Epithelial progeny of estrogen-exposed breast progenitor cells display a cancer-like methylome.
ABSTRACT Estrogen imprinting is used to describe a phenomenon in which early developmental exposure to endocrine disruptors increases breast cancer risk later in adult life. We propose that long-lived, self-regenerating stem and progenitor cells are more susceptible to the exposure injury than terminally differentiated epithelial cells in the breast duct. Mammospheres, containing enriched breast progenitors, were used as an exposure system to simulate this imprinting phenomenon in vitro. Using MeDIP-chip, a methylation microarray screening method, we found that 0.5% (120 loci) of human CpG islands were hypermethylated in epithelial cells derived from estrogen-exposed progenitors compared with the non-estrogen-exposed control cells. This epigenetic event may lead to progressive silencing of tumor suppressor genes, including RUNX3, in these epithelial cells, which also occurred in primary breast tumors. Furthermore, normal tissue in close proximity to the tumor site also displayed RUNX3 hypermethylation, suggesting that this aberrant event occurs in early breast carcinogenesis. The high prevalence of estrogen-induced epigenetic changes in primary tumors and the surrounding histologically normal tissues provides the first empirical link between estrogen injury of breast stem/progenitor cells and carcinogenesis. This finding also offers a mechanistic explanation as to why a tumor suppressor gene, such as RUNX3, can be heritably silenced by epigenetic mechanisms in breast cancer.
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ABSTRACT: The circadian clock and cell cycle are two global regulatory systems that have pervasive behavioral and physiological effects on eukaryotic cells, and both play a role in cancer development. Recent studies have indicated that the circadian and cell cycle regulator, TIMELESS, may serve as a molecular bridge between these two regulatory systems. To assess the role of TIMELESS in tumorigenesis, we analyzed TIMELESS expression data from publically accessible online databases. A loss-of-function analysis was then performed using TIMELESS-targeting siRNA oligos followed by a whole-genome expression microarray and network analysis. We further tested the effect of TIMELESS down-regulation on cell proliferation rates of a breast and cervical cancer cell line, as suggested by the results of our network analysis. TIMELESS was found to be frequently overexpressed in different tumor types compared to normal controls. Elevated expression of TIMELESS was significantly associated with more advanced tumor stage and poorer breast cancer prognosis. We identified a cancer-relevant network of transcripts with altered expression following TIMELESS knockdown which contained many genes with known functions in cancer development and progression. Furthermore, we observed that TIMELESS knockdown significantly decreased cell proliferation rate. Our results suggest a potential role for TIMELESS in tumorigenesis, which warrants further investigation of TIMELESS expression as a potential biomarker of cancer susceptibility and prognostic outcome.BMC Cancer 10/2013; 13(1):498. · 3.33 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Invasiveness underlies cancer aggressiveness and is a hallmark of malignancy. Most malignant tumors have elevated levels of Tn, an O-GalNAc glycan. Mechanisms underlying Tn up-regulation and its effects remain unclear. Here we show that Golgi-to-endoplasmic reticulum relocation of polypeptide N-acetylgalactosamine-transferases (GalNAc-Ts) drives high Tn levels in cancer cell lines and in 70% of malignant breast tumors. This process stimulates cell adhesion to the extracellular matrix, as well as migration and invasiveness. The GalNAc-Ts lectin domain, mediating high-density glycosylation, is critical for these effects. Interfering with the lectin domain function inhibited carcinoma cell migration in vitro and metastatic potential in mice. We also show that stimulation of cell migration is dependent on Tn-bearing proteins present in lamellipodia of migrating cells. Our findings suggest that relocation of GalNAc-Ts to the endoplasmic reticulum frequently occurs upon cancerous transformation to enhance tumor cell migration and invasiveness through modification of cell surface proteins.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 08/2013; · 9.74 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Chronic physical aggression (CPA) is characterized by frequent use of physical aggression from early childhood to adolescence. Observed in approximately 5% of males, CPA is associated with early childhood adverse environments and long-term negative consequences. Alterations in DNA methylation, a covalent modification of DNA that regulates genome function, have been associated with early childhood adversity. To test the hypothesis that a trajectory of chronic physical aggression during childhood is associated with a distinct DNA methylation profile during adulthood. We analyzed genome-wide promoter DNA methylation profiles of T cells from two groups of adult males assessed annually for frequency of physical aggression between 6 and 15 years of age: a group with CPA and a control group. Methylation profiles covering the promoter regions of 20 000 genes and 400 microRNAs were generated using MeDIP followed by hybridization to microarrays. In total, 448 distinct gene promoters were differentially methylated in CPA. Functionally, many of these genes have previously been shown to play a role in aggression and were enriched in biological pathways affected by behavior. Their locations in the genome tended to form clusters spanning millions of bases in the genome. This study provides evidence of clustered and genome-wide variation in promoter DNA methylation in young adults that associates with a history of chronic physical aggression from 6 to 15 years of age. However, longitudinal studies of methylation during early childhood will be necessary to determine if and how this methylation variation in T cells DNA plays a role in early development of chronic physical aggression.PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(4):e89839. · 3.73 Impact Factor