Chemoprevention of Cigarette Smoke-Induced Alterations of MicroRNA Expression in Rat Lungs

Department of Health Sciences, University of Genoa, Italy.
Cancer Prevention Research (Impact Factor: 4.44). 01/2010; 3(1):62-72. DOI: 10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-09-0202
Source: PubMed


We previously showed that exposure to environmental cigarette smoke (ECS) for 28 days causes extensive downregulation of microRNA expression in the lungs of rats, resulting in the overexpression of multiple genes and proteins. In the present study, we evaluated by microarray the expression of 484 microRNAs in the lungs of either ECS-free or ECS-exposed rats treated with the orally administered chemopreventive agents N-acetylcysteine, oltipraz, indole-3-carbinol, 5,6-benzoflavone, and phenethyl isothiocyanate (as single agents or in combinations). This is the first study of microRNA modulation by chemopreventive agents in nonmalignant tissues. Scatterplot, hierarchical cluster, and principal component analyses of microarray and quantitative PCR data showed that none of the above chemopreventive regimens appreciably affected the baseline microRNA expression, indicating potential safety. On the other hand, all of them attenuated ECS-induced alterations but to a variable extent and with different patterns, indicating potential preventive efficacy. The main ECS-altered functions that were modulated by chemopreventive agents included cell proliferation, apoptosis, differentiation, Ras activation, P53 functions, NF-kappaB pathway, transforming growth factor-related stress response, and angiogenesis. Some microRNAs known to be polymorphic in humans were downregulated by ECS and were protected by chemopreventive agents. This study provides proof-of-concept and validation of technology that we are further refining to screen and prioritize potential agents for continued development and to help elucidate their biological effects and mechanisms. Therefore, microRNA analysis may provide a new tool for predicting at early carcinogenesis stages both the potential safety and efficacy of cancer chemopreventive agents.

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    • "In the lungs of mice exposed to environmental cigarette smoke microRNA expression has been altered which could be counteracted by PEITC treatment. However, some side effects of PEITC, including dysregulation of hepatic microRNAs, have been observed which should be investigated in more detail [100, 101]. Furthermore, the brassica derived phytochemical I3C has been shown to reverse vinyl-carbamate induced de-regulation of microRNAs and the I3C dimer DIM increased miR-146a expression which in turn resulted in a decrease of cell invasion [102, 103]. "
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    ABSTRACT: A high intake of brassica vegetables may be associated with a decreased chronic disease risk. Health promoting effects of Brassicaceae have been partly attributed to glucosinolates and in particular to their hydrolyzation products including isothiocyanates. In vitro and in vivo studies suggest a chemopreventive activity of isothiocyanates through the redox-sensitive transcription factor Nrf2. Furthermore, studies in cultured cells, in laboratory rodents, and also in humans support an anti-inflammatory effect of brassica-derived phytochemicals. However, the underlying mechanisms of how these compounds mediate their health promoting effects are yet not fully understood. Recent findings suggest that brassica-derived compounds are regulators of epigenetic mechanisms. It has been shown that isothiocyanates may inhibit histone deacetylase transferases and DNA-methyltransferases in cultured cells. Only a few papers have dealt with the effect of brassica-derived compounds on epigenetic mechanisms in laboratory animals, whereas data in humans are currently lacking. The present review aims to summarize the current knowledge regarding the biological activities of brassica-derived phytochemicals regarding chemopreventive, anti-inflammatory, and epigenetic pathways.
    Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity 12/2013; 2013(9):964539. DOI:10.1155/2013/964539 · 3.36 Impact Factor
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    • "Indole-3-carbinole could prevent H 2 O 2 -induced inhibition of GJIC in WB-F344 cells by inhibition of Akt phosphorylation that could also prevent phosphorylation of Cx43. Most significantly, several chemopreventive agents, including indole-3-carbinol, were shown to attenuating environmental cigarette smoke-induced lesions in rat lungs (Izzotti et al. 2010). "
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    ABSTRACT: Dietary phytochemicals offer protection from oxidative damages and lower the risks of chronic diseases, by complementary and overlapping action mechanisms. These include antioxidant activity, regulation of gene expression and cell cycle, stimulation of the immune and hormonal systems and modulation of cell–cell communication. Gap-junction intercellular communication (GJIC) plays an important role in maintaining tissue homeostasis by allowing the intercellular exchange of ions and regulatory molecules associated with cell proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis, and by contributing to intracellular signaling. This mechanism is strictly regulated and abnormal GJIC can result in several pathological conditions. GJIC is deregulated in cancer cells and reversible GJIC inhibition is strongly related to the promotion phase of carcinogenesis, likely mediated by reactive oxygen species. Whereas, the reversible inhibition of GJIC is related to the promotion phase of carcinogenicity, enhancers of GJIC are expected to prevent cancer. Several dietary plant compounds demonstrated the ability to control GJIC at the epigenetic levels and to prevent GJIC down-regulation by tumor promoting compounds, thus preventing cancers. In this Commentary, a number of reported studies on several phytochemicals in dietary and medicinal plants, which were able to affect GJIC and their structural proteins, i.e., connexins, in different in vivo and in vitro systems, were examined. The growing evidence, on the involvement of plant-derived molecules in the modulation of GJIC and in understanding of the specific action mechanisms, might offer a new perspective of the protective and/or preventive effects of dietary phytochemicals, in addition to possible chemotherapeutic use.
    Phytochemistry Reviews 05/2012; 11(2-3). DOI:10.1007/s11101-012-9235-7 · 2.41 Impact Factor
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    • "In their two 2010 studies, Izzotti and colleagues exposed either neonatal mice (Izzotti et al., 2010b) or rats (Izzotti et al., 2010a) to ECS but also to chemopreventive agents and measured miRNA expression in the lung and the liver following exposure. Their data suggested that ECS dysregulated miRNA expression in lung and had a variety of mixed effects in liver. "
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    ABSTRACT: Environmental exposures vary by timing, severity, and frequency and may have a number of deleterious effects throughout the life course. The period of in utero development, for example, is one of the most crucial stages of development during which adverse environmental exposures can both alter the growth and development of the fetus as well as lead to aberrant fetal programming, increasing disease risk. During fetal development and beyond, the plethora of exposures, including nutrients, drugs, stress, and trauma, influence health, development, and survival. Recent research in environmental epigenetics has investigated the roles of environmental exposures in influencing epigenetic modes of gene regulation during pregnancy and at various stages of life. Many relatively common environmental exposures, such as cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, and drug use, may have consequences for the expression and function of non-coding RNA (ncRNA), important post-transcriptional regulators of gene expression. A number of ncRNA have been discovered, including microRNA (miRNA), Piwi-interacting RNA (piRNA), and long non-coding RNA (long ncRNA). The best-characterized species of ncRNA are miRNA, the mature forms of which are ∼22 nucleotides in length and capable of post-transcriptionally regulating target mRNA utilizing mechanisms based largely on the degree of complementarity between miRNA and target mRNA. Because miRNA can still negatively regulate gene expression when imperfectly base-paired with a target mRNA, a single miRNA can have a large number of potential mRNA targets and can regulate many different biological processes critical for health and development. The following review analyzes the current literature detailing links between cigarette smoke exposure and aberrant expression and function of ncRNA, assesses how such alterations may have consequences throughout the life course, and proposes future directions for this intriguing field of research.
    Frontiers in Genetics 04/2012; 3:53. DOI:10.3389/fgene.2012.00053
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