Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
Paper Count: 53

Search results for: DNA methylation

53 Methylation Analysis of PHF20L1 and DACT2 Gene Promoters in Women with Breast Cancer

Authors: Marta E. Hernandez-Caballero, Veronica Borgonio-Cuadra, Antonio Miranda-Duarte, Xochitl Rojas-Toledo, Normand Garcia-Hernandez, Maura Cardenas-Garcia, Teresa Abad-Camacho


Breast cancer (BC) is the most common tumor in women over the world. DNA methylation is an epigenetic modification critical in CpG sites, aberrant methylation of CpG islands in promoters is a hallmark of cancer. So, gene expression can be regulated by alterations in DNA methylation. In cell lines DACT2 gene reduces the growth and migration of tumor cells by its participation in the suppression of TGFb/SMAD2/3. PHF20L1 is involved in histone acetylation therefore, it regulates transcription. Our aim was to analyze the methylation status of the DACT2 and PHF20L1 promoter regions in tumoral and healthy mammary tissue from women with BC in different progression states. The study included 77 patients from Centro Medico Nacional La Raza in Mexico City. After identifying a CpG island in DACT2 and PHF20L1 promoters, DNA methylation status was analyzed through sodium bisulfite with subsequent amplification using methylation-specific PCR. Results revealed no changes in methylation status of PHF20L1 and cancer stages (II y III) or in comparison to healthy tissues, it was demethylated. DACT2 promoter methylation was no significant between tumoral stages (II, P = 0.37; III, P = 0.17) or with healthy tissue. Previous data reported DACT2 methylated in nasopharyngeal carcinoma but in this study promoter methylation was not observed. PHF20L1 protein contains N-terminal Tudor and C-terminal plant homeodomain domains, it has been suggested that can stabilize DNMT1 regulating DNA methylation, therefore, was associated with poor prognostic in BC. We found no evidence of methylation in patients and controls in PHF20L1 promoter, so its association with BC may have no direct relation with promoter methylation. More studies including other methylation sites in these genes in BC are necessary.

Keywords: bisulfite conversion, breast cancer, DACT2, DNA methylation, PHF20L1, tumoral status

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52 DNA Methylation Changes Caused by Lawsone

Authors: Zuzana Poborilova, Anna B. Ohlsson, Torkel Berglund, Anna Vildova, Petr Babula


Lawsone is a pigment that occurs naturally in plants. It has been used as a skin and hair dye for a long time. Moreover, its different biological activities have been reported. The present study focused on the effect of lawsone on a plant cell model represented by tobacco BY-2 cell suspension culture, which is used as a model comparable with the HeLa cells. It has been shown that lawsone inhibits the cell growth in the concentration-dependent manner. In addition, changes in DNA methylation level have been determined. We observed decreasing level of DNA methylation in the presence of increasing concentrations of lawsone. These results were accompanied with overproduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Since epigenetic modifications can be caused by different stress factors, there could be a connection between the changes in the level of DNA methylation and ROS production caused by lawsone.

Keywords: DNA methylation, lawsone, naphthoquinone, reactive oxygen species

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51 Effect of Leptin Gene Methylation on Colorectal Cancer Chemoresistance

Authors: Wissem Abdaoui, Nizar M. Mhaidat, Ilhem Mokhtari, Adel Gouri


Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most common tumors all over the world. Obesity, considered a risk factor of CRC, is characterized by a high level of secreted cytokines from adipose tissue. Among these inflammatory molecules, leptin is considered the key mediator for CRC cancer development and progression by activation of mitogenic and anti apoptotic signaling pathways. Gene expression can be significantly modulated by alterations in DNA methylation patterns. The aim of this study is to investigate the impact of leptin gene methylation on CRC prognosis and sensitivity to chemotherapy. The study involved 70 CRC tissue samples collected from King Abdullah University Hospital (KAUH) from which only 53 was analyzed because of bisulfate fragmentation and low yield of DNA extracted from FFPE tissues. A total of 22 blood samples were collected from healthy volunteers and enrolled as a control group. Leptin promoter methylation was analyzed by methylation specific PCR after bisulfate conversion. Results revealed that the incidence of leptin gene methylation was significantly higher in CRC patients in comparison to that of controls (P < 0.05). The correlation between patient’s demographics and leptin gene methylation was not significant (P < 0.05). However, a significant correlation between leptin gene methylation status and early cancer stages (I, II and III) was found in male but not in female (p < 0.05). Moreover, a significant correlation was found between leptin promoter methylation and early tumor localization T1-2 (p < 0.05). The correlation between epigenetic regulation of leptin and chemosensitivity was not significant. Taken together, these results suggest the possibility to use leptin gene methylation as a biomarker for the evaluation of CRC prognosis and metastasis.

Keywords: colorectal cancer, obesity, leptin, DNA methylation, disease prognosis, bisulfate conversion, chemoresistance

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50 Promoter Methylation of RASSF1A and MGMT Genes in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Authors: Vitor Rafael Regiani, Carlos Henrique Viesi Do Nascimento Filho, Patricia Matos Biselli-Chicote, Claudia Aparecida Rainho, Luiz Sergio Raposo, José Victor Maniglia, Eny Maria Goloni-Bertollo, Erika Cristina Pavarino


Promoter hypermethylation of tumor-related genes has been associated with prognosis in early-stage head-and-neck cancers, providing strong evidence that these hypermethylated genes are valuable biomarkers for prognostic evaluation. Hence, we selected the MGMT and RASSF1A genes to examine the methylation status in head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC) samples matched with non-tumor tissues (tumor-surrounding tissues or peripheral blood samples). DNA methylation analysis was based on Methylation-Sensitive High Resolution Melting, and the methylation status was correlated with clinic-pathological characteristics of the patients. RASSF1A and MGMT promoter methylation was detected in 43.24% (16/37) and in 44.44% (16/36) of the tumors, respectively. RASSF1A and MGMT methylation was significantly more frequent in tumor tissue than non-tumor tissues, as well as, simultaneous methylation of RASSF1A and MGMT also was higher in tumor tissue than non-tumor tissues. In relation to anatomic site, larynx cancer presented significant methylation of MGMT gene compared to tumor-surrounding tissue. The frequency of RASSF1A and MGMT promoter methylated was higher in tumor tissues in relation to peripheral blood from the same patient. No association was found between methylation and the variables analyzed, including gender, age, smoking or alcohol drinking habits. Clinic-pathological characteristics also showed no association in the presence of methylation. The Kaplan–Meier's method showed no association of methylation and both disease-free and overall survival. In conclusion, the presence of epigenetic abnormalities in normal-appearing tissue corroborates the hypothesis of the ‘field cancerization', or it can reflect preneoplastic and/or preinvasive. Moreover, MGMT methylation may serve as an important laryngeal cancer biomarker because it showed significant difference between laryngeal cancer and surrounding tumor tissues.

Keywords: head and neck cancer, DNA methylation, MGMT promoter methylation, RASSF1A promoter methylation

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49 Effects of Exercise on Klotho Expression and Klotho DNA Methylation in Obese Mice

Authors: Yao Huang, Hongjie Yu, Fangrong Xu, Longbiao Cai, Qiqiang He


The Klotho gene has been found to be involved in cardiovascular health, and epigenetic mechanism has risen as good candidates to understand the role of lifestyle factors in obesity. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of exercise intervention on the expression and DNA methylation of Klotho gene in high-fat diet induced obese mice. C57BL/6 male mice were fed a normal diet (ND) or a high-fat diet (HFD) for 12 weeks. HFD induced obese mice were divided into secondary group (SED) and exercise group (EX) randomly. The treadmill exercise was performed in EX group for 8 weeks. The expression and DNA methylation of Klotho were evaluated by Western blot, RT-PCR, and Methylation-specific PCR. Results indicated that Klotho protein and mRNA expression were significantly lower in the SED group than those in the ND and EX groups (P<0.01), whereas no significant difference, was found between ND group and EX group (P>0.05). Furthermore, mice in the ND group and SED group showed significantly lower levels of completely methylated Klotho DNA in ND group (0%) and SED group (50%) compared with the EX group (90%), and unmethylated Klotho DNA level in ND group (80%) was significantly higher than those in the SED (0%) and EX (0%) groups. These results suggested that exercise leads to increased Klotho expression and reduced Klotho DNA methylation level in HFD induced obese mice.

Keywords: DNA methylation, exercise intervention, klotho, obese mice

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48 The Transcriptional Regulation of Human LRWD1 through DNA Methylation

Authors: Yen-Ni Teng, Hsing-Yi Chen, Hsien-An Pan, Yung-Ming Lin, Hany A. Omar, Jui-Hsiang Hung


Leucine-rich repeats and WD repeat domain containing 1 (LRWD1) is highly expressed in the testes of healthy males. On the other hand, LRWD1 is significantly down-regulated in the testicular tissues of patients with severe spermatogenic defects. In our study, the downregulation of LRWD1 expression by shRNA caused a significant reduction of cell growth and mitosis and a noteworthy increase in the cell microtubule atrophy rate. Here, we used EMBOSS CpG plot analysis to explore the promoter region of LRWD1 gene. We found that CpG islands are located between positions -253 to +5 nucleotides upstream from the LRWD1 transcription start site. Luciferase reporter assay revealed that the hypermethylation of the LRWD1 promoter reduced the transcription activity in cells. In addition, quantitative methylation-specific PCR and immunostaining showed that the methylation inhibitor, 5-Aza-2'-deoxycytidine, increased LRWD1 promoter activity, LRWD1 mRNA, protein expression and cell viability. Whereas, the methylation activator, S-adenosylmethionine, caused opposite effects. The overexpression of p53 and Nrf2 in NT2/D1 cells increased LRWD1 promoter activity while 5-fluorodeoxyuridine decreased it. In conclusion, this study highlights evidence that the methylation status of LRWD1 promoter is associated with LRWD1 expression. Since the expression level of LRWD1 plays an important role in spermatogenesis, the methylation status of LRWD1 may serve as a novel molecular diagnostic or therapeutic approach in male's infertility.

Keywords: LRWD1, DNA methylation, p53, Nrf2

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47 Molecular Analysis of Somaclonal Variation in Tissue Culture Derived Bananas Using MSAP and SSR Marker

Authors: Emma K. Sales, Nilda G. Butardo


The project was undertaken to determine the effects of modified tissue culture protocols e.g. age of culture and hormone levels (2,4-D) in generating somaclonal variation. Moreover, the utility of molecular markers (SSR and MSAP) in sorting off types/somaclones were investigated. Results show that somaclonal variation is in effect due to prolonged subculture and high 2,4-D concentration. The resultant variation was observed to be due to high level of methylation events specifically cytosine methylation either at the internal or external cytosine and was identified by methylation sensitive amplification polymorphism (MSAP). Simple sequence repeats (SSR) on the other hand, was able to associate a marker to a trait of interest. These therefore, show that molecular markers can be an important tool in sorting out variation/mutants at an early stage.

Keywords: methylation, MSAP, somaclones, SSR, subculture, 2, 4-D

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46 DNA Methylation Score Development for In utero Exposure to Paternal Smoking Using a Supervised Machine Learning Approach

Authors: Cristy Stagnar, Nina Hubig, Diana Ivankovic


The epigenome is a compelling candidate for mediating long-term responses to environmental effects modifying disease risk. The main goal of this research is to develop a machine learning-based DNA methylation score, which will be valuable in delineating the unique contribution of paternal epigenetic modifications to the germline impacting childhood health outcomes. It will also be a useful tool in validating self-reports of nonsmoking and in adjusting epigenome-wide DNA methylation association studies for this early-life exposure. Using secondary data from two population-based methylation profiling studies, our DNA methylation score is based on CpG DNA methylation measurements from cord blood gathered from children whose fathers smoked pre- and peri-conceptually. Each child’s mother and father fell into one of three class labels in the accompanying questionnaires -never smoker, former smoker, or current smoker. By applying different machine learning algorithms to the accessible resource for integrated epigenomic studies (ARIES) sub-study of the Avon longitudinal study of parents and children (ALSPAC) data set, which we used for training and testing of our model, the best-performing algorithm for classifying the father smoker and mother never smoker was selected based on Cohen’s κ. Error in the model was identified and optimized. The final DNA methylation score was further tested and validated in an independent data set. This resulted in a linear combination of methylation values of selected probes via a logistic link function that accurately classified each group and contributed the most towards classification. The result is a unique, robust DNA methylation score which combines information on DNA methylation and early life exposure of offspring to paternal smoking during pregnancy and which may be used to examine the paternal contribution to offspring health outcomes.

Keywords: epigenome, health outcomes, paternal preconception environmental exposures, supervised machine learning

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45 Changes in Global DNA Methylation and DNA Damage in Two Tumor Cell Lines Treated with Silver and Gold Nanoparticles

Authors: Marcin Kruszewski, Barbara Sochanowicz, Sylwia Męczyńska-Wielgosz, Maria Wojewódzka, Lucyna Kapka-Skrzypczak


Metallic NPs are widely used in a number of applications in industry, science and medicine. Among metallic NPs foreseen to be widely used in medicine are gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) due to their low toxicity, and silver NPs (AgNPs) due to their strong antimicrobial activity. In this study, we compared an effect of AgNPs and gold NPs (AuNPs) on the formation of DNA damage and global DNA methylation and in A2780 and 4T1 cell lines, widely used models of human ovarian carcinoma and murine mammary carcinoma, respectively. The cells were treated with AgNPs coated with citrate (AgNPs(cit) or PEG (AgNPs(PEG), or AuNPs. A global DNA methylation was investigated with ELISA, whereas the formation of DNA damage was investigated by a comet +/- FPG. AgNPs decreased global DNA methylation and increased the formation of DNA lesions in both cell lines. The effect was dependent on the type of NPs used, it's coating, and cell line used. In conclusion, the epigenetic and genotoxic effects of NPs strongly depends on NP nature and cellular context. Epigenetic changes observed upon the action of AgNPs may play a crucial role in NPs-induced changes in protein expression.

Keywords: DNA damage, gold nanoparticles, methylation, silver nanoparticles

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44 Posttranslational Modifications of Histone H3 in Tumor Tissue Isolated from Silver and Gold Nanoparticles Treated Mice

Authors: Lucyna Kapka-Skrzypczak, Barbara Sochanowicz, Magdalena Matysiak-Kucharek, Magdalena Czajka, Krzysztof Sawicki, Marcin Kruszewski


Due to the strong antimicrobial activity silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) are widely used in various medical and general applications, among others, in cosmetics, odour resistant textiles, etc. The aim of this study was to compare effect of AgNPs and gold NPs (AuNPs) on histones posttranslational modifications. Histone molecule posttranscriptional modifications are responsible for chromatin compaction and repackaging. In this study, BALB/c mice were inoculated with murine mammary carcinoma 4T1 cells and treated with AgNPs coated with citrate (AgNPs(cit) or PEG (AgNPs(PEG), or AuNPs. Thereafter the histone H3 acetylation on Lys9 and H3 methylation on Lys4, Lys9, Lys29 was investigated. All NPs tested decreased H3 methylation, while no effect was observed for H3 acetylation. Modification of histone H3 methylation dependent on type of NPs used its coating, site of methylation and treatment used. Conclusion, epigenetic effects of nanomaterials depend on nanomaterial composition, its coating, and way of application. This work was supported by National Science Centre grant No. 2014/15/B/NZ7/01036 (MK, LKS, MMK, MC, KS), statutory funding for INTC (BS).

Keywords: gold nanoparticles, histone, methylation, silver nanoparticles

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43 Solving Crimes through DNA Methylation Analysis

Authors: Ajay Kumar Rana


Predicting human behaviour, discerning monozygotic twins or left over remnant tissues/fluids of a single human source remains a big challenge in forensic science. Recent advances in the field of DNA methylations which are broadly chemical hallmarks in response to environmental factors can certainly help to identify and discriminate various single-source DNA samples collected from the crime scenes. In this review, cytosine methylation of DNA has been methodologically discussed with its broad applications in many challenging forensic issues like body fluid identification, race/ethnicity identification, monozygotic twins dilemma, addiction or behavioural prediction, age prediction, or even authenticity of the human DNA. With the advent of next-generation sequencing techniques, blooming of DNA methylation datasets and together with standard molecular protocols, the prospect of investigating and solving the above issues and extracting the exact nature of the truth for reconstructing the crime scene events would be undoubtedly helpful in defending and solving the critical crime cases.

Keywords: DNA methylation, differentially methylated regions, human identification, forensics

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42 Identification of Candidate Congenital Heart Defects Biomarkers by Applying a Random Forest Approach on DNA Methylation Data

Authors: Kan Yu, Khui Hung Lee, Eben Afrifa-Yamoah, Jing Guo, Katrina Harrison, Jack Goldblatt, Nicholas Pachter, Jitian Xiao, Guicheng Brad Zhang


Background and Significance of the Study: Congenital Heart Defects (CHDs) are the most common malformation at birth and one of the leading causes of infant death. Although the exact etiology remains a significant challenge, epigenetic modifications, such as DNA methylation, are thought to contribute to the pathogenesis of congenital heart defects. At present, no existing DNA methylation biomarkers are used for early detection of CHDs. The existing CHD diagnostic techniques are time-consuming and costly and can only be used to diagnose CHDs after an infant was born. The present study employed a machine learning technique to analyse genome-wide methylation data in children with and without CHDs with the aim to find methylation biomarkers for CHDs. Methods: The Illumina Human Methylation EPIC BeadChip was used to screen the genome‐wide DNA methylation profiles of 24 infants diagnosed with congenital heart defects and 24 healthy infants without congenital heart defects. Primary pre-processing was conducted by using RnBeads and limma packages. The methylation levels of top 600 genes with the lowest p-value were selected and further investigated by using a random forest approach. ROC curves were used to analyse the sensitivity and specificity of each biomarker in both training and test sample sets. The functionalities of selected genes with high sensitivity and specificity were then assessed in molecular processes. Major Findings of the Study: Three genes (MIR663, FGF3, and FAM64A) were identified from both training and validating data by random forests with an average sensitivity and specificity of 85% and 95%. GO analyses for the top 600 genes showed that these putative differentially methylated genes were primarily associated with regulation of lipid metabolic process, protein-containing complex localization, and Notch signalling pathway. The present findings highlight that aberrant DNA methylation may play a significant role in the pathogenesis of congenital heart defects.

Keywords: biomarker, congenital heart defects, DNA methylation, random forest

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41 Methylation Profiling and Validation of Candidate Tissue-Specific Differentially Methylated Regions for Identification of Human Blood, Saliva, Semen and Vaginal Fluid and Its Application in Forensics

Authors: Meenu Joshi, Natalie Naidoo, Farzeen Kader


Identification of body fluids is an essential step in forensic investigation to aid in crime reconstruction. Tissue-specific differentially methylated regions (tDMRs) of the human genome can be targeted to be used as biomarkers to differentiate between body fluids. The present study was undertaken to establish the methylation status of potential tDMRs in blood, semen, saliva, and vaginal fluid by using methylation-specific PCR (MSP) and bisulfite sequencing (BS). The methylation statuses of 3 potential tDMRS in genes ZNF282, PTPRS, and HPCAL1 were analysed in 10 samples of each body fluid. With MSP analysis, the ZNF282, and PTPRS1 tDMR displayed semen-specific hypomethylation while HPCAL1 tDMR showed saliva-specific hypomethylation. With quantitative analysis by BS, the ZNF282 tDMR showed statistically significant difference in overall methylation between semen and all other body fluids as well as at individual CpG sites (p < 0.05). To evaluate the effect of environmental conditions on the stability of methylation profiles of the ZNF282 tDMR, five samples of each body fluid were subjected to five different forensic simulated conditions (dry at room temperature, wet in an exsiccator, outside on the ground, sprayed with alcohol, and sprayed with bleach) for 50 days. Vaginal fluid showed highest DNA recovery under all conditions while semen had least DNA quantity. Under outside on the ground condition, all body fluids except semen showed a decrease in methylation level; however, a significant decrease in methylation level was observed for saliva. A statistical significant difference was observed for saliva and semen (p < 0.05) for outside on the ground condition. No differences in methylation level were observed for the ZNF282 tDMR under all conditions for vaginal fluid samples. Thus, in the present study ZNF282 tDMR has been identified as a novel and stable semen-specific hypomethylation marker.

Keywords: body fluids, bisulphite sequencing, forensics, tDMRs, MSP

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40 Study on Developmental and Pathogenesis Related Genes Expression Deregulation in Brassica compestris Infected with 16Sr-IX Associated Phytoplasma

Authors: Samina Jam Nazeer Ahmad, Samia Yasin, Ijaz Ahmad, Muhammad Tahir, Jam Nazeer Ahmad


Phytoplasmas are phloem-inhibited plant pathogenic bacteria that are transferred by insect vectors. Among biotic factors, Phytoplasma infection induces abnormality influencing the physiology as well as morphology of plants. In 16Sr-IX group phytoplasma-infected brassica compestris, flower abnormalities have been associated with changes in the expression of floral development genes. To determine whether methylation was involved in down-regulation of flower development, the process of DNA methylation and Demethylation was investigated as a possible mechanism for regulation of floral gene expression in phytoplasma infected Brassica transmitted by Orosious orientalis vector by using RT-PCR, MSRE-PCR, Southern blotting, Bisulfite Sequencing, etc. Transcriptional expression of methylated genes was found to be globally down-regulated in plants infected with phytoplasma, but not severely in those infested by insect vectors and variation in expression was found in genes involved in methylation. These results also showed that genes particularly orthologous to Arabidopsis APETALA3 involved in petal formation and flower development was down-regulated severely in phytoplasma-infected brassica and with the fact that phytoplasma and insect induce variation in developmental gene expression. The DNA methylation status of flower developmental gene in phytoplasma infected plants with 5-azacytidine restored gene expression strongly suggesting that DNA methylation was involved in down-regulation of floral development genes in phytoplasma infected brassica.

Keywords: genes expression, phytoplasma, DNA methylation, flower development

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39 Identification of Body Fluid at the Crime Scene by DNA Methylation Markers for Use in Forensic Science

Authors: Shirin jalili, Hadi Shirzad, Mahasti Modarresi, Samaneh Nabavi, Somayeh Khanjani


Identifying the source tissue of biological material found at crime scenes can be very informative in a number of cases. Despite their usefulness, current visual, catalytic, enzymatic, and immunologic tests for presumptive and confirmatory tissue identification are applicable only to a subset of samples, might suffer limitations such as low specificity, lack of sensitivity, and are substantially impacted by environmental insults. In addition their results are operator-dependent. Recently the possibility of discriminating body fluids using mRNA expression differences in tissues has been described but lack of long term stability of that Molecule and the need to normalize samples for each individual are limiting factors. The use of DNA should solve these issues because of its long term stability and specificity to each body fluid. Cells in the human body have a unique epigenome, which includes differences in DNA methylation in the promoter of genes. DNA methylation, which occurs at the 5′-position of the cytosine in CpG dinucleotides, has great potential for forensic identification of body fluids, because tissue-specific patterns of DNA methylation have been demonstrated, and DNA is less prone to degradation than proteins or RNA. Previous studies have reported several body fluid-specific DNA methylation markers.The presence or absence of a methyl group on the 5’ carbon of the cytosine pyridine ring in CpG dinucleotide regions called ‘CpG islands’ dictates whether the gene is expressed or silenced in the particular body fluid. Were described methylation patterns at tissue specific differentially methylated regions (tDMRs) to be stable and specific, making them excellent markers for tissue identification. The results demonstrate that methylation-based tissue identification is more than a proof-of-concept. The methodology holds promise as another viable forensic DNA analysis tool for characterization of biological materials.

Keywords: DNA methylation, forensic science, epigenome, tDMRs

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38 Polyphenol-Rich Aronia Melanocarpa Juice Consumption and Line-1 Dna Methylation in a Cohort at Cardiovascular Risk

Authors: Ljiljana Stojković, Manja Zec, Maja Zivkovic, Maja Bundalo, Marija Glibetić, Dragan Alavantić, Aleksandra Stankovic


Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is associated with alterations in DNA methylation, the latter modulated by dietary polyphenols. The present pilot study (part of the original clinical study registered as NCT02800967 at aimed to investigate the impact of 4-week daily consumption of polyphenol-rich Aronia melanocarpa juice on Long Interspersed Nucleotide Element-1 (LINE-1) methylation in peripheral blood leukocytes, in subjects (n=34, age of 41.1±6.6 years) at moderate CVD risk, including an increased body mass index, central obesity, high normal blood pressure and/or dyslipidemia. The goal was also to examine whether factors known to affect DNA methylation, such as folate intake levels, MTHFR C677T gene variant, as well as the anthropometric and metabolic parameters, modulated the LINE-1 methylation levels upon consumption of polyphenol-rich Aronia juice. The experimental analysis of LINE-1 methylation was done by the MethyLight method. MTHFR C677T genotypes were determined by the polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism method. Folate intake was assessed by processing the data from the food frequency questionnaire and repeated 24-hour dietary recalls. Serum lipid profile was determined by using Roche Diagnostics kits. The statistical analyses were performed using the Statistica software package. In women, after vs. before the treatment period, a significant decrease in LINE-1 methylation levels was observed (97.54±1.50% vs. 98.39±0.86%, respectively; P=0.01). The change (after vs. before treatment) in LINE-1 methylation correlated directly with MTHFR 677T allele presence, average daily folate intake and the change in serum low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, while inversely with the change in serum triacylglycerols (R=0.72, R2=0.52, adjusted R2=0.36, P=0.03). The current results imply potential cardioprotective effects of habitual polyphenol-rich Aronia juice consumption achieved through the modifications of DNA methylation pattern in subjects at CVD risk, which should be further confirmed. Hence, the precision nutrition-driven modulations of DNA methylation may become targets for new approaches in the prevention and treatment of CVD.

Keywords: Aronia melanocarpa, cardiovascular risk, LINE-1, methylation, peripheral blood leukocytes, polyphenol

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37 Internal Mercury Exposure Levels Correlated to DNA Methylation of Imprinting Gene H19 in Human Sperm of Reproductive-Aged Man

Authors: Zhaoxu Lu, Yufeng Ma, Linying Gao, Li Wang, Mei Qiang


Mercury (Hg) is a well-recognized environmental pollutant known by its toxicity of development and neurotoxicity, which may result in adverse health outcomes. However, the mechanisms underlying the teratogenic effects of Hg are not well understood. Imprinting genes are emerging regulators for fetal development subject to environmental pollutants impacts. In this study, we examined the association between paternal preconception Hg exposures and the alteration of DNA methylation of imprinting genes in human sperm DNA. A total of 618 men aged from 22 to 59 was recruited from the Reproductive Medicine Clinic of Maternal and Child Care Service Center and the Urologic Surgery Clinic of Shanxi Academy of Medical Sciences during April 2015 and March 2016. Demographic information was collected using questionnaires. Urinary Hg concentrations were measured using a fully-automatic double-channel hydride generation atomic fluorescence spectrometer. And methylation status in the DMRs of imprinting genes H19, Meg3 and Peg3 of sperm DNA were examined by bisulfite pyrosequencing in 243 participants. Spearman’s rank and multivariate regression analysis were used for correlation analysis between sperm DNA methylation status of imprinting genes and urinary Hg levels. The median concentration of Hg for participants overall was 9.09μg/l (IQR: 5.54 - 12.52μg/l; range = 0 - 71.35μg/l); no significant difference was found in median concentrations of Hg among various demographic groups (p > 0.05). The proportion of samples that a beyond intoxication criterion (10μg/l) for urinary Hg was 42.6%. Spearman’s rank correlation analysis indicates a negative correlation between urinary Hg concentrations and average DNA methylation levels in the DMRs of imprinted genes H19 (rs=﹣0.330, p = 0.000). However, there was no such a correlation found in genes of Peg3 and Meg3. Further, we analyzed of correlation between methylation level at each CpG site of H19 and Hg level, the results showed that three out of 7 CpG sites on H19 DMR, namely CpG2 (rs =﹣0.138, p = 0.031), CpG4 (rs =﹣0.369, p = 0.000) and CpG6 (rs=﹣0.228, p = 0.000), demonstrated a significant negative correlation between methylation levels and the levels of urinary Hg. After adjusting age, smoking, drinking, intake of aquatic products and education by multivariate regression analysis, the results have shown a similar correlation. In summary, mercury nonoccupational environmental exposure in reproductive-aged men associated with altered DNA methylation outcomes at DMR of imprinting gene H19 in sperm, implicating the susceptibility of the developing sperm for environmental insults.

Keywords: epigenetics, genomic imprinting gene, DNA methylation, mercury, transgenerational effects, sperm

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36 The Epigenetic Background Depended Treatment Planning for Glioblastoma Multiforme

Authors: Rasime Kalkan, Emine Ikbal Atli, Ali Arslantaş, Muhsin Özdemir, Sevilhan Artan


Glioblastoma (WHO grade IV), is the malignant form of brain tumor, the genetic background of the GBM is highly variable. The tumor mass of a GBM is multilayered and every tumor layer shows distinct characteristics with a different cell population. The treatment planning of GBM should be focused on the tumor genetic characteristics. We screened primary glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) in a population-based study for MGMT and RARβ methylation and IDH1 mutation correlated them with clinical data and treatment. There was no correlation between MGMT-promoter methylation and overall survival. The overall survival time of the patients with methylated RARβ was statically (OS;p<0,05) significance between the patients who were treated with chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Here we showed the status of IDH1 gene associatied with younger age. We demonstrated that the together with MGMT gene the RARβ gene should be used as a potantial treatment decision marker for GBMs.

Keywords: RARβ, primary glioblastoma multiforme, methylation, MGMT

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35 Toluene Methylation with Methanol Using Synthesized HZSM-5 Catalysts Modified by Silylation and Dealumination

Authors: Weerachit Pulsawas, Thirasak Rirksomboon


Due to its abundance from catalytic reforming and thermal cracking of naphtha, toluene could become more value-added compound if it is converted into xylenes, particularly p-xylene, via toluene methylation. Attractively, toluene methylation with methanol is an alternative route to produce xylenes in the absence of other hydrocarbon by-products for which appropriate catalyst would be utilized. In this study, HZSM-5 catalysts with Si/Al molar ratio of 100 were synthesized via hydrothermal treatment and modified by either chemical liquid deposition using tetraethyl-orthosilicate or dealumination with steam. The modified catalysts were characterized by several techniques and tested for their catalytic activity in a continuous down-flow fixed bed reactor. Various operating conditions including WHSV’s of 5 to 20 h-1, reaction temperatures of 400 to 500 °C, and toluene-to-methanol molar ratios (T/M) of 1 to 4 were investigated for attaining possible highest p-xylene selectivity. As a result, the catalytic activity of parent HZSM-5 with temperature of 400 °C, T/M of 4 and WHSV of 24 h-1 showed 65.36% in p-xylene selectivity and 11.90% in toluene conversion as demonstrated for 4 h on stream.

Keywords: toluene methylaion, HZSM-5, silylation, dealumination

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34 Effects of Cold Treatments on Methylation Profiles and Reproduction Mode of Diploid and Tetraploid Plants of Ranunculus kuepferi (Ranunculaceae)

Authors: E. Syngelaki, C. C. F. Schinkel, S. Klatt, E. Hörandl


Environmental influence can alter the conditions for plant development and can trigger changes in epigenetic variation. Thus, the exposure to abiotic environmental stress can lead to different DNA methylation profiles and may have evolutionary consequences for adaptation. Epigenetic control mechanisms may further influence mode of reproduction. The alpine species R. kuepferi has diploid and tetraploid cytotypes, that are mostly sexual and facultative apomicts, respectively. Hence, it is a suitable model system for studying the correlations of mode of reproduction, ploidy, and environmental stress. Diploid and tetraploid individuals were placed in two climate chambers and treated with low (+7°C day/+2°C night, -1°C cold shocks for three nights per week) and warm (control) temperatures (+15°C day/+10°C night). Subsequently, methylation sensitive-Amplified Fragment-Length Polymorphism (AFPL) markers were used to screen genome-wide methylation alterations triggered by stress treatments. The dataset was analyzed for four groups regarding treatment (cold/warm) and ploidy level (diploid/tetraploid), and also separately for full methylated, hemi-methylated and unmethylated sites. Patterns of epigenetic variation suggested that diploids differed significantly in their profiles from tetraploids independent from treatment, while treatments did not differ significantly within cytotypes. Furthermore, diploids are more differentiated than the tetraploids in overall methylation profiles of both treatments. This observation is in accordance with the increased frequency of apomictic seed formation in diploids and maintenance of facultative apomixis in tetraploids during the experiment. Global analysis of molecular variance showed higher epigenetic variation within groups than among them, while locus-by-locus analysis of molecular variance showed a high number (54.7%) of significantly differentiated un-methylated loci. To summarise, epigenetic variation seems to depend on ploidy level, and in diploids may be correlated to changes in mode of reproduction. However, further studies are needed to elucidate the mechanism and possible functional significance of these correlations.

Keywords: apomixis, cold stress, DNA methylation, Ranunculus kuepferi

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33 Analysis of DNA from Fired Cartridge Casings

Authors: S. Mawlood, L. Denanny, N. Watson, B. Pickard


DNA analysis has been widely accepted as providing valuable evidence concerning the identity of the source of biological traces. Our work has showed that DNA samples can survive on cartridges even after firing. The study also raised the possibility of determining other information such as the age of the donor. Such information may be invaluable in certain cases where spent cartridges from automatic weapons are left behind at the scene of a crime. In spite of the nature of touch evidence and exposure to high chamber temperatures during shooting, we were still capable to retrieve enough DNA for profile typing. In order to estimate age of contributor, DNA methylation levels were analyzed using EpiTect system for retrieved DNA. However, results were not conclusive, due to low amount of input DNA.

Keywords: DNA profile, DNA Methylation, fired cartridge, touch sample

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32 Neuro-Epigenetic Changes on Diabetes Induced-Synaptic Fidelity in Brain

Authors: Valencia Fernandes, Dharmendra Kumar Khatri, Shashi Bala Singh


Background and Aim: Epigenetics are the inaudible signatures of several pathological processes in the brain. This study understands the influence of DNA methylation, a major epigenetic modification, in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus of the diabetic brain and its notable effect on the cellular chaperones and synaptic proteins. Method: Chronic high fat diet and STZ-induced diabetic mice were studied for cognitive dysfunction, and global DNA methylation, as well as DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) activity, were assessed. Further, the cellular chaperones and synaptic proteins were examined using DNMT inhibitor, 5-aza-2′-deoxycytidine (5-aza-dC)-via intracerebroventricular injection. Moreover, % methylation of these synaptic proteins were also studied so as to correlate its epigenetic involvement. Computationally, its interaction with the DNMT enzyme were also studied using bioinformatic tools. Histological studies for morphological alterations and neuronal degeneration were also studied. Neurogenesis, a characteristic marker for new learning and memory formation, was also assessed via the BrdU staining. Finally, the most important behavioral studies, including the Morris water maze, Y maze, passive avoidance, and Novel object recognition test, were performed to study its cognitive functions. Results: Altered global DNA methylation and increased levels of DNMTs within the nucleus were confirmed in the cortex and hippocampus of the diseased mice, suggesting hypermethylation at a genetic level. Treatment with AzadC, a global DNA demethylating agent, ameliorated the protein and gene expression of the cellular chaperones and synaptic fidelity. Furthermore, the methylation analysis profile showed hypermethylation of the hsf1 protein, a master regulator for chaperones and thus, confirmed the epigenetic involvement in the diseased brain. Morphological improvements and decreased neurodegeneration, along with enhanced neurogenesis in the treatment group, suggest that epigenetic modulations do participate in learning and memory. This is supported by the improved behavioral test battery seen in the treatment group. Conclusion: DNA methylation could possibly accord in dysregulating the memory-associated proteins at chronic stages in type 2 diabetes. This could suggest a substantial contribution to the underlying pathophysiology of several metabolic syndromes like insulin resistance, obesity and also participate in transitioning this damage centrally, such as cognitive dysfunction.

Keywords: epigenetics, cognition, chaperones, DNA methylation

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31 DNA Methylation Changes in Response to Ocean Acidification at the Time of Larval Metamorphosis in the Edible Oyster, Crassostrea hongkongensis

Authors: Yong-Kian Lim, Khan Cheung, Xin Dang, Steven Roberts, Xiaotong Wang, Vengatesen Thiyagarajan


Unprecedented rate of increased CO₂ level in the ocean and the subsequent changes in carbonate system including decreased pH, known as ocean acidification (OA), is predicted to disrupt not only the calcification process but also several other physiological and developmental processes in a variety of marine organisms, including edible oysters. Nonetheless, not all species are vulnerable to those OA threats, e.g., some species may be able to cope with OA stress using environmentally induced modifications on gene and protein expressions. For example, external environmental stressors, including OA, can influence the addition and removal of methyl groups through epigenetic modification (e.g., DNA methylation) process to turn gene expression “on or off” as part of a rapid adaptive mechanism to cope with OA. In this study, the above hypothesis was tested through testing the effect of OA, using decreased pH 7.4 as a proxy, on the DNA methylation pattern of an endemic and a commercially important estuary oyster species, Crassostrea hongkongensis, at the time of larval habitat selection and metamorphosis. Larval growth rate did not differ between control pH 8.1 and treatment pH 7.4. The metamorphosis rate of the pediveliger larvae was higher at pH 7.4 than those in control pH 8.1; however, over one-third of the larvae raised at pH 7.4 failed to attach to an optimal substrate as defined by biofilm presence. During larval development, a total of 130 genes were differentially methylated across the two treatments. The differential methylation in the larval genes may have partially accounted for the higher metamorphosis success rate under decreased pH 7.4 but with poor substratum selection ability. Differentially methylated loci were concentrated in the exon regions and appear to be associated with cytoskeletal and signal transduction, oxidative stress, metabolic processes, and larval metamorphosis, which implies the high potential of C. hongkongensis larvae to acclimate and adapt through non-genetic ways to OA threats within a single generation.

Keywords: adaptive plasticity, DNA methylation, larval metamorphosis, ocean acidification

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30 Evaluation of Promoter Hypermethylation in Tissue and Blood of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Patients and Association with Survival

Authors: Ashraf Ali, Kriti Upadhyay, Puja Sohal, Anant Mohan, Randeep Guleria


Background: Gene silencing by aberrant promoter hypermethylation is common in lung cancer and is an initiating event in its development. Aim: To evaluate the gene promoter hypermethylation frequency in serum and tissue of lung cancer patients. Method: 95 newly diagnosed untreated advance stage lung cancer patients and 50 cancer free matched controls were studied. Bisulfite modification of tissue and serum DNA was done; modified DNA was used as a template for methylation-specific PCR analysis. Survival was assessed for one year. Results: Of 95 patients, 82% were non-small cell lung cancer (34% squamous cell carcinoma, 34% non-small cell lung cancer and 14% adenocarcinoma) and 18% were small cell lung cancer. Biopsy revealed that tissue of 89% and 75% of lung cancer patients and 85% and 52% of controls had promoter hypermethylated for MGMT (p=0.35) and p16(p<0.001) gene, respectively. In serum, 33% and 49% of lung cancer patients and 28% and 43% controls were positive for MGMT and p16 gene. No significant correlation was found between survival and clinico-pathological parameters. Conclusion: High gene promoter methylation frequency of p16 gene in tissue biopsy may be linked with early stages of carcinogenesis. Appropriate follow-up is required for confirmation of this finding.

Keywords: lung cancer, MS- PCR, methylation, molecular biology

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29 Scenario of Some Minerals and Impact of Promoter Hypermethylation of DAP-K Gene in Gastric Carcinoma Patients of Kashmir Valley

Authors: Showkat Ahmad Bhat, Iqra Reyaz, Falaque ul Afshan, Ahmad Arif Reshi, Muneeb U. Rehman, Manzoor R. Mir, Sabhiya Majid, Sonallah, Sheikh Bilal, Ishraq Hussain


Background: Gastric cancer is the fourth most common cancer and the second leading cause of worldwide cancer-related deaths, with a wide variation in incidence rates across different geographical areas. The current view of cancer is that a malignancy arises from a transformation of the genetic material of a normal cell, followed by successive mutations and by chain of alterations in genes such as DNA repair genes, oncogenes, Tumor suppressor genes. Minerals are necessary for the functioning of several transcriptional factors, proteins that recognize certain DNA sequences and have been found to play a role in gastric cancer. Material Methods:The present work was a case control study and its aim was to ascertain the role of minerals and promoter hypermethylation of CpG islands of DAP-K gene in Gastric cancer patients among the Kashmiri population. Serum was extracted from all the samples and mineral estimation was done by AAS from serum, DNA was also extracted and was modified using bisulphite modification kit. Methylation-specific PCR was used for the analysis of the promoter hypermethylation status of DAP-K gene. The epigenetic analysis revealed that unlike other high risk regions, Kashmiri population has a different promoter hypermethylation profile of DAP-K gene and has different mineral profile. Results: In our study mean serum copper levels were significantly different for the two genders (p<0.05), while as no significant differences were observed for iron and zinc levels. In Methylation-specific PCR the methylation status of the promoter region of DAP-K gene was as 67.50% (27/40) of the gastric cancer tissues showed methylated DAP-K promoter and 32.50% (13/40) of the cases however showed unmethylated DAP-K promoter. Almost all 85% (17/20) of the histopathologically confirmed normal tissues showed unmethylated DAP-K promoter except only in 3 cases where DAP-K promoter was found to be methylated. The association of promoter hypermethylation with gastric cancer was evaluated by χ2 (Chi square) test and was found to be significant (P=0.0006). Occurrence of DAP-K methylation was found to be unequally distributed in males and females with more frequency in males than in females but the difference was not statistically significant (P =0.7635, Odds ratio=1.368 and 95% C.I=0.4197 to 4.456). When the frequency of DAP-K promoter methylation was compared with clinical staging of the disease, DAP-K promoter methylation was found to be certainly higher in Stage III/IV (85.71%) compared to Stage I/ II (57.69%) but the difference was not statistically significant (P =0.0673). These results suggest that DAP-K aberrant promoter hypermethylation in Kashmiri population contributes to the process of carcinogenesis in Gastric cancer and is reportedly one of the commonest epigenetic changes in the development of Gastric cancer.

Keywords: gastric cancer, minerals, AAS, hypermethylation, CpG islands, DAP-K gene

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28 lncRNA Gene Expression Profiling Analysis by TCGA RNA-Seq Data of Breast Cancer

Authors: Xiaoping Su, Gabriel G. Malouf


Introduction: Breast cancer is a heterogeneous disease that can be classified in 4 subgroups using transcriptional profiling. The role of lncRNA expression in human breast cancer biology, prognosis, and molecular classification remains unknown. Methods and results: Using an integrative comprehensive analysis of lncRNA, mRNA and DNA methylation in 900 breast cancer patients from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) project, we unraveled the molecular portraits of 1,700 expressed lncRNA. Some of those lncRNAs (i.e, HOTAIR) are previously reported and others are novel (i.e, HOTAIRM1, MAPT-AS1). The lncRNA classification correlated well with the PAM50 classification for basal-like, Her-2 enriched and luminal B subgroups, in contrast to the luminal A subgroup which behaved differently. Importantly, estrogen receptor (ESR1) expression was associated with distinct lncRNA networks in lncRNA clusters III and IV. Gene set enrichment analysis for cis- and trans-acting lncRNA showed enrichment for breast cancer signatures driven by breast cancer master regulators. Almost two third of those lncRNA were marked by enhancer chromatin modifications (i.e., H3K27ac), suggesting that lncRNA expression may result in increased activity of neighboring genes. Differential analysis of gene expression profiling data showed that lncRNA HOTAIRM1 was significantly down-regulated in basal-like subtype, and DNA methylation profiling data showed that lncRNA HOTAIRM1 was highly methylated in basal-like subtype. Thus, our integrative analysis of gene expression and DNA methylation strongly suggested that lncRNA HOTAIRM1 should be a tumor suppressor in basal-like subtype. Conclusion and significance: Our study depicts the first lncRNA molecular portrait of breast cancer and shows that lncRNA HOTAIRM1 might be a novel tumor suppressor.

Keywords: lncRNA profiling, breast cancer, HOTAIRM1, tumor suppressor

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27 The Effects of Myelin Basic Protein Charge Isomers on the Methyl Cycle Metabolites in Glial Cells

Authors: Elene Zhuravliova, Tamar Barbakadze, Irina Kalandadze, Elnari Zaalishvili, Lali Shanshiashvili, David Mikeladze


Background: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory, neurodegenerative disease, which is accompanied by demyelination and autoimmune response to myelin proteins. Among post-translational modifications, which mediate the modulation of inflammatory pathways during MS, methylation is the main one. The methylation of DNA, also amino acids lysine and arginine, occurs in the cell. It was found that decreased trans-methylation is associated with neuroinflammatory diseases. Therefore, abnormal regulation of the methyl cycle could induce demyelination through the action on PAD (peptidyl-arginine-deiminase) gene promoter. PAD takes part in protein citrullination and targets myelin basic protein (MBP), which is affected during demyelination. To determine whether MBP charge isomers are changing the methyl cycle, we have estimated the concentrations of methyl cycle metabolites in MBP-activated primary astrocytes and oligodendrocytes. For this purpose, the action of the citrullinated MBP- C8 and the most cationic MBP-C1 isomers on the primary cells were investigated. Methods: Primary oligodendrocyte and astrocyte cell cultures were prepared from whole brains of 2-day-old Wistar rats. The methyl cycle metabolites, including homocysteine, S-adenosylmethionine (SAM), and S-adenosylhomocysteine (SAH), were estimated by HPLC analysis using fluorescence detection and prior derivatization. Results: We found that the action of MBP-C8 and MBP-C1 induces a decrease in the concentration of both methyl cycle metabolites, S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) and S-adenosylhomocysteine (SAH), in astrocytes compared to the control cells. As for oligodendrocytes, the concentration of SAM was increased by the addition of MBP-C1, while MBP-C8 has no significant effect. As for SAH, its concentration was increased compared to the control cells by the action of both MBP-C1 and MBP-C8. A significant increase in homocysteine concentration was observed by the action of the MBP-C8 isomer in both oligodendrocytes and astrocytes. Conclusion: These data suggest that MBP charge isomers change the concentration of methyl cycle metabolites. MBP-C8 citrullinated isomer causes elevation of homocysteine in astrocytes and oligodendrocytes, which may be the reason for decreased astrocyte proliferation and increased oligodendrocyte cell death which takes place in neurodegenerative processes. Elevated homocysteine levels and subsequent abnormal regulation of methyl cycles in oligodendrocytes possibly change the methylation of DNA that activates PAD gene promoter and induces the synthesis of PAD, which in turn provokes the process of citrullination, which is the accompanying process of demyelination. Acknowledgment: This research was supported by the SRNSF Georgia RF17_534 grant.

Keywords: myelin basic protein, astrocytes, methyl cycle metabolites, homocysteine, oligodendrocytes

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26 ICAM1 Expression is Enhanced by TNFa through Histone Methylation in Human Brain Microvessel Cells

Authors: Ji-Young Choi, Jungjin Kim, Sang-Sun Yun, Sangmee Ahn Jo


Intracellular adhesion molecule1 (ICAM1) is a mediator of inflammation and involved in adhesion and transmigration of leukocytes to endothelial cells, resulting in enhancement of brain inflammation. We hypothesized that increase of ICAM1 expression in endothelial cells is an early step in the pathogenesis of brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. Here, we report that ICAM1 expression is regulated by pro-inflammatory cytokine TNFa in human microvascular endothelial cell (HBMVEC). TNFa significantly increased ICAM1 mRNA and protein levels at the concentrations showing no cell toxicity. This increase was also shown in micro vessels of mouse brain 24 hours after treatment with TNFa (8 mg/kg, i.v). We then investigated the epigenetic mechanism involved in the induction of ICAM1 expression. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assay revealed that TNFa reduced methylation of histone3K9 (H3K9-2me) and histone3K27 (H3K27-3me), well-known modification as gene suppression, with in the ICAM1 promoter region. However, acetylation of H3K9 and H3K14, well-known modification as gene activation, was not changed by TNFa. Treatment of BIX01294, a specific inhibitor of histone methyltransferase G9a responsible for H3K9-2me, dramatically increased in ICAM1 mRNA and protein levels and overexpression of G9a gene suppressed TNFa-induced ICAM1 expression. In contrast, GSK126, an inhibitor of histone methyltransferase EZH2 responsible for H3K27-3me and valproic acid, an inhibitor of histone deacetylase (HDAC) did not affect ICAM1 expression. These results suggested that histone3 methylation is involved in ICAM1 repression. Moreover, TNFa or BIX01294-induced ICAM induction resulted in both enhancements in adhesion and transmigration of leukocyte on endothelial cell. This study demonstrates that TNFa upregulates ICAM1 expression through H3K9-2me and H3K27-3me within the ICAM1 promoter region, in which G9a is likely to play a pivotal role in ICAM1 transcription. Our study provides a novel mechanism for ICAM1 transcription regulation in HBMVEC.

Keywords: ICAM1, TNFa, HBMVEC, H3K9-2me

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25 Biotransformation Process for the Enhanced Production of the Pharmaceutical Agents Sakuranetin and Genkwanin: Poised to be Potent Therapeuctic Drugs

Authors: Niranjan Koirala, Sumangala Darsandhari, Hye Jin Jung, Jae Kyung Sohng


Sakuranetin, an antifungal agent and genkwanin, an anti-inflammatory agent, are flavonoids with several potential pharmaceutical applications. To produce such valuable flavonoids in large quantity, an Escherichia coli cell factory has been created. E. coli harboring O-methyltransferase (SaOMT2) derived from Streptomyces avermitilis was employed for regiospecific methylation of naringenin and apigenin. In order to increase the production via biotransformation, metK gene was overexpressed and the conditions were optimized. The maximum yield of sakuranetin and genkwanin under optimized conditions was 197 µM and 170 µM respectively when 200 µM of naringenin and apigenin were supplemented in the separate cultures. Furthermore, sakuranetin was purified in large scale and used as a substrate for in vitro glycosylation by YjiC to produce glucose and galactose derivatives of sakuranetin for improved solubility. We also found that unlike naringenin, sakuranetin effectively inhibits α-melanocyte stimulating hormone (α-MSH)-stimulated melanogenesis in B16F10 melanoma cells. In addition, genkwanin more potently inhibited angiogenesis than apigenin. Based on our findings, we speculate that these compounds warrant further investigation in vivo as potential new therapeutic anti-carcinogenic, anti-melanogenic and anti-angiogenic agents.

Keywords: anti-carcinogenic, anti-melanogenic, glycosylation, methylation

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24 Transcriptomic Analysis of Acanthamoeba castellanii Virulence Alteration by Epigenetic DNA Methylation

Authors: Yi-Hao Wong, Li-Li Chan, Chee-Onn Leong, Stephen Ambu, Joon-Wah Mak, Priyasashi Sahu


Background: Acanthamoeba is a genus of amoebae which lives as a free-living in nature or as a human pathogen that causes severe brain and eye infections. Virulence potential of Acanthamoeba is not constant and can change with growth conditions. DNA methylation, an epigenetic process which adds methyl groups to DNA, is used by eukaryotic cells, including several human parasites to control their gene expression. We used qPCR, siRNA gene silencing, and RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) to study DNA-methyltransferase gene family (DNMT) in order to indicate the possibility of its involvement in programming Acanthamoeba virulence potential. Methods: A virulence-attenuated Acanthamoeba isolate (designation: ATCC; original isolate: ATCC 50492) was subjected to mouse passages to restore its pathogenicity; a virulence-reactivated isolate (designation: AC/5) was generated. Several established factors associated with Acanthamoeba virulence phenotype were examined to confirm the succession of reactivation process. Differential gene expression of DNMT between ATCC and AC/5 isolates was performed by qPCR. Silencing on DNMT gene expression in AC/5 isolate was achieved by siRNA duplex. Total RNAs extracted from ATCC, AC/5, and siRNA-treated (designation: si-146) were subjected to RNA-Seq for comparative transcriptomic analysis in order to identify the genome-wide effect of DNMT in regulating Acanthamoeba gene expression. qPCR was performed to validate the RNA-Seq results. Results: Physiological and cytophatic assays demonstrated an increased in virulence potential of AC/5 isolate after mouse passages. DNMT gene expression was significantly higher in AC/5 compared to ATCC isolate (p ≤ 0.01) by qPCR. si-146 duplex reduced DNMT gene expression in AC/5 isolate by 30%. Comparative transcriptome analysis identified the differentially expressed genes, with 3768 genes in AC/5 vs ATCC isolate; 2102 genes in si-146 vs AC/5 isolate and 3422 genes in si-146 vs ATCC isolate, respectively (fold-change of ≥ 2 or ≤ 0.5, p-value adjusted (padj) < 0.05). Of these, 840 and 1262 genes were upregulated and downregulated, respectively, in si-146 vs AC/5 isolate. Eukaryotic orthologous group (KOG) assignments revealed a higher percentage of downregulated gene expression in si-146 compared to AC/5 isolate, were related to posttranslational modification, signal transduction and energy production. Gene Ontology (GO) terms for those downregulated genes shown were associated with transport activity, oxidation-reduction process, and metabolic process. Among these downregulated genes were putative genes encoded for heat shock proteins, transporters, ubiquitin-related proteins, proteins for vesicular trafficking (small GTPases), and oxidoreductases. Functional analysis of similar predicted proteins had been described in other parasitic protozoa for their survival and pathogenicity. Decreased expression of these genes in si146-treated isolate may account in part for Acanthamoeba reduced pathogenicity. qPCR on 6 selected genes upregulated in AC/5 compared to ATCC isolate corroborated the RNA sequencing findings, indicating a good concordance between these two analyses. Conclusion: To the best of our knowledge, this study represents the first genome-wide analysis of DNA methylation and its effects on gene expression in Acanthamoeba spp. The present data indicate that DNA methylation has substantial effect on global gene expression, allowing further dissection of the genome-wide effects of DNA-methyltransferase gene in regulating Acanthamoeba pathogenicity.

Keywords: Acanthamoeba, DNA methylation, RNA sequencing, virulence

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