Activation of silenced tumor suppressor genes in prostate cancer cells by a novel energy restriction-mimetic agent

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Abstract

BACKGROUND.

Targeting tumor metabolism by energy restriction-mimetic agents (ERMAs) has emerged as a strategy for cancer therapy/prevention. Evidence suggests a mechanistic link between ERMA-mediated antitumor effects and epigenetic gene regulation.

METHODS.

Microarray analysis showed that a novel thiazolidinedione-derived ERMA, CG-12, and glucose deprivation could suppress DNA methyltransferase (DNMT)1 expression and reactivate DNA methylation-silenced tumor suppressor genes in LNCaP prostate cancer cells. Thus, we investigated the effects of a potent CG-12 derivative, CG-5, vis-à-vis 2-deoxyglucose, glucose deprivation and/or 5-aza-deoxycytidine, on DNMT isoform expression (Western blotting, RT-PCR), DNMT1 transcriptional activation (luciferase reporter assay), and expression of genes frequently hypermethylated in prostate cancer (quantitative real-time PCR). Promoter methylation was assessed by pyrosequencing analysis. SiRNA-mediated knockdown and ectopic expression of DNMT1 were used to validate DNMT1 as a target of CG-5.

RESULTS.

CG-5 and glucose deprivation upregulated the expression of DNA methylation-silenced tumor suppressor genes, including GADD45a, GADD45b, IGFBP3, LAMB3, BASP1, GPX3, and GSTP1, but also downregulated methylated tumor/invasion-promoting genes, including CD44, S100A4, and TACSTD2. In contrast, 5-aza-deoxycytidine induced global reactivation of these genes. CG-5 mediated these epigenetic effects by transcriptional repression of DNMT1, which was associated with reduced expression of Sp1 and E2F1. SiRNA-mediated knockdown and ectopic expression of DNMT1 corroborated DNMT1's role in the modulation of gene expression by CG-5. Pyrosequencing revealed differential effects of CG-5 versus 5-aza-deoxycytidine on promoter methylation in these genes.

CONCLUSIONS.

These findings reveal a previously uncharacterized epigenetic effect of ERMAs on DNA methylation-silenced tumor suppressor genes, which may foster novel strategies for prostate cancer therapy. Prostate 72:1767–1778, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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