EZH2-mediated concordant repression of Wnt antagonists promotes β-catenin-dependent hepatocarcinogenesis.
ABSTRACT Enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2) is the catalytic subunit of the Polycomb-repressive complex 2 (PRC2) that represses gene transcription through histone H3 lysine 27 trimethylation (H3K27me3). Although EZH2 is abundantly present in various cancers, the molecular consequences leading to oncogenesis remain unclear. Here, we show that EZH2 concordantly silences the Wnt pathway antagonists operating at several subcellular compartments, which in turn activate Wnt/β-catenin signaling in hepatocellular carcinomas (HCC). Chromatin immunoprecipitation promoter array and gene expression analyses in HCCs revealed EZH2 occupancy and reduced expression of Wnt antagonists, including the growth-suppressive AXIN2, NKD1, PPP2R2B, PRICKLE1, and SFRP5. Knockdown of EZH2 reduced the promoter occupancy of PRC2, histone deacetylase 1 (HDAC1), and H3K27me3, whereas the activating histone marks were increased, leading to the transcriptional upregulation of the Wnt antagonists. Combinatorial EZH2 and HDAC inhibition dramatically reduced the levels of nuclear β-catenin, T-cell factor-dependent transcriptional activity, and downstream pro-proliferative targets CCND1 and EGFR. Functional analysis revealed that downregulation of EZH2 reduced HCC cell growth, partially through the inhibition of β-catenin signaling. Conversely, ectopic overexpression of EZH2 in immortalized hepatocytes activated Wnt/β-catenin signaling to promote cellular proliferation. In human HCCs, concomitant overexpression of EZH2 and β-catenin was observed in one-third (61/179) of cases and significantly correlated with tumor progression. Our data indicate that EZH2-mediated epigenetic silencing contributes to constitutive activation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling and consequential proliferation of HCC cells, thus representing a novel therapeutic target for this highly malignant tumor.
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ABSTRACT: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the predominant form of adult liver malignancies, is a global health concern. Its dismal prognosis has prompted recent significant advances in the understanding of its etiology and pathogenesis. The deregulation of epigenetic mechanisms, which maintain heritable gene expression changes and chromatin organization, is implicated in the development of multiple cancers, including HCC. This review summarizes the current knowledge of epigenetic mechanisms in the pathogenesis of HCC, with an emphasis on HCC mediated by chronic hepatitis B virus infection. This review also discusses the encouraging outcomes and lessons learnt from epigenetic therapies for hematological and other solid cancers, and highlights the future potential of similar therapies in the treatment of HCC.World Journal of Gastroenterology 01/2014; 20(2):333-345. · 2.55 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Replication-competent latent HIV-1 proviruses that persist in the genomes of a very small subset of resting memory T cells in infected individuals under life-long antiretroviral therapy present a major barrier towards viral eradication. Multiple molecular mechanisms are required to repress the viral trans-activating factor Tat and disrupt the regulatory Tat feedback circuit leading to the establishment of the latent viral reservoir. In particular, latency is due to a combination of transcriptional silencing of proviruses via host epigenetic mechanisms and restrictions on the expression of P-TEFb, an essential co-factor for Tat. Induction of latent proviruses in the presence of antiretroviral therapy is expected to enable clearance of latently infected cells by viral cytopathic effects and host antiviral immune responses. An in-depth comprehensive understanding of the molecular control of HIV-1 transcription should inform the development of optimal combinatorial reactivation strategies that are intended to purge the latent viral reservoir.Virology 02/2014; · 3.35 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Various studies have reported that Huaier possesses anti-tumor effects. However, the mechanisms are not completely elucidated. Here, we found 66 differentially expressed miRNAs in Huaier-treated pulmonary adenocarcinoma A549 cells, with upregulation of miR-26b-5p. Transfection of A549 cells with miR-26b-5p mimic inhibited proliferation and induced apoptosis, while transfection of Huaier-treated A549 cells with a miR-26b-5p inhibitor reversed the effects of Huaier. EZH2 was verified as the target of miR-26b-5p. Thus, our findings indicate that Huaier might suppress proliferation and induce apoptosis in lung cancer cells via a miR-26b-5p-EZH2-mediated approach, which provides a new perspective for understanding the anti-tumor effects of Huaier.FEBS letters 05/2014; · 3.54 Impact Factor