Excessive activity of apolipoprotein B mRNA editing enzyme catalytic polypeptide 2 (APOBEC2) contributes to liver and lung tumorigenesis

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Abstract

Apolipoprotein B mRNA editing enzyme catalytic polypeptide 2 (APOBEC2) was originally identified as a member of the cytidine deaminase family with putative nucleotide editing activity. To clarify the physiologic and pathologic roles, and the target nucleotide of APOBEC2, we established an APOBEC2 transgenic mouse model and investigated whether APOBEC2 expression causes nucleotide alterations in host DNA or RNA sequences. Sequence analyses revealed that constitutive expression of APOBEC2 in the liver resulted in significantly high frequencies of nucleotide alterations in the transcripts of eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4 gamma 2 (Eif4g2) and phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) genes. Hepatocellular carcinoma developed in 2 of 20 APOBEC2 transgenic mice at 72 weeks of age. In addition, constitutive APOBEC2 expression caused lung tumors in 7 of 20 transgenic mice analyzed. Together with the fact that the proinflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor-α induces ectopic expression of APOBEC2 in hepatocytes, our findings indicate that aberrant APOBEC2 expression causes nucleotide alterations in the transcripts of the specific target gene and could be involved in the development of human hepatocellular carcinoma through hepatic inflammation.

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