Mapping of HNF4α binding sites, acetylation of histone H3 and expression in Caco2 cells
ABSTRACT: Background & Aims: The role of HNF4α has been extensively studied in hepatocytes and pancreatic β cells, but emerging evidence indicates that HNF4α is a key regulator of intestinal epithelial cell differentiation as well. The aim of the present work is to identify HNF4α target genes in the intestine in order to elucidate the role of HNF4α in differentiation of the intestinal epithelial cells. Results: One thousand one hundred and seventy-six genes were identified as HNF4α targets, many of which have not previously been described as being regulated by HNF4α. The 1,176 genes contributed significantly to gene ontology (GO) pathways categorized by lipid and amino acid transport and metabolism. A thorough analysis of Cdx-2, trehalase, and cingulin promoters verified that these genes are regulated by HNF4α. In each case we were able to identify a functional HNF4α binding site in their promoters. Conclusions: HNF4α regulation of the Cdx-2 promoter unravels a transcription factor network also including HNF1α and β, all of which are transcription factors involved in intestinal development and gene expression. Keywords: ChIP-CHIP and expression data Overall design: Methods: We have performed a ChIP-chip analysis of the human intestinal cell line Caco-2 in order to make a genome-wide identification of HNF4α binding to promoter regions. The HNF4α ChIP-chip data was matched with gene expression and histone H3 acetylation status of the promoters in order to identify HNF4α binding to actively transcribed genes with an open chromatin structure.
Project description:The Hippo pathway is important for tissue homeostasis, regulation of organ size andgrowth in most tissues. The co-transcription factor yes-associated protein 1 (YAP1) serves as a maindownstream effector of the Hippo pathway and its dysregulation increases cancer development andblocks colonic tissue repair. Nevertheless, little is known about the transcriptional regulation ofYAP1 in intestinal cells. The aim of this study to identify gene control regions in the YAP1 gene andtranscription factors important for intestinal expression. Bioinformatic analysis of caudal typehomeobox 2 (CDX2) and hepatocyte nuclear factor 4 alpha (HNF4α) chromatin immunoprecipitatedDNA from differentiated Caco-2 cells revealed potential intragenic enhancers in the YAP1 gene.Transfection of luciferase-expressing YAP1 promoter-reporter constructs containing the potentialenhancer regions validated one potent enhancer of the YAP1 promoter activity in Caco-2 and T84cells. Two potential CDX2 and one HNF4α binding sites were identified in the enhancer by in silicotranscription factor binding site analysis and protein-DNA binding was confirmed in vitro usingelectrophoretic mobility shift assay. It was found by chromatin immunoprecipitation experimentsthat CDX2 and HNF4α bind to the YAP1 enhancer in Caco-2 cells. These results reveal a previouslyunknown enhancer of the YAP1 promoter activity in the YAP1 gene, with importance for highexpression levels in intestinal epithelial cells. Additionally, CDX2 and HNF4α binding areimportant for the YAP1 enhancer activity in intestinal epithelial cells.
Project description:Mutations in the HNF4A gene cause MODY1 and are associated with an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes mellitus. On the other hand, incretins are hormones that potentiate reductions in blood glucose levels. Given the established role of incretin-based therapy to treat diabetes and metabolic disorders, we investigated a possible regulatory link between intestinal epithelial HNF4α and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP), an incretin that is specifically produced by gut enteroendocrine cells. Conditional deletion of HNF4α in the whole intestinal epithelium was achieved by crossing Villin-Cre and Hnf4αloxP/loxP C57BL/6 mouse models. GIP expression was measured by qPCR, immunofluorescence and ELISA. Gene transcription was assessed by luciferase and electrophoretic mobility shift assays. Metabolic parameters were analyzed by indirect calorimetry and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. HNF4α specific deletion in the intestine led to a reduction in GIP. HNF4α was able to positively control Gip transcriptional activity in collaboration with GATA-4 transcription factor. Glucose homeostasis and glucose-stimulated insulin secretion remained unchanged in HNF4α deficient mice. Changes in GIP production in these mice did not impact nutrition or energy metabolism under normal physiology but led to a reduction of bone area and mineral content, a well described physiological consequence of GIP deficiency. Our findings point to a novel regulatory role between intestinal HNF4α and GIP with possible functional impact on bone density.
Project description:Src tyrosine kinase has long been implicated in colon cancer but much remains to be learned about its substrates. The nuclear receptor hepatocyte nuclear factor 4α (HNF4α) has just recently been implicated in colon cancer but its role is poorly defined. Here we show that c-Src phosphorylates human HNF4α on three tyrosines in an interdependent and isoform-specific fashion. The initial phosphorylation site is a Tyr residue (Y14) present in the N-terminal A/B domain of P1- but not P2-driven HNF4α. Phospho-Y14 interacts with the Src SH2 domain, leading to the phosphorylation of two additional tyrosines in the ligand binding domain (LBD) in P1-HNF4α. Phosphomimetic mutants in the LBD decrease P1-HNF4α protein stability, nuclear localization and transactivation function. Immunohistochemical analysis of approximately 450 human colon cancer specimens (Stage III) reveals that P1-HNF4α is either lost or localized in the cytoplasm in approximately 80% of tumors, and that staining for active Src correlates with those events in a subset of samples. Finally, three SNPs in the human HNF4α protein, two of which are in the HNF4α F domain that interacts with the Src SH3 domain, increase phosphorylation by Src and decrease HNF4α protein stability and function, suggesting that individuals with those variants may be more susceptible to Src-mediated effects. This newly identified interaction between Src kinase and HNF4α has important implications for colon and other cancers.
Project description:Although they are expandable in vitro, hepatic progenitors are immature cells and share many immunomarkers with hepatocellular carcinoma, raising potential concerns regarding maltransformation after transplantation. This study investigated the effects of hepatic nuclear factor (HNF) 4α on the proliferation, migration, and maltransformation of hepatic progenitors and determined the feasibility of using these manipulated cells for transplantation.The effects of HNF4α on rat hepatic progenitors (i.e. hepatic oval cells) were analyzed by HNF4α overexpression and HNF4α shRNA. Nonobese diabetic/severe combined immunodeficiency (NOD/SCID) mice injured by carbon chloride (CCl4) were then transplanted with control, HNF4α-overexpressing or HNF4α-suppressing hepatic oval cells. Finally, the engraftment of these cells in the recipient liver was analyzed.Rat hepatic progenitors (i.e. hepatic oval cells) expressed HNF4α, although less than that in hepatocytes. When HNF4α was overexpressed in these cells, the proliferation and migration of hepatic oval cells were reduced; but when HNF4α was suppressed by shRNA, the proliferation and migration, and even anchorage-independent growth, of these cells were accelerated. RNA microarray and gene functional analysis revealed that suppressing HNF4α not only impaired many biosynthesis and metabolism pathways of hepatocytes but also increased pathways for cancer. When transplanted into CCl4-injured NOD/SCID mice, few HNF4α-suppressing hepatic oval cells localized into the liver, while control cells and HNF4α-overexpressing cells engrafted into the liver and differentiated into albumin-positive hepatocytes. Interestingly, the hepatocytes derived from HNF4α-overexpressing cells were less migrative and expressed less c-Myc than the cells derived from control cells.HNF4α constrains proliferation, migration, and maltransformation of hepatic progenitors, and HNF4α-overexpressing hepatic progenitors serve as an optimal candidate for cell transplantation.
Project description:UNLABELLED:The concept that cellular terminal differentiation is stably maintained once development is complete has been questioned by numerous observations showing that differentiated epithelium may undergo an epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) program. EMT and the reverse process, mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition (MET), are typical events of development, tissue repair, and tumor progression. In this study, we aimed to clarify the molecular mechanisms underlying these phenotypic conversions in hepatocytes. Hepatocyte nuclear factor 4α (HNF4α) was overexpressed in different hepatocyte cell lines and the resulting gene expression profile was determined by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction. HNF4α recruitment on promoters of both mesenchymal and EMT regulator genes was determined by way of electrophoretic mobility shift assay and chromatin immunoprecipitation. The effect of HNF4α depletion was assessed in silenced cells and in the context of the whole liver of HNF4 knockout animals. Our results identified key EMT regulators and mesenchymal genes as new targets of HNF4α. HNF4α, in cooperation with its target HNF1α, directly inhibits transcription of the EMT master regulatory genes Snail, Slug, and HMGA2 and of several mesenchymal markers. HNF4α-mediated repression of EMT genes induces MET in hepatomas, and its silencing triggers the mesenchymal program in differentiated hepatocytes both in cell culture and in the whole liver. CONCLUSION:The pivotal role of HNF4α in the induction and maintenance of hepatocyte differentiation should also be ascribed to its capacity to continuously repress the mesenchymal program; thus, both HNF4α activator and repressor functions are necessary for the identity of hepatocytes.
Project description:Hepatocyte nuclear factor (HNF)4α is a central regulator of gene expression in cell types that play a critical role in metabolic homeostasis, including hepatocytes, enterocytes, and pancreatic β cells. Although fatty acids were found to occupy the HNF4α ligand-binding pocket and were proposed to act as ligands, there is controversy about both the nature of HNF4α ligands as well as the physiological role of the binding. Here, we report the discovery of potent synthetic HNF4α antagonists through a high-throughput screen for effectors of the human insulin promoter. These molecules bound to HNF4α with high affinity and modulated the expression of known HNF4α target genes. Notably, they were found to be selectively cytotoxic to cancer cell lines in vitro and in vivo, although in vivo potency was limited by suboptimal pharmacokinetic properties. The discovery of bioactive modulators for HNF4α raises the possibility that diseases involving HNF4α, such as diabetes and cancer, might be amenable to pharmacologic intervention by modulation of HNF4α activity.
Project description:Rabbitfish Siganus canaliculatus was the first marine teleost demonstrated to have the capability of biosynthesizing long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFA) from C18 precursors, and to possess a Δ4 fatty acyl desaturase (Δ4 Fad) which was the first report in vertebrates, and is a good model for studying the regulatory mechanisms of LC-PUFA biosynthesis in teleosts. In order to understand regulatory mechanisms of transcription of Δ4 Fad, the gene promoter was cloned and characterized in the present study. An upstream sequence of 1859 bp from the initiation codon ATG was cloned as the promoter candidate. On the basis of bioinformatic analysis, several binding sites of transcription factors (TF) including GATA binding protein 2 (GATA-2), CCAAT enhancer binding protein (C/EBP), nuclear factor 1 (NF-1), nuclear factor Y (NF-Y), hepatocyte nuclear factor 4α (HNF4α) and sterol regulatory element (SRE), were identified in the promoter by site-directed mutation and functional assays. HNF4α and NF-1 were confirmed to interact with the core promoter of Δ4 Fad by gel shift assay and mass spectrometry. Moreover, over-expression of HNF4α increased promoter activity in HEK 293T cells and mRNA level of Δ4 Fad in rabbitfish primary hepatocytes, respectively. The results indicated that HNF4α is a TF of rabbitfish Δ4 Fad. To our knowledge, this is the first report on promoter structure of a Δ4 Fad, and also the first demonstration of HNF4α as a TF of vertebrate Fad gene involved in transcription regulation of LC-PUFA biosynthesis.
Project description:Background: Liver cancer stem cells (LCSCs) are responsible for the initiation, progression and chemoresistance of liver cancer. However, no agent targeting LCSC is available in the clinic to date. Here, we investigated the effects of targeting protein arginine methyltransferase 5 (PRMT5), an epigenetic regulator, on LCSCs and HCC using a novel PRMT5 inhibitor DW14800. Methods: Tumor spheroid formation culture was used to enrich LCSCs and assess their self-renewal capability. Human alpha-1-antitrypsin (A1AT) ELISA, acetylated low-density lipoprotein (ac-LDL) uptake, periodic acid-Schiff (PAS) reactions and senescence associated β-galactosidase (SA-β-gal) activity assays were performed to examine the differentiation status of HCC cells. The effects of DW14800 on HCC malignancy were assessed in HCC cell lines and on an HCC xenograft model in mice. Chromatin immunoprecipitation was applied to clarify the transcriptional regulation of HNF4α by PRMT5-mediated Histone H4 arginine-3 symmetrical dimethylation (H4R3me2s). Results: Quantitative real-time PCR revealed that the expression of PRMT5 was upregulated in LCSCs. DW14800 specifically decreased the symmetrical dimethylation of arginine residues in HCC cells. Treatment of DW14800 suppressed the self-renewal capacity of LCSCs while re-establishing hepatocyte-specific characteristics in HCC cells. DW14800 displayed antitumor effects in HCC cells in vitro and in xenograft HCC in vivo. Importantly, ChIP assay showed that PRMT5 and H4R3me2s bound to the promoter region of HNF4α gene, and DW14800 increased the expression of HNF4α via reducing the H4R3me2s levels and enhancing the transcription of HNF4α. Conclusions: Our data revealed the significance of targeting PRMT5 activity in LCSC elimination and HCC differentiation, and proposed that DW14800 may represent a promising therapeutic agent for HCC in the clinic.
Project description:The rabbitfish Siganus canaliculatus is the first marine teleost shown to be able to biosynthesize long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFA) from C18 PUFA precursors catalyzed by two fatty acyl desaturases (fad) including Δ4 Fad and Δ6/Δ5 Fad as well as two elongases (Elovl4 and Elovl5). Previously, hepatocyte nuclear factor 4α (Hnf4α) was demonstrated to be predominant in the transcriptional regulation of two fads. To clarify the regulatory mechanisms involved in rabbitfish lipogenesis, the present study focused on the regulatory role of Hnf4α to elovl5 expression and LC-PUFA biosynthesis. Bioinformatics analysis predicted two potential Hnf4α elements in elovl5 promoter, one binding site was confirmed to interact with Hnf4α by gel shift assays. Moreover, overexpression of hnf4α caused a remarkable increase both in elovl5 promoter activity and mRNA contents, while knock-down of hnf4α in S. canaliculatus hepatocyte line (SCHL) resulted in a significant decrease of elovl5 gene expression. Meanwhile, hnf4α overexpression enhanced LC-PUFA biosynthesis in SCHL cell, and intraperitoneal injection to rabbitfish juveniles with Hnf4α agonists (Alverine and Benfluorex) increased the expression of hnf4α, elvol5 and Δ4 fad, coupled with an increased proportion of total LC-PUFA in liver. The results demonstrated that Hnf4α is involved in LC-PUFA biosynthesis by up-regulating the transcription of the elovl5 gene in rabbitfish, which is the first report of Hnf4α as a transcription factor of the elovl5 gene in vertebrates.
Project description:Inflammation related to chronic kidney disease (CKD) is an important clinical problem. We recently determined that hepatocyte nuclear factor 1α (HNF1α) was upregulated in the livers of chronic renal failure (CRF) rats-experimental model of CKD. Considering that the promoter region of gene encoding C-reactive protein (CRP) contains binding sites for HNF1α and that the loss-of-function mutation in the Hnfs1α leads to significant reduction in circulating CRP levels, we hypothesized that HNF1α can activate the Crp in CRF rats. Here, we found coordinated upregulation of genes encoding CRP, interleukin-6 (IL-6), HNF1α, and HNF4α in the livers and white adipose tissue (WAT) of CRF rats, as compared to the pair-fed and control animals. This was accompanied by elevated serum levels of CRP and IL-6. CRP and HNFs' mRNA levels correlated positively with CRP and HNFs' protein levels in the liver and WAT. Similar upregulation of the Crp, Il-6, and Hnfs in the liver and WAT and increased serum CRP and IL-6 concentrations were found in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced systemic inflammation in rats. Moreover, silencing HNF1α in HepG2 cells by small interfering RNA led to decrease in CRP mRNA levels. Our results suggests that (a) HNFs act in concert with IL-6 in the upregulation of CRP production by the liver and WAT, leading to an increase in circulating CRP concentration in CRF rats and (b) CRF-related inflammation plays an important role in the upregulation of genes that encode HNFs and CRP in the liver and WAT of CRF rats.