Silencing of bidirectional promoters by DNA methylation in tumorigenesis.
ABSTRACT CpG island methylation within promoters is known to silence individual genes in cancer. The involvement of this process in silencing gene pairs controlled by bidirectional promoters is unclear. In a screen for hypermethylated CpG islands in cancer, bidirectional promoters constituted 25.2% of all identified promoters, which matches with the genomic representation of bidirectional promoters. From the screen, we selected three bidirectional gene pairs for detailed analysis, WNT9A/CD558500, CTDSPL/BC040563, and KCNK15/BF195580. Levels of mRNA of all three pairs of genes were inversely correlated with the degree of promoter methylation in multiple cancer cell lines. Hypomethylation of these promoters induced by 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine treatment reactivated or enhanced gene expression bidirectionally. The bidirectional nature of the WNT9A/CD558500 promoter was confirmed by luciferase assays, and hypermethylation down-regulated expression of both genes in the pair. Methylation of WNT9A/CD558500 and CTDSPL/BC040563 promoters occurs frequently in primary colon cancers and acute lymphoid leukemias (ALL), respectively, and methylation was correlated with decreased gene expression in ALL patient samples. Our study shows that hypermethylation of bidirectional promoter-associated CpG island silences two genes simultaneously, a property that should be taken into account when studying the functional consequences of hypermethylation in cancer.
Article: Analysis of gene order conservation in eukaryotes identifies transcriptionally and functionally linked genes.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The order of genes in eukaryotes is not entirely random. Studies of gene order conservation are important to understand genome evolution and to reveal mechanisms why certain neighboring genes are more difficult to separate during evolution. Here, genome-wide gene order information was compiled for 64 species, representing a wide variety of eukaryotic phyla. This information is presented in a browser where gene order may be displayed and compared between species. Factors related to non-random gene order in eukaryotes were examined by considering pairs of neighboring genes. The evolutionary conservation of gene pairs was studied with respect to relative transcriptional direction, intergenic distance and functional relationship as inferred by gene ontology. The results show that among gene pairs that are conserved the divergently and co-directionally transcribed genes are much more common than those that are convergently transcribed. Furthermore, highly conserved pairs, in particular those of fungi, are characterized by a short intergenic distance. Finally, gene pairs of metazoa and fungi that are evolutionary conserved and that are divergently transcribed are much more likely to be related by function as compared to poorly conserved gene pairs. One example is the ribosomal protein gene pair L13/S16, which is unusual as it occurs both in fungi and alveolates. A specific functional relationship between these two proteins is also suggested by the fact that they are part of the same operon in both eubacteria and archaea. In conclusion, factors associated with non-random gene order in eukaryotes include relative gene orientation, intergenic distance and functional relationships. It seems likely that certain pairs of genes are conserved because the genes involved have a transcriptional and/or functional relationship. The results also indicate that studies of gene order conservation aid in identifying genes that are related in terms of transcriptional control.PLoS ONE 01/2010; 5(5):e10654. · 4.09 Impact Factor
Article: The epigenetic modifier PRDM5 functions as a tumor suppressor through modulating WNT/β-catenin signaling and is frequently silenced in multiple tumors.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: PRDM (PRDI-BF1 and RIZ domain containing) proteins are zinc finger proteins involved in multiple cellular regulations by acting as epigenetic modifiers. We studied a recently identified PRDM member PRDM5 for its epigenetic abnormality and tumor suppressive functions in multiple tumorigeneses. Semi-quantitative RT-PCR showed that PRDM5 was broadly expressed in human normal tissues, but frequently silenced or downregulated in multiple carcinoma cell lines due to promoter CpG methylation, including 80% (4/5) nasopharyngeal, 44% (8/18) esophageal, 76% (13/17) gastric, 50% (2/4) cervical, and 25% (3/12) hepatocellular carcinoma cell lines, but not in any immortalized normal epithelial cell lines. PRDM5 expression could be restored by 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine demethylation treatment in silenced cell lines. PRDM5 methylation was frequently detected by methylation-specific PCR (MSP) in multiple primary tumors, including 93% (43/46) nasopharyngeal, 58% (25/43) esophageal, 88% (37/42) gastric and 63% (29/46) hepatocellular tumors. PRDM5 was further found a stress-responsive gene, but its response was impaired when the promoter was methylated. Ectopic PRDM5 expression significantly inhibited tumor cell clonogenicity, accompanied by the inhibition of TCF/β-catenin-dependent transcription and downregulation of CDK4, TWIST1 and MDM2 oncogenes, while knocking down of PRDM5 expression lead to increased cell proliferation. ChIP assay showed that PRDM5 bound to its target gene promoters and suppressed their transcription. An inverse correlation between the expression of PRDM5 and activated β-catenin was also observed in cell lines. PRDM5 functions as a tumor suppressor at least partially through antagonizing aberrant WNT/β-catenin signaling and oncogene expression. Frequent epigenetic silencing of PRDM5 is involved in multiple tumorigeneses, which could serve as a tumor biomarker.PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(11):e27346. · 4.09 Impact Factor
Article: Relationship between tumor DNA methylation status and patient characteristics in African-American and European-American women with breast cancer.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Aberrant DNA methylation is critical for development and progression of breast cancer. We investigated the association of CpG island methylation in candidate genes and clinicopathological features in 65 African-American (AA) and European-American (EA) breast cancer patients. Quantitative methylation analysis was carried out on bisulfite modified genomic DNA and sequencing (pyrosequencing) for promoter CpG islands of p16, ESR1, RASSF1A, RARβ2, CDH13, HIN1, SFRP1 genes and the LINE1 repetitive element using matched paired non-cancerous and breast tumor specimen (32 AA and 33 EA women). Five of the genes, all known tumor suppressor genes (RASSF1A, RARβ2, CDH13, HIN1 and SFRP1), were found to be frequently hypermethylated in breast tumor tissues but not in the adjacent non-cancerous tissues. Significant differences in the CDH13 methylation status were observed by comparing DNA methylation between AA and EA patients, with more obvious CDH13 methylation differences between the two patient groups in the ER- disease and among young patients (age<50). In addition, we observed associations between CDH13, SFRP1, and RASSF1A methylation and breast cancer subtypes and between SFRP1 methylation and patient's age. Furthermore, tumors that received neoadjuvant therapy tended to have reduced RASSF1A methylation when compared with chemotherapy naïve tumors. Finally, Kaplan Meier survival analysis showed a significant association between methylation at 3 loci (RASSF1A, RARβ2 and CDH13) and reduced overall disease survival. In conclusion, the DNA methylation status of breast tumors was found to be significantly associated with clinicopathological features and race/ethnicity of the patients.PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(5):e37928. · 4.09 Impact Factor