the hypersensitivity of this plant to a large number of viruses. PMID:20400679

  3. Epigenetic Upregulation of Metallothionein 2A by Diallyl Trisulfide Enhances Chemosensitivity of Human Gastric Cancer Cells to Docetaxel Through Attenuating NF-κB Activation

    PubMed Central

    Pan, Yuanming; Lin, Shuye; Xing, Rui; Zhu, Min; Lin, Bonan; Cui, Jiantao; Li, Wenmei; Gao, Jing; Shen, Lin; Zhao, Yuanyuan; Guo, Mingzhou; Wang, Ji Ming

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Aims: Metallothionein 2A (MT2A) and nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-κB) are both involved in carcinogenesis and cancer chemosensitivity. We previously showed decreased expression of MT2A and IκB-α in human gastric cancer (GC) associated with poor prognosis of GC patients. The present study investigated the effect of diallyl trisulfide (DATS), a garlic-derived compound, and docetaxel (DOC) on regulation of MT2A in relation to NF-κB in GC cells. Results: DATS attenuated NF-κB signaling in GC cells, resulting in G2/M cell cycle arrest and apoptosis, culminating in the inhibition of cell proliferation and tumorigenesis in nude mice. The anti-GC effect of DATS was attributable to its capacity to epigenetically upregulate MT2A, which in turn enhanced transcription of IκB-α to suppress NF-κB activation in GC cells. The combination of DATS with DOC exhibited a synergistic anti-GC activity accompanied by MT2A upregulation and NF-κB inactivation. Histopathologic analysis of GC specimens from patients showed a significant increase in MT2A expression following DOC treatment. GC patients with high MT2A expression in tumor specimens showed significantly improved response to chemotherapy and prolonged survival compared with those with low MT2A expression in tumors. Innovation and Conclusion: We conclude that DATS exerts its anti-GC activity and enhances chemosensitivity of GC to DOC by epigenetic upregulation of MT2A to attenuate NF-κB signaling. Our findings delineate a mechanistic basis of MT2A/NF-κB signaling for DATS- and DOC-mediated anti-GC effects, suggesting that MT2A may be a chemosensitivity indicator in GC patients receiving DOC-based treatment and a promising target for more effective treatment of GC by combination of DATS and DOC. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 24, 839–854. PMID:26801633

  4. Antisense 2'-Deoxy, 2'-Fluoroarabino Nucleic Acid (2'F-ANA) Oligonucleotides: In Vitro Gymnotic Silencers of Gene Expression Whose Potency Is Enhanced by Fatty Acids.

    PubMed

    Souleimanian, Naira; Deleavey, Glen F; Soifer, Harris; Wang, Sijian; Tiemann, Katrin; Damha, Masad J; Stein, Cy A

    2012-01-01

    Gymnosis is the process of the delivery of antisense oligodeoxynucleotides to cells, in the absence of any carriers or conjugation, that produces sequence-specific gene silencing. While gymnosis was originally demonstrated using locked nucleic acid (LNA) gapmers, 2'-deoxy-2'fluoroarabino nucleic acid (2'F-ANA) phosphorothioate gapmer oligonucleotides (oligos) when targeted to the Bcl-2 and androgen receptor (AR) mRNAs in multiple cell lines in tissue culture, are approximately as effective at silencing of Bcl-2 expression as the iso-sequential LNA congeners. In LNCaP prostate cancer cells, gymnotic silencing of the AR by a 2'F-ANA phosphorothioate gapmer oligo led to downstream silencing of cellular prostate-specific antigen (PSA) expression even in the presence of the androgenic steroid R1881 (metribolone), which stabilizes cytoplasmic levels of the AR. Furthermore, gymnotic silencing occurs in the absence of serum, and silencing by both LNA and 2'F-ANA oligos is augmented in serum-free (SF) media in some cell lines when they are treated with oleic acid and a variety of ω-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (ω-6 PUFAs), but not by an aliphatic (palmitic) fatty acid. These results significantly expand our understanding of and ability to successfully manipulate the cellular delivery of single-stranded oligos in vitro.

  5. Silencing OsHI-LOX makes rice more susceptible to chewing herbivores, but enhances resistance to a phloem feeder.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Guoxin; Qi, Jinfeng; Ren, Nan; Cheng, Jiaan; Erb, Matthias; Mao, Bizeng; Lou, Yonggen

    2009-11-01

    The jasmonic acid (JA) pathway plays a central role in plant defense responses against insects. Some phloem-feeding insects also induce the salicylic acid (SA) pathway, thereby suppressing the plant's JA response. These phenomena have been well studied in dicotyledonous plants, but little is known about them in monocotyledons. We cloned a chloroplast-localized type 2 13-lipoxygenase gene of rice, OsHI-LOX, whose transcripts were up-regulated in response to feeding by the rice striped stem borer (SSB) Chilo suppressalis and the rice brown planthopper (BPH) Niaparvata lugens, as well as by mechanical wounding and treatment with JA. Antisense expression of OsHI-LOX (as-lox) reduced SSB- or BPH-induced JA and trypsin protease inhibitor (TrypPI) levels, improved the larval performance of SBB as well as that of the rice leaf folder (LF) Cnaphalocrocis medinalis, and increased the damage caused by SSB and LF larvae. In contrast, BPH, a phloem-feeding herbivore, showed a preference for settling and ovipositing on WT plants, on which they consumed more and survived better than on as-lox plants. The enhanced resistance of as-lox plants to BPH infestation correlated with higher levels of BPH-induced H(2)O(2) and SA, as well as with increased hypersensitive response-like cell death. These results imply that OsHI-LOX is involved in herbivore-induced JA biosynthesis, and plays contrasting roles in controlling rice resistance to chewing and phloem-feeding herbivores. The observation that suppression of JA activity results in increased resistance to an insect indicates that revision of the generalized plant defense models in monocotyledons is required, and may help develop novel strategies to protect rice against insect pests.

  6. Epigenetics in head and neck cancer.

    PubMed

    Bakhtiar, Syeda Marriam; Ali, Amjad; Barh, Debmalya

    2015-01-01

    Epigenetics refers to the study of heritable changes in gene expression that occur without a change in DNA sequence. Research has shown that epigenetic mechanisms provide an "extra" layer of transcriptional control that regulates how genes are expressed. These mechanisms are critical components in the normal development and growth of cells. Epigenetic abnormalities have been found to be causative factors in cancer, genetic disorders, and pediatric syndromes. Head and neck cancers are a group of malignancies with diverse biological behaviors and a strong, well-established association with environmental effects. Although the hunt for genetic alterations in head and neck cancer has continued in the past two decades, with unequivocal proof of a genetic role in multistage head and neck carcinogenesis, epigenetic alteration in association with promoter CpG islands hypermethylation has emerged in the past few years as one of the most active areas of cancer research. Silencing of the genes by hypermethylation or induction of oncogenes by promoter hypomethylation is a frequent mechanism in head and neck cancer and achieves increasing diagnostic and therapeutic importance. In this context it is important for clinicians to understand the principles of epigenetic mechanisms and how these principles relate to human health and disease. It is important to address the use of epigenetic pathways in new approaches to molecular diagnosis and novel targeted treatments across the clinical spectrum.

  7. Virus-induced gene silencing in transgenic plants: transgene silencing and reactivation associate with two patterns of transgene body methylation.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Mingmin; San León, David; Delgadillo, Ma Otilia; García, Juan Antonio; Simón-Mateo, Carmen

    2014-08-01

    We used bisulfite sequencing to study the methylation of a viral transgene whose expression was silenced upon plum pox virus infection of the transgenic plant and its subsequent recovery as a consequence of so-called virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS). VIGS was associated with a general increase in the accumulation of small RNAs corresponding to the coding region of the viral transgene. After VIGS, the transgene promoter was not methylated and the coding region showed uneven methylation, with the 5' end being mostly unmethylated in the recovered tissue or mainly methylated at CG sites in regenerated silenced plants. The methylation increased towards the 3' end, which showed dense methylation in all three contexts (CG, CHG and CHH). This methylation pattern and the corresponding silenced status were maintained after plant regeneration from recovered silenced tissue and did not spread into the promoter region, but were not inherited in the sexual offspring. Instead, a new pattern of methylation was observed in the progeny plants consisting of disappearance of the CHH methylation, similar CHG methylation at the 3' end, and an overall increase in CG methylation in the 5' end. The latter epigenetic state was inherited over several generations and did not correlate with transgene silencing and hence virus resistance. These results suggest that the widespread CG methylation pattern found in body gene bodies located in euchromatic regions of plant genomes may reflect an older silencing event, and most likely these genes are no longer silenced.

  8. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, tobacco smoke, and epigenetic remodeling in asthma

    PubMed Central

    Klingbeil, E. C.; Hew, K. M.; Nygaard, U. C.; Nadeau, K. C.

    2014-01-01

    Environmental determinants including aerosolized pollutants such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and tobacco smoke have been associated with exacerbation and increased incidence of asthma. The influence of aerosolized pollutants on the development of immune dysfunction in asthmatics has been suggested to be mediated through epigenetic remodeling. Genome accessibility and transcription are regulated primarily through DNA methylation, histone modification, and microRNA transcript silencing. Epigenetic remodeling has been shown in studies to be associated with Th2 polarization and associated cytokine and chemokine regulation in the development of asthma. This review will present evidence for the contribution of the aerosolized pollutants PAH and environmental tobacco smoke to epigenetic remodeling in asthma. PMID:24760221

  9. 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.

  10. Epigenetic Mechanisms in Stroke and Epilepsy

    PubMed Central

    Hwang, Jee-Yeon; Aromolaran, Kelly A; Zukin, R Suzanne

    2013-01-01

    Epigenetic remodeling and modifications of chromatin structure by DNA methylation and histone modifications represent central mechanisms for the regulation of neuronal gene expression during brain development, higher-order processing, and memory formation. Emerging evidence implicates epigenetic modifications not only in normal brain function, but also in neuropsychiatric disorders. This review focuses on recent findings that disruption of chromatin modifications have a major role in the neurodegeneration associated with ischemic stroke and epilepsy. Although these disorders differ in their underlying causes and pathophysiology, they share a common feature, in that each disorder activates the gene silencing transcription factor REST (repressor element 1 silencing transcription factor), which orchestrates epigenetic remodeling of a subset of ‘transcriptionally responsive targets' implicated in neuronal death. Although ischemic insults activate REST in selectively vulnerable neurons in the hippocampal CA1, seizures activate REST in CA3 neurons destined to die. Profiling the array of genes that are epigenetically dysregulated in response to neuronal insults is likely to advance our understanding of the mechanisms underlying the pathophysiology of these disorders and may lead to the identification of novel therapeutic strategies for the amelioration of these serious human conditions. PMID:22892394

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Trithorax monomethylates histone H3K4 and interacts directly with CBP to promote H3K27 acetylation and antagonize Polycomb silencing.

    PubMed

    Tie, Feng; Banerjee, Rakhee; Saiakhova, Alina R; Howard, Benny; Monteith, Kelsey E; Scacheri, Peter C; Cosgrove, Michael S; Harte, Peter J

    2014-03-01

    Trithorax (TRX) antagonizes epigenetic silencing by Polycomb group (PcG) proteins, stimulates enhancer-dependent transcription, and establishes a 'cellular memory' of active transcription of PcG-regulated genes. The mechanisms underlying these TRX functions remain largely unknown, but are presumed to involve its histone H3K4 methyltransferase activity. We report that the SET domains of TRX and TRX-related (TRR) have robust histone H3K4 monomethyltransferase activity in vitro and that Tyr3701 of TRX and Tyr2404 of TRR prevent them from being trimethyltransferases. The trx(Z11) missense mutation (G3601S), which abolishes H3K4 methyltransferase activity in vitro, reduces the H3K4me1 but not the H3K4me3 level in vivo. trx(Z11) also suppresses the impaired silencing phenotypes of the Pc(3) mutant, suggesting that H3K4me1 is involved in antagonizing Polycomb silencing. Polycomb silencing is also antagonized by TRX-dependent H3K27 acetylation by CREB-binding protein (CBP). We show that perturbation of Polycomb silencing by TRX overexpression requires CBP. We also show that TRX and TRR are each physically associated with CBP in vivo, that TRX binds directly to the CBP KIX domain, and that the chromatin binding patterns of TRX and TRR are highly correlated with CBP and H3K4me1 genome-wide. In vitro acetylation of H3K27 by CBP is enhanced on K4me1-containing H3 substrates, and independently altering the H3K4me1 level in vivo, via the H3K4 demethylase LSD1, produces concordant changes in H3K27ac. These data indicate that the catalytic activities of TRX and CBP are physically coupled and suggest that both activities play roles in antagonizing Polycomb silencing, stimulating enhancer activity and cellular memory.

  16. Epigenetic modifier induced enhancement of fumiquinazoline C production in Aspergillus fumigatus (GA-L7): an endophytic fungus from Grewia asiatica L.

    PubMed

    Magotra, Ankita; Kumar, Manjeet; Kushwaha, Manoj; Awasthi, Praveen; Raina, Chand; Gupta, Ajai Prakash; Shah, Bhahwal A; Gandhi, Sumit G; Chaubey, Asha

    2017-12-01

    Present study relates to the effect of valproic acid, an epigenetic modifier on the metabolic profile of Aspergillus fumigatus (GA-L7), an endophytic fungus isolated from Grewia asiatica L. Seven secondary metabolites were isolated from A. fumigatus (GA-L7) which were identified as: pseurotin A, pseurotin D, pseurotin F2, fumagillin, tryprostatin C, gliotoxin and bis(methylthio)gliotoxin. Addition of valproic acid in the growth medium resulted in the alteration of secondary metabolic profile with an enhanced production of a metabolite, fumiquinazoline C by tenfolds. In order to assess the effect of valproic acid on the biosynthetic pathway of fumiquinazoline C, we studied the expression of the genes involved in its biosynthesis, both in the valproic acid treated and untreated control culture. The results revealed that all the genes i.e. Afua_6g 12040, Afua_6g 12050, Afua_6g 12060, Afua_6g 12070 and Afua_6g 12080, involved in the biosynthesis of fumiquinazoline C were overexpressed significantly by 7.5, 8.8, 3.4, 5.6 and 2.1 folds respectively, resulting in overall enhancement of fumiquinazoline C production by about tenfolds.

  17. Cryopreservation enhances embryogenic capacity of Gentiana cruciata (L.) suspension culture and maintains (epi)genetic uniformity of regenerants.

    PubMed

    Mikuła, Anna; Tomiczak, Karolina; Rybczyński, Jan J

    2011-04-01

    The embryogenic cell suspension culture of Gentiana cruciata, cryopreserved by the encapsulation/dehydration method, survived both short- (48 h) and long-term (1.5 years) cryostorage with more than 80% viability. To assess the influence of cryotreatments on the embryogenic potential, a proembryogenic mass was encapsulated and exposed to the following treatments: (1) osmotic dehydration (OD), (2) OD + air desiccation (AD) and (3) OD + AD + cryostorage (LN). The somatic embryogenesis efficiency increased ten times after osmotic dehydration. The AD and LN cryotreatments did not cause any significant alterations in somatic embryo production. We monitored the (epi)genetic stability of 288 regenerants derived from: non-cryotreated, short-term, and long-term cryostored tissue using metAFLP markers and ten primer combinations. Changes in the sequence and DNA methylation levels were studied by subjecting the DNA to digestion with two pairs of isoschisomer restriction enzymes (KpnI/MseI and Acc65I/MseI). Two new AFLP unique DNA fragments at the DNA sequence level, with no differences at the methylation level, were found between regenerants derived from cryopreserved tissue, compared with the non-cryotreated controls. The Acc65I/MseI methylation levels for the three groups of regenerants were not significantly different. Cluster analysis was capable of identifying a number of sub-clusters. Only one of the sub-clusters comprises almost all regenerants derived from non-cryotreated and short-term cryostored tissue. Plantlets derived from long-term cryostored tissue were grouped into separate clusters. The observed AFLP alterations did not appear to be associated with the use of cryopreservation, but were probably related to the process of in vitro culture.

  18. Epigenetics, fragile X syndrome and transcriptional therapy.

    PubMed

    Tabolacci, Elisabetta; Chiurazzi, Pietro

    2013-11-01

    Epigenetics refers to the study of heritable changes in gene expression that occur without a change in DNA sequence. Epigenetic mechanisms therefore include all transcriptional controls that determine how genes are expressed during development and differentiation, but also in individual cells responding to environmental stimuli. The purpose of this review is to examine the basic principles of epigenetic mechanisms and their contribution to human disorders with a particular focus on fragile X syndrome (FXS), the most common monogenic form of developmental cognitive impairment. FXS represents a prototype of the so-called repeat expansion disorders due to "dynamic" mutations, namely the expansion (known as "full mutation") of a CGG repeat in the 5'UTR of the FMR1 gene. This genetic anomaly is accompanied by epigenetic modifications (mainly DNA methylation and histone deacetylation), resulting in the inactivation of the FMR1 gene. The presence of an intact FMR1 coding sequence allowed pharmacological reactivation of gene transcription, particularly through the use of the DNA demethylating agent 5'-aza-2'-deoxycytydine and/or inhibitors of histone deacetylases. These treatments suggested that DNA methylation is dominant over histone acetylation in silencing the FMR1 gene. The importance of DNA methylation in repressing FMR1 transcription is confirmed by the existence of rare unaffected males carrying unmethylated full mutations. Finally, we address the potential use of epigenetic approaches to targeted treatment of other genetic conditions.

  19. 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.

  20. A nuclear Argonaute promotes multigenerational epigenetic inheritance and germline immortality.

    PubMed

    Buckley, Bethany A; Burkhart, Kirk B; Gu, Sam Guoping; Spracklin, George; Kershner, Aaron; Fritz, Heidi; Kimble, Judith; Fire, Andrew; Kennedy, Scott

    2012-09-20

    Epigenetic information is frequently erased near the start of each new generation. In some cases, however, epigenetic information can be transmitted from parent to progeny (multigenerational epigenetic inheritance). A particularly notable example of this type of epigenetic inheritance is double-stranded RNA-mediated gene silencing in Caenorhabditis elegans. This RNA-mediated interference (RNAi) can be inherited for more than five generations. To understand this process, here we conduct a genetic screen for nematodes defective in transmitting RNAi silencing signals to future generations. This screen identified the heritable RNAi defective 1 (hrde-1) gene. hrde-1 encodes an Argonaute protein that associates with small interfering RNAs in the germ cells of progeny of animals exposed to double-stranded RNA. In the nuclei of these germ cells, HRDE-1 engages the nuclear RNAi defective pathway to direct the trimethylation of histone H3 at Lys 9 (H3K9me3) at RNAi-targeted genomic loci and promote RNAi inheritance. Under normal growth conditions, HRDE-1 associates with endogenously expressed short interfering RNAs, which direct nuclear gene silencing in germ cells. In hrde-1- or nuclear RNAi-deficient animals, germline silencing is lost over generational time. Concurrently, these animals exhibit steadily worsening defects in gamete formation and function that ultimately lead to sterility. These results establish that the Argonaute protein HRDE-1 directs gene-silencing events in germ-cell nuclei that drive multigenerational RNAi inheritance and promote immortality of the germ-cell lineage. We propose that C. elegans use the RNAi inheritance machinery to transmit epigenetic information, accrued by past generations, into future generations to regulate important biological processes.

  1. Epigenetic Regulation of Monocyte and Macrophage Function

    PubMed Central

    Hoeksema, Marten A.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Significance: Monocytes and macrophages are key players in tissue homeostasis and immune responses. Epigenetic processes tightly regulate cellular functioning in health and disease. Recent Advances: Recent technical developments have allowed detailed characterizations of the transcriptional circuitry underlying monocyte and macrophage regulation. Upon differentiation and activation, enhancers are selected by lineage-determining and signal-dependent transcription factors. Enhancers are shown to be very dynamic and activation of these enhancers underlies the differences in gene transcription between monocytes and macrophages and their subtypes. Critical Issues: It has been shown that epigenetic enzymes regulate the functioning of these cells and targeting of epigenetic enzymes has been proven to be a valuable tool to dampen inflammatory responses. We give a comprehensive overview of recent developments and understanding of the epigenetic pathways that control monocyte and macrophage function and of the epigenetic enzymes involved in monocyte and macrophage differentiation and activation. Future Directions: The key challenges in the upcoming years will be to study epigenetic changes in human disease and to better understand how epigenetic pathways control the inflammatory repertoire in disease. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 25, 758–774. PMID:26983461

  2. Epigenetic Enhancement of the Post-replicative DNA Mismatch Repair of Mammalian Genomes by a Hemi-mCpG-Np95-Dnmt1 Axis

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Keh-Yang; Chen, Chun-Chang; Tsai, Shih-Feng; Shen, Che-Kun James

    2016-01-01

    DNA methylation at C of CpG dyads (mCpG) in vertebrate genomes is essential for gene regulation, genome stability and development. We show in this study that proper functioning of post-replicative DNA mismatch repair (MMR) in mammalian cells relies on the presence of genomic mCpG, as well as on the maintenance DNA methyltransferase Dnmt1 independently of its catalytic activity. More importantly, high efficiency of mammalian MMR surveillance is achieved through a hemi-mCpG-Np95(Uhrf1)-Dnmt1 axis, in which the MMR surveillance complex(es) is recruited to post-replicative DNA by Dnmt1, requiring its interactions with MutSα, as well as with Np95 bound at the hemi-methylated CpG sites. Thus, efficiency of MMR surveillance over the mammalian genome in vivo is enhanced at the epigenetic level. This synergy endows vertebrate CpG methylation with a new biological significance and, consequently, an additional mechanism for the maintenance of vertebrate genome stability. PMID:27886214

  3. Epigenetic control of gene expression: Potential implications for cancer treatment.

    PubMed

    Perri, F; Longo, F; Giuliano, M; Sabbatino, F; Favia, G; Ionna, F; Addeo, R; Della Vittoria Scarpati, G; Di Lorenzo, G; Pisconti, S

    2017-03-01

    Epigenetic changes are defined as inherited modifications that are not present in DNA sequence. Gene expression is regulated at various levels and not only in response to DNA modifications. Examples of epigenetic control are DNA methylation, histone deacetylation and mi-RNA expression. Methylation of several tumor suppressor gene promoters is responsible for their silencing and thus potentially sustain cancerogenesis. Similarly, histone deacetylation can lead to oncogene activation. mi-RNA are small (18-20 nucleotides) non-coding RNA fragments capable of inhibiting other m-RNA, ultimately altering the balance in oncogene and tumor suppressor gene expression. It has been shown that growth of several tumor types can be stimulated by epigenetic changes in various phases of cancerogenesis, and drugs able to interfere with these mechanisms can have a positive impact on tumor progression. As matter of fact, epigenetic changes are dynamic and can be reversed by epigenetic inhibitors. Recently, methyltransferase and histone deacetylase inhibitors have attracted the attention of researchers and clinicians as they potentially provide alternative therapeutic options in some cancers. Drugs that inhibit DNA methylation or histone deacetylation have been studied for the reactivation of tumor suppressor genes and repression of cancer cell growth. Epigenetic inhibitors work alone or in combination with other therapeutic agents. To date, a number of epigenetic inhibitors have been approved for cancer treatment. The main challenge in the field of epigenetic inhibitors is their lack of specificity. In this review article we describe their mechanisms of action and potential in cancer treatment.

  4. Ecological epigenetics: an introduction to the symposium.

    PubMed

    Ledón-Rettig, Cris C

    2013-08-01

    Phenotypic variation arises from interactions between environmental and genetic variation, and the emergence of such variation is, in part, mediated by epigenetic mechanisms: factors that modify gene expression but do not change the gene sequence, per se. The role of epigenetic variation and inheritance in natural populations, however, remains poorly understood. The budding field of Ecological Epigenetics seeks to extend our knowledge of epigenetic mechanisms and processes to natural populations, and recent conceptual and technical advances have made progress toward this goal more feasible. In light of these breakthroughs, now is a particularly opportune time to develop a framework that will guide and facilitate exceptional studies in Ecological Epigenetics. Toward this goal, the Ecological Epigenetics symposium brought together researchers with diverse strengths in theory, developmental genetics, ecology, and evolution, and the proceedings from their talks are presented in this issue. By characterizing environmentally dependent epigenetic variation in natural populations, we will enhance our understanding of developmental, ecological, and evolutionary phenomena. In particular, ecological epigenetics has the potential to explain how populations endure (or fail to endure) profound and rapid environmental change. Here, my goal is to introduce some of the common goals and challenges shared by those pursuing this critical field.

  5. A 2015 survey of established or potential epigenetic biomarkers for the accurate detection of human cancers.

    PubMed

    Amacher, David E

    2016-07-01

    Context The silencing or activation of cancer-associated genes by epigenetic mechanisms can ultimately lead to the clonal expansion of cancer cells. Objective The aim of this review is to summarize all relevant epigenetic biomarkers that have been proposed to date for the diagnosis of some prevalent human cancers. Methods A Medline search for the terms epigenetic biomarkers, human cancers, DNA methylation, histone modifications and microRNAs was performed. Results One hundred fifty-seven relevant publications were found and reviewed. Conclusion To date, a significant number of potential epigenetic cancer biomarkers of human cancer have been investigated, and some have advanced to clinical implementation.

  6. Maize Unstable factor for orange1 Is Required for Maintaining Silencing Associated with Paramutation at the pericarp color1 and booster1 Loci

    PubMed Central

    Sekhon, Rajandeep S.; Wang, Po-Hao; Sidorenko, Lyudmila; Chandler, Vicki L.; Chopra, Surinder

    2012-01-01

    To understand the molecular mechanisms underlying paramutation, we examined the role of Unstable factor for orange1 (Ufo1) in maintaining paramutation at the maize pericarp color1 (p1) and booster1 (b1) loci. Genetic tests revealed that the Ufo1-1 mutation disrupted silencing associated with paramutation at both p1 and b1. The level of up regulation achieved at b1 was lower than that at p1, suggesting differences in the role Ufo1-1 plays at these loci. We characterized the interaction of Ufo1-1 with two silenced p1 epialleles, P1-rr′ and P1-prTP, that were derived from a common P1-rr ancestor. Both alleles are phenotypically indistinguishable, but differ in their paramutagenic activity; P1-rr′ is paramutagenic to P1-rr, while P1-prTP is non-paramutagenic. Analysis of cytosine methylation revealed striking differences within an enhancer fragment that is required for paramutation; P1-rr′ exhibited increased methylation at symmetric (CG and CHG) and asymmetric (CHH) sites, while P1-prTP was methylated only at symmetric sites. Both silenced alleles had higher levels of dimethylation of lysine 9 on histone 3 (H3K9me2), an epigenetic mark of silent chromatin, in the enhancer region. Both epialleles were reactivated in the Ufo1-1 background; however, reactivation of P1-rr′ was associated with dramatic loss of symmetric and asymmetric cytosine methylation in the enhancer, while methylation of up-regulated P1-prTP was not affected. Interestingly, Ufo1-1–mediated reactivation of both alleles was accompanied with loss of H3K9me2 mark from the enhancer region. Therefore, while earlier studies have shown correlation between H3K9me2 and DNA methylation, our study shows that these two epigenetic marks are uncoupled in the Ufo1-1–reactivated p1 alleles. Furthermore, while CHH methylation at the enhancer region appears to be the major distinguishing mark between paramutagenic and non-paramutagenic p1 alleles, H3K9me2 mark appears to be important for maintaining

  7. Epigenetic memory in plants.

    PubMed

    Iwasaki, Mayumi; Paszkowski, Jerzy

    2014-09-17

    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.

  8. 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

  9. Landscaping plant epigenetics.

    PubMed

    McKeown, Peter C; Spillane, Charles

    2014-01-01

    The understanding of epigenetic mechanisms is necessary for assessing the potential impacts of epigenetics on plant growth, development and reproduction, and ultimately for the response of these factors to evolutionary pressures and crop breeding programs. This volume highlights the latest in laboratory and bioinformatic techniques used for the investigation of epigenetic phenomena in plants. Such techniques now allow genome-wide analyses of epigenetic regulation and help to advance our understanding of how epigenetic regulatory mechanisms affect cellular and genome function. To set the scene, we begin with a short background of how the field of epigenetics has evolved, with a particular focus on plant epigenetics. We consider what has historically been understood by the term "epigenetics" before turning to the advances in biochemistry, molecular biology, and genetics which have led to current-day definitions of the term. Following this, we pay attention to key discoveries in the field of epigenetics that have emerged from the study of unusual and enigmatic phenomena in plants. Many of these phenomena have involved cases of non-Mendelian inheritance and have often been dismissed as mere curiosities prior to the elucidation of their molecular mechanisms. In the penultimate section, consideration is given to how advances in molecular techniques are opening the doors to a more comprehensive understanding of epigenetic phenomena in plants. We conclude by assessing some opportunities, challenges, and techniques for epigenetic research in both model and non-model plants, in particular for advancing understanding of the regulation of genome function by epigenetic mechanisms.

  10. Transgenerational Radiation Epigenetics

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-09-01

    AD_________________ Award Number: W81XWH-10-1-0711 TITLE: Transgenerational Radiation Epigenetics ...5a. CONTRACT NUMBER Transgenerational Radiation Epigenetics 5b. GRANT NUMBER W81XWH-10-1-0711 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 6. AUTHOR(S...weeks for preliminary epigenetic screening. Others were used as breeders for transgenerational studies and still others have been left to take when they

  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. [Chronic stress and epigenetics. Relation between academic sciences and theology].

    PubMed

    Simon, Kornél

    2012-04-08

    The author gives a short account on the principles of Selye's stress theory, and discusses similarities and dissimilarities of acute and chronic stress. Both the external, and the internal environment, as well as the psycho-mental status are involved in the notion of the environment. Basic principles of epigenetics are reviewed: interaction between environment and genes, neuroendocrine and enzymatic mechanisms involved in silencing and activation of genes, notions of phenotypic plasticity, and epigenetic reprogramming are discussed. Epigenetic mechanisms of interrelation between pathological clinical states (diseases) and the characteristic phenotypes, causative role of psycho-mental status in evoking pathological somatic alterations, and the potential therapeutic consequences are briefly discussed. The etiological role of chronic, civilization stress in producing the worldwide increment of cardiovascular morbidity is cited, argumentation and criticism of the current therapeutical practice is discussed. The author concludes that recent advances in epigenetic knowledge seem to solve the controversy between the academic and theological sciences.

  13. Prostate Cancer: Epigenetic Alterations, Risk Factors, and Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Kalla, Asgar A.; Islam, Muhammed M.; Moorad, Razia

    2016-01-01

    Prostate cancer (PCa) is the most prevalent urological cancer that affects aging men in South Africa, and mechanisms underlying prostate tumorigenesis remain elusive. Research advancements in the field of PCa and epigenetics have allowed for the identification of specific alterations that occur beyond genetics but are still critically important in the pathogenesis of tumorigenesis. Anomalous epigenetic changes associated with PCa include histone modifications, DNA methylation, and noncoding miRNA. These mechanisms regulate and silence hundreds of target genes including some which are key components of cellular signalling pathways that, when perturbed, promote tumorigenesis. Elucidation of mechanisms underlying epigenetic alterations and the manner in which these mechanisms interact in regulating gene transcription in PCa are an unmet necessity that may lead to novel chemotherapeutic approaches. This will, therefore, aid in developing combination therapies that will target multiple epigenetic pathways, which can be used in conjunction with the current conventional PCa treatment. PMID:27891254

  14. 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.

  15. Structure and Gene-Silencing Mechanisms of Small Noncoding RNAs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chu, Chia-Ying; Rana, Tariq M.

    Small (19-31-nucleotides) noncoding RNAs were identified in the past 10 years for their distinct function in gene silencing. The best known gene-silencing phenomenon, RNA interference (RNAi), is triggered in a sequence-specific manner by endogenously produced or exogenously introduced small doubled-stranded RNAs. As knowledge of the structure and function of the RNAi machinery has expanded, this phenomenon has become a powerful tool for biochemical research; it has enormous potential for therapeutics. This chapter summarizes significant aspects of three major classes of small noncoding, regulatory RNAs: small interfering RNAs (siRNAs), microRNAs (miRNAs), and Piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNAs). Here, we focus on the biogenesis of these small RNAs, their structural features and coupled effectors as well as the mechanisms of each small regulatory RNA pathway which reveal fascinating ways by which gene silencing is controlled and fine-tuned at an epigenetic level.

  16. 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

  17. Histone Methylation and Epigenetic Silencing in Breast Cancer

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-02-01

    after baculovirus-mediated expres- sion in insect Sf9 cells. Surprisingly, no difference in HMTase activity was detected in vitro between wild-type...from transfected 293T cells, or proteins expressed and purified from insect Sf9 cells and HeLa polynu- cleosomes, were added to the HMTase reaction...site T345 (Fig. 1d) was mutated to alanine, were coinfected with the other three PRC2 components (Flag-EED, SUZ12, RbAp48) into insect Sf9 cells

  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 Central

    Santoni, Federico Andrea

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23234700

  19. Epigenetics and lupus.

    PubMed

    Miceli-Richard, Corinne

    2015-03-01

    Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is among the systemic autoimmune diseases whose complex pathogenesis involves both genetic and environmental factors. Epigenetic dysregulation resulting in overexpression of certain genes in some of the key immune cells, such as T cells, has been incriminated in the pathophysiology of SLE. Epigenetics is defined as transmissible and reversible modifications in gene expression without alterations in the nucleotide sequences. Epigenetic information is carried chiefly by DNA itself, histones, and noncoding RNAs. Several epigenetic mechanisms may play a role in SLE pathogenesis. This review discusses the various epigenetic mechanisms that regulate gene expression and provides examples relevant to SLE.

  20. Transcriptional Selectivity of Epigenetic Therapy in Cancer.

    PubMed

    Sato, Takahiro; Cesaroni, Matteo; Chung, Woonbok; Panjarian, Shoghag; Tran, Anthony; Madzo, Jozef; Okamoto, Yasuyuki; Zhang, Hanghang; Chen, Xiaowei; Jelinek, Jaroslav; Issa, Jean-Pierre J

    2017-01-15

    A central challenge in the development of epigenetic cancer therapy is the ability to direct selectivity in modulating gene expression for disease-selective efficacy. To address this issue, we characterized by RNA-seq, DNA methylation, and ChIP-seq analyses the epigenetic response of a set of colon, breast, and leukemia cancer cell lines to small-molecule inhibitors against DNA methyltransferases (DAC), histone deacetylases (Depsi), histone demethylases (KDM1A inhibitor S2101), and histone methylases (EHMT2 inhibitor UNC0638 and EZH2 inhibitor GSK343). We also characterized the effects of DAC as combined with the other compounds. Averaged over the cancer cell models used, we found that DAC affected 8.6% of the transcriptome and that 95.4% of the genes affected were upregulated. DAC preferentially regulated genes that were silenced in cancer and that were methylated at their promoters. In contrast, Depsi affected the expression of 30.4% of the transcriptome but showed little selectivity for gene upregulation or silenced genes. S2101, UNC0638, and GSK343 affected only 2% of the transcriptome, with UNC0638 and GSK343 preferentially targeting genes marked with H3K9me2 or H3K27me3, respectively. When combined with histone methylase inhibitors, the extent of gene upregulation by DAC was extended while still maintaining selectivity for DNA-methylated genes and silenced genes. However, the genes upregulated by combination treatment exhibited limited overlap, indicating the possibility of targeting distinct sets of genes based on different epigenetic therapy combinations. Overall, our results demonstrated that DNA methyltransferase inhibitors preferentially target cancer-relevant genes and can be combined with inhibitors targeting histone methylation for synergistic effects while still maintaining selectivity. Cancer Res; 77(2); 470-81. ©2016 AACR.

  1. Basic concepts of epigenetics.

    PubMed

    Inbar-Feigenberg, Michal; Choufani, Sanaa; Butcher, Darci T; Roifman, Maian; Weksberg, Rosanna

    2013-03-01

    Several types of epigenetic marks facilitate the complex patterning required for normal human development. These epigenetic marks include DNA methylation at CpG dinucleotides, covalent modifications of histone proteins, and noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs). They function in a highly orchestrated manner, regulating mitotically heritable differences in gene expression potential without altering the primary DNA sequence. In germ cells and the developing embryo, genome-wide epigenetic reprogramming drives the erasure and reestablishment of correct epigenetic patterns at critical developmental time periods and in specific cell types. Two specific types of epigenetic regulation established in early development include X-chromosome inactivation and genomic imprinting; they regulate gene expression in a dosage-dependent and parent-of-origin-specific manner, respectively. Both genetic and environmental factors impact epigenetic marks, generating phenotypic variation that ranges from normal variation to human disease. Aberrant epigenetic patterning can lead to a variety of human disorders, including subfertility and imprinting disorders.

  2. Epigenetics: ambiguities and implications.

    PubMed

    Stotz, Karola; Griffiths, Paul

    2016-12-01

    Everyone has heard of 'epigenetics', but the term means different things to different researchers. Four important contemporary meanings are outlined in this paper. Epigenetics in its various senses has implications for development, heredity, and evolution, and also for medicine. Concerning development, it cements the vision of a reactive genome strongly coupled to its environment. Concerning heredity, both narrowly epigenetic and broader 'exogenetic' systems of inheritance play important roles in the construction of phenotypes. A thoroughly epigenetic model of development and evolution was Waddington's aim when he introduced the term 'epigenetics' in the 1940s, but it has taken the modern development of molecular epigenetics to realize this aim. In the final sections of the paper we briefly outline some further implications of epigenetics for medicine and for the nature/nurture debate.

  3. Epigenetic processes in flowering plant reproduction.

    PubMed

    Wang, Guifeng; Köhler, Claudia

    2017-01-06

    Seeds provide up to 70% of the energy intake of the human population, emphasizing the relevance of understanding the genetic and epigenetic mechanisms controlling seed formation. In flowering plants, seeds are the product of a double fertilization event, leading to the formation of the embryo and the endosperm surrounded by maternal tissues. Analogous to mammals, plants undergo extensive epigenetic reprogramming during both gamete formation and early seed development, a process that is supposed to be required to enforce silencing of transposable elements and thus to maintain genome stability. Global changes of DNA methylation, histone modifications, and small RNAs are closely associated with epigenome programming during plant reproduction. Here, we review current knowledge on chromatin changes occurring during sporogenesis and gametogenesis, as well as early seed development in major flowering plant models.

  4. Genomic imprinting: a mammalian epigenetic discovery model.

    PubMed

    Barlow, Denise P

    2011-01-01

    Genomic imprinting is an epigenetic process leading to parental-specific expression of one to two percent of mammalian genes that offers one of the best model systems for a molecular analysis of epigenetic regulation in development and disease. In the twenty years since the first imprinted gene was identified, this model has had a significant impact on decoding epigenetic information in mammals. So far it has led to the discovery of long-range cis-acting control elements whose epigenetic state regulates small clusters of genes and of unusual macro noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs) that directly repress genes in cis, and critically, it has demonstrated that one biological role of DNA methylation is to allow expression of genes normally repressed by default. This review describes the progress in understanding how imprinted protein-coding genes are silenced; in particular, it focuses on the role of macro ncRNAs that have broad relevance as a potential new layer of regulatory information in the mammalian genome.

  5. Epigenetic mechanisms in cerebral ischemia

    PubMed Central

    Schweizer, Sophie; Meisel, Andreas; Märschenz, Stefanie

    2013-01-01

    Treatment efficacy for ischemic stroke represents a major challenge. Despite fundamental advances in the understanding of stroke etiology, therapeutic options to improve functional recovery remain limited. However, growing knowledge in the field of epigenetics has dramatically changed our understanding of gene regulation in the last few decades. According to the knowledge gained from animal models, the manipulation of epigenetic players emerges as a highly promising possibility to target diverse neurologic pathologies, including ischemia. By altering transcriptional regulation, epigenetic modifiers can exert influence on all known pathways involved in the complex course of ischemic disease development. Beneficial transcriptional effects range from attenuation of cell death, suppression of inflammatory processes, and enhanced blood flow, to the stimulation of repair mechanisms and increased plasticity. Most striking are the results obtained from pharmacological inhibition of histone deacetylation in animal models of stroke. Multiple studies suggest high remedial qualities even upon late administration of histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi). In this review, the role of epigenetic mechanisms, including histone modifications as well as DNA methylation, is discussed in the context of known ischemic pathways of damage, protection, and regeneration. PMID:23756691

  6. Epigenetics, oestradiol and hippocampal memory consolidation.

    PubMed

    Frick, K M

    2013-11-01

    Epigenetic alterations of histone proteins and DNA are essential for hippocampal synaptic plasticity and cognitive function, and contribute to the aetiology of psychiatric disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. Hippocampal memory formation depends on histone alterations and DNA methylation, and increasing evidence suggests that the regulation of these epigenetic processes by modulatory factors, such as environmental enrichment, stress and hormones, substantially influences memory function. Recent work from our laboratory suggests that the ability of the sex-steroid hormone 17β-oestradiol (E2 ) to enhance novel object recognition memory consolidation in young adult female mice is dependent on histone H3 acetylation and DNA methylation in the dorsal hippocampus. Our data also suggest that enzymes mediating DNA methylation and histone acetylation work in concert to regulate the effects of E2 on memory consolidation. These findings shed light on the epigenetic mechanisms that influence hormonal modulation of cognitive function, and may have important implications for understanding how hormones influence cognition in adulthood and ageing. The present review provides a brief overview of the literature on epigenetics and memory, describes in detail our findings demonstrating that epigenetic alterations regulate E2 -induced memory enhancement in female mice, and discusses future directions for research on the epigenetic regulation of E2 -induced memory enhancement.

  7. 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.

  8. Epigenetic alterations in a murine model for chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

    PubMed

    Chen, Shih-Shih; Sherman, Mara H; Hertlein, Erin; Johnson, Amy J; Teitell, Michael A; Byrd, John C; Plass, Christoph

    2009-11-15

    Early stages in the development of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) have not been explored mainly due to the inability to study normal B-cells en route to transformation. In order to determine such early events of leukemogenesis, we have used a well established mouse model for CLL. Over-expression of human TCL1, a known CLL oncogene in murine B-cells leads to the development of mature CD19+/CD5+/IgM+ clonal leukemia with a disease phenotype similar to that seen in human CLL. Herein, we review our recent study using this TCL1-driven mouse model for CLL and corresponding human CLL samples in a cross-species epigenomics approach to address the timing and relevance of epigenetic events occurring during leukemogenesis. We demonstrated that the mouse model recapitulates the epigenetic events that have been reported for human CLL, affirming the power and validity of this mouse model to study early epigenetic events in cancer progression. Epigenetic alterations are detected as early as three months after birth, far before disease manifests at about 11 months of age. These mice undergo NFkappaB repressor complex mediated inactivation of the transcription factor Foxd3, whose targets become aberrantly methylated and silenced in mouse and human CLL. Overall, our data suggest the accumulated epigenetic alterations during CLL pathogenesis as a consequence of gene silencing through TCL1 and NFkappaB repressor complex, suggesting the relevance for NFkappaB as a therapeutic target in CLL.

  9. Enhanced one-carbon flux towards DNA methylation: Effect of dietary methyl supplements against gamma-radiation-induced epigenetic modifications.

    PubMed

    Batra, Vipen; Sridhar, Swathi; Devasagayam, Thomas Paul Asir

    2010-02-12

    Radiation exposure poses a major risk for workers in the nuclear power plants and other radiation related industry. In this context, we demonstrate that gamma-radiation is an efficient DNA demethylating agent and its injurious effect can be minimized by dietary methyl supplements (folate, choline and vitamin B12). To elucidate the possible underlying mechanism(s), male Swiss mice were maintained on normal control diet (NCD) and methyl-supplemented diet (MSD). After 2 weeks of NCD and MSD dietary regimen, we exposed the animals to gamma-radiation (2, 4 and 6Gy) and investigated the profile of downstream metabolites and activity levels of one-carbon (C(1)) flux generating enzymes. In MSD fed and irradiated animals, hepatic folate levels increased (P<0.01), while hepatic homocysteine levels decreased (P<0.01) compared to NCD fed and irradiated animals. Although hepatic folate level increased significantly in MSD fed animals (P<0.01), it showed a decrease in response to high doses of gamma-irradiation. Under these conditions, a marked suppression of S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) levels occurred in NCD fed and irradiated animals, suggesting reduced conversion of homocysteine to SAM. Concomitant with decline in liver SAM Pool, activities of DNA methyltransferase (Dnmt, that methylates DNA) and methionine synthase (MSase, that regenerates methionine from homocysteine) were both decreased in NCD fed and irradiated mice. However, in MSD fed and irradiated mice, they were increased. These results strongly indicated that increased levels of dnmt and MSase may enhance C(1) flux towards DNA methylation reactions in MSD fed animals. These results were confirmed and further substantiated by measuring genomic DNA methylation levels, which were maintained at normal levels in MSD fed and irradiated mice compared to NCD fed and irradiated animals (P<0.01). In conclusion, our results suggest that maintenance of genomic DNA methylation under gamma-radiation stress might be a very dynamic

  10. 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

  11. Epigenetic modifications of embryonic stem cells: current trends and relevance in developing regenerative medicine.

    PubMed

    Chung, Henry; Sidhu, Kuldip S

    2008-11-17

    Epigenetics is a growing field not only in the area of cancer research but recently in stem cells including human embryonic stem cell (hESC) research. The hallmark of profiling epigenetic changes in stem cells lies in maintaining pluripotency or multipotency and in attaining lineage specifications that are relevant for regenerative medicine. Epigenetic modifications including DNA methylation, histone acetylation and methylation, play important roles in regulating gene expressions. Other epigenetic modifications include X chromosome silencing, genomic stability and imprinting and mammalian development. This review attempts to elucidate the mechanism(s) behind epigenetic modifications and review techniques scientists use for identifying each modification. We also discuss some of the trends of epigenetic modifications in the fields of directed differentiation of embryonic stem cells and de-differentiation of somatic cells.

  12. Homeobox gene Rhox5 is regulated by epigenetic mechanisms in cancer and stem cells and promotes cancer growth

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Homeobox genes murine Rhox5 and human RHOXF1 are expressed in early embryonic stages and then mostly restricted to germline tissues in normal adult, yet they are aberrantly expressed in cancer cells in vitro and in vivo . Here we study the epigenetic regulation and potential functions of Rhox5 gene. Findings In Rhox5 -silenced or extremely low expresser cells, we observed low levels of active histone epigenetic marks (H3ac, H4ac and H3K4me2) and high levels of repressive mark H3K9me2 along with DNA hypermethylation in the promoter. In Rhox5 low expresser cells, we typically observed modest levels of both active and repressive histone marks along with moderate DNA methylation. In Rhox5 highly expressed CT26 cancer cells, we observed DNA hypomethylation along with high levels of both active and repressive histone marks. Epigenetic drugs (retinoic acid and MS-275) induced F9 cell differentiation with enhanced Rhox5 expression and dynamic changes of epigenetic marks. Finally, Rhox5 knockdown by small hairpin RNA (shRNA) in CT26 colon cancer decreased cell proliferation and migration in vitro and tumor growth in vivo . Conclusions Both DNA methylation and histone methylation/acetylation play key roles in modulating Rhox5 expression in various cell types. The stem cell-like "bivalent domain", an epigenetic feature originally identified in key differentiation genes within stem cells, exists in the Rhox5 gene promoter in not only embryonic stem cells but also cancer cells, cancer stem cells, and differentiated Sertoli cells. As Ras signaling-dependent Rhox5 expression promotes tumor growth, Rhox5 may be an ideal target for therapeutic intervention in cancer. PMID:21609483

  13. RNF8 regulates active epigenetic modifications and escape gene activation from inactive sex chromosomes in post-meiotic spermatids

    PubMed Central

    Sin, Ho-Su; Barski, Artem; Zhang, Fan; Kartashov, Andrey V.; Nussenzweig, Andre; Chen, Junjie; Andreassen, Paul R.; Namekawa, Satoshi H.

    2012-01-01

    Sex chromosomes are uniquely subject to chromosome-wide silencing during male meiosis, and silencing persists into post-meiotic spermatids. Against this background, a select set of sex chromosome-linked genes escapes silencing and is activated in post-meiotic spermatids. Here, we identify a novel mechanism that regulates escape gene activation in an environment of chromosome-wide silencing in murine germ cells. We show that RNF8-dependent ubiquitination of histone H2A during meiosis establishes active epigenetic modifications, including dimethylation of H3K4 on the sex chromosomes. RNF8-dependent active epigenetic memory, defined by dimethylation of H3K4, persists throughout meiotic division. Various active epigenetic modifications are subsequently established on the sex chromosomes in post-meiotic spermatids. These RNF8-dependent modifications include trimethylation of H3K4, histone lysine crotonylation (Kcr), and incorporation of the histone variant H2AFZ. RNF8-dependent epigenetic programming regulates escape gene activation from inactive sex chromosomes in post-meiotic spermatids. Kcr accumulates at transcriptional start sites of sex-linked genes activated in an RNF8-dependent manner, and a chromatin conformational change is associated with RNF8-dependent epigenetic programming. Furthermore, we demonstrate that this RNF8-dependent pathway is distinct from that which recognizes DNA double-strand breaks. Our results establish a novel connection between a DNA damage response factor (RNF8) and epigenetic programming, specifically in establishing active epigenetic modifications and gene activation. PMID:23249736

  14. Chromatin modification and epigenetic reprogramming in mammalian development.

    PubMed

    Li, En

    2002-09-01

    The developmental programme of embryogenesis is controlled by both genetic and epigenetic mechanisms. An emerging theme from recent studies is that the regulation of higher-order chromatin structures by DNA methylation and histone modification is crucial for genome reprogramming during early embryogenesis and gametogenesis, and for tissue-specific gene expression and global gene silencing. Disruptions to chromatin modification can lead to the dysregulation of developmental processes, such as X-chromosome inactivation and genomic imprinting, and to various diseases. Understanding the process of epigenetic reprogramming in development is important for studies of cloning and the clinical application of stem-cell therapy.

  15. Epigenetic transitions in germ cell development and meiosis.

    PubMed

    Kota, Satya K; Feil, Robert

    2010-11-16

    Germ cell development is controlled by unique gene expression programs and involves epigenetic reprogramming of histone modifications and DNA methylation. The central event is meiosis, during which homologous chromosomes pair and recombine, processes that involve histone alterations. At unpaired regions, chromatin is repressed by meiotic silencing. After meiosis, male germ cells undergo chromatin remodeling, including histone-to-protamine replacement. Male and female germ cells are also differentially marked by parental imprints, which contribute to sex determination in insects and mediate genomic imprinting in mammals. Here, we review epigenetic transitions during gametogenesis and discuss novel insights from animal and human studies.

  16. Theory for the stability and regulation of epigenetic landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Micheelsen, Mille A.; Mitarai, Namiko; Sneppen, Kim; Dodd, Ian B.

    2010-06-01

    Cells can often choose among several stably heritable phenotypes. Examples are the expressions of genes in eukaryotic cells where long chromosomal regions can adopt persistent and heritable silenced or active states that may be associated with positive feedback in dynamic modification of nucleosomes. We generalize this mechanism in terms of bistability associated with valleys in an epigenetic landscape. A transfer matrix method was used to rigorously follow the system through the disruptive process of cell division. This combined treatment of noisy dynamics both between and during cell division provides an efficient way to calculate the stability of alternative states in a broad range of epigenetic systems.

  17. Functional validation of a constitutive autonomous silencer element.

    PubMed

    Qi, Heyuan; Liu, Mingdong; Emery, David W; Stamatoyannopoulos, George

    2015-01-01

    Sequences of the genome that are capable of silencing gene expression are thought to play a key role in gene regulation. However, very few silencer elements capable of functioning in mammalian cells have been described, and only a fraction of these have been tested for the ability to function in an autonomous fashion. We report here the characterization and functional validation of a constitutive autonomous silencer element from the human genome called T39, and the comparison of T39 to three other putative silencer elements previously described by others. Functional analysis included one assay for enhancer-blocking insulator activity and two independent assays for silencer activity, all based on stable transfection and comparison to a neutral spacer control. In erythroid K562 cells, T39 exhibited potent silencer activity, the previously described element PRE2-S5 exhibited modest silencer activity, and the two other previously described elements exhibited no silencer activity. T39 was further found to be capable of silencing three disparate promoters, of silencing gene expression in three disparate cell lines, and of functioning as a single copy in a topology-independent manner. Of the four elements analyzed, only T39 exhibits a constitutive pattern of DNase hypersensitivity and binding by CTCF. In its native location the T39 element also exhibits a unique interaction profile with a subset of distal putative regulatory elements. Taken together, these studies validate T39 as a constitutive autonomous silencer, identify T39 as a defined control for future studies of other regulatory elements such as insulators, and provide a basic chromatin profile for one highly potent silencer element.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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…

  1. On Observing Student Silence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Amundrud, Thomas

    2011-01-01

    This article uses conversation analysis (CA) to look at how students in an advanced EGAP (English for general academic purposes) course discussion test create and manage the silence of a group member during the 7-min session. This is combined with a personal narrative inquiry, coinspired by autoethnography, on the author's participation in the…

  2. Epigenetic Control of Aging

    PubMed Central

    Sedivy, John M.

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Organismal aging and longevity are influenced by many complex interacting factors. Epigenetics has recently emerged as another possible determinant of aging. Here, we review some of the epigenetic pathways that contribute to cellular senescence and age-associated phenotypes. Strategies aimed to reverse age-linked epigenetic alterations may lead to the development of new therapeutic interventions to delay or alleviate some of the most debilitating age-associated diseases. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 14, 241–259. PMID:20518699

  3. Epigenetic inheritance: Uncontested?

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Bing; Reinberg, Danny

    2011-01-01

    “Epigenetics” is currently defined as “the inheritance of variation (-genetics) above and beyond (epi-) changes in the DNA sequence”. Despite the fact that histones are believed to carry important epigenetic information, little is known about the molecular mechanisms of the inheritance of histone-based epigenetic information, including histone modifications and histone variants. Here we review recent progress and discuss potential models for the mitotic inheritance of histone modifications-based epigenetic information. PMID:21321606

  4. RNA editing regulates transposon-mediated heterochromatic gene silencing.

    PubMed

    Savva, Yiannis A; Jepson, James E C; Chang, Yao-Jen; Whitaker, Rachel; Jones, Brian C; St Laurent, Georges; Tackett, Michael R; Kapranov, Philipp; Jiang, Nan; Du, Guyu; Helfand, Stephen L; Reenan, Robert A

    2013-01-01

    Heterochromatin formation drives epigenetic mechanisms associated with silenced gene expression. Repressive heterochromatin is established through the RNA interference pathway, triggered by double-stranded RNAs (dsRNAs) that can be modified via RNA editing. However, the biological consequences of such modifications remain enigmatic. Here we show that RNA editing regulates heterochromatic gene silencing in Drosophila. We utilize the binding activity of an RNA-editing enzyme to visualize the in vivo production of a long dsRNA trigger mediated by Hoppel transposable elements. Using homologous recombination, we delete this trigger, dramatically altering heterochromatic gene silencing and chromatin architecture. Furthermore, we show that the trigger RNA is edited and that dADAR serves as a key regulator of chromatin state. Additionally, dADAR auto-editing generates a natural suppressor of gene silencing. Lastly, systemic differences in RNA editing activity generates interindividual variation in silencing state within a population. Our data reveal a global role for RNA editing in regulating gene expression.

  5. Intergenic transcription through a polycomb group response element counteracts silencing.

    PubMed

    Schmitt, Sabine; Prestel, Matthias; Paro, Renato

    2005-03-15

    Polycomb group response elements (PREs) mediate the mitotic inheritance of gene expression programs and thus maintain determined cell fates. By default, PREs silence associated genes via the targeting of Polycomb group (PcG) complexes. Upon an activating signal, however, PREs recruit counteracting trithorax group (trxG) proteins, which in turn maintain target genes in a transcriptionally active state. Using a transgenic reporter system, we show that the switch from the silenced to the activated state of a PRE requires noncoding transcription. Continuous transcription through the PRE induced by an actin promoter prevents the establishment of PcG-mediated silencing. The maintenance of epigenetic activation requires transcription through the PRE to proceed at least until embryogenesis is completed. At the homeotic bithorax complex of Drosophila, intergenic PRE transcripts can be detected not only during embryogenesis, but also at late larval stages, suggesting that transcription through endogenous PREs is required continuously as an anti-silencing mechanism to prevent the access of repressive PcG complexes to the chromatin. Furthermore, all other PREs outside the homeotic complex we tested were found to be transcribed in the same tissue as the mRNA of the corresponding target gene, suggesting that anti-silencing by transcription is a fundamental aspect of the cellular memory system.

  6. Epigenetic reprogramming that prevents transgenerational inheritance of the vernalized state.

    PubMed

    Crevillén, Pedro; Yang, Hongchun; Cui, Xia; Greeff, Christiaan; Trick, Martin; Qiu, Qi; Cao, Xiaofeng; Dean, Caroline

    2014-11-27

    The reprogramming of epigenetic states in gametes and embryos is essential for correct development in plants and mammals. In plants, the germ line arises from somatic tissues of the flower, necessitating the erasure of chromatin modifications that have accumulated at specific loci during development or in response to external stimuli. If this process occurs inefficiently, it can lead to epigenetic states being inherited from one generation to the next. However, in most cases, accumulated epigenetic modifications are efficiently erased before the next generation. An important example of epigenetic reprogramming in plants is the resetting of the expression of the floral repressor locus FLC in Arabidopsis thaliana. FLC is epigenetically silenced by prolonged cold in a process called vernalization. However, the locus is reactivated before the completion of seed development, ensuring the requirement for vernalization in every generation. In contrast to our detailed understanding of the polycomb-mediated epigenetic silencing induced by vernalization, little is known about the mechanism involved in the reactivation of FLC. Here we show that a hypomorphic mutation in the jumonji-domain-containing protein ELF6 impaired the reactivation of FLC in reproductive tissues, leading to the inheritance of a partially vernalized state. ELF6 has H3K27me3 demethylase activity, and the mutation reduced this enzymatic activity in planta. Consistent with this, in the next generation of mutant plants, H3K27me3 levels at the FLC locus stayed higher, and FLC expression remained lower, than in the wild type. Our data reveal an ancient role for H3K27 demethylation in the reprogramming of epigenetic states in plant and mammalian embryos.

  7. Progress in mitochondrial epigenetics.

    PubMed

    Manev, Hari; Dzitoyeva, Svetlana

    2013-08-01

    Mitochondria, intracellular organelles with their own genome, have been shown capable of interacting with epigenetic mechanisms in at least four different ways. First, epigenetic mechanisms that regulate the expression of nuclear genome influence mitochondria by modulating the expression of nuclear-encoded mitochondrial genes. Second, a cell-specific mitochondrial DNA content (copy number) and mitochondrial activity determine the methylation pattern of nuclear genes. Third, mitochondrial DNA variants influence the nuclear gene expression patterns and the nuclear DNA (ncDNA) methylation levels. Fourth and most recent line of evidence indicates that mitochondrial DNA similar to ncDNA also is subject to epigenetic modifications, particularly by the 5-methylcytosine and 5-hydroxymethylcytosine marks. The latter interaction of mitochondria with epigenetics has been termed 'mitochondrial epigenetics'. Here we summarize recent developments in this particular area of epigenetic research. Furthermore, we propose the term 'mitoepigenetics' to include all four above-noted types of interactions between mitochondria and epigenetics, and we suggest a more restricted usage of the term 'mitochondrial epigenetics' for molecular events dealing solely with the intra-mitochondrial epigenetics and the modifications of mitochondrial genome.

  8. Epigenetics and primary care.

    PubMed

    Wright, Robert; Saul, Robert A

    2013-12-01

    Epigenetics, the study of functionally relevant chemical modifications to DNA that do not involve a change in the DNA nucleotide sequence, is at the interface between research and clinical medicine. Research on epigenetic marks, which regulate gene expression independently of the underlying genetic code, has dramatically changed our understanding of the interplay between genes and the environment. This interplay alters human biology and developmental trajectories, and can lead to programmed human disease years after the environmental exposure. In addition, epigenetic marks are potentially heritable. In this article, we discuss the underlying concepts of epigenetics and address its current and potential applicability for primary care providers.

  9. 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

  10. Epigenetic mechanisms and gastrointestinal development

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This review considers the hypothesis that nutrition during infancy affects developmental epigenetics in the gut, causing metabolic imprinting of gastrointestinal (GI) structure and function. Fundamentals of epigenetic gene regulation are reviewed, with an emphasis on the epigenetic mechanism of DNA ...

  11. [DNA methylation and epigenetics].

    PubMed

    Vaniushin, B F

    2006-09-01

    In eukaryotic cells, nuclear DNA is subject to enzymatic methylation with the formation of 5-methylcytosine residues, mostly within the CG and CNG sequences. In plants and animals this DNA methylation is species-, tissue-, and organelle-specific. It changes (decreases) with age and is regulated by hormones. On the other hand, genome methylation can control hormonal signal. Replicative and post-replicative DNA methylation types are distinguished. They are mediated by multiple DNA methyltransferases with different site-specificity. Replication is accompanied by the appearance of hemimethylated DNA sites. Pronounced asymmetry of the DNA strand methylation disappears to the end of the cell cycle. A model of methylation-regulated DNA replication is proposed. DNA methylation controls all genetic processes in the cell (replication, transcription, DNA repair, recombination, and gene transposition). It is the mechanism of cell differentiation, gene discrimination and silencing. In animals, suppression of DNA methylation stops development (embryogenesis), switches on apoptosis, and is usually lethal. Disruption of DNA methylation pattern results in the malignant cell transformation and serves as one of the early diagnostic features of carcinogenesis. In malignant cell the pattern of DNA methylation, as well as the set of DNA methyltransferase activities, differs from that in normal cell. In plants inhibition of DNA methylation is accompanied by the induction of seed storage and florescence genes. In eukaryotes one and the same gene can be simultaneously methylated both at cytosine and adenine residues. It can be thus suggested, that the plant cell contains at least two different, and probably, interdependent systems of DNA methylation. The first eukaryotic adenine DNA methyltransferase was isolated from plants. This enzyme methylates DNA with the formation of N6-methyladenine residues in the sequence TGATCA (TGATCA-->TGm6ATCA). Plants possess AdoMet-dependent endonucleases

  12. Epigenetic Control of Prolyl and Asparaginyl Hydroxylases in Prostate Cancer

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-07-01

    containing proteins (PHD/EGLN/HPH) which utilize iron , oxygen and 2-oxoglutarate as co-factors to enzymatically catalyze hydroxylation on the oxygen-dependent...proteosome [6]. Under hypoxic conditions, HIF prolyl hydroxylase activity is decreased and HIF-1a protein accumulates . HIF-a subunits translocate to the...mechanism might be responsible for their silencing. Unlike genetic mutations that accumulate in cancer, epigenetic modifications are reversible [20]. We

  13. Obesity: epigenetic aspects.

    PubMed

    Kaushik, Prashant; Anderson, James T

    2016-06-01

    Epigenetics, defined as inheritable and reversible phenomena that affect gene expression without altering the underlying base pair sequence has been shown to play an important role in the etiopathogenesis of obesity. Obesity is associated with extensive gene expression changes in tissues throughout the body. Epigenetics is emerging as perhaps the most important mechanism through which the lifestyle-choices we make can directly influence the genome. Considerable epidemiological, experimental and clinical data have been amassed showing that the risk of developing disease in later life is dependent on early life conditions, mainly operating within the normative range of developmental exposures. In addition to the 'maternal' interactions, there has been increasing interest in the epigenetic mechanisms through which 'paternal' influences on offspring development can be achieved. Nutrition, among many other environmental factors, is a key player that can induce epigenetic changes not only in the directly exposed organisms but also in subsequent generations through the transgenerational inheritance of epigenetic traits. Overall, significant progress has been made in the field of epigenetics and obesity and the first potential epigenetic markers for obesity that could be detected at birth have been identified. Fortunately, epigenetic phenomena are dynamic and rather quickly reversible with intensive lifestyle changes. This is a very promising and sustainable resolution to the obesity pandemic.

  14. Epigenetic considerations in medicine.

    PubMed

    Walters, Dianne M

    2013-01-01

    Epigenetic modifications are gene regulatory mechanisms that allow rapid adaptation to the environment. These mitotically stable and meiotically heritable changes are sensitive to environmental conditions especially during developmental periods, and they are essential to understanding how information in the DNA sequence is utilized. Recent research in this area has led to excitement and questions about medical applications of epigenetics.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Epigenetic regulation of estrogen-dependent memory.

    PubMed

    Fortress, Ashley M; Frick, Karyn M

    2014-10-01

    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.

  18. 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

  19. Epigenetic Mechanisms of the Aging Human Retina.

    PubMed

    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.

  20. 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

  1. Antiviral silencing in animals.

    PubMed

    Li, Hong-Wei; Ding, Shou-Wei

    2005-10-31

    RNA silencing or RNA interference (RNAi) refers to the small RNA-guided gene silencing mechanism conserved in a wide range of eukaryotic organisms from plants to mammals. As part of this special issue on the biology, mechanisms and applications of RNAi, here we review the recent advances on defining a role of RNAi in the responses of invertebrate and vertebrate animals to virus infection. Approximately 40 miRNAs and 10 RNAi suppressors encoded by diverse mammalian viruses have been identified. Assays used for the identification of viral suppressors and possible biological functions of both viral miRNAs and suppressors are discussed. We propose that herpes viral miRNAs may act as specificity factors to initiate heterochromatin assembly of the latent viral DNA genome in the nucleus.

  2. Long antisense non-coding RNAs function to direct epigenetic complexes that regulate transcription in human cells

    PubMed Central

    Morris, Kevin V.

    2009-01-01

    Epigenetic silencing of tumor suppressor gene promoters is one of the most common observations found in cancer. Despite the plethora of observed epigenetically silenced cancer related genes little is known about what is guiding the silencing to these particular loci. Two recent articles suggest that long antisense non-coding RNAs function as epigenetic regulators of transcription in human cells. These reports, along with previous observations that small antisense non-coding RNAs can epigenetically regulate transcription, imply that long antisense non-coding RNAs function as endogenous transcriptional regulatory RNAs in humans. Mechanistically, these long antisense non-coding RNAs may be involved in maintaining balanced transcription at bidirectionally transcribed loci as a method to modulate gene expression according to the selective pressures placed on the cell. The loss of this intricate bidirectional RNA based regulatory network can result in overt epigenetic silencing of gene expression. In the case of tumor suppressor genes, this silencing can lead to the loss of cellular regulation and be a contributing factor in cancer. This perspective will highlight the endogenous effector RNAs and mechanism of action whereby long antisense non-coding RNAs transcriptionally regulate gene expression in human cells. PMID:19633414

  3. Epigenetics and bacterial infections.

    PubMed

    Bierne, Hélène; Hamon, Mélanie; Cossart, Pascale

    2012-12-01

    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.

  4. 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

  5. Making Sense of Epigenetics

    PubMed Central

    Schuebel, Kornel; Gitik, Miri; Domschke, Katharina

    2016-01-01

    The gene-environment interactions that underlie development and progression of psychiatric illness are poorly understood. Despite a century of progress, genetic approaches have failed to identify new treatment modalities, perhaps because of the heterogeneity of the disorders and lack of understanding of mechanisms. Recent exploration into epigenetic mechanisms in health and disease has uncovered changes in DNA methylation and chromatin structure that may contribute to psychiatric disorders. Epigenetic changes suggest a variety of new therapeutic options due to their reversible chemistry. However, distinguishing causal links between epigenetic changes and disease from changes consequent to life experience has remained problematic. Here we define epigenetics and explore aspects of epigenetics relevant to causes and mechanisms of psychiatric disease, and speculate on future directions. PMID:27312741

  6. ATR acts stage specifically to regulate multiple aspects of mammalian meiotic silencing.

    PubMed

    Royo, Hélène; Prosser, Haydn; Ruzankina, Yaroslava; Mahadevaiah, Shantha K; Cloutier, Jeffrey M; Baumann, Marek; Fukuda, Tomoyuki; Höög, Christer; Tóth, Attila; de Rooij, Dirk G; Bradley, Allan; Brown, Eric J; Turner, James M A

    2013-07-01

    In mammals, homologs that fail to synapse during meiosis are transcriptionally inactivated. This process, meiotic silencing, drives inactivation of the heterologous XY bivalent in male germ cells (meiotic sex chromosome inactivation [MSCI]) and is thought to act as a meiotic surveillance mechanism. The checkpoint protein ATM and Rad3-related (ATR) localizes to unsynapsed chromosomes, but its role in the initiation and maintenance of meiotic silencing is unknown. Here we show that ATR has multiple roles in silencing. ATR first regulates HORMA (Hop1, Rev7, and Mad2) domain protein HORMAD1/2 phosphorylation and localization of breast cancer I (BRCA1) and ATR cofactors ATR-interacting peptide (ATRIP)/topoisomerase 2-binding protein 1 (TOPBP1) at unsynapsed axes. Later, it acts as an adaptor, transducing signaling at unsynapsed axes into surrounding chromatin in a manner that requires interdependence with mediator of DNA damage checkpoint 1 (MDC1) and H2AFX. Finally, ATR catalyzes histone H2AFX phosphorylation, the epigenetic event leading to gene inactivation. Using a novel genetic strategy in which MSCI is used to silence a chosen gene in pachytene, we show that ATR depletion does not disrupt the maintenance of silencing and that silencing comprises two phases: The first is dynamic and reversible, and the second is stable and irreversible. Our work identifies a role for ATR in the epigenetic regulation of gene expression and presents a new technique for ablating gene function in the germline.

  7. Analysis of epigenetic alterations to proprotein convertase genes in disease.

    PubMed

    Fu, YangXin; Nachtigal, Mark W

    2011-01-01

    Epigenetic alterations produce heritable changes in phenotype or gene expression without changing DNA sequence. Modified levels of gene expression contribute to a variety of human diseases encompassing genetic disorders, pediatric syndromes, autoimmune disease, aging, and cancer. Alterations in proprotein convertase gene expression are associated with numerous disease states; however, the underlying mechanism for changes in PC gene expression remains understudied. Epigenetic changes in gene expression profiles can be accomplished through modification of chromatin, specifically via chemical modification of DNA bases (methylation of cytosine) or associated histone proteins (acetylation or methylation). In general, active chromatin is associated with low DNA methylation status and histone acetylation, whereas silenced gene are typically in inactive regions of chromatin exhibiting DNA hypermethylation and histone deacetylation. This chapter will provide in-depth protocols to analyze epigenetic alterations in proprotein convertase gene expression using the PCSK6 gene in the context of human ovarian cancer as a model system.

  8. Non-targeted radiation effects-an epigenetic connection.

    PubMed

    Ilnytskyy, Yaroslav; Kovalchuk, Olga

    2011-09-01

    Ionizing radiation (IR) is a pivotal diagnostic and treatment modality, yet it is also a potent genotoxic agent that causes genome instability and carcinogenesis. While modern cancer radiation therapy has led to increased patient survival rates, the risk of radiation treatment-related complications is becoming a growing problem. IR-induced genome instability has been well-documented in directly exposed cells and organisms. It has also been observed in distant 'bystander' cells. Enigmatically, increased instability is even observed in progeny of pre-conceptually exposed animals, including humans. The mechanisms by which it arises remain obscure and, recently, they have been proposed to be epigenetic in nature. Three major epigenetic phenomena include DNA methylation, histone modifications and small RNA-mediated silencing. This review focuses on the role of DNA methylation and small RNAs in directly exposed and bystander tissues and in IR-induced transgenerational effects. Here, we present evidence that IR-mediated effects are maintained by epigenetic mechanisms.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Epigenetic targeting of ovarian cancer stem cells.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yinu; Cardenas, Horacio; Fang, Fang; Condello, Salvatore; Taverna, Pietro; Segar, Matthew; Liu, Yunlong; Nephew, Kenneth P; Matei, Daniela

    2014-09-01

    Emerging results indicate that cancer stem-like cells contribute to chemoresistance and poor clinical outcomes in many cancers, including ovarian cancer. As epigenetic regulators play a major role in the control of normal stem cell differentiation, epigenetics may offer a useful arena to develop strategies to target cancer stem-like cells. Epigenetic aberrations, especially DNA methylation, silence tumor-suppressor and differentiation-associated genes that regulate the survival of ovarian cancer stem-like cells (OCSC). In this study, we tested the hypothesis that DNA-hypomethylating agents may be able to reset OCSC toward a differentiated phenotype by evaluating the effects of the new DNA methytransferase inhibitor SGI-110 on OCSC phenotype, as defined by expression of the cancer stem-like marker aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH). We demonstrated that ALDH(+) ovarian cancer cells possess multiple stem cell characteristics, were highly chemoresistant, and were enriched in xenografts residual after platinum therapy. Low-dose SGI-110 reduced the stem-like properties of ALDH(+) cells, including their tumor-initiating capacity, resensitized these OCSCs to platinum, and induced reexpression of differentiation-associated genes. Maintenance treatment with SGI-110 after carboplatin inhibited OCSC growth, causing global tumor hypomethylation and decreased tumor progression. Our work offers preclinical evidence that epigenome-targeting strategies have the potential to delay tumor progression by reprogramming residual cancer stem-like cells. Furthermore, the results suggest that SGI-110 might be administered in combination with platinum to prevent the development of recurrent and chemoresistant ovarian cancer.

  12. Epigenetic Targeting of Ovarian Cancer Stem Cells

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yinu; Cardenas, Horacio; Fang, Fang; Condello, Salvatore; Taverna, Pietro; Segar, Matthew; Liu, Yunlong; Nephew, Kenneth P.; Matei, Daniela

    2014-01-01

    Emerging results indicate that cancer stem-like cells contribute to chemoresistance and poor clinical outcomes in many cancers, including ovarian cancer (OC). As epigenetic regulators play a major role in the control of normal stem cell differentiation, epigenetics may offer a useful arena to develop strategies to target cancer stem-like cells. Epigenetic aberrations, especially DNA methylation, silence tumor suppressor and differentiation-associated genes that regulate the survival of ovarian cancer stem-like cell (OCSC). In this study, we tested the hypothesis that DNA hypomethylating agents may be able to reset OCSC towards a differentiated phenotype, by evaluating the effects of the new DNA methytransferase inhibitor SGI-110 on OCSC phenotype, as defined by expression of the cancer stem-like marker aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH). We demonstrated that ALDH+ OC cells possess multiple stem cell characteristics, were highly chemoresistant, and were enriched in xenografts residual after platinum therapy. Low dose SGI-110 reduced the stem-like properties of ALDH+ cells, including their tumor initiating capacity, resensitized these OCSCs to platinum, and induced re-expression of differentiation-associated genes. Maintenance treatment with SGI-110 after carboplatin inhibited OCSC growth, causing global tumor hypomethylation and decreased tumor progression. Our work offers preclinical evidence that epigenome-targeting strategies have the potential to delay tumor progression by re-programming residual cancer stem-like cells. Further, the results suggest that SGI-110 might be administered in combination with platinum to prevent the development of recurrent and chemoresistant ovarian cancer. PMID:25035395

  13. 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

  14. Hypoxia-mediated epigenetic regulation of stemness in brain tumor cells.

    PubMed

    Prasad, Authors Pankaj; Arora Mittal, Shivani; Chongtham, Jonita; Mohanty, Sujata; Srivastava, Tapasya

    2017-04-04

    Activation of pluripotency regulatory circuit is an important event in solid tumor progression and the hypoxic microenvironment is known to enhance the stemness feature of some cells. This distinct population of cancer stem cells (CSCs)/tumor initiating cells (TICs) exist in a niche and augment invasion, metastasis and drug resistance. Previously, studies have reported global hypomethylation and site-specific aberrant methylation in gliomas along with other epigenetic modifications as important contributors to genomic instability during glioma progression. Here, we have demonstrated the role of hypoxia-mediated epigenetic modifications in regulating expression of core pluripotency factors, OCT4 and NANOG, in glioma cells. We observe hypoxia-mediated induction of demethylases, TET1 and 3, but not TET2 in our cell-line model. Immunoprecipitation studies reveal active demethylation and direct binding of TET1 and 3 at the Oct4 and Nanog regulatory regions. Tet1 and 3 silencing assays further confirmed induction of the pluripotency pathway involving Oct4, Nanog and Stat3, by these paralogues, although with varying degrees. Knockdown of Tet1 and Tet3 inhibited the formation of neurospheres in hypoxic conditions. We observed independent roles of TET1 and TET3 in differentially regulating pluripotency and differentiation associated genes in hypoxia. Overall this study demonstrates an active demethylation in hypoxia by TET1 and 3 as a mechanism of Oct4 and Nanog overexpression thus contributing to the formation of CSCs in gliomas. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  15. Differentiation of developing olfactory neurons analysed in terms of coupled epigenetic landscapes

    PubMed Central

    Alsing, Anne Katrine; Sneppen, Kim

    2013-01-01

    The olfactory system integrates signals from receptors expressed in olfactory sensory neurons. Each sensory neuron expresses only one of many similar olfactory receptors (ORs). The choice of receptor is made stochastically early in the differentiation process and is maintained throughout the life of the neuron. The underlying mechanism of this stochastic commitment to one of multiple similar OR genes remains elusive. We present a theoretical analysis of a mechanism that invokes important epigenetic properties of the system. The proposed model combines nucleosomes and associated read–write enzymes as mediators of a cis-acting positive feedback with a trans-acting negative feedback, thereby coupling the local epigenetic landscape of the individual OR genes in a way that allow one and only one gene to be active at any time. The model pinpoint that singular gene selection does not require transient mechanisms, enhancer elements or transcription factors to separate choice from maintenance. In addition, our hypothesis allow us to combine all reported characteristics of singular OR gene selection, in particular that OR genes are silenced from OR transgenes. Intriguingly, it predicts that OR transgenes placed in close proximity should always be expressed simultaneously, though rarely. PMID:23519617

  16. Differentiation of developing olfactory neurons analysed in terms of coupled epigenetic landscapes.

    PubMed

    Alsing, Anne Katrine; Sneppen, Kim

    2013-05-01

    The olfactory system integrates signals from receptors expressed in olfactory sensory neurons. Each sensory neuron expresses only one of many similar olfactory receptors (ORs). The choice of receptor is made stochastically early in the differentiation process and is maintained throughout the life of the neuron. The underlying mechanism of this stochastic commitment to one of multiple similar OR genes remains elusive. We present a theoretical analysis of a mechanism that invokes important epigenetic properties of the system. The proposed model combines nucleosomes and associated read-write enzymes as mediators of a cis-acting positive feedback with a trans-acting negative feedback, thereby coupling the local epigenetic landscape of the individual OR genes in a way that allow one and only one gene to be active at any time. The model pinpoint that singular gene selection does not require transient mechanisms, enhancer elements or transcription factors to separate choice from maintenance. In addition, our hypothesis allow us to combine all reported characteristics of singular OR gene selection, in particular that OR genes are silenced from OR transgenes. Intriguingly, it predicts that OR transgenes placed in close proximity should always be expressed simultaneously, though rarely.

  17. Epigenetic therapy for solid tumors: from bench science to clinical trials.

    PubMed

    Juo, Yen-Yi; Gong, Xue-Jun; Mishra, Ankita; Cui, Xiao; Baylin, Stephen B; Azad, Nilofer S; Ahuja, Nita

    2015-01-01

    The cancer epigenome is characterized by global DNA methylation and chromatin changes, such as the hypermethylation of specific CpG island promoters. Epigenetic agents like DNA methyltransferase or histone deacetylase inhibitors induce phenotype changes by reactivation of epigenetically silenced tumor suppressor genes. Despite initial promise in hematologic malignancies, epigenetic agents have not shown significant efficacy as monotherapy against solid tumors. Recent trials showed that epigenetic agents exert favorable modifier effects when combined with chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, or other epigenetic agents. Due to the novel nature of their mechanism, it is important to reconsider the optimal patient selection, drug regimen, study design, and outcome measures when pursuing future trials in order to discover the full potential of this new therapeutic modality.

  18. Epigenetics and pesticides.

    PubMed

    Collotta, M; Bertazzi, P A; Bollati, V

    2013-05-10

    Pesticides, a wide class of environmental contaminants, may cause both acute and delayed health effects in exposed subjects. These effects can range from simple irritation of the skin and eyes to more severe effects such as affecting the nervous system, the reproductive system and cancer. The molecular mechanisms underlying such effects are still under investigation. Epigenetics is the study of heritable changes in gene expression that occur without a change in the DNA sequence. Several epigenetic mechanisms, including DNA methylation, histone modifications and microRNA expression, can be triggered by environmental factors. We review current evidences indicating that epigenetic modifications may mediate pesticide effects on human health. In vitro, animal, and human investigations have identified several classes of pesticides that modify epigenetic marks, including endocrine disruptors, persistent organic pollutants, arsenic, several herbicides and insecticides. Several investigations have examined the effects of environmental exposures and epigenetic markers, and identified toxicants that modify epigenetic states. These modifications are similar to the ones found in pathological tissue samples. In spite of the current limitations, available evidence supports the concept that epigenetics holds substantial potential for furthering our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of pesticides health effects, as well as for predicting health-related risks due to conditions of environmental exposure and individual susceptibility.

  19. Epigenetic regulation in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Lyko, F; Beisel, C; Marhold, J; Paro, R

    2006-01-01

    Epigenetic regulation of gene transcription relies on molecular marks like DNA methylation or histone modifications. Here we review recent advances in our understanding of epigenetic regulation in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. In the past, DNA methylation research has primarily utilized mammalian model systems. However, several recent landmark discoveries have been made in other organisms. For example, the interaction between DNA methylation and histone methylation was first described in the filamentous fungus Neurospora crassa. Another example is provided by the interaction between epigenetic modifications and the RNA interference (RNAi) machinery that was first reported in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe. Another organism with great experimental power is the fruit fly Drosophila. Epigenetic regulation by chromatin has been extensively analyzed in the fly and several of the key components have been discovered in this organism. In this chapter, we will focus on three aspects that represent the complexity of epigenetic gene regulation. (1) We will discuss the available data about the DNA methylation system, (2) we will illuminate the interaction between DNA methylation and chromatin regulation, and (3) we will provide an overview over the Polycomb system of epigenetic chromatin modifiers that has proved to be an important paradigm for a chromatin system regulating epigenetic programming.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Epigenetic Mechanisms in Asthma

    PubMed Central

    DeVries, Avery

    2016-01-01

    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

  6. 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.

  7. 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…

  8. 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...

  9. "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…

  10. Epigenetics in cardiovascular disease

    PubMed Central

    Shirodkar, Apurva V.; Marsden, Philip A.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose of review To provide an overview of the biological processes implicated in chromatin-based pathways that control endothelial gene expression patterns in both health and disease and highlight how these processes are relevant to cardiovascular disease. Recent findings Epigenetics refers to chromatin-based pathways important in the regulation of gene expression and includes three distinct, but highly interrelated, mechanisms: DNA methylation, histone density and posttranslational modifications, and RNA-based mechanisms. It is of great interest that epigenetic regulation of genes enriched in the vascular endothelium is a prominent regulatory pathway. How environmental cues within the vasculature, such as hemodynamic forces or hypoxia, influence these epigenetic mechanisms will be reviewed. Summary Although a newer area for study, exciting new evidence identifies that epigenetic processes are highly dynamic and respond to a myriad of environmental stimuli. Integrating chromatin-based pathways into our understanding of gene expression offers newer insight into disease processes. PMID:21415727

  11. 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

  12. Epigenetics of Aging

    PubMed Central

    Sierra, Marta I.; Fernández, Agustín F.; Fraga, Mario F.

    2015-01-01

    The best-known phenomenon exemplifying epigenetic drift (the alteration of epigenetic patterns during aging) is the gradual decrease of global DNA methylation. Aging cells, different tissue types, as well as a variety of human diseases possess their own distinct DNA methylation profiles, although the functional impact of these is not always clear. DNA methylation appears to be a dynamic tool of transcriptional regulation, with an extra layer of complexity due to the recent discovery of the conversion of 5-methylcytosine into 5-hydroxymethylcytosine. This age-related DNA demethylation is associated with changes in histone modification patterns and, furthermore, we now know that ncRNAs have evolved in eukaryotes as epigenetic regulators of gene expression. In this review, we will discuss current knowledge on how all these epigenetic phenomena are implicated in human aging, and their links with external, internal and stochastic factors which can affect human age-related diseases onset. PMID:27019618

  13. [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.

  14. Nutrition, Epigenetics, and Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Serra, Carlo

    2014-01-01

    Increasing epidemiological evidence suggests that maternal nutrition and environmental exposure early in development play an important role in susceptibility to disease in later life. In addition, these disease outcomes seem to pass through subsequent generations. Epigenetic modifications provide a potential link between the nutrition status during critical periods in development and changes in gene expression that may lead to disease phenotypes. An increasing body of evidence from experimental animal studies supports the role of epigenetics in disease susceptibility during critical developmental periods, including periconceptional period, gestation, and early postnatal period. The rapid improvements in genetic and epigenetic technologies will allow comprehensive investigations of the relevance of these epigenetic phenomena in human diseases. PMID:24527414

  15. Epigenetic Mechanisms in Schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Shorter, Kimberly R.; Miller, Brooke H.

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25958205

  16. Epigenetics of Meningiomas

    PubMed Central

    Murnyák, Balázs; Bognár, László; Klekner, Álmos; Hortobágyi, Tibor

    2015-01-01

    Meningiomas account for one-third of all adult central nervous system tumours and are divided into three WHO grades. In contrast to the relatively well characterized genetic alterations, our current understanding of epigenetic modifications involved in the meningioma-genesis and progression is rather incomplete. Contrary to genetic alterations, epigenetic changes do not alter the primary DNA sequence and their reversible nature serves as an excellent basis for prevention and development of novel personalised tumour therapies. Indeed, growing body of evidence suggests that disturbed epigenetic regulation plays a key role in the pathogenesis of meningiomas. Altered DNA methylation, microRNA expression, histone, and chromatin modifications are frequently noted in meningiomas bearing prognostic and therapeutic relevance. In this review we provide an overview on recently identified epigenetic alterations in meningiomas and discuss their role in tumour initiation, progression, and recurrence. PMID:26101774

  17. Epigenetics and obesity.

    PubMed

    Campión, Javier; Milagro, Fermin; Martínez, J Alfredo

    2010-01-01

    The etiology of obesity is multifactorial, involving complex interactions among the genetic makeup, neuroendocrine status, fetal programming, and different unhealthy environmental factors, such as sedentarism or inadequate dietary habits. Among the different mechanisms causing obesity, epigenetics, defined as the study of heritable changes in gene expression that occur without a change in the DNA sequence, has emerged as a very important determinant. Experimental evidence concerning dietary factors influencing obesity development through epigenetic mechanisms has been described. Thus, identification of those individuals who present with changes in DNA methylation profiles, certain histone modifications, or other epigenetically related processes could help to predict their susceptibility to gain or lose weight. Indeed, research concerning epigenetic mechanisms affecting weight homeostasis may play a role in the prevention of excessive fat deposition, the prediction of the most appropriate weight reduction plan, and the implementation of newer therapeutic approaches.

  18. 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.

  19. Epigenetics in sports.

    PubMed

    Ehlert, Tobias; Simon, Perikles; Moser, Dirk A

    2013-02-01

    The heritability of specific phenotypical traits relevant for physical performance has been extensively investigated and discussed by experts from various research fields. By deciphering the complete human DNA sequence, the human genome project has provided impressive insights into the genomic landscape. The hope that this information would reveal the origin of phenotypical traits relevant for physical performance or disease risks has proven overly optimistic, and it is still premature to refer to a 'post-genomic' era of biological science. Linking genomic regions with functions, phenotypical traits and variation in disease risk is now a major experimental bottleneck. The recent deluge of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) generates extensive lists of sequence variants and genes potentially linked to phenotypical traits, but functional insight is at best sparse. The focus of this review is on the complex mechanisms that modulate gene expression. A large fraction of these mechanisms is integrated into the field of epigenetics, mainly DNA methylation and histone modifications, which lead to persistent effects on the availability of DNA for transcription. With the exceptions of genomic imprinting and very rare cases of epigenetic inheritance, epigenetic modifications are not inherited transgenerationally. Along with their susceptibility to external influences, epigenetic patterns are highly specific to the individual and may represent pivotal control centers predisposing towards higher or lower physical performance capacities. In that context, we specifically review how epigenetics combined with classical genetics could broaden our knowledge of genotype-phenotype interactions. We discuss some of the shortcomings of GWAS and explain how epigenetic influences can mask the outcome of quantitative genetic studies. We consider epigenetic influences, such as genomic imprinting and epigenetic inheritance, as well as the life-long variability of epigenetic modification

  20. Epigenetics meets immune checkpoints.

    PubMed

    Covre, Alessia; Coral, Sandra; Di Giacomo, Anna Maria; Taverna, Pietro; Azab, Mohammad; Maio, Michele

    2015-06-01

    Epigenetic alterations play a pivotal role in cancer development and progression. Pharmacologic reversion of such alterations is feasible, and second generation "epigenetic drugs" are in development and have been demonstrated to possess significant immunomodulatory properties. This knowledge, together with the availability of new and highly effective immunotherapeutic agents including immune checkpoint(s) blocking monoclonal antibodies, allows us to plan for highly innovative proof-of-principle combination studies that will likely open the path to more effective anticancer therapies.

  1. Epigenetic transgenerational inheritance

    PubMed Central

    Skinner, Michael K.

    2017-01-01

    Endocrine disruptors are critical environmental exposures that influence health and can promote epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of disease and abnormal physiology. Advances in 2015 included analyses of the effects of endocrine disruptors on human disease, further examples of endocrine disruptors promoting transgenerational behavioural effects, insights into effects of endocrine disruptors on epigenetic programming of primordial germ cells and the finding that endocrine disruptors can transgenerationally promote genetic mutations. PMID:26585656

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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,…

  6. Genes duplicated by polyploidy show unequal contributions to the transcriptome and organ-specific reciprocal silencing

    PubMed Central

    Adams, Keith L.; Cronn, Richard; Percifield, Ryan; Wendel, Jonathan F.

    2003-01-01

    Most eukaryotes have genomes that exhibit high levels of gene redundancy, much of which seems to have arisen from one or more cycles of genome doubling. Polyploidy has been particularly prominent during flowering plant evolution, yielding duplicated genes (homoeologs) whose expression may be retained or lost either as an immediate consequence of polyploidization or on an evolutionary timescale. Expression of 40 homoeologous gene pairs was assayed by cDNA-single-stranded conformation polymorphism in natural (1- to 2-million-yr-old) and synthetic tetraploid cotton (Gossypium) to determine whether homoeologous gene pairs are expressed at equal levels after polyploid formation. Silencing or unequal expression of one homoeolog was documented for 10 of 40 genes examined in ovules of Gossypium hirsutum. Assays of homoeolog expression in 10 organs revealed variable expression levels and silencing, depending on the gene and organ examined. Remarkably, silencing and biased expression of some gene pairs are reciprocal and developmentally regulated, with one homoeolog showing silencing in some organs and the other being silenced in other organs, suggesting rapid subfunctionalization. Duplicate gene expression was examined in additional natural polyploids to characterize the pace at which expression alteration evolves. Analysis of a synthetic tetraploid revealed homoeolog expression and silencing patterns that sometimes mirrored those of the natural tetraploid. Both long-term and immediate responses to polyploidization were implicated. Data suggest that some silencing events are epigenetically induced during the allopolyploidization process. PMID:12665616

  7. Enhancer repertoires are reshaped independently of early priming and heterochromatin dynamics during B cell differentiation

    PubMed Central

    Choukrallah, Mohamed-Amin; Song, Shuang; Rolink, Antonius G.; Burger, Lukas; Matthias, Patrick

    2015-01-01

    A widely accepted model posits that activation of enhancers during differentiation goes through a priming step prior to lineage commitment. To investigate the chronology of enhancer repertoire establishment during hematopoiesis, we monitored epigenome dynamics during three developmental stages representing hematopoietic stem cells, B-cell progenitors and mature B-cells. We find that only a minority of enhancers primed in stem cells or progenitors become active at later stages. Furthermore, most enhancers active in differentiated cells were not primed in earlier stages. Thus, the enhancer repertoire is reshaped dynamically during B-cell differentiation and enhancer priming in early stages does not appear to be an obligate step for enhancer activation. Furthermore, our data reveal that heterochromatin and Polycomb-mediated silencing have only a minor contribution in shaping enhancer repertoires during cell differentiation. Together, our data revisit the prevalent model about epigenetic reprogramming during hematopoiesis and give insights into the formation of gene regulatory networks. PMID:26477271

  8. β-Arrestin1/miR-326 Transcription Unit Is Epigenetically Regulated in Neural Stem Cells Where It Controls Stemness and Growth Arrest

    PubMed Central

    Begalli, Federica; Abballe, Luana; Catanzaro, Giuseppina; Vacca, Alessandra; Napolitano, Maddalena; Tafani, Marco; Giangaspero, Felice; Locatelli, Franco

    2017-01-01

    Cell development is regulated by a complex network of mRNA-encoded proteins and microRNAs, all funnelling onto the modulation of self-renewal or differentiation genes. How intragenic microRNAs and their host genes are transcriptionally coregulated and their functional relationships for the control of neural stem cells (NSCs) are poorly understood. We propose here the intragenic miR-326 and its host gene β-arrestin1 as novel players whose epigenetic silencing maintains stemness in normal cerebellar stem cells. Such a regulation is mediated by CpG islands methylation of the common promoter. Epigenetic derepression of β-arrestin1/miR-326 by differentiation signals or demethylating agents leads to suppression of stemness features and cell growth and promotes cell differentiation. β-Arrestin1 inhibits cell proliferation by enhancing the nuclear expression of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27. Therefore, we propose a new mechanism for the control of cerebellar NSCs where a coordinated epigenetic mechanism finely regulates β-arrestin1/miR-326 expression and consequently NSCs stemness and cell growth. PMID:28298929

  9. Checks and balances between cohesin and polycomb in gene silencing and transcription.

    PubMed

    Dorsett, Dale; Kassis, Judith A

    2014-06-02

    The cohesin protein complex was discovered for its roles in sister chromatid cohesion and segregation, and the Polycomb group (PcG) proteins for their roles in epigenetic gene silencing during development. Cohesin also controls gene transcription via multiple mechanisms. Genetic and molecular evidence from Drosophila argue that cohesin and the PRC1 PcG complex interact to control transcription of many active genes that are critical for development, and that via these interactions cohesin also controls the availability of PRC1 for gene silencing.

  10. 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

  11. Gold Nanobeacons for Tracking Gene Silencing in Zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Cordeiro, Milton; Carvalho, Lara; Silva, Joana; Saúde, Leonor; Fernandes, Alexandra R; Baptista, Pedro V

    2017-01-11

    The use of gold nanoparticles for effective gene silencing has demonstrated its potential as a tool for gene expression experiments and for the treatment of several diseases. Here, we used a gold nanobeacon designed to specifically silence the enhanced green fluorescence protein (EGFP) mRNA in embryos of a fli-EGFP transgenic zebrafish line, while simultaneously allowing the tracking and localization of the silencing events via the beacon's emission. Fluorescence imaging measurements demonstrated a decrease of the EGFP emission with a concomitant increase in the fluorescence of the Au-nanobeacon. Furthermore, microinjection of the Au-nanobeacon led to a negligible difference in mortality and malformations in comparison to the free oligonucleotide, indicating that this system is a biocompatible platform for the administration of gene silencing moieties. Together, these data illustrate the potential of Au-nanobeacons as tools for in vivo zebrafish gene modulation with low toxicity which may be used towards any gene of interest.

  12. The eerie silence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davies, Paul

    2010-03-01

    Whether or not we are alone in the universe is one of the great outstanding questions of existence. For thousands of years it was restricted to the realm of philosophy and theology, but 50 years ago it became part of science. In April 1960 a young US astronomer, Frank Drake, began using a radio telescope to investigate whether signals from an extraterrestrial community might be coming our way. Known as the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, or SETI, it has grown into a major international enterprise, involving scientific institutions in several countries. Apart from a few oddities, however, all that the radio astronomers have encountered is an eerie silence. So is humankind the only technological civilization in the universe after all? Or might we be looking for the wrong thing in the wrong place at the wrong time?

  13. Geminiviruses and RNA silencing.

    PubMed

    Vanitharani, Ramachandran; Chellappan, Padmanabhan; Fauquet, Claude M

    2005-03-01

    Geminiviruses are single-stranded circular DNA viruses that cause economically significant diseases in a wide range of crop plants worldwide. In plants, post-transcriptional gene silencing (PTGS) acts as a natural anti-viral defense system and plays a role in genome maintenance and development. During the past decade there has been considerable evidence of PTGS suppression by viruses, which is often required to establish infection in plants. In particular, nuclear-replicating geminiviruses, which have no double-stranded RNA phase in their replication cycle, can induce and suppress the PTGS and become targets for PTGS. Here, we summarize recent developments in determining how these viruses trigger PTGS and how they suppress the induced PTGS, as well as how we can use the system to control these viruses in plants better and manipulate the system to study functional genomics in crop plants.

  14. 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.

  15. Age-associated activation of epigenetically repressed genes in the mouse.

    PubMed Central

    Bennett-Baker, Pamela E; Wilkowski, Jodi; Burke, David T

    2003-01-01

    Epigenetic control of gene expression is a consistent feature of differentiated mammalian cell types. Epigenetic expression patterns are mitotically heritable and are stably maintained in adult cells. However, unlike somatic DNA mutation, little is known about the occurrence of epigenetic change, or epimutation, during normal adult life. We have monitored the age-associated maintenance of two epigenetic systems--X inactivation and genomic imprinting--using the genes Atp7a and Igf2, respectively. Quantitative measurements of RNA transcripts from the inactive and active alleles were performed in mice from 2 to 24 months of age. For both genes, older animal cohorts showed reproducible increases in transcripts expressed from the silenced alleles. Loss of X chromosome silencing showed cohort mean increases of up to 2.2%, while imprinted-gene activation increased up to 6.7%. The results support the hypothesis that epigenetic loss of gene repression occurs in normal tissues and may be a contributing factor in progressive physiological dysfunction seen during mammalian aging. Quantitatively, the loss of epigenetic control may be one to two orders of magnitude greater than previously determined somatic DNA mutation. PMID:14704185

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Plant Transgenerational Epigenetics.

    PubMed

    Quadrana, Leandro; Colot, Vincent

    2016-11-23

    Transgenerational epigenetics is defined in opposition to developmental epigenetics and implies an absence of resetting of epigenetic states between generations. Unlike mammals, plants appear to be particularly prone to this type of inheritance. In this review, we summarize our knowledge about transgenerational epigenetics in plants, which entails heritable changes in DNA methylation. We emphasize the role of transposable elements and other repeat sequences in the creation of epimutable alleles. We also argue that because reprogramming of DNA methylation across generations seems limited in plants, the inheritance of DNA methylation defects results from the failure to reinforce rather than reset this modification during sexual reproduction. We compare genome-wide assessments of heritable DNA methylation variation and its phenotypic impact in natural populations to those made using near-isogenic populations derived from crosses between parents with experimentally induced DNA methylation differences. Finally, we question the role of the environment in inducing transgenerational epigenetic variation and briefly present theoretical models under which epimutability is expected to be selected for.

  19. Epigenetic profiles as defined signatures of xenobiotic exposure.

    PubMed

    Thomson, John P; Moggs, Jonathan G; Wolf, C Roland; Meehan, Richard R

    2014-04-01

    With the advent of high resolution sequencing technologies there has been increasing interest in the study of genome-wide epigenetic modification patterns that govern the underlying gene expression events of a particular cell or tissue type. There is now mounting evidence that perturbations to the epigenetic landscape occur during a host of cellular processes including normal proliferation/differentiation and aberrant outcomes such as carcinogenesis. Furthermore, epigenetic perturbations have been associated with exposure to a range of drugs and toxicants, including non-genotoxic carcinogens (NGCs). Although a variety of epigenetic modifications induced by NGCs have been studied previously, recent genome-wide integrated epigenomic and transcriptomic studies reveal for the first time the extent and dynamic nature of the epigenetic perturbations resulting from xenobiotic exposure. The interrogation and integration of one such epigenetic mark, the newly discovered 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC) modification, reveals that drug treatment associated perturbations of the epigenome can result in unique epigenetic signatures. This review focuses on how recent advances in the field of epigenetics can enhance our mechanistic understanding of xenobiotic exposure and provide novel safety biomarkers.

  20. 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.

  1. Epigenetics and aging.

    PubMed

    D'Aquila, Patrizia; Rose, Giuseppina; Bellizzi, Dina; Passarino, Giuseppe

    2013-02-01

    Over the past two decades, a growing interest on the research of the biological basis of human longevity has emerged, in order to clarify the intricacy of biological and environmental factors affecting (together with stochastic factors) the quality and the rate of human aging. These researches have outlined a complex scenario in which epigenetic marks, such as DNA methylation and numerous histone modifications, are emerging as important factors of the overall variation in life expectancy. In fact, epigenetic marks, that are responsible of the establishment of specific expression programs and of genome stability, represent a "drawbridge" across genetic, environmental and stochastic factors. In this review we provide an overview on the current knowledge and the general features of the epigenetic modifications characterizing the aging process.

  2. 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

  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. Adaptive Epibiochemistry and Epigenetics.

    PubMed

    Buryanov, Ya I

    2015-09-01

    Enzymatic reactions of post-synthetic modification of macromolecules occur in the cells of all organisms. These reactions, which can be designated as epibiochemical, are of a special type and, as discriminated from reactions with low molecular weight substrates, occur on the level of biopolymers, causing their covalent modification. The majority of epibiochemical modifications of proteins, DNA, and RNA are reversible and are carried out by modification transferases and de-modification enzymes, respectively. Epibiochemical, i.e. those located above the low molecular weight metabolites, modifications of proteins and nucleic acids perform various functions, including participation in molecular mechanisms of adaptive epigenetic heredity. This paper presents an overview of some adaptive epibiochemical modifications of macromolecules and the adaptive epigenetic processes on their basis. The features of epigenetic inheritance of acquired characteristics and the limits of biological evolution are discussed.

  5. Epigenetics of colorectal cancer.

    PubMed

    Goel, Ajay; Boland, C Richard

    2012-12-01

    In the early years of the molecular biology revolution, cancer research was mainly focused on genetic changes (ie, those that altered DNA sequences). Although this has been extremely useful as our understanding of the pathogenesis and biology of cancer has grown and matured, there is another realm in tumor development that does not involve changing the sequence of cellular DNA. This field is called "epigenetics" and broadly encompasses changes in the methylation of cytosines in DNA, changes in histone and chromatin structure, and alterations in the expression of microRNAs, which control the stability of many messenger RNAs and serve as "master regulators" of gene expression. This review focuses on the epigenetics of colorectal cancer and illustrates the impact epigenetics has had on this field.

  6. An RNA-Seq Transcriptome Analysis of Histone Modifiers and RNA Silencing Genes in Soybean during Floral Initiation Process

    PubMed Central

    Liew, Lim Chee; Singh, Mohan B.; Bhalla, Prem L.

    2013-01-01

    Epigenetics has been recognised to play vital roles in many plant developmental processes, including floral initiation through the epigenetic regulation of gene expression. The histone modifying proteins that mediate these modifications involve the SET domain-containing histone methyltransferases, JmjC domain-containing demethylase, acetylases and deacetylases. In addition, RNA interference (RNAi)-associated genes are also involved in epigenetic regulation via RNA-directed DNA methylation and post-transcriptional gene silencing. Soybean, a major crop legume, requires a short day to induce flowering. How histone modifications regulate the plant response to external cues that initiate flowering is still largely unknown. Here, we used RNA-seq to address the dynamics of transcripts that are potentially involved in the epigenetic programming and RNAi mediated gene silencing during the floral initiation of soybean. Soybean is a paleopolyploid that has been subjected to at least two rounds of whole genome duplication events. We report that the expanded genomic repertoire of histone modifiers and RNA silencing genes in soybean includes 14 histone acetyltransferases, 24 histone deacetylases, 47 histone methyltransferases, 15 protein arginine methyltransferases, 24 JmjC domain-containing demethylases and 47 RNAi-associated genes. To investigate the role of these histone modifiers and RNA silencing genes during floral initiation, we compared the transcriptional dynamics of the leaf and shoot apical meristem at different time points after a short-day treatment. Our data reveal that the extensive activation of genes that are usually involved in the epigenetic programming and RNAi gene silencing in the soybean shoot apical meristem are reprogrammed for floral development following an exposure to inductive conditions. PMID:24147010

  7. Epigenetic Regulation of Myeloid Cells

    PubMed Central

    IVASHKIV, LIONEL B.; PARK, SUNG HO

    2017-01-01

    Epigenetic regulation in myeloid cells is crucial for cell differentiation and activation in response to developmental and environmental cues. Epigenetic control involves posttranslational modification of DNA or chromatin, and is also coupled to upstream signaling pathways and transcription factors. In this review, we summarize key epigenetic events and how dynamics in the epigenetic landscape of myeloid cells shape the development, immune activation, and innate immune memory. PMID:27337441

  8. Rb silencing mediated by the down-regulation of MeCP2 is involved in cell transformation induced by long-term exposure to hydroquinone.

    PubMed

    Liu, Linhua; Ling, Xiaoxuan; Wu, Minhua; Chen, Jialong; Chen, Shaoqiao; Tan, Qiang; Chen, Jiansong; Liu, Jiaxian; Zou, Fei

    2017-02-01

    Hydroquinone (HQ), a metabolite of benzene, is a well-known human carcinogen; however, its molecular mechanisms of action remain unclear. MeCP2 has been traditionally described as a transcriptional repressor, though growing evidence indicates that it also activates gene expression. Here, we investigated whether some epigenetic machinery genes are aberrantly expressed as target tumor suppressor genes in HQ-transformed TK6 lymphoblastoid cells. Our results showed that treatment with 5-Aza-2'-deoxycytidine or trichostatin A enhanced the expression of Rb, resulting in cell arrest in G1-phase, and subsequently, an increase in apoptosis and a decrease in cell growth. Moreover, we hypothesised that Rb was silenced by the down-regulation of MeCP2 in HQ-transformed cells, resulting in the dynamic expression of Rb and epigenetic machinery proteins in HQ-transformed cells at different time points. The expression of Rb and MeCP2 in patients with B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (B-NHL) showed that positive staining for MeCP2 or Rb was significantly lower in B-NHL tumor tissues, and these changes were significantly and negatively correlated with the grade of B-NHL. The restoration of MeCP2 in HQ-transformed cells enhanced the expression of Rb, promoted cell apoptosis, and inhibited cell growth. The changes in the expression patterns of MeCP2 and Rb were inversely correlated with the degree of DNA methylation. A ChiP assay revealed that MeCP2 proteins were recruited to the Rb promoter with lower 5'-methylcytosine levels. In conclusion, we demonstrated that the down-regulation of MeCP2 silences Rb, a process involved in cell transformation resulting from long-term exposure to HQ. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. Histone Variants and Epigenetics

    PubMed Central

    Henikoff, Steven; Smith, M. Mitchell

    2015-01-01

    Histones package and compact DNA by assembling into nucleosome core particles. Most histones are synthesized at S phase for rapid deposition behind replication forks. In addition, the replacement of histones deposited during S phase by variants that can be deposited independently of replication provide the most fundamental level of chromatin differentiation. Alternative mechanisms for depositing different variants can potentially establish and maintain epigenetic states. Variants have also evolved crucial roles in chromosome segregation, transcriptional regulation, DNA repair, and other processes. Investigations into the evolution, structure, and metabolism of histone variants provide a foundation for understanding the participation of chromatin in important cellular processes and in epigenetic memory. PMID:25561719

  10. TSLC1 gene silencing in cutaneous melanoma.

    PubMed

    You, Yan; Ma, Liangjuan; You, Min; Li, Xiaomei; Wang, Shuhai; Li, Hongli; Wu, Debin; Yang, Huimin; Li, Zhen Yu

    2010-06-01

    Tumor suppressor in lung cancer 1 (TSLC1) is a tumor suppressor gene that encodes a member of the immunoglobulin superfamily, which is involved in the progression of some types of cancer. Several studies have shown that loss of TSLC1 expression is strongly correlated to methylation of the gene promoter, thus leading to poor prognosis in these cancers. However, the role of TSLC1 in cutaneous melanoma (CM) has not been examined. The purpose of this study was to understand the molecular mechanisms and clinical significance of TSLC1 inactivation in CM. The expression and promoter methylation of TSLC1 were analyzed in 120 CMs. TSLC1 expression was examined by immunohistochemistry, whereas its methylation status was determined by methylation-specific PCR. TSLC1 expression was lost in 84 of 120 (70%) CMs; 36 (30%) CMs were scored as positive for TSLC1 protein expression. The TSLC1 promoter was methylated in 58 (48.33%) of 120 CMs. The incidence of the loss of expression and methylation of TSLC1 significantly increased as the tumor stage advanced (P=0.032 and 0.0021, respectively). Furthermore, in CM, disease-related survival was significantly shorter in patients with tumors losing TSLC1 or harboring methylated TSLC1 (P=0.0003 and 0.0329, respectively). The epigenetic silencing of TSLC1 through methylation is an important event in the pathogenesis of CM, and TSLC1 provides an indicator for poor prognosis.

  11. 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)

  12. Epigenetic and Transcriptional Regulation of IRAK-M Expression in Macrophages.

    PubMed

    Lyroni, Konstantina; Patsalos, Andreas; Daskalaki, Maria G; Doxaki, Christina; Soennichsen, Birte; Helms, Mike; Liapis, Ioannis; Zacharioudaki, Vassiliki; Kampranis, Sotirios C; Tsatsanis, Christos

    2017-02-01

    During macrophage activation, expression of IL-1R-associated kinase (IRAK)-M is induced to suppress TLR-mediated responses and is a hallmark of endotoxin tolerance. Endotoxin tolerance requires tight regulation of genes occurring at the transcriptional and epigenetic levels. To identify novel regulators of IRAK-M, we used RAW 264.7 macrophages and performed a targeted RNA interference screen of genes encoding chromatin-modifying enzymes, signaling molecules, and transcription factors involved in macrophage activation. Among these, the transcription factor CCAAT/enhancer binding protein (C/EBP)β, known to be involved in macrophage inactivation, was necessary for the induction of IRAK-M expression. Chromatin immunoprecipitation showed that C/EBPβ was recruited to the IRAK-M promoter following LPS stimulation and was indispensable for IRAK-M transcriptional activation. Among histone 3-modifying enzymes, our screen showed that knockdown of the histone 3 lysine 27 (H3K27) methyltransferase and part of the polycomb recessive complex 2, enhancer of Zeste 2, resulted in IRAK-M overexpression. In contrast, knockdown of the H3K27 demethylase ubiquitously transcribed tetratricopeptide repeat X chromosome suppressed the induction of IRAK-M in response to LPS stimulation. Accordingly, we demonstrated that H3K27 on the IRAK-M promoter is trimethylated in unstimulated cells and that this silencing epigenetic mark is removed upon LPS stimulation. Our data propose a mechanism for IRAK-M transcriptional regulation according to which, in the naive state, polycomb recessive complex 2 repressed the IRAK-M promoter, allowing low levels of expression; following LPS stimulation, the IRAK-M promoter is derepressed, and transcription is induced to allow its expression.

  13. 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.

  14. The cohesin subunit Rad21 is a negative regulator of hematopoietic self-renewal through epigenetic repression of HoxA7 and HoxA9

    PubMed Central

    Fisher, Joseph B.; Peterson, Jonathan; Reimer, Michael; Stelloh, Cary; Pulakanti, Kirthi; Gerbec, Zachary J.; Abel, Alex M.; Strouse, Jennifer Miksanek; Strouse, Christopher; McNulty, Maureen; Malarkannan, Subramaniam; Crispino, John D.; Milanovich, Samuel; Rao, Sridhar

    2016-01-01

    Acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) is a high-risk hematopoietic malignancy caused by a variety of mutations, including genes encoding the cohesin complex. Recent studies have demonstrated that reduction in cohesin complex levels leads to enhanced self-renewal in hematopoietic stem and progenitors (HSPCs). We sought to delineate the molecular mechanisms by which cohesin mutations promote enhanced HSPC self-renewal since this represents a critical initial step during leukemic transformation. We verified that RNAi against the cohesin subunit Rad21 causes enhanced self-renewal of HSPCs in vitro through derepression of Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 (PRC2) target genes, including Hoxa7 and Hoxa9. Importantly, knockdown of either Hoxa7 or Hoxa9 suppressed self-renewal, implying both are critical downstream effectors of reduced cohesin levels. We further demonstrate that the cohesin and PRC2 complexes interact and are bound in close proximity to Hoxa7 and Hoxa9. Rad21 depletion resulted in decreased levels of H3K27me3 at the Hoxa7 and Hoxa9 promoters, consistent with Rad21 being critical to proper gene silencing by recruiting the PRC2 complex. Our data demonstrates that the cohesin complex regulates PRC2 targeting to silence Hoxa7 and Hoxa9 and negatively regulate self-renewal. Our studies identify a novel epigenetic mechanism underlying leukemogenesis in AML patients with cohesin mutations. PMID:27554164

  15. 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

  16. Sex differences in brain epigenetics.

    PubMed

    Menger, Yannick; Bettscheider, Marc; Murgatroyd, Chris; Spengler, Dietmar

    2010-12-01

    Sexual differentiation of the brain takes place during a perinatal-sensitive time window as a result of gonadal hormone-induced activational and organizational effects on neuronal substrates. Increasing evidence suggests that epigenetic mechanisms can contribute to the establishment and maintenance of some aspects of these processes, and that these epigenetic mechanisms may themselves be under the control of sex hormones. Epigenetic programming of neuroendocrine and behavioral phenotypes frequently occurs sex specifically, pointing to sex differences in brain epigenetics as a possible determinant. Understanding how sex-specific epigenomes and sex-biased responses to environmental cues contribute to the development of brain diseases might provide new insights for epigenetic therapy.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Epigenetics and Future Generations.

    PubMed

    Del Savio, Lorenzo; Loi, Michele; Stupka, Elia

    2015-10-01

    Recent evidence of intergenerational epigenetic programming of disease risk broadens the scope of public health preventive interventions to future generations, i.e. non existing people. Due to the transmission of epigenetic predispositions, lifestyles such as smoking or unhealthy diet might affect the health of populations across several generations. While public policy for the health of future generations can be justified through impersonal considerations, such as maximizing aggregate well-being, in this article we explore whether there are rights-based obligations supervening on intergenerational epigenetic programming despite the non-identity argument, which challenges this rationale in case of policies that affect the number and identity of future people. We propose that rights based obligations grounded in the interests of non-existing people might fall upon existing people when generations overlap. In particular, if environmental exposure in F0 (i.e. existing people) will affect the health of F2 (i.e. non-existing people) through epigenetic programming, then F1 (i.e. existing and overlapping with both F0 and F2) might face increased costs to address F2's condition in the future: this might generate obligations upon F0 from various distributive principles, such as the principle of equal opportunity for well being.

  20. Epigenetics and metabolism.

    PubMed

    Keating, Samuel T; El-Osta, Assam

    2015-02-13

    The molecular signatures of epigenetic regulation and chromatin architectures are fundamental to genetically determined biological processes. Covalent and post-translational chemical modification of the chromatin template can sensitize the genome to changing environmental conditions to establish diverse functional states. Recent interest and research focus surrounds the direct connections between metabolism and chromatin dynamics, which now represents an important conceptual challenge to explain many aspects of metabolic dysfunction. Several components of the epigenetic machinery require intermediates of cellular metabolism for enzymatic function. Furthermore, changes to intracellular metabolism can alter the expression of specific histone methyltransferases and acetyltransferases conferring widespread variations in epigenetic modification patterns. Specific epigenetic influences of dietary glucose and lipid consumption, as well as undernutrition, are observed across numerous organs and pathways associated with metabolism. Studies have started to define the chromatin-dependent mechanisms underlying persistent and pathophysiological changes induced by altered metabolism. Importantly, numerous recent studies demonstrate that gene regulation underlying phenotypic determinants of adult metabolic health is influenced by maternal and early postnatal diet. These emerging concepts open new perspectives to combat the rising global epidemic of metabolic disorders.

  1. 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

  2. [Epigenetics and obesity].

    PubMed

    Casanello, Paola; Krause, Bernardo J; Castro-Rodríguez, José A; Uauy, Ricardo

    Current evidence supports the notion that exposure to various environmental conditions in early life may induce permanent changes in the epigenome that persist throughout the life-course. This article focuses on early changes associated with obesity in adult life. A review is presented on the factors that induce changes in whole genome (DNA) methylation in early life that are associated with adult onset obesity and related disorders. In contrast, reversal of epigenetic changes associated with weight loss in obese subjects has not been demonstrated. This contrasts with well-established associations found between obesity related DNA methylation patterns at birth and adult onset obesity and diabetes. Epigenetic markers may serve to screen indivuals at risk for obesity and assess the effects of interventions in early life that may delay or prevent obesity in early life. This might contribute to lower the obesity-related burden of death and disability at the population level. The available evidence indicates that epigenetic marks are in fact modifiable, based on modifications in the intrauterine environment and changes in food intake, physical activity and dietary patterns patterns during pregnancy and early years of adult life. This offers the opportunity to intervene before conception, during pregnancy, infancy, childhood, and also in later life. There must be documentation on the best preventive actions in terms of diet and physical activity that will modify or revert the adverse epigenetic markers, thus preventing obesity and diabetes in suceptible individuals and populations.

  3. Identification of Multiple Proteins Coupling Transcriptional Gene Silencing to Genome Stability in Arabidopsis thaliana.

    PubMed

    Hale, Christopher J; Potok, Magdalena E; Lopez, Jennifer; Do, Truman; Liu, Ao; Gallego-Bartolome, Javier; Michaels, Scott D; Jacobsen, Steven E

    2016-06-01

    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.

  4. Epigenetic Drugs for Multiple Sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Peedicayil, Jacob

    2016-01-01

    There is increasing evidence that abnormalities in epigenetic mechanisms of gene expression contribute to the development of multiple sclerosis (MS). Advances in epigenetics have given rise to a new class of drugs, epigenetic drugs. Although many classes of epigenetic drugs are being investigated, at present most attention is being paid to two classes of epigenetic drugs: drugs that inhibit DNA methyltransferase (DNMTi) and drugs that inhibit histone deacetylase (HDACi). This paper discusses the potential use of epigenetic drugs in the treatment of MS, focusing on DNMTi and HDACi. Preclinical drug trials of DNMTi and HDACi for the treatment of MS are showing promising results. Epigenetic drugs could improve the clinical management of patients with MS.

  5. Polycomb group protein gene silencing, non-coding RNA, stem cells, and cancer.

    PubMed

    Gieni, Randall S; Hendzel, Michael J

    2009-10-01

    Epigenetic programming is an important facet of biology, controlling gene expression patterns and the choice between developmental pathways. The Polycomb group proteins (PcGs) silence gene expression, allowing cells to both acquire and maintain identity. PcG silencing is important for stemness, X chromosome inactivation (XCI), genomic imprinting, and the abnormally silenced genes in cancers. Stem and cancer cells commonly share gene expression patterns, regulatory mechanisms, and signalling pathways. Many microRNA species have oncogenic or tumor suppressor activity, and disruptions in these networks are common in cancer; however, long non-coding (nc)RNA species are also important. Many of these directly guide PcG deposition and gene silencing at the HOX locus, during XCI, and in examples of genomic imprinting. Since inappropriate HOX expression and loss of genomic imprinting are hallmarks of cancer, disruption of long ncRNA-mediated PcG silencing likely has a role in oncogenesis. Aberrant silencing of coding and non-coding loci is critical for both the genesis and progression of cancers. In addition, PcGs are commonly abnormally overexpressed years prior to cancer pathology, making early PcG targeted therapy an option to reverse tumor formation, someday replacing the blunt instrument of eradication in the cancer therapy arsenal.

  6. Strategies for silencing and escape: the ancient struggle between transposable elements and their hosts.

    PubMed

    Lisch, Damon; Slotkin, R Keith

    2011-01-01

    Over the past several years, there has been an explosion in our understanding of the mechanisms by which plant transposable elements (TEs) are epigenetically silenced and maintained in an inactive state over long periods of time. This highly efficient process results in vast numbers of inactive TEs; indeed, the majority of many plant genomes are composed of these quiescent elements. This observation has led to the rather static view that TEs represent an essentially inert portion of plant genomes. However, recent work has demonstrated that TE silencing is a highly dynamic process that often involves transcription of TEs at particular times and places during plant development. Plants appear to use transcripts from silenced TEs as an ongoing source of information concerning the mobile portion of the genome. In contrast to our understanding of silencing pathways, we know relatively little about the ways in which TEs evade silencing. However, vast differences in TE content between even closely related plant species suggest that they are often wildly successful at doing so. Here, we discuss TE activity in plants as the result of a constantly shifting balance between host strategies for TE silencing and TE strategies for escape and amplification.

  7. Depletion of MOM1 in non-dividing cells of Arabidopsis plants releases transcriptional gene silencing.

    PubMed

    Tariq, Muhammad; Habu, Yoshiki; Paszkowski, Jerzy

    2002-10-01

    Mitotic and meiotic inheritance of epigenetic information is coupled to the reproduction of chromatin conformation and DNA methylation patterns. This implies that the S phase of the cell cycle provides a window of opportunity for changes in epigenetic determination. Recent studies, however, have suggested that chromatin structure is also rather dynamic in quiescent cells of multicellular eukaryotes and that silent heterochromatic regions can become accessible to transcription. Such epigenetic flexibility in differentiated tissues could be of physiological importance. The mechanisms and molecular components involved are of great interest but as yet unknown. We examined MOM1 (Morpheus' Molecule 1), a regulator of transcriptional gene silencing (TGS) that acts independently of DNA methylation, for its role in the maintenance of TGS in non-dividing, differentiated cells. The results provide evidence that TGS maintenance mediated by MOM1 is a dynamic process that can be modified in non-dividing cells of mature plant organs by depletion of MOM1.

  8. Epigenetic alterations in a murine model for chronic lymphocytic leukemia

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Shih-Shih; Sherman, Maura H; Hertlein, Erin; Johnson, Amy J; Teitell, Michael A.; Byrd, John C.; Plass, Christoph

    2010-01-01

    Early stages in the development of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) have not been explored mainly due to the inability to study normal B-cells in route to transformation. In order to determine such early events of leukemogenesis, we have used a well established mouse model for CLL. Over-expression of human TCL1, a known CLL oncogene, in murine B-cells leads to the development of mature CD19+/CD5+/IgM+ clonal leukemia with a similar disease phenotype seen in human CLL. Herein, we review our recent study using this TCL1 murine model for CLL and corresponding human CLL samples in a cross-species epigenomics approach to address the timing and relevance of epigenetic events occurring during leukemogenesis. We were able to demonstrate that the mouse model recapitulates epigenetic events very similar to what has been reported for human CLL and thus provides an exciting new tool to study early epigenetic events. Epigenetic alterations are seen at a time of three month after birth, much earlier than the phenotypically visible disease which occurs around 11 month of age. An early event in gene silencing is the inactivation of transcription factor Foxd3 expression through an NF-κB mediated process in animals with one month of age. PMID:19901553

  9. 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

  10. Epigenetics and pancreatic cancer: pathophysiology and novel treatment aspects.

    PubMed

    Neureiter, Daniel; Jäger, Tarkan; Ocker, Matthias; Kiesslich, Tobias

    2014-06-28

    An improvement in pancreatic cancer treatment represents an urgent medical goal. Late diagnosis and high intrinsic resistance to conventional chemotherapy has led to a dismal overall prognosis that has remained unchanged during the past decades. Increasing knowledge about the molecular pathogenesis of the disease has shown that genetic alterations, such as mutations of K-ras, and especially epigenetic dysregulation of tumor-associated genes, such as silencing of the tumor suppressor p16(ink4a), are hallmarks of pancreatic cancer. Here, we describe genes that are commonly affected by epigenetic dysregulation in pancreatic cancer via DNA methylation, histone acetylation or miRNA (microRNA) expression, and review the implications on pancreatic cancer biology such as epithelial-mesenchymal transition, morphological pattern formation, or cancer stem cell regulation during carcinogenesis from PanIN (pancreatic intraepithelial lesions) to invasive cancer and resistance development. Epigenetic drugs, such as DNA methyltransferases or histone deactylase inhibitors, have shown promising preclinical results in pancreatic cancer and are currently in early phases of clinical development. Combinations of epigenetic drugs with established cytotoxic drugs or targeted therapies are promising approaches to improve the poor response and survival rate of pancreatic cancer patients.

  11. Targeting Epigenetic Processes in Photodynamic Therapy-Induced Anticancer Immunity

    PubMed Central

    Wachowska, Malgorzata; Muchowicz, Angelika; Golab, Jakub

    2015-01-01

    Photodynamic therapy (PDT) of cancer is an approved therapeutic procedure that generates oxidative stress leading to cell death of tumor and stromal cells. Cell death resulting from oxidative damage to intracellular components leads to the release of damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) that trigger robust inflammatory response and creates local conditions for effective sampling of tumor-associated antigens (TAA) by antigen-presenting cells. The latter can trigger development of TAA-specific adaptive immune response. However, due to a number of mechanisms, including epigenetic regulation of TAA expression, tumor cells evade immune recognition. Therefore, numerous approaches are being developed to combine PDT with immunotherapies to allow development of systemic immunity. In this review, we describe immunoregulatory mechanisms of epigenetic treatments that were shown to restore the expression of epigenetically silenced or down-regulated major histocompatibility complex molecules as well as TAA. We also discuss the results of our recent studies showing that epigenetic treatments based on administration of methyltransferase inhibitors in combination with PDT can release effective mechanisms leading to development of antitumor immunity and potentiated antitumor effects. PMID:26284197

  12. 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

  13. Transcriptional gene silencing by Arabidopsis microrchidia homologues involves the formation of heteromers.

    PubMed

    Moissiard, Guillaume; Bischof, Sylvain; Husmann, Dylan; Pastor, William A; Hale, Christopher J; Yen, Linda; Stroud, Hume; Papikian, Ashot; Vashisht, Ajay A; Wohlschlegel, James A; Jacobsen, Steven E

    2014-05-20

    Epigenetic gene silencing is of central importance to maintain genome integrity and is mediated by an elaborate interplay between DNA methylation, histone posttranslational modifications, and chromatin remodeling complexes. DNA methylation and repressive histone marks usually correlate with transcriptionally silent heterochromatin, however there are exceptions to this relationship. In Arabidopsis, mutation of Morpheus Molecule 1 (MOM1) causes transcriptional derepression of heterochromatin independently of changes in DNA methylation. More recently, two Arabidopsis homologues of mouse microrchidia (MORC) genes have also been implicated in gene silencing and heterochromatin condensation without altering genome-wide DNA methylation patterns. In this study, we show that Arabidopsis microrchidia (AtMORC6) physically interacts with AtMORC1 and with its close homologue, AtMORC2, in two mutually exclusive protein complexes. RNA-sequencing analyses of high-order mutants indicate that AtMORC1 and AtMORC2 act redundantly to repress a common set of loci. We also examined genetic interactions between AtMORC6 and MOM1 pathways. Although AtMORC6 and MOM1 control the silencing of a very similar set of genomic loci, we observed synergistic transcriptional regulation in the mom1/atmorc6 double mutant, suggesting that these epigenetic regulators act mainly by different silencing mechanisms.

  14. RAP1 is essential for silencing telomeric variant surface glycoprotein genes in Trypanosoma brucei.

    PubMed

    Yang, Xiaofeng; Figueiredo, Luisa M; Espinal, Amin; Okubo, Eiji; Li, Bibo

    2009-04-03

    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, 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.

  15. Traffic into silence: endomembranes and post-transcriptional RNA silencing

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Yun Ju; Maizel, Alexis; Chen, Xuemei

    2014-01-01

    microRNAs (miRNAs) and small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) are small RNAs that repress gene expression at the post-transcriptional level in plants and animals. Small RNAs guide Argonaute-containing RNA-induced silencing complexes to target RNAs in a sequence-specific manner, resulting in mRNA deadenylation followed by exonucleolytic decay, mRNA endonucleolytic cleavage, or translational inhibition. Although our knowledge of small RNA biogenesis, turnover, and mechanisms of action has dramatically expanded in the past decade, the subcellular location of small RNA-mediated RNA silencing still needs to be defined. In contrast to the prevalent presumption that RNA silencing occurs in the cytosol, emerging evidence reveals connections between the endomembrane system and small RNA activities in plants and animals. Here, we summarize the work that uncovered this link between small RNAs and endomembrane compartments and present an overview of the involvement of the endomembrane system in various aspects of RNA silencing. We propose that the endomembrane system is an integral component of RNA silencing that has been long overlooked and predict that a marriage between cell biology and RNA biology holds the key to a full understanding of post-transcriptional gene regulation by small RNAs. PMID:24668229

  16. Stochastic and epigenetic changes of gene expression in Arabidopsis polyploids.

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Jianlin; Tian, Lu; Madlung, Andreas; Lee, Hyeon-Se; Chen, Meng; Lee, Jinsuk J; Watson, Brian; Kagochi, Trevor; Comai, Luca; Chen, Z Jeffrey

    2004-01-01

    Polyploidization is an abrupt speciation mechanism for eukaryotes and is especially common in plants. However, little is known about patterns and mechanisms of gene regulation during early stages of polyploid formation. Here we analyzed differential expression patterns of the progenitors' genes among successive selfing generations and independent lineages. The synthetic Arabidopsis allotetraploid lines were produced by a genetic cross between A. thaliana and A. arenosa autotetraploids. We found that some progenitors' genes are differentially expressed in early generations, whereas other genes are silenced in late generations or among different siblings within a selfing generation, suggesting that the silencing of progenitors' genes is rapidly and/or stochastically established. Moreover, a subset of genes is affected in autotetraploid and multiple independent allotetraploid lines and in A. suecica, a natural allotetraploid derived from A. thaliana and A. arenosa, indicating locus-specific susceptibility to ploidy-dependent gene regulation. The role of DNA methylation in silencing progenitors' genes is tested in DNA-hypomethylation transgenic lines of A. suecica using RNA interference (RNAi). Two silenced genes are reactivated in both ddm1- and met1-RNAi lines, consistent with the demethylation of centromeric repeats and gene-specific regions in the genome. A rapid and stochastic process of differential gene expression is reinforced by epigenetic regulation during polyploid formation and evolution. PMID:15342533

  17. 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

  18. Epigenetic genome-wide analysis identifies BEX1 as a candidate tumour suppressor gene in paediatric intracranial ependymoma.

    PubMed

    Karakoula, Katherine; Jacques, Thomas S; Phipps, Kim P; Harkness, William; Thompson, Dominic; Harding, Brian N; Darling, John L; Warr, Tracy J

    2014-04-28

    Promoter hypermethylation and transcriptional silencing is a common epigenetic mechanism of gene inactivation in cancer. To identify targets of epigenetic silencing in paediatric intracranial ependymoma, we used a pharmacological unmasking approach through treatment of 3 ependymoma short-term cell cultures with the demethylating agent 5-Aza-2'-deoxycytidine followed by global expression microarray analysis. We identified 55 candidate epigenetically silenced genes, which are involved in the regulation of apoptosis, Wnt signalling, p53 and cell differentiation. The methylation status of 26 of these genes was further determined by combined bisulfite restriction analysis (COBRA) and genomic sequencing in a cohort of 40 ependymoma samples. The most frequently methylated genes were BEX1 (27/40 cases), BAI2 (20/40), CCND2 (18/40), and CDKN2A (14/40). A high correlation between promoter hypermethylation and decreased gene expression levels was established by real-time quantitative PCR, suggesting the involvement of these genes in ependymoma tumourigenesis. Furthermore, ectopic expression of brain-expressed X-linked 1 (BEX1) in paediatric ependymoma short-term cell cultures significantly suppressed cell proliferation and colony formation. These data suggest that promoter hypermethylation contributes to silencing of target genes in paediatric intracranial ependymoma. Epigenetic inactivation of BEX1 supports its role as a candidate tumour suppressor gene in intracranial ependymoma, and a potential target for novel therapies for ependymoma in children.

  19. Environmental Toxicant Exposure and Cancer: The Role of Epigenetic Changes and Protection by Phytochemicals.

    PubMed

    Panahi, Yunes; Beiraghdar, Fatemeh; Amirhamzeh, Amirali; Poursaleh, Zohreh; Saadat, Alireza; Sahebkar, Amirhossein

    2016-01-01

    Exposure to environmental toxicants is a well-documented predisposing factor for cancer. Although genetic alterations have long been known to occur through exposure to some environmental carcinogens, there is another layer of genome regulatory system named epigenetic system. Epigenetics is defined as any reversible and heritable change in cellular patterns of gene expression that does not alter DNA sequence. This layer of gene control plays a key role in early stages of carcinogenesis by reprogramming cells to what is known as cancer stem cells, a process with great similarities to somatic cell reprogramming into "induced pluripotent stem cell". Environmental toxicants could directly promote carcinogenesis through disturbing promoter CpG island hypermethylation, and silencing of tumor suppressor genes, hypomethylation of transposable elements and genomic instability induced by environmental toxicants. Environmental toxicants could also indirectly affect epigenetic programming of nucleus through inducing inflammatory signaling pathways that converge on NF-κB or STAT3 activation. Considering the reversibility of epigenetic alterations and their pivotal role in early carcinogenesis, reversion of these alterations could be a promising approach for chemoprevention. Selected phytochemicals have shown desirable effects through regulation of the most important epigenetic mechanisms including DNA methylation, histone modifications and microRNA expression, as well as modulation of SIRT-1 and STAT-3 signaling pathways. The present review aims to outline the epigenetic mechanisms underlying carcinogenic effects of environmental toxicants, and the protective effects of phytochemicals in reversing epigenetic aberrations in the regulatory pathways steering normal cell homeostasis.

  20. Basic concepts of epigenetics: impact of environmental signals on gene expression.

    PubMed

    Mazzio, Elizabeth A; Soliman, Karam F A

    2012-02-01

    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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Three-dimensional disorganization of the cancer genome occurs coincident with long-range genetic and epigenetic alterations

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2016-01-01

    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

  4. Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 Suppresses RNA-Induced Gene Silencing in Mammalian Cells▿

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Zetang; Zhu, Yali; Bisaro, David M.; Parris, Deborah S.

    2009-01-01

    RNA-induced silencing is a potent innate antiviral defense strategy in plants, and suppression of silencing is a hallmark of pathogenic plant viruses. However, the impact of silencing as a mammalian antiviral defense mechanism and the ability of mammalian viruses to suppress silencing in natural host cells have remained controversial. The ability of herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) to suppress silencing was examined in a transient expression system that employed an imperfect hairpin to target degradation of transcripts encoding enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP). HSV-1 infection suppressed EGFP-specific silencing as demonstrated by increased EGFP mRNA levels and an increase in the EGFP mRNA half-life. The increase in EGFP mRNA stability occurred despite the well-characterized host macromolecular shutoff functions of HSV-1 that globally destabilize mRNAs. Moreover, mutant viruses defective in these functions increased the stability of EGFP mRNA even more than did the wild-type virus in silenced cells compared to results in control cells. The importance of RNA silencing to HSV-1 replication was confirmed by a significantly enhanced virus burst size in cells in which silencing was knocked down with small inhibitory RNAs directed to Argonaute 2, an integral component of the silencing complex. Given that HSV-1 encodes several microRNAs, it is possible that a dynamic equilibrium exists between silencing and silencing suppression that is capable of modulating viral gene expression to promote replication, to evade host defenses, and/or to promote latency. PMID:19369325

  5. Epigenetic Regulation: A New Frontier for Biomedical Engineers.

    PubMed

    Chen, Zhen; Li, Shuai; Subramaniam, Shankar; Shyy, John Y-J; Chien, Shu

    2017-03-06

    Gene expression in mammalian cells depends on the epigenetic status of the chromatin, including DNA methylation, histone modifications, promoter-enhancer interactions, and noncoding RNA-mediated regulation. The coordinated actions of these multifaceted regulations determine cell development, cell cycle regulation, cell state and fate, and the ultimate responses in health and disease. Therefore, studies of epigenetic modulations are critical for our understanding of gene regulation mechanisms at the molecular, cellular, tissue, and organ levels. The aim of this review is to provide biomedical engineers with an overview of the principles of epigenetics, methods of study, recent findings in epigenetic regulation in health and disease, and computational and sequencing tools for epigenetics analysis, with an emphasis on the cardiovascular system. This review concludes with the perspectives of the application of bioengineering to advance epigenetics and the utilization of epigenetics to translate bioengineering research into clinical medicine. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Biomedical Engineering Volume 19 is June 4, 2017. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.

  6. 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

  7. Epigenetics in an ecotoxicological context.

    PubMed

    Vandegehuchte, Michiel B; Janssen, Colin R

    2014-04-01

    Epigenetics can play a role in interactions between chemicals and exposed species, between species and abiotic ecosystem components or between species of the same or another population in a community. Technological progress and advanced insights into epigenetic processes have led to the description of epigenetic features (mainly DNA methylation) in many ecologically relevant species: algae, plants, several invertebrates and fish. Epigenetic changes in plants, insects and cladocerans have been reported to be induced by various environmental stress factors including nutrition or water deficiency, grazing, light or temperature alterations, social environment, and dissolved organic matter concentrations. As regards chemicals, studies in rats and mice exposed to specific pesticides, hydrocarbons, dioxins, and endocrine disrupting chemicals demonstrated the induction of epigenetic changes, suggesting the need for further research with these substances in an ecotoxicological context. In fish and plants, exposure to polyaromatic hydrocarbons, metals, and soluble fractions of solid waste affected the epigenetic status. A novel concept in ecotoxicological epigenetics is the induction of transgenerational stress resistance upon chemical exposure, as demonstrated in rice exposed to metals. Evaluating epigenetics in ecotoxicological field studies is a second relatively new approach. A cryptic lineage of earthworms had developed arsenic tolerance in the field, concurrent with specific DNA methylation patterns. Flatfish caught in the framework of environmental monitoring had developed tumours, exhibiting specific DNA methylation patterns. Two main potential implications of epigenetics in an ecotoxicological context are (1) the possibility of transgenerationally inherited, chemical stress-induced epigenetic changes with associated phenotypes and (2) epigenetically induced adaptation to stress upon long-term chemical exposure. Key knowledge gaps are concerned with the causality of

  8. [Epigenetics and memory].

    PubMed

    Gräff, Johannes; Franklin, Tamara B; Mansuy, Isabelle M

    2010-01-01

    The epigenetic marking of chromatin in the brain has recently been recognized as an essential mechanism for brain functions such as learning and memory formation. It allows nerve cells not only to respond to environmental stimuli and modulate their profile of gene expression, but also to establish and maintain their own identity. The epigenetic code is conferred by a set of covalent modifications on the basic elements of chromatin, DNA and histone proteins. These changes are catalyzed by specific enzymes and mechanisms, which include DNA methylation, and post-translational modifications of histone proteins such as acetylation, phosphorylation, methylation and ubiquitination. They are both stable and highly dynamic, and are triggered during stimulation of neuronal circuits but can also persist thereafter. Their study in animal models has demonstrated their importance, and revealed some of their modes of function.

  9. Sex, epilepsy, and epigenetics

    PubMed Central

    Qureshi, Irfan A.; Mehler, Mark F.

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24998474

  10. 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

  11. Epigenetic advances in clinical neuroscience.

    PubMed

    Abel, Ted; Poplawski, Shane

    2014-09-01

    Epigenetics, broadly defined as the regulation of gene expression without alteration of the genome, has become a field of tremendous interest in neuroscience, neurology, and psychiatry. This research has rapidly changed the way researchers think about brain function. Exciting epigenetic discoveries have been found in addiction, early life stress, neurodegeneration, post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression. As researchers more precisely define the epigenetic landscape that regulates disease progression in each of these cases, therapeutics can be designed to specifically target the molecules that mediate these epigenetic processes. Further, epigenetics may lead, to the identification of novel biomarkers for diagnosis and for the monitoring of treatment. Epigenetic profiling is likely to become a routine tool for the diagnosis of neurological and psychiatric disorders in the near future.

  12. Epigenetic Therapies for Chemoresensitization of Epithelial Ovarian Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Matei, Daniela E.; Nephew, Kenneth P.

    2009-01-01

    Summary Epigenetic drugs have been shown to enhance gene expression and drug sensitivity in ovarian cancer cell lines and animal models. Based on promising pre-clinical studies, DNA methylation inhibitors in combination with existing chemotherapeutic agents have the potential for overcoming acquired drug resistance, laying the foundation for this specific class of epigenetic drug in ovarian cancer clinical trials. The recent completion of phase I trials of decitabine have yielded important information on dosing schedules and biological endpoints for evaluating patient responses. In addition, epigenetic drug effects on pharmacodyamic targets are beginning to emerge, and predictive epigenetic biomarkers and next generation epigenome therapeutics are being developed for application in clinical settings for ovarian cancer patients. PMID:19854495

  13. Epigenetics of T cells regulated by Polycomb/Trithorax molecules.

    PubMed

    Onodera, Atsushi; Nakayama, Toshinori

    2015-05-01

    Epigenetics provides a bridge between genetic and environmental factors, and can change the transcriptional outcome of a gene without changing the genomic sequence. Allergies and autoimmune diseases are caused by both of these factors, and dynamic changes in epigenetic marks have been reported in T cells, which are key players in the pathogenesis of immune-mediated diseases. Advances in technology, including gene knockout systems and high-throughput sequencing, have significantly enhanced the understanding of the lifespan of T cells, including maturation, differentiation and memory formation. In this review, we focus on Polycomb and Trithorax proteins, well-characterized epigenetic modulators, and discuss their role in the epigenetic regulation of T cell differentiation and function.

  14. Aging epigenetics: causes and consequences.

    PubMed

    Huidobro, Covadonga; Fernandez, Agustin F; Fraga, Mario F

    2013-01-01

    Growth and development of higher organisms are regulated by the orchestrated change of epigenetic marks over time. In addition, there is also an epigenetic variation without any apparent role in development that is thought to be the result of the stochastic accumulation of epigenetic errors. The process depends on genetic and environmental factors and, when it takes place in adult stem cells, it could play an important role in aging, although the underlying molecular mechanisms are still largely unknown.

  15. Epigenetic Mistakes in Neurodevelopmental Disorders.

    PubMed

    Mastrototaro, Giuseppina; Zaghi, Mattia; Sessa, Alessandro

    2017-03-02

    Epigenetics is the array of the chromatin modifications that customize in cell-, stage-, or condition-specific manner the information encloses in plain DNA molecules. Increasing evidences suggest the importance of epigenetic mechanisms for development and maintenance of central nervous system. In fact, a large number of newly discovered genetic causes of neurodevelopmental disorders such as intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorders, and many other syndromes are mutations within genes encoding for chromatin remodeling enzymes. Here, we review recent findings on the epigenetic origin of human diseases, with emphasis on disorders that affect development of the nervous system, and discuss novel therapeutic avenues that target epigenetic mechanisms.

  16. Diversification of the Core RNA Interference Machinery in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and the Role of DCL1 in Transposon Silencing

    PubMed Central

    Casas-Mollano, J. Armando; Rohr, Jennifer; Kim, Eun-Jeong; Balassa, Eniko; van Dijk, Karin; Cerutti, Heriberto

    2008-01-01

    Small RNA-guided gene silencing is an evolutionarily conserved process that operates by a variety of molecular mechanisms. In multicellular eukaryotes, the core components of RNA-mediated silencing have significantly expanded and diversified, resulting in partly distinct pathways for the epigenetic control of gene expression and genomic parasites. In contrast, many unicellular organisms with small nuclear genomes seem to have lost entirely the RNA-silencing machinery or have retained only a basic set of components. We report here that Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, a unicellular eukaryote with a relatively large nuclear genome, has undergone extensive duplication of Dicer and Argonaute polypeptides after the divergence of the green algae and land plant lineages. Chlamydomonas encodes three Dicers and three Argonautes with DICER-LIKE1 (DCL1) and ARGONAUTE1 being more divergent than the other paralogs. Interestingly, DCL1 is uniquely involved in the post-transcriptional silencing of retrotransposons such as TOC1. Moreover, on the basis of the subcellular distribution of TOC1 small RNAs and target transcripts, this pathway most likely operates in the nucleus. However, Chlamydomonas also relies on a DCL1-independent, transcriptional silencing mechanism(s) for the maintenance of transposon repression. Our results suggest that multiple, partly redundant epigenetic processes are involved in preventing transposon mobilization in this green alga. PMID:18493041

  17. A Combinatorial Code for Splicing Silencing: UAGG and GGGG Motifs

    PubMed Central

    An, Ping; Burge, Christopher B

    2005-01-01

    Alternative pre-mRNA splicing is widely used to regulate gene expression by tuning the levels of tissue-specific mRNA isoforms. Few regulatory mechanisms are understood at the level of combinatorial control despite numerous sequences, distinct from splice sites, that have been shown to play roles in splicing enhancement or silencing. Here we use molecular approaches to identify a ternary combination of exonic UAGG and 5′-splice-site-proximal GGGG motifs that functions cooperatively to silence the brain-region-specific CI cassette exon (exon 19) of the glutamate NMDA R1 receptor (GRIN1) transcript. Disruption of three components of the motif pattern converted the CI cassette into a constitutive exon, while predominant skipping was conferred when the same components were introduced, de novo, into a heterologous constitutive exon. Predominant exon silencing was directed by the motif pattern in the presence of six competing exonic splicing enhancers, and this effect was retained after systematically repositioning the two exonic UAGGs within the CI cassette. In this system, hnRNP A1 was shown to mediate silencing while hnRNP H antagonized silencing. Genome-wide computational analysis combined with RT-PCR testing showed that a class of skipped human and mouse exons can be identified by searches that preserve the sequence and spatial configuration of the UAGG and GGGG motifs. This analysis suggests that the multi-component silencing code may play an important role in the tissue-specific regulation of the CI cassette exon, and that it may serve more generally as a molecular language to allow for intricate adjustments and the coordination of splicing patterns from different genes. PMID:15828859

  18. Breaking the Code of Silence.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Halbig, Wolfgang W.

    2000-01-01

    Schools and communities must break the adolescent code of silence concerning threats of violence. Schools need character education stressing courage, caring, and responsibility; regular discussions of the school discipline code; formal security discussions with parents; 24-hour hotlines; and protocols for handling reports of potential violence.…

  19. Epigenetics primer: why the clinician should care about epigenetics.

    PubMed

    Duarte, Julio D

    2013-12-01

    Epigenetics describes heritable alterations of gene expression that do not involve DNA sequence variation and are changeable throughout an organism's lifetime. Not only can epigenetic status influence drug response, but it can also be modulated by drugs. In this review, the three major epigenetic mechanisms are described: covalent DNA modification, histone protein modification, and regulation by noncoding RNA. Further, this review describes how drug therapy can influence, and be influenced by, these mechanisms. Drugs with epigenetic mechanisms are already in use, with many more likely to be approved within the next few years. As the understanding of epigenetic processes improves, so will the ability to use these data in the clinic to improve patient care.

  20. High molecular weight RNAs and small interfering RNAs induce systemic posttranscriptional gene silencing in plants

    PubMed Central

    Klahre, Ulrich; Crété, Patrice; Leuenberger, Sabrina A.; Iglesias, Victor A.; Meins, Frederick

    2002-01-01

    Posttranscriptional gene silencing (PTGS) in transgenic plants is an epigenetic form of RNA degradation related to PTGS and RNA interference (RNAi) in fungi and animals. Evidence suggests that transgene loci and RNA viruses can generate double-stranded RNAs similar in sequence to the transcribed region of target genes, which then undergo endonucleolytic cleavage to generate small interfering RNAs (siRNA) that promote degradation of cognate RNAs. The silent state in transgenic plants and in Caenorhabditis elegans can spread systemically, implying that mobile silencing signals exist. Neither the chemical nature of these signals nor their exact source in the PTGS pathway is known. Here, we use a positive marker system and real-time monitoring of green fluorescent protein expression to show that large sense, antisense, and double-stranded RNAs as well as double-stranded siRNAs delivered biolistically into plant cells trigger silencing capable of spreading locally and systemically. Systemically silenced leaves show greatly reduced levels of target RNA and accumulate siRNAs, confirming that RNA can induce systemic PTGS. The induced siRNAs represent parts of the target RNA that are outside of the region of homology with the triggering siRNA. Our results imply that siRNAs themselves or intermediates induced by siRNAs could comprise silencing signals and that these signals induce self-amplifying production of siRNAs. PMID:12181491

  1. 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.

  2. Epigenetic Control of Immunity

    PubMed Central

    Busslinger, Meinrad; Tarakhovsky, Alexander

    2014-01-01

    Immunity relies on the heterogeneity of immune cells and their ability to respond to pathogen challenges. In the adaptive immune system, lymphocytes display a highly diverse antigen receptor repertoire that matches the vast diversity of pathogens. In the innate immune system, the cell's heterogeneity and phenotypic plasticity enable flexible responses to changes in tissue homeostasis caused by infection or damage. The immune responses are calibrated by the graded activity of immune cells that can vary from yeast-like proliferation to lifetime dormancy. This article describes key epigenetic processes that contribute to the function of immune cells during health and disease. PMID:24890513