Journal Article

The Bmi-1 polycomb protein antagonizes the (−)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate-dependent suppression of skin cancer cell survival

Sivaprakasam Balasubramanian, Gautam Adhikary and Richard L. Eckert

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 31, issue 3, pages 496-503
Published in print March 2010 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online December 2009 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/carcin/bgp314
The Bmi-1 polycomb protein antagonizes the (−)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate-dependent suppression of skin cancer cell survival

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The polycomb group (PcG) proteins are epigenetic regulators of gene expression that enhance cell survival. This regulation is achieved via action of two multiprotein PcG complexes—PRC2 (EED) and PRC1 [B-cell-specific Moloney murine leukemia virus integration site 1 (Bmi-1)]. These complexes modulate gene expression by increasing histone methylation and reducing acetylation—leading to a closed chromatin conformation. Activity of these proteins is associated with increased cell proliferation and survival. We show increased expression of key PcG proteins in immortalized keratinocytes and skin cancer cell lines. We examine the role of two key PcG proteins, Bmi-1 and enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (Ezh2), and the impact of the active agent in green tea, (−)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), on the function of these regulators. EGCG treatment of SCC-13 cells reduces Bmi-1 and Ezh2 level and this is associated with reduced cell survival. The reduction in survival is associated with a global reduction in histone H3 lysine 27 trimethylation, a hallmark of PRC2 complex action. This change in PcG protein expression is associated with reduced expression of key proteins that enhance progression through the cell cycle [cyclin-dependent kinase (cdk)1, cdk2, cdk4, cyclin D1, cyclin E, cyclin A and cyclin B1] and increased expression of proteins that inhibit cell cycle progression (p21 and p27). Apoptosis is also enhanced, as evidenced by increased caspase 9, 8 and 3 cleavage and increased poly(adenosine diphosphate ribose) polymerase cleavage. EGCG treatment also increases Bax and suppresses Bcl-xL expression. Vector-mediated enhanced Bmi-1 expression reverses these EGCG-dependent changes. These findings suggest that green tea polyphenols reduce skin tumor cell survival by influencing PcG-mediated epigenetic regulatory mechanisms.

Journal Article.  6078 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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