Sarcosine is a prostate epigenetic modifier that elicits aberrant methylation patterns through the SAMe-Dnmts axis.
ABSTRACT: DNA hypermethylation is one of the most common epigenetic modifications in prostate cancer (PCa). Several studies have delineated sarcosine as a PCa oncometabolite that increases the migration of malignant prostate cells while decreasing their doubling time. Here, we show that incubation of prostate cells with sarcosine elicited the upregulation of sarcosine N-demethylation enzymes, sarcosine dehydrogenase and pipecolic acid oxidase. This process was accompanied by a considerable increase in the production of the major methyl-donor S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe), together with an elevation of cellular methylation potential. Global DNA methylation analyses revealed increases in methylated CpG islands in distinct prostate cell lines incubated with sarcosine, but not in cells of nonprostate origin. This phenomenon was further associated with marked upregulation of DNA methyltransferases (Dnmts). Epigenetic changes were recapitulated through blunting of Dnmts using the hypomethylating agent 5-azacytidine, which was able to inhibit sarcosine-induced migration of prostate cells. Moreover, spatial mapping revealed concomitant increases in sarcosine, SAMe and Dnmt1 in histologically confirmed malignant prostate tissue, but not in adjacent or nonmalignant tissue, which is in line with the obtained in vitro data. In summary, we show here for the first time that sarcosine acts as an epigenetic modifier of prostate cells and that this may contribute to its oncometabolic role.
Project description:The effects of sarcosine on the processes driving prostate cancer (PCa) development remain still unclear. Herein, we show that a supplementation of metastatic PCa cells (androgen independent PC-3 and androgen dependent LNCaP) with sarcosine stimulates cells proliferation in vitro. Similar stimulatory effects were observed also in PCa murine xenografts, in which sarcosine treatment induced a tumor growth and significantly reduced weight of treated mice (p < 0.05). Determination of sarcosine metabolism-related amino acids and enzymes within tumor mass revealed significantly increased glycine, serine and sarcosine concentrations after treatment accompanied with the increased amount of sarcosine dehydrogenase. In both tumor types, dimethylglycine and glycine-N-methyltransferase were affected slightly, only. To identify the effects of sarcosine treatment on the expression of genes involved in any aspect of cancer development, we further investigated expression profiles of excised tumors using cDNA electrochemical microarray followed by validation using the semi-quantitative PCR. We found 25 differentially expressed genes in PC-3, 32 in LNCaP tumors and 18 overlapping genes. Bioinformatical processing revealed strong sarcosine-related induction of genes involved particularly in a cell cycle progression. Our exploratory study demonstrates that sarcosine stimulates PCa metastatic cells irrespectively of androgen dependence. Overall, the obtained data provides valuable information towards understanding the role of sarcosine in PCa progression and adds another piece of puzzle into a picture of sarcosine oncometabolic potential.
Project description:Metabolomic profiling of prostate cancer (PCa) progression identified markedly elevated levels of sarcosine (N-methyl glycine) in metastatic PCa and modest but significant elevation of the metabolite in PCa urine. Here, we examine the role of key enzymes associated with sarcosine metabolism in PCa progression. Consistent with our earlier report, sarcosine levels were significantly elevated in PCa urine sediments compared to controls, with a modest area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.71. In addition, the expression of sarcosine biosynthetic enzyme, glycine N-methyltransferase (GNMT), was elevated in PCa tissues, while sarcosine dehydrogenase (SARDH) and pipecolic acid oxidase (PIPOX), which metabolize sarcosine, were reduced in prostate tumors. Consistent with this, GNMT promoted the oncogenic potential of prostate cells by facilitating sarcosine production, while SARDH and PIPOX reduced the oncogenic potential of prostate cells by metabolizing sarcosine. Accordingly, addition of sarcosine, but not glycine or alanine, induced invasion and intravasation in an in vivo PCa model. In contrast, GNMT knockdown or SARDH overexpression in PCa xenografts inhibited tumor growth. Taken together, these studies substantiate the role of sarcosine in PCa progression.
Project description:Identification of novel biomarkers and immunotherapy targets for prostate cancer (PCa) is crucial to better diagnosis and therapy. We sought to identify novel PCa tumor-associated antigens (TAA) that are expressed in PCa, absent in nonprostate human tissue, and immunogenic for immune responses restricted by human HLA.Using microarray analysis of normal and cancerous human prostate tissues, we identified 1,063 genes overexpressed in PCa. After validating 195 transcripts in publicly available array data sets, we interrogated expression of these TAAs in normal human tissues to identify genes that are not expressed at detectable levels in normal, nonprostate adult human tissue. We identified 23 PCa TAA candidates. Real-time PCR confirmed that 15 of these genes were overexpressed in PCa (P< 0.05 for each). The most frequently overexpressed gene, single-minded homologue 2 (SIM2), was selected for further evaluation as a potential target for immunotherapy. ELISA assay revealed that a fraction of PCa patients exhibited immune responsiveness to SIM2 as evidenced by the presence of autoantibodies to SIM2 in their sera. We next showed binding of putative HLA-A2.1-restricted SIM2 epitopes to human A2.1, and immunization of transgenic HLA-A2.1 mice showed induction of SIM2-specific CTL responses in vivo.Our findings that SIM2 is selectively expressed in PCa, that human HLA-A2.1-restricted SIM2 epitopes induce specific T cells in vivo, and that anti-SIM2 antibodies are detectable in PCa patients' sera implicate SIM2 as a PCa-associated antigen that is a suitable potential target for PCa immunotherapy.
Project description:Molecular characterizations, including microsatellite instability (MSI) and the CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP) showed strong associations in colorectal carcinoma (CRC) and provided a deeper understanding of the etiology of disease. However, the global relationship between epigenetic alternations and changes in mRNA expression in CRC remains largely undefined, especially regarding the roles of DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs). Here, we conducted a systematic network comparison to explore the global conservation between co-expressed and co-methylated modules. We successfully identified immune-related modules that were regulated by DNMTs and had strong associations with immune-infiltrating neutrophils and dendritic cells in CRC. Moreover, we found that genes in those modules were prognostic for CRC, with 97.1% (168/173) being significantly influenced by DNMTs. Thus, this study resolved an interaction between DNA methylation and mRNA expression through DNMTs. Additionally, we provided evidence that DNMTs control the global hypomethylation of oncogenes, including ALOX5AP and CSF3R that otherwise have high methylation in normal colons. Such genes were also more sensitive to DNMT changes, such as in CRC. Collectively, our analyzes provided a systems biology approach to investigate the association among different molecular phenotypes in diseases.
Project description:One of the major challenges in the development of targeted nanoparticles (NPs) for cancer therapy is to discover targeting ligands that allow for differential binding and uptake by the target cancer cells. Using prostate cancer (PCa) as a model disease, we developed a cell-uptake selection strategy to isolate PCa-specific internalizing 2'-O-methyl RNA aptamers (Apts) for NP incorporation. Twelve cycles of selection and counter-selection were done to obtain a panel of internalizing Apts, which can distinguish PCa cells from nonprostate and normal prostate cells. After Apt characterization, size minimization, and conjugation of the Apts with fluorescently labeled polymeric NPs, the NP-Apt conjugates exhibit PCa specificity and enhancement in cellular uptake when compared to nontargeted NPs lacking the internalizing Apts. Furthermore, when docetaxel, a chemotherapeutic agent used for the treatment of PCa, was encapsulated within the NP-Apt, a significant improvement in cytotoxicity was achieved in targeted PCa cells. Rather than isolating high-affinity Apts as reported in previous selection processes, our selection strategy was designed to enrich cancer cell-specific internalizing Apts. A similar cell-uptake selection strategy may be used to develop specific internalizing ligands for a myriad of other diseases and can potentially facilitate delivering various molecules, including drugs and siRNAs, into target cells.
Project description:The indisputable role of epigenetics in cancer and the fact that epigenetic alterations can be reversed have favoured development of epigenetic drugs. In this study, we design and synthesize potent novel, selective and reversible chemical probes that simultaneously inhibit the G9a and DNMTs methyltransferase activity. In vitro treatment of haematological neoplasia (acute myeloid leukaemia-AML, acute lymphoblastic leukaemia-ALL and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma-DLBCL) with the lead compound CM-272, inhibits cell proliferation and promotes apoptosis, inducing interferon-stimulated genes and immunogenic cell death. CM-272 significantly prolongs survival of AML, ALL and DLBCL xenogeneic models. Our results represent the discovery of first-in-class dual inhibitors of G9a/DNMTs and establish this chemical series as a promising therapeutic tool for unmet needs in haematological tumours.
Project description:Many tumor suppressor genes (TSGs) are silenced through synergistic layers of epigenetic regulation including abnormal DNA hypermethylation of promoter CpG islands, repressive chromatin modifications and enhanced nucleosome deposition over transcription start sites. The protein complexes responsible for silencing of many of such TSGs remain to be identified. Our previous work demonstrated that multiple silenced TSGs in colorectal cancer cells can be partially reactivated by DNA demethylation in cells disrupted for the DNA methyltransferases 1 and 3B (DNMT1 and 3B) or by DNMT inhibitors (DNMTi). Herein, we used proteomic and functional genetic approaches to identify additional proteins that cooperate with DNMTs in silencing these key silenced TSGs in colon cancer cells. We discovered that DNMTs and the core components of the NuRD (Mi-2/nucleosome remodeling and deacetylase) nucleosome remodeling complex, chromo domain helicase DNA-binding protein 4 (CHD4) and histone deacetylase 1 (HDAC1) occupy the promoters of several of these hypermethylated TSGs and physically and functionally interact to maintain their silencing. Consistent with this, we find an inverse relationship between expression of HDAC1 and 2 and these TSGs in a large panel of primary colorectal tumors. We demonstrate that DNMTs and NuRD cooperate to maintain the silencing of several negative regulators of the WNT and other signaling pathways. We find that depletion of CHD4 is synergistic with DNMT inhibition in reducing the viability of colon cancer cells in correlation with reactivation of TSGs, suggesting that their combined inhibition may be beneficial for the treatment of colon cancer. Since CHD4 has ATPase activity, our data identify CHD4 as a potentially novel drug target in cancer.
Project description:Atrazine, a herbicide used on agricultural crops is widely applied in the Midwestern United States as well as other areas of the globe. Atrazine frequently contaminates potable water supplies and is a suspected endocrine disrupting chemical. Previous studies have reported morphological, hormonal, and molecular alterations due to developmental and adulthood atrazine exposure; however, studies examining epigenetic alterations are limited. In this study, the effects of atrazine exposure on DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) activity and kinetics were evaluated. Global DNA methylation levels and dnmt expression in zebrafish larvae exposed to 0, 3, or 30 parts per billion (ppb) atrazine throughout embryogenesis was then assessed. Results indicate that atrazine significantly decreased the activity of maintenance DNMTs and that the inhibition mechanism can be described using non-competitive Michaelis-Menten kinetics. Furthermore, results show that an embryonic atrazine exposure decreases global methylation levels and the expression of dnmt4 and dnmt5. These findings indicate that atrazine exposure can decrease the expression and activity of DNMTs, leading to decreased DNA methylation levels.
Project description:The ability of ionizing radiation to initiate genomic instability has been harnessed in the clinic where the localized delivery of controlled doses of radiation is used to induce cell death in tumor cells. Though very effective as a therapy, tumor relapse can occur in vivo and its appearance has been attributed to the radio-resistance of cells with stem cell-like features. The molecular mechanisms underlying these phenomena are unclear but there is evidence suggesting an inverse correlation between radiation-induced genomic instability and global hypomethylation. To further investigate the relationship between DNA hypomethylation, radiosensitivity and genomic stability in stem-like cells we have studied mouse embryonic stem cells containing differing levels of DNA methylation due to the presence or absence of DNA methyltransferases. Unexpectedly, we found that global levels of methylation do not determine radiosensitivity. In particular, radiation-induced delayed genomic instability was observed at the Hprt gene locus only in wild-type cells. Furthermore, absence of Dnmt1 resulted in a 10-fold increase in de novo Hprt mutation rate, which was unaltered by radiation. Our data indicate that functional DNMTs are required for radiation-induced genomic instability, and that individual DNMTs play distinct roles in genome stability. We propose that DNMTS may contribute to the acquirement of radio-resistance in stem-like cells.
Project description:Purpose:Preclinical evaluation of PCA3 and AMACR transcript simultaneous detection in urine to diagnose clinical significant prostate cancer (prostate cancer with Gleason score ?7) in a Russian cohort. Patients and Methods:We analyzed urine samples of patients with a total serum PSA ?2 ng/mL: 31 men with prostate cancer scheduled for radical prostatectomy, 128 men scheduled for first diagnostic biopsy (prebiopsy cohort). PCA3, AMACR, PSA and GPI transcripts were detected by multiplex reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction, and the results were used for scores for calculation and statistical analysis. Results:There was no significant difference between clinically significant and nonsignificant prostate cancer PCA3 scores. However, there was a significant difference in the AMACR score (patients scheduled for radical prostatectomy p=0.0088, prebiopsy cohort p=0.029). We estimated AUCs, optimal cutoffs, sensitivities and specificities for PCa and csPCa detection in the prebiopsy cohort by tPSA, PCA3 score, PCPT Risk Calculator and classification models based on tPSA, PCA3 score and AMACR score. In the clinically significant prostate cancer ROC analysis, the PCA3 score AUC was 0.632 (95%CI: 0.511-0.752), the AMACR score AUC was 0.711 (95%CI: 0.617-0.806) and AUC of classification model based on the PCA3 score, the AMACR score and total PSA was 0.72 (95%CI: 0.58-0.83). In addition, the correlation of the AMACR score with the ratio of total RNA and RNA of prostate cells in urine was shown (tau=0.347, p=6.542e-09). Significant amounts of nonprostate RNA in urine may be a limitation for the AMACR score use. Conclusion:The AMACR score is a good predictor of clinically significant prostate cancer. Significant amounts of nonprostate RNA in urine may be a limitation for the AMACR score use. Evaluation of the AMACR score and classification models based on it for clinically significant prostate cancer detection with larger samples and a follow-up analysis is promising.