Journal Article

Butyrate suppresses mRNA increase of osteopontin and cyclooxygenase-2 in human colon tumor tissue

F. Jahns, A. Wilhelm, N. Jablonowski, H. Mothes, Mariya Radeva, A. Wölfert, K.O. Greulich and M. Glei

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 32, issue 6, pages 913-920
Published in print June 2011 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online March 2011 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI:
Butyrate suppresses mRNA increase of osteopontin and cyclooxygenase-2 in human colon tumor tissue

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The short chain fatty acid (SCFA) butyrate, a product of fermentation of dietary fiber in the human colon, is found to exert multiple regulatory processes in colon carcinogenesis. The aim of this study was to find out whether butyrate affects the tumor-promoting genes osteopontin (OPN) and cyclooxygenase (COX)-2, their respective proteins and/or their functional activity in matched normal, adenoma and tumor colon tissues obtained from 20 individuals at colon cancer surgery. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction experiments showed increased levels of OPN and COX-2 messenger RNA in tumor tissues when compared with the adjacent normal samples (P < 0.001). The addition of butyrate reduced OPN and COX-2 mRNA expression in all tissue types compared with the related medium controls (tumor: P < 0.05). In tumor samples, a downregulation of up to median 35% (COX-2) and 50% (OPN) was observed, respectively. Thereby, tumors with lower levels of OPN basal expression were more sensitive to inhibition and vice versa for COX-2 in normal tissue. At the protein and enzyme level, which were determined by using western blot and enzyme immunometric assays, the impact of the SCFA was not clearly visible anymore. The active proteins of OPN and COX-2 (determined by prostaglandin E2) were found to correlate with their respective mRNA expression only in 50–63% of analyzed donors.

For the first time, our data reveal new insights into the chemoprotective potential of butyrate by showing the suppression of OPN and COX-2 mRNA in primary human colon tissue with the strongest effects observed in tumors.

Journal Article.  6512 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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