Regulation of the FABP7 gene by PAX6 in malignant glioma cells

Department of Oncology, University of Alberta, Cross Cancer Institute, 11560 University Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 1Z2, Canada.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications (Impact Factor: 2.3). 05/2012; 422(3):482-7. DOI: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2012.05.019
Source: PubMed


Brain fatty acid-binding protein (FABP7) and PAX6 are both expressed in radial glial cells and have been implicated in neurogenesis and glial cell differentiation. FABP7 and PAX6 have also been postulated to play a role in malignant glioma cell growth and invasion. Here, we address the role of PAX6 in regulating FABP7 gene expression in malignant glioma cells. We report that PAX6 and FABP7 RNA are generally co-expressed in malignant glioma cell lines, tumors and tumor neurospheres. Using the CAT reporter gene assay, we show that FABP7 promoter activity is upregulated by PAX6. Sequential deletion analysis of the FABP7 promoter, combined with gel shift and supershift assays demonstrate the presence of a PAX6 responsive region located upstream of the FABP7 gene, at -862 to -1033 bp. Inclusion of sequences between -1.2 and -1.8 kb reduced CAT activity, suggesting the presence of a repressor element within this region. While PAX6 overexpression did not induce endogenous FABP7 expression in FABP7-negative cells, knock-down of PAX6 in PAX6-positive malignant glioma cells resulted in reduced FABP7 levels. These data provide the first evidence of direct transactivation of the FABP7 proximal promoter by PAX6 and suggest a synergistic mechanism for PAX6 and other co-factor(s) in regulating FABP7 expression in malignant glioma.

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    • "The phosphorylation state of NFI determines its regulatory activity, with FABP7 transcription upregulated by hypophosphorylated NFI (Bisgrove et al., 2000; Brun et al., 2013). Other transcription factors implicated in the regulation of FABP7 include Notch (Anthony et al., 2005), PAX6 (Arai et al., 2005; Numayama-Tsuruta et al., 2010; Liu et al., 2012b), and POU-domain protein PBX-1 (Josephson et al., 1998). "

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    ABSTRACT: Malignant gliomas are the most common adult brain cancers. In spite of aggressive treatment, recurrence occurs in the great majority of patients and is invariably fatal. Polyunsaturated fatty acids are abundant in brain, particularly ω-6 arachidonic acid (AA) and ω-3 docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Although the levels of ω-6 and ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids are tightly regulated in brain, the ω-6:ω-3 ratio is dramatically increased in malignant glioma, suggesting deregulation of fundamental lipid homeostasis in brain tumor tissue. The migratory properties of malignant glioma cells can be modified by altering the ratio of AA:DHA in growth medium, with increased migration observed in AA-rich medium. This fatty acid-dependent effect on cell migration is dependent on expression of the brain fatty acid binding protein (FABP7) previously shown to bind DHA and AA. Increased levels of enzymes involved in eicosanoid production in FABP7-positive malignant glioma cells suggest that FABP7 is an important modulator of AA metabolism. We provide evidence that increased production of eicosanoids in FABP7-positive malignant glioma growing in an AA-rich environment contributes to tumor infiltration in the brain. We discuss pathways and molecules that may underlie FABP7/AA-mediated promotion of cell migration and FABP7/DHA-mediated inhibition of cell migration in malignant glioma.
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