[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neurospora crassa utilizes DNA methylation to inhibit transcription of heterochromatin. DNA methylation is controlled by the histone methyltransferase DIM-5, which trimethylates histone H3 lysine 9, leading to recruitment of the DNA methyltransferase DIM-2. Previous work demonstrated that the histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor trichostatin A caused a reduction in DNA methylation, suggesting involvement of histone deacetylation in DNA methylation. We therefore created mutants of each of the four classical N. crassa HDAC genes and tested their effect on histone acetylation levels and DNA methylation. Global increases in H3 and H4 acetylation levels were observed in both the hda-3 and the hda-4 mutants. Mutation of two of the genes, hda-1 and hda-3, caused partial loss of DNA methylation. The site-specific loss of DNA methylation in hda-1 correlated with loss of H3 lysine 9 trimethylation and increased H3 acetylation. In addition, an increase in H2B acetylation was observed by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis of histones of the hda-1 mutant. We found a similar increase in the Schizosaccharomyces pombe Clr3 mutant, suggesting that this HDAC has a previously unrecognized substrate and raising the possibility that the acetylation state of H2B may play a role in the regulation of DNA methylation and heterochromatin formation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Increased oxidative stress and concordant DNA methylation changes are found during aging and in many malignant processes including prostate cancer. Increased oxidative stress has been shown to inhibit DNA methyltransferase in in vitro assays, but whether this occurs in vivo is unknown. To generate increased oxidative stress we utilized mice containing mutations in the CuZnSOD (Sod1) gene, a major superoxide dismutase in mammals. Increased 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine, an adduct indicating oxidative damage, was found in liver and prostate tissues at 2 and 12 mo Sod1 (+/-) mice compared to controls. Prostate tissues from Sod1 (+/-) mice demonstrated decreased weight at 2 mo compared to controls, but this difference was not significant at 12 mo. Histologic changes were not seen. Global DNA methylation was significantly decreased at 2 mo in the prostate in Sod1 (+/-) mice. 11p15 containing the epigenetically modulated insulin-like growth factor 2 (Igf2) and H19 genes, both which display oncogenic functions, may be particularly sensitive to oxidative stress. CpG island methylation at an intergenic CTCF binding site and the Igf2 P3 promoter was decreased in Sod1 mutants compared to controls. This is the first in vivo study to show that a deficiency of Sod1 leads to a decrease in DNA methylation. These studies indicate that increased oxidative stress, a factor implicated in neoplasia, can induce DNA hypomethylation in prostate tissues.
Epigenetics: official journal of the DNA Methylation Society 07/2010; 5(5):402-9. · 5.11 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Loss of imprinting (LOI) is an epigenetic alteration involving loss of parental origin-specific expression at normally imprinted genes. A LOI for Igf2, a paracrine growth factor, is important in cancer progression. Epigenetic modifications may be altered by environmental factors. However, is not known whether changes in imprinting occur with aging in prostate and other tissues susceptible to cancer development. We found a LOI for Igf2 occurs specifically in the mouse prostate associated with increased Igf2 expression during aging. In older animals, expression of the chromatin insulator protein CTCF and its binding to the Igf2-H19 imprint control region was reduced. Forced down-regulation of CTCF leads to Igf2 LOI. We further show that Igf2 LOI occurs with aging in histologically normal human prostate tissues and that this epigenetic alteration was more extensive in men with associated cancer. This finding may contribute to a postulated field of cancer susceptibility that occurs with aging. Moreover, Igf2 LOI may serve as a marker for the presence of prostate cancer.
Cancer Research 09/2008; 68(16):6797-802. · 9.28 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Folate and methyl-group deficiency has been linked to prostate cancer susceptibility, yet the mechanisms underlying these observations are incompletely understood. The region of the genome containing the imprinted genes insulin-like growth factor 2 (Igf2) and H19, both of which display oncogenic functions, may be particularly sensitive to environmental influences.
To determine whether a methyl-deficient diet impacts epigenetic controls at the Igf2-H19 locus, we placed C57BL/6 mice containing a polymorphism at the imprinted Igf2-H19 locus on a choline and methionine deficient (CMD) diet. We interrogated this locus for expression and epigenetic changes in prostate tissues.
A significant increase in both Igf2 and H19 expression was found in CMD prostate tissues compared to controls. These expression changes were reversible with shorter exposure to the CMD diet. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) revealed significant decreases in repressive histone modifications (dimethyl-H3K9) within the H19 promoter, as well as Igf2 P2 and P3 promoters. DNA methylation within these promoters was not altered. No significant change in Igf2 or H19 imprinting was observed.
These findings highlight the plasticity of the epigenome in an epithelial organ vulnerable to neoplastic change. They further suggest that chromatin modifications are more susceptible to methyl-deficient diets than DNA methylation at this locus.
The Prostate 09/2008; 68(11):1187-95. · 3.57 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Prostate cancer research has focused significant attention on the mutation, deletion or amplification of the DNA base sequence that encodes critical growth or suppressor genes. However, these changes have left significant gaps in our understanding of the development and progression of disease. It has become clear that epigenetic changes or modifications that influence phenotype without altering the genotype present a new and entirely different mechanism for gene regulation. Several interrelated epigenetic modifications that are altered in abnormal growth states are DNA methylation changes, histone modifications and genomic imprinting. We discuss the status of epigenetic alterations in prostate cancer and benign prostatic hyperplasia progression. In addition, the rationale and status of ongoing clinical trials altering epigenetic processes in urological diseases are reviewed.
An online search of current and past peer reviewed literature on DNA methylation, histone acetylation and methylation, imprinting and epigenetics in prostate cancer and benign prostatic hyperplasia was performed. Relevant articles and reviews were examined and a synopsis of reproducible data was generated with the goal of informing the practicing urologist of these advances and their implications.
Only 20 years ago the first study was published demonstrating global changes in DNA methylation patterns in tumors. Accumulating data have now identified specific genes that are commonly hypermethylated and inactivated during prostate cancer progression, including GSTpi, APC, MDR1, GPX3 and 14-3-3sigma. Altered histone modifications, including acetylation and methylation, were also recently described that may modify gene function, including androgen receptor function. These epigenetic changes are now being used to assist in prostate cancer diagnosis and cancer outcome prediction. Epigenetic changes appear to have a role in benign prostatic hyperplasia development as well as in the susceptibility of the prostate to developing cancer. Treatments involving 5-aza-deoxycytosine and other, more selective DNA methyltransferase inhibitors remove methyl residues from silenced genes, generating re-expression, and are currently being used in therapeutic trials. Histone deacetylase inhibitors have shown promise, not only by directly reactivating silenced genes, but also as regulators of apoptosis and sensitizers to radiation therapy.
Evolving data support a significant role for epigenetic processes in the development of prostate cancer and benign prostatic hyperplasia. Epigenetic changes can predict tumor behavior and often distinguish between genetically identical tumors. Targeted drugs that alter epigenetic modifications hold promise as a tool for curing and preventing these diseases.
The Journal of Urology 04/2007; 177(3):822-31. · 3.75 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Blue light-induced transcription in Neurospora crassa is regulated by the White Collar-1 (WC-1) photoreceptor. We report that residue K14 of histone H3 associated with the light-inducible albino-3 (al-3) promoter becomes transiently acetylated after photoinduction. This acetylation depends on WC-1. The relevance of this chromatin modification was directly evaluated in vivo by construction of a Neurospora strain with a mutated histone H3 gene (hH3(K14Q)). This strain phenocopies a wc-1 blind mutant and shows a strong reduction of light-induced transcriptional activation of both al-3 and vivid (vvd), another light-inducible gene. We mutated Neurospora GCN Five (ngf-1), which encodes a homologue of the yeast HAT Gcn5p, to generate a strain impaired in H3 K14 acetylation and found that it was defective in photoinduction. Together, our findings reveal a direct link between histone modification and light signaling in Neurospora and contribute to the developing understanding of the molecular mechanisms operating in light-inducible gene activation.
Molecular Biology of the Cell 11/2006; 17(10):4576-83. · 4.55 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Modifications of both DNA and chromatin can affect gene expression and lead to gene silencing. Evidence of links between DNA methylation and histone hypoacetylation is accumulating. Several proteins that specifically bind to methylated DNA are associated with complexes that include histone deacetylases (HDACs). In addition, DNA methyltransferases of mammals appear to interact with HDACs. Experiments with animal cells have shown that HDACs are responsible for part of the repressive effect of DNA methylation. Evidence was found in Neurospora that protein acetylation can in some cases affect DNA methylation. The available data suggest that the roles of DNA methylation and histone hypoacetylation, and their relationship with each other, can vary, even within an organism. Some open questions in this emerging field that should be answered in the near future are discussed.
Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences CMLS 06/2001; 58(5-6):721-7. · 5.86 Impact Factor