Dietary Flavones as Dual Inhibitors of DNA Methyltransferases and Histone Methyltransferases.
ABSTRACT: Methylation of DNA and histone proteins are mutually involved in the epigenetic regulation of gene expression mediated by DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs) and histone methyltransferases (HMTs). DNMTs methylate cytosine residues within gene promoters, whereas HMTs catalyze the transfer of methyl groups to lysine and arginine residues of histone proteins, thus causing chromatin condensation and transcriptional repression, which play an important role in the pathogenesis of cancer. The potential reversibility of epigenetic alterations has encouraged the development of dual pharmacologic inhibitors of DNA and histone methylation as anticancer therapeutics. Dietary flavones can affect epigenetic modifications that accumulate over time and have shown anticancer properties, which are undefined. Through DNA binding and in silico protein-ligand docking studies with plant flavones viz. Apigenin, Chrysin and Luteolin, the effect of flavones on DNA and histone methylation was assessed. Spectroscopic analysis of flavones with calf-thymus DNA revealed intercalation as the dominant binding mode, with specific binding to a GC-rich sequence in the DNA duplex. A virtual screening approach using a model of the catalytic site of DNMT and EZH2 demonstrated that plant flavones are tethered at both ends inside the catalytic pocket of DNMT and EZH2 by means of hydrogen bonding. Epigenetic studies performed with flavones exhibited a decrease in DNMT enzyme activity and a reversal of the hypermethylation of cytosine bases in the DNA and prevented cytosine methylation in the GC-rich promoter sequence incubated with the M.SssI enzyme. Furthermore, a marked decrease in HMT activity and a decrease in EZH2 protein expression and trimethylation of H3K27 were noted in histones isolated from cancer cells treated with plant flavones. Our results suggest that dietary flavones can alter DNMT and HMT activities and the methylation of DNA and histone proteins that regulate epigenetic modifications, thus providing a significant anticancer effect by altering epigenetic processes involved in the development of cancer.
Project description:Expression of viral proteins causes important epigenetic changes leading to abnormal cell growth. Whether viral proteins directly target histone methyltransferases (HMTs), a key family enzyme for epigenetic regulation, and modulate their enzymatic activities remains elusive. Here we show that the E6 proteins of both low-risk and high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) interact with three coactivator HMTs, CARM1, PRMT1 and SET7, and downregulate their enzymatic activities in vitro and in HPV-transformed HeLa cells. Furthermore, these three HMTs are required for E6 to attenuate p53 transactivation function. Mechanistically, E6 hampers CARM1- and PRMT1-catalyzed histone methylation at p53-responsive promoters, and suppresses the binding of p53 to chromatinized DNA independently of E6-mediated p53 degradation. p53 pre-methylated at lysine-372 (p53K372 mono-methylation) by SET7 protects p53 from E6-induced degradation. Consistently, E6 downregulates p53K372 mono-methylation and thus reduces p53 protein stability. As a result of the E6-mediated inhibition of HMT activity, expression of p53 downstream genes is suppressed. Together, our results not only reveal a clever approach for the virus to interfere with p53 function, but also demonstrate the modulation of HMT activity as a novel mechanism of epigenetic regulation by a viral oncoprotein.
Project description:BACKGROUND The histone methyltransferase (HMT) family includes histone lysine methyltransferases (HKMTs) and histone/protein arginine methyltransferases (PRMTs). The role of HMT gene variants in prostate cancer remains unknown. Therefore, this study aimed to evaluate HMT gene variants in the pathogenesis and prognosis of human prostate cancer, using in vitro cell studies and bioinformatics analysis. MATERIAL AND METHODS Integrative bioinformatics analysis of the expression of 51 HMT genes in human prostate cancer was based on datasets from the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). Correlation and regression analysis were used to identify critical HMTs in prostate cancer. Kaplan-Meier and the area under the receiver operating characteristics curve (AUROC) were performed to evaluate the function of the HMTs on prognosis. Gene expression and function of 22Rv1 human prostate carcinoma cells were studied. RESULTS The HMT genes identified to have a role in the pathogenesis of prostate cancer included the EZH2, SETD5, PRDM12, NSD1, SETD6, SMYD1, and the WHSC1L1 gene. The EZH2, SETD5, and SMYD1 genes were selected as a prognostic panel, with the SUV420H2 HMT gene. SETD2, NSD1, and ASH1L were identified as critical genes in the development of castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC), similar to mixed-lineage leukemia (MLL) complex family members. Knockdown of the SETD5 gene in 22Rv1 prostate carcinoma cells in vitro inhibited cancer cell growth and migration. CONCLUSIONS HMT gene variants may have a role in the pathogenesis of prostate cancer. Future studies may determine the role of HMT genes as prognostic biomarkers in patients with prostate cancer.
Project description:Methylation of lysine residues, catalyzed by histone methyltransferase (HMT) enzymes, is one of many modifications of core histone proteins that regulate transcription and chromatin structure. G9a is the predominant HMT in mammalian euchromatin and recent data suggest that it is required to perpetuate a malignant phenotype in cancer cells and is implicated in metastasis, supporting this HMT as a therapeutic target for cancer and other diseases associated with epigenetic regulation. Of the methods currently used to measure methyltransferase activity, many involve a separation step or utilize coupling enzymes complicating implementation and data interpretation. Here we describe a homogeneous assay to measure G9a HMT activity using the chemiluminescence-based AlphaScreen immunoassay technology. Methylation of biotinylated-histone peptide is measured through specific antibody-based detection, in conjunction with streptavidin-coated donor and secondary antibody-coated acceptor beads. The method is particularly well suited for detection of inhibitors acting by the desired histone peptide competitive mechanism and is applicable to testing other HMTs, demonstrated here with the G9a homolog EHMT1, also known as GLP.
Project description:Histone methyltransferases (HMTs) are present in heterogeneous cell populations within the adult brain including neurogenic niches. Yet the question remains whether loss of HMTs and the resulting changes in histone methylation alter cell fate in a region-specific manner. We utilized stereotaxic injection of Cre recombinant protein into the adult neurogenic niches, the subventricular zone (SVZ) adjacent to the lateral ventricle and the subgranular zone (SGZ) of the dentate gyrus. We confirmed that Cre protein was enzymatically active in vivo and recombination events were restricted to the vicinity of injection areas. In this study, we focus on using Cre mediated recombination in mice harboring floxed HMT: enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2) or suppressor of variegation homolog (Suv4-20h). Injectable Cre protein successfully knocked out either EZH2 or Suv4-20h, allowing assessment of long-term effects in a region-specific fashion. We performed meso-scale imaging and flow cytometry for phenotype analysis and unbiased quantification. We demonstrated that regional loss of EZH2 affects the differentiation paradigm of neural stem progenitor cells as well as the maintenance of stem cell population. We further demonstrated that regional loss of Suv4-20h influences the cell cycle but does not affect stem cell differentiation patterns. Therefore, Cre protein mediated knock-out a given HMT unravel their distinguishable and important roles in adult neurogenic niches. This Cre protein-based approach offers tightly-controlled knockouts in multiple cell types simultaneously for studying diverse regulatory mechanisms and is optimal for region-specific manipulation within complex, heterogeneous brain architectures.
Project description:Nuclear receptors control the function of cells by regulating transcription from specific gene networks. The establishment and maintenance of epigenetic gene marks is fundamental to the regulation of gene transcription and the control of cell function. RIP140 is a corepressor for nuclear receptors that suppresses transcription from a broad programme of metabolic genes and thereby controls energy homoeostasis in vivo. Here we show by analysis of Ucp1, a gene which is typically expressed in brown but not white adipocytes, that RIP140 is essential for both DNA and histone methylation to maintain gene repression. RIP140 expression promotes the assembly of DNA and histone methyltransferases (HMTs) on the Ucp1 enhancer and leads to methylation of specific CpG residues and histones as judged by bisulphite genomic sequencing and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays. Our results suggest that RIP140 serves as a scaffold for both DNA and HMT activities to inhibit gene transcription by two key epigenetic repression systems.
Project description:As a leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide, colorectal cancer (CRC) results from accumulation of both genetic and epigenetic alterations. Disruption of epigenetic regulation in CRC, particularly aberrant histone methylation mediated by histone methyltransferases (HMTs) and demethylases (HDMs), have drawn increasing interest in recent years. In this paper, we aim to review the roles of histone methylation and associated enzymes in the pathogenesis of CRC, and the development of small-molecule modulators to regulate histone methylation for treating CRC. Multiple levels of evidence suggest that aberrant histone methylations play important roles in CRC. More than 20 histone-methylation enzymes are found to be clinically relevant to CRC, including 17 oncoproteins and 8 tumor suppressors. Inhibitors of EZH2 and DOT1L have demonstrated promising therapeutic effects in preclinical CRC treatment. Potent and selective chemical probes of histone-methylation enzymes are required for validation of their functional roles in carcinogenesis and clinical translations as CRC therapies. With EZH2 inhibitor EPZ-6438 entering into phase I/II trials for advanced solid tumors, histone methylation is emerging as a promising target for CRC.
Project description:Histone lysine methyltransferases (HMT) comprise a subclass of epigenetic regulators; dysregulation of these enzymes affects gene expression, which may lead to tumorigenesis. Here, we performed an integrated analysis of 50 HMTs in bladder cancer and found intrinsic links between copy number alterations, mutations, gene expression levels, and clinical outcomes. Through integrative analysis, we identified six HMT genes (PRDM9,ASH1L,SETD3,SETD5,WHSC1L1, and KMT2D) that may play a key role in the development and progression of bladder cancer. Of these six HMTs, histone lysine N-methyltransferase 2D (KMT2D) exhibited the highest mutation rate in bladder cancer. Our comparison of the mRNA and miRNA expression profiles of mutated and wild-type KMT2D suggested that two signaling pathways (FOX1-miR-1224-5p-DLK1 and HIF/GATA5-miR-133a-3p-DRD5) may mediate the tumor suppressive effect of the KMT2D mutation. In summary, our findings indicate that mutations in HMT genes, especially KMT2D mutation, may play a role in the development of bladder cancer.
Project description:PTIP, a protein with tandem BRCT domains, has been implicated in DNA damage response. However, its normal cellular functions remain unclear. Here we show that while ectopically expressed PTIP is capable of interacting with DNA damage response proteins including 53BP1, endogenous PTIP, and a novel protein PA1 are both components of a Set1-like histone methyltransferase (HMT) complex that also contains ASH2L, RBBP5, WDR5, hDPY-30, NCOA6, SET domain-containing HMTs MLL3 and MLL4, and substoichiometric amount of JmjC domain-containing putative histone demethylase UTX. PTIP complex carries robust HMT activity and specifically methylates lysine 4 (K4) on histone H3. Furthermore, PA1 binds PTIP directly and requires PTIP for interaction with the rest of the complex. Moreover, we show that hDPY-30 binds ASH2L directly. The evolutionarily conserved hDPY-30, ASH2L, RBBP5, and WDR5 likely constitute a subcomplex that is shared by all human Set1-like HMT complexes. In contrast, PTIP, PA1, and UTX specifically associate with the PTIP complex. Thus, in cells without DNA damage agent treatment, the endogenous PTIP associates with a Set1-like HMT complex of unique subunit composition. As histone H3 K4 methylation associates with active genes, our study suggests a potential role of PTIP in the regulation of gene expression.
Project description:Epigenetic regulation of gene expression is well known mechanism that regulates cellular senescence of cancer cells. Here we show that inhibition of DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs) with 5-azacytidine (5-AzaC) or with specific small interfering RNA (siRNA) against DNMT1 and 3b induced the cellular senescence of human umbilical cord blood-derived multipotent stem cells (hUCB-MSCs) and increased p16(INK4A) and p21(CIP1/WAF1) expression. DNMT inhibition changed histone marks into the active forms and decreased the methylation of CpG islands in the p16(INK4A) and p21(CIP1/WAF1) promoter regions. Enrichment of EZH2, the key factor that methylates histone H3 lysine 9 and 27 residues, was decreased on the p16(INK4A) and p21(CIP1/WAF1) promoter regions. We found that DNMT inhibition decreased expression levels of Polycomb-group (PcG) proteins and increased expression of microRNAs (miRNAs), which target PcG proteins. Decreased CpG island methylation and increased levels of active histone marks at genomic regions encoding miRNAs were observed after 5-AzaC treatment. Taken together, DNMTs have a critical role in regulating the cellular senescence of hUCB-MSCs through controlling not only the DNA methylation status but also active/inactive histone marks at genomic regions of PcG-targeting miRNAs and p16(INK4A) and p21(CIP1/WAF1) promoter regions.
Project description:Cancer is characterized by aberrant patterns of expression of multiple genes. These major shifts in gene expression are believed to be due to not only genetic but also epigenetic changes. The epigenetic changes are communicated through chemical modifications, including histone modifications. However, it is unclear whether the binding of histone-modifying proteins to genomic regions and the placing of histone modifications efficiently discriminates corresponding genes from the rest of the genes in the human genome. We performed gene expression analysis of histone demethylases (HDMs) and histone methyltransferases (HMTs), their target genes and genes with relevant histone modifications in normal and tumor tissues. Surprisingly, this analysis revealed the existence of correlations in the expression levels of different HDMs and HMTs. The observed HDM/HMT gene expression signature was specific to particular normal and cancer cell types and highly correlated with target gene expression and the expression of genes with histone modifications. Notably, we observed that trimethylation at lysine 4 and lysine 27 separated preferentially expressed and underexpressed genes, which was strikingly different in cancer cells compared to normal cells. We conclude that changes in coordinated regulation of enzymes executing histone modifications may underlie global epigenetic changes occurring in cancer.