Gene expression profiling identifies the role of Zac1 in cervical cancer metastasis.
ABSTRACT: The zinc-finger protein which regulates apoptosis and cell cycle arrest 1 (Zac1), encoded by Plagl1 gene, is a seven-zinc-finger containing transcription factor belonging to the imprinted genome and is expressed in diverse types of embryonic and adult human tissues. Zac1 is postulated to be a tumor suppressor by inducing cell cycle arrest and apoptosis through interacting and modulating transcriptional activity of p53 as it was named. Correspondingly, the reduction or loss of Zac1 expression is associated with the incidence and progression of several human tumors, including cervical cancer, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, pituitary tumors, and basal cell carcinoma, implying the rationality of utilizing Zac1 expression as novel a biomarker for the evaluation of cervical cancer prognosis. However, to date, it has not been elucidated whether Zac1 expression is related to the prognosis of patients in clinical cervical cancer tumor samples. To address the questions outlined above, we report here a comprehensive investigation of Zac1 expression in biopsies of clinical cervical carcinoma. By analyzing Zac1 expression in various gene expression profiling of cervical cancer databases, we show the association between high Zac1 expression and poor prognosis of cervical cancer. Functional enrichment analysis showed that high Zac1 expression was associated with epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), which was further observed in clinical characteristics and metastatic carcinoma samples using immunohistochemical staining. Correspondingly, hypomethylation of CpG island on Zac1 promoter was observed in samples with high Zac1 expression in cervical carcinoma. Finally, overexpression of Zac1 in a variety of cervical cancer cell lines increase their mesenchymal biomarker expression and migration, strengthening the correlation between cervical cancers with high Zac1 expression and metastasis in clinical. In summary, this research firstly revealed that identifying Zac1 expression or the methylation status of CpG site on Zac1 promoter may provide us with novel indicators for the evaluation of cervical cancer metastasis.
Project description:Zac1, a novel seven-zinc-finger transcription factor, preferentially binds GC-rich DNA elements and has intrinsic transactivation activity. To date, the NLS (nuclear localization signal) of Zac1 has not been empirically determined. We generated a series of EGFP (enhanced green fluorescence protein)-tagged deletion mutants of Zac1 and examined their subcellular localization, from which we defined two NLSs within the DNA-binding (or zinc-finger) domain. Fusion proteins consisting of the two EGFP-tagged zinc-finger clusters (zinc finger motifs 1-3 and 4-7) were located exclusively in the nucleus, demonstrating that each of the zinc-finger clusters is sufficient for nuclear localization. Physical interactions between these two zinc-finger clusters and importin alpha1 were demonstrated using an in vitro glutathione S-transferase pull-down assay. Finally, our results indicate that the association of Zac1 with importin alpha1 is also involved in regulating the transactivation activity of Zac1 on the p21WAF1/CIP1 gene and protein expression.
Project description:Histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors are a class of promising anticancer reagents. They are able to induce apoptosis in embryonic carcinoma (EC) cells. However, the underlying mechanism remains poorly understood. Here we show that increased expression of zinc-finger protein regulator of apoptosis and cell-cycle arrest (Zac1) is implicated in HDAC inhibitor-induced apoptosis in F9 and P19 EC cells. By chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis we identified that increased Zac1 expression is mediated by histone acetylation of the Zac1 promoter region. Knockdown of Zac1 inhibited HDAC inhibitor-induced cell apoptosis. Moreover, HDAC inhibitors repressed nuclear factor-?B (NF-?B) activity, and this effect is abrogated by Zac1 knockdown. Consistently, Zac1 overexpression suppressed cellular NF-?B activity. Further investigation showed that Zac1 inhibits NF-?B activity by interacting with the C-terminus of the p65 subunit, which suppresses the phosphorylation of p65 at Ser468 and Ser536 residues. These results indicate that Zac1 is a histone acetylation-regulated suppressor of NF-?B, which is induced and implicated in HDAC inhibitor-mediated EC cell apoptosis.
Project description:The proliferation rate of a cell population reflects a balance between cell division, cell cycle arrest, differentiation and apoptosis. The regulation of these processes is central to development and tissue homeostasis, whereas dysregulation may lead to overt pathological outcomes, notably cancer and neurodegenerative disorders. We report here the cloning of a novel zinc finger protein which regulates apoptosis and cell cycle arrest and was accordingly named Zac1. In vitro Zac1 inhibited proliferation of tumor cells, as evidenced by measuring colony formation, growth rate and cloning in soft agar. In vivo Zac1 abrogated tumor formation in nude mice. The antiproliferative activity of Zac1 was due to induction of extensive apoptosis and of G1 arrest, which proceeded independently of retinoblastoma protein and of regulation of p21(WAF1/Cip1), p27Kip1, p57Kip2 and p16INK4a expression. Zac1-mediated apoptosis was unrelated to cell cycle phase and G1 arrest was independent of apoptosis, indicating separate control of apoptosis and cell cycle arrest. Zac1 is thus the first gene besides p53 which concurrently induces apoptosis and cell cycle arrest.
Project description:The transcription factor ZAC1 is expressed in a variety of tissues including the developing heart, but its physiological role is unclear. We examined the role of ZAC1 in regulating expression of the insulin-responsive glucose transporter GLUT4 and whether ZAC1 expression is altered in cardiomyocyte hypertrophy. We demonstrated expression of Zac1 mRNA and protein in rat cardiomyocytes by PCR and Western blotting, respectively. Using a combination of chromatin immunoprecipitation and luciferase assays, we showed that ZAC1 regulates Glut4 expression via a specific binding site in the Glut4 promoter. Overexpression of ZAC1 increased Glut4 mRNA and protein expression and resulted in increased glucose uptake in cardiomyocytes as determined by a fluorescent analog uptake assay. Induction of hypertrophy by phenylephrine or isoproterenol resulted in increased Zac1 expression. We identified a novel putative promoter in the Zac1 gene and demonstrated increased binding of MEF2 to this promoter in response to hypertrophic stimulation. MEF2 regulated transactivation of the Zac1 promoter and ZAC1 protein expression. This work identifies ZAC1 as a novel and previously unknown regulator of cardiomyocyte Glut4 expression and glucose uptake. Our results also implicate MEF2 as a regulator of ZAC1 expression in response to induction of hypertrophy.
Project description:Transient neonatal diabetes mellitus 1 (TNDM1) is a rare genetic disorder representing with severe neonatal hyperglycaemia followed by remission within one and a half year and adolescent relapse with type 2 diabetes in half of the patients. Genetic defects in TNDM1 comprise uniparental isodisomy of chromosome 6, duplication of the minimal TNDM1 locus at 6q24, or relaxation of genomically imprinted ZAC1/HYMAI. Whereas the function of HYMAI, a non-coding mRNA, is still unidentified, biochemical and molecular studies show that zinc finger protein 1 regulating apoptosis and cell cycle arrest (ZAC1) behaves as a factor with versatile transcriptional functions dependent on binding to specific GC-rich DNA motives and interconnected regulation of recruited coactivator activities. Genome-wide expression profiling enabled the isolation of a number of Zac1 target genes known to regulate different aspects of ?-cell function and peripheral insulin sensitivity. Among these, upregulation of Ppar? and Tcf4 impairs insulin-secretion and ?-cell proliferation. Similarly, Zac1-mediated upregulation of Socs3 may attenuate ?-cell proliferation and survival by inhibition of growth factor signalling. Additionally, Zac1 directly represses Pac1 and Rasgrf1 with roles in insulin secretion and ?-cell proliferation. Collectively, concerted dysregulation of these target genes could contribute to the onset and course of TNDM1. Interestingly, Zac1 overexpression in ?-cells spares the effects of stimulatory G-protein signaling on insulin secretion and raises the prospect for tailored treatments in relapsed TNDM1 patients. Overall, these results suggest that progress on the molecular and cellular foundations of monogenetic forms of diabetes can advance personalized therapy in addition to deepening the understanding of insulin and glucose metabolism in general.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>The cerebellum is composed of a diverse array of neuronal subtypes. Here we have used a candidate approach to identify Zac1, a tumor suppressor gene encoding a zinc finger transcription factor, as a new player in the transcriptional network required for the development of a specific subset of cerebellar nuclei and a population of Golgi cells in the cerebellar cortex.<h4>Results</h4>We found that Zac1 has a complex expression profile in the developing cerebellum, including in two proliferating progenitor populations; the cerebellar ventricular zone and the external granular layer overlying posterior cerebellar lobules IX and X. Zac1 is also expressed in some postmitotic cerebellar neurons, including a subset of GABAergic interneurons in the medial cerebellar nuclei. Notably, GABAergic interneurons in the cerebellar nuclei are derived from the cerebellar ventricular zone, where Zac1 is also expressed, consistent with a lineage relationship between these two Zac1+ populations. Zac1 is also expressed in a small subset of cells in the posterior vermis, including some neurogranin-immunoreactive (NG+) Golgi cells, which, based on short-term birthdating, are derived from the EGL, where Zac1 is also expressed. However, Zac1+ cells and NG+ Golgi cells in the cerebellar cortex also display unique properties, as they are generated within different, albeit overlapping, time windows. Finally, consistent with the expression profile of Zac1, two conspicuous abnormalities were found in the cerebellum of Zac1 null mice: the medial cerebellar nuclei, and not the others, were significantly reduced in size; and the number of Golgi cells in cerebellar lobule IX was reduced by approximately 60% compared to wild-type littermates.<h4>Conclusions</h4>The data presented here indicate that the tumor suppressor gene Zac1 is expressed in a complex fashion in the developing cerebellum, including in two dividing progenitor populations and in specific subsets of postmitotic neurons, including Golgi cells and GABAergic neurons in the medial nuclei, which require Zac1 for their differentiation. We thus conclude that Zac1 is a critical regulator of normal cerebellar development, adding a new transcriptional regulator to the growing list of factors involved in generating neuronal diversity in the developing cerebellum.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Organs are programmed to acquire a particular size during development, but the regulatory mechanisms that dictate when dividing progenitor cells should permanently exit the cell cycle and stop producing additional daughter cells are poorly understood. In differentiated tissues, tumor suppressor genes maintain a constant cell number and intact tissue architecture by controlling proliferation, apoptosis and cell dispersal. Here we report a similar role for two tumor suppressor genes, the Zac1 zinc finger transcription factor and that encoding the cytokine TGFbetaII, in the developing retina.<h4>Results</h4>Using loss and gain-of-function approaches, we show that Zac1 is an essential negative regulator of retinal size. Zac1 mutants develop hypercellular retinae due to increased progenitor cell proliferation and reduced apoptosis at late developmental stages. Consequently, supernumerary rod photoreceptors and amacrine cells are generated, the latter of which form an ectopic cellular layer, while other retinal cells are present in their normal number and location. Strikingly, Zac1 functions as a direct negative regulator of a rod fate, while acting cell non-autonomously to modulate amacrine cell number. We implicate TGFbetaII, another tumor suppressor and cytokine, as a Zac1-dependent amacrine cell negative feedback signal. TGFbetaII and phospho-Smad2/3, its downstream effector, are expressed at reduced levels in Zac1 mutant retinae, and exogenous TGFbetaII relieves the mutant amacrine cell phenotype. Moreover, treatment of wild-type retinae with a soluble TGFbeta inhibitor and TGFbeta receptor II (TGFbetaRII) conditional mutants generate excess amacrine cells, phenocopying the Zac1 mutant phenotype.<h4>Conclusion</h4>We show here that Zac1 has an essential role in cell number control during retinal development, akin to its role in tumor surveillance in mature tissues. Furthermore, we demonstrate that Zac1 employs a novel cell non-autonomous strategy to regulate amacrine cell number, acting in cooperation with a second tumor suppressor gene, TGFbetaII, through a negative feedback pathway. This raises the intriguing possibility that tumorigenicity may also be associated with the loss of feedback inhibition in mature tissues.
Project description:Congenital heart disease (CHD) with extracardiac malformations (EM) is the most common multiple malformation, resulting from the interaction between genetic abnormalities and environmental factors. Most studies have attributed the causes of CHD with EM to chromosomal abnormalities. However, multi-system dysplasia is usually caused by both genetic mutations and epigenetic dysregulation. The epigenetic mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of CHD with EM remain unclear. In this study, we investigated the mechanisms of imprinting alterations, including those of the Small nuclear ribonucleoprotein polypeptide N (SNRPN), PLAG1 like zinc finger 1 (ZAC1) and inositol polyphosphate-5-phosphatase F (INPP5F) genes, in the pathogenesis of CHD with EM. The methylation levels of SNRPN, ZAC1, and INPP5F genes were analysed by the MassARRAY platform in 24 children with CHD with EM and 20 healthy controls. The expression levels of these genes were detected by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The correlation between methylation regulation and gene expression was confirmed using 5-azacytidine (5-Aza) treated cells. The methylation levels of SNRPN and ZAC1 genes were significantly increased in CHD with EM, while that of INPP5F was decreased. The methylation alterations of these genes were negatively correlated with expression. Risk analysis showed that abnormal hypermethylation of SNRPN and ZAC1 resulted in 5.545 and 7.438 times higher risks of CHD with EM, respectively, and the abnormal hypomethylation of INPP5F was 8.38 times higher than that of the control group. We concluded that abnormally high methylation levels of SNRPN and ZAC1 and decreased levels of INPP5F imply an increased risk of CHD with EM by altering their gene functions. This study provides evidence of imprinted regulation in the pathogenesis of multiple malformations.
Project description:The biallelic expression of the imprinted gene ZAC1/PLAGL1 underlies ? 60% of all cases of transient neonatal diabetes mellitus (TNDM) that present with low perinatal insulin secretion. Molecular targets of ZAC1 misexpression in pancreatic ? cells are unknown. Here, we identified the guanine nucleotide exchange factor Rasgrf1 as a direct Zac1/Plagl1 target gene in murine ? cells. Doubling Zac1 expression reduced Rasgrf1 expression, the stimulus-induced activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) pathways, and, ultimately, insulin secretion. Normalizing Rasgrf1 expression reversed this phenotype. Moreover, the transplantation of Zac1-overexpressing ? cells failed to reinstate euglycemia in experimental diabetic mice. In contrast, Zac1 expression did not interfere with the signaling of the glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor (GLP-1R), and the GLP-1 analog liraglutide improved hyperglycemia in transplanted experimental diabetic mice. This study unravels a mechanism contributing to insufficient perinatal insulin secretion in TNDM and raises new prospects for therapy.
Project description:Imprinted genes play a critical role in brain development and mental health, although the underlying molecular and cellular mechanisms remain incompletely understood. The family of basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) proteins directs the proliferation, differentiation, and specification of distinct neuronal progenitor populations. Here, we identified the bHLH factor gene Tcf4 as a direct target gene of Zac1/Plagl1, a maternally imprinted transcriptional regulator, during early neurogenesis. Zac1 and Tcf4 expression levels concomitantly increased during neuronal progenitor differentiation; moreover, Zac1 interacts with two cis-regulatory elements in the Tcf4 gene locus, and these elements together confer synergistic activation of the Tcf4 gene. Tcf4 upregulation enhances the expression of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor gene p57(Kip2), a paternally imprinted Tcf4 target gene, and increases the number of cells in G1 phase. Overall, we show that Zac1 controls cell cycle arrest function in neuronal progenitors through induction of p57(Kip2) via Tcf4 and provide evidence for cooperation between imprinted genes and a bHLH factor in early neurodevelopment.