Journal Article

(−)-Epigallocatechin-3-gallate reactivates silenced tumor suppressor genes, <i>Cip1/p21</i> and p<i>16<sup>INK4a</sup></i>, by reducing DNA methylation and increasing histones acetylation in human skin cancer cells

Vijayalakshmi Nandakumar, Mudit Vaid and Santosh K. Katiyar

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 32, issue 4, pages 537-544
Published in print April 2011 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online January 2011 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/carcin/bgq285
(−)-Epigallocatechin-3-gallate reactivates silenced tumor suppressor genes, Cip1/p21 and p16INK4a, by reducing DNA methylation and increasing histones acetylation in human skin cancer cells

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The anti-skin carcinogenic effects of green tea catechins have been studied extensively in vitro and in vivo models but the precise epigenetic molecular mechanisms are still unclear. Accumulating data suggest that dietary phytochemicals may alter cancer risk by modifications of epigenetic processes in the cells. The present study was designed to investigate whether tea catechins, particularly (−)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), would modify epigenetic events to regulate DNA methylation-silenced tumor suppressor genes in skin cancer cells. DNA methylation, histone modifications and tumor suppressor gene expressions were studied in detail using human epidermoid carcinoma A431 cells as an in vitro model after EGCG treatment using cytostaining, western blotting, dot blot analysis, real-time polymerase chain reaction and enzymatic activity assays. Our study shows that EGCG treatment decreased global DNA methylation levels in A431 cells in a dose-dependent manner. EGCG decreased the levels of 5-methylcytosine, DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) activity, messenger RNA (mRNA) and protein levels of DNMT1, DNMT3a and DNMT3b. EGCG decreased histone deacetylase activity and increased levels of acetylated lysine 9 and 14 on histone H3 (H3-Lys 9 and 14) and acetylated lysine 5, 12 and 16 on histone H4 but decreased levels of methylated H3-Lys 9. Additionally, EGCG treatment resulted in re-expression of the mRNA and proteins of silenced tumor suppressor genes, p16INK4a and Cip1/p21. Together, our study provides new insight into the epigenetic mechanism of action of EGCG that may contribute to the chemoprevention of skin cancer and may have important implications for epigenetic therapy.

Journal Article.  6006 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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