The transcriptional regulation of the human reduced folate carrier (hRFC), involved in cellular uptake of methotrexate and reduced folates, was studied in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). The hRFC gene is regulated by six noncoding exons (A1/A2 and A to E) and multiple promoters. In ALL, hRFC-A1/A2 and hRFC-B are the major transcript forms.
RNAs from 18 ALL lymphoblast specimens and 10 nonobese diabetic/severe combined immunodeficient ALL xenografts were assayed by real-time reverse transcription-PCR for hRFC-A1/A2 and hRFC-B transcripts and for transcripts encoding USF1, GATA1, Sp1, and Ikaros transcription factors. For the xenografts, gel shift and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays assessed transcription factor binding to the hRFC-A1/A2 and hRFC-B promoters. CpG methylation density within a 334-bp region, including the core hRFC-B promoter, was established by bisulfite sequencing. hRFC-A1/A2 and hRFC-B promoter polymorphisms were assayed by DNA sequencing.
For the 28 ALLs, hRFC-A1/A2 and hRFC-B transcripts spanned a 546-fold range. By chromatin immunoprecipitation and gel shift assays, binding was confirmed for USF1 and GATA1 for hRFC-A1/A2, and for Sp1, USF1, and Ikaros for hRFC-B. hRFC transcript levels correlated with those for GATA1 and USF1 for hRFC-A1/A2 and with Sp1 and USF1 transcripts for hRFC-B. CpG methylation in ALL did not correlate with hRFC-B transcripts. In 40 ALL and 17 non-ALL specimens, 2 cosegregating high-frequency polymorphisms (T-1309/C-1217 and C-1309/T-1217; allelic frequencies of 36% and 64%, respectively) were detected in the A1/A2 promoter; none were detected in promoter B. The hRFC-A1/A2 polymorphisms only slightly affected promoter activity.
Our results show a complex regulation of hRFC in ALL involving the hRFC-A1/A2 and hRFC-B promoters and noncoding exons. Although Sp1, USF1, and GATA1 levels are critical determinants of hRFC transcription in ALL, neither DNA methylation nor promoter polymorphisms contribute to differences in hRFC expression.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Acute megakaryocytic leukemia (AMkL) in Down syndrome (DS) children is uniformly associated with somatic GATA1 mutations, which result in the synthesis of a shorter protein (GATA1s) with altered transactivation activity compared to the wild-type GATA1. It is not fully established whether leukemogenesis and therapeutic responses in DS AMkL patients are due to loss of the wild-type GATA1 or due to a unique function of GATA1s.
Stable clones of CMK cells with decreased GATA1s or Bcl-2 levels were generated by using GATA1- or BCL-2-specific lentivirus shRNAs. In vitro ara-C, daunorubicin, and VP-16 cytotoxicities of the shRNA stable clones were determined by using the Cell Titer-blue reagent. Apoptosis and cell cycle distribution were determined by flow cytometry analysis. Changes in gene transcript levels were determined by gene expression microarray and/or real-time RT-PCR. Changes in protein levels were measured by Western blotting. In vivo binding of GATA1s to IL1A promoter was determined by chromatin immunoprecipitation assays.
Lentivirus shRNA knockdown of the GATA1 gene in the DS AMkL cell line, CMK (harbors a mutated GATA1 gene and only expresses GATA1s), resulting in lower GATA1s protein levels, promoted cell differentiation towards the megakaryocytic lineage and repressed cell proliferation. Increased basal apoptosis and sensitivities to ara-C, daunorubicin, and VP-16 accompanied by down-regulated Bcl-2 were also detected in the CMK GATA1 shRNA knockdown clones. Essentially the same results were obtained when Bcl-2 was knocked down with lentivirus shRNA in CMK cells. Besides Bcl-2, down-regulation of GATA1s also resulted in altered expression of genes (e.g., IL1A, PF4, and TUBB1) related to cell death, proliferation, and differentiation.
Our results suggest that GATA1s may facilitate leukemogenesis and potentially impact therapeutic responses in DS AMkL by promoting proliferation and survival, and by repressing megakaryocytic lineage differentiation, potentially by regulating expression of Bcl-2 protein and other relevant genes.
PLoS ONE 11/2011; 6(11):e27486. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0027486 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Down syndrome (DS) is the most common genetic cause of significant intellectual disability in the human population, occurring in roughly 1 in 700 live births. The ultimate cause of DS is trisomy of all or part of the set of genes located on chromosome 21. How this trisomy leads to the phenotype of DS is unclear. The completion of the DNA sequencing and annotation of the long arm of chromosome 21 was a critical step towards understanding the genetics of the phenotype. However, annotation of the chromosome continues and the functions of many genes on chromosome 21 remain uncertain. Recent findings about the structure of the human genome and of chromosome 21, in particular, and studies on mechanisms of gene regulation indicate that various genetic mechanisms may be contributors to the phenotype of DS and to the variability of the phenotype. These include variability of gene expression, the activity of transcription factors both encoded on chromosome 21 and encoded elsewhere in the genome, copy number polymorphisms, the function of conserved nongenic regions, microRNA activities, RNA editing, and perhaps DNA methylation. In this manuscript, we describe current knowledge about these genetic complexities and their likely importance in the context of DS. We identify gaps in current knowledge and suggest priorities to fill these gaps.
Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Research Reviews 01/2007; 13(3):199-206. DOI:10.1002/mrdd.20162 · 3.80 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The value of measuring expression of individual genes relevant to particular chemotherapy drugs and encoding metabolizing enzymes, transporters, or drug targets, as predictors of treatment response and outcome in pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), remains controversial.
In a case-control population of 91 pediatric B-precursor ALL patients [42 relapsed within 4 years (cases) and 49 did not relapse (controls)], we used real-time reverse transcription-PCR to measure transcript levels for 20 genes relevant to chemotherapy with the five major drugs used to treat this disease, including asparaginase, 6-mercaptopurine, methotrexate, prednisone, and vincristine. Results were confirmed in a separate case-control population of 26 patients.
Only the human reduced folate carrier (hRFC) gene, encoding the major membrane transporter for methotrexate, showed a significant difference in median transcript levels between the 42 cases and the 49 controls (P = 0.0278, Wilcoxon test). Using cutoffs for hRFC expression levels (based on Akaike information criterion), there were statistically significant associations between hRFC transcripts and treatment relapse (P = 0.0052). hRFC-B, corresponding to the major hRFC transcript form in ALL, was also measured by real-time reverse transcription-PCR and was prognostic. The association between treatment relapse and hRFC levels was validated in a separate study population of 14 cases and 12 controls from an earlier case-control study (P = 0.0221).
Our results strongly suggest the prognostic importance of hRFC gene expression to treatment outcomes in pediatric ALL. They validate our previous studies of hRFC transcriptional regulation in pediatric ALL and provide further compelling evidence for the critical role for methotrexate in the successful treatment of this disease.
Clinical Cancer Research 02/2007; 13(2 Pt 1):451-7. DOI:10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-06-2145 · 8.72 Impact Factor
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