bims-meprid Biomed News
on Metabolic-dependent epigenetic reprogramming in differentiation and disease
Issue of 2021‒07‒25
four papers selected by
Alessandro Carrer
Veneto Institute of Molecular Medicine

  1. Acta Histochem Cytochem. 2021 Jun 29. 54(3): 87-96
      Pituitary adenomas are common, benign brain tumors. Some tumors show aggressive phenotypes including early recurrence, local invasion and distant metastasis, but the underlying mechanism to drive the progression of pituitary tumors has remained to be clarified. Aerobic glycolysis known as the Warburg effect is one of the emerging hallmarks of cancer, which has an impact on the tumor biology partly through epigenetic regulation of the tumor-promoting genes. Here, we demonstrate metabolic reprogramming in pituitary tumors contributes to tumor cell growth with epigenetic changes such as histone acetylation. Notably, a shift in histone acetylation increases the expression of telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) oncogene, which drives metabolism-dependent cell proliferation in pituitary tumors. These indicate that epigenetic changes could be the specific biomarker for predicting the behavior of pituitary tumors and exploitable as a novel target for the aggressive types of the pituitary tumors.
    Keywords:  TERT; epigenetics; histone acetylation; metabolic reprogramming; pituitary tumors
  2. Curr Neuropharmacol. 2021 Jul 15.
      Nicotine induces long-term changes in the neural activity of the mesocorticolimbic reward pathway structures. The mechanisms involved in this process have not been fully characterized. The hypothesis discussed here proposed that epigenetic regulation participates in installing persistent adaptations and long-lasting synaptic plasticity generated by nicotine action on the mesolimbic dopamine neurons of zebrafish. The epigenetic mechanisms induced by nicotine entail histone and DNA chemical modifications, which have been described to lead to changes in gene expression. Among the enzymes that catalyze epigenetic chemical modifications, histone deacetylases (HDACs) remove acetyl groups from histones, thereby facilitating DNA relaxation and making DNA more accessible to gene transcription. DNA methylation, which is dependent on DNA methyltransferase (DNMTs) activity, inhibits gene expression by recruiting several methyl binding proteins that prevent RNA polymerase binding to DNA. In zebrafish, phenylbutyrate (PhB), an HDAC inhibitor, abolishes nicotine rewarding properties together with a series of typical reward-associated behaviors. Furthermore, PhB and nicotine alter long- and short-term object recognition memory in zebrafish, respectively. Regarding DNA methylation effects, a methyl group donor L-methionine (L-met) was found to dramatically reduce nicotine-induced conditioned place preference (CPP) in zebrafish. Simultaneous treatment with DNMT inhibitor 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (AZA) was found to reverse the L-met effect on nicotine-induced CPP as well as nicotine reward-specific impact on genetic expression in zebrafish. Therefore, pharmacological interventions that modulate gene expression epigenetic regulation should be considered a potential therapeutic method to treat nicotine addiction.
    Keywords:  Conditioning Place Preference; Dna Methylation; Epigenesis; Hdac Inhibitor; Histone Acetylation; Nicotine Reward; Zebrafish
  3. Oncogene. 2021 Jul 17.
      Epigenetic alterations have been previously shown to contribute to multiple myeloma (MM) pathogenesis via DNA methylations and histone modifications. RNA methylation, a novel epigenetic modification, is required for cancer cell survival, and targeting this pathway has been proposed as a new therapeutic strategy. The extent to the N6-methyladenosine (m6A)-regulatory pathway functions in MM remains unknown. Here, we show that an imbalance of RNA methylation may underlies the tumorigenesis of MM. Mechanistically, isocitrate dehydrogenase 2 (IDH2) is highly expressed in CD138+ cells from MM and its levels appear a progressive increase in the progression of plasma cell dyscrasias. Downregulation of IDH2 increases global m6A RNA levels and reduces myeloma cell growth in vitro, decreases the burden of disease and prolongs overall survival in vivo. IDH2 regulates RNA methylation by activating the RNA demethylase FTO, which is an α-KG-dependent dioxygenase. Furthermore, IDH2-mediated FTO activation decreases the m6A level on WNT7B transcripts, then increases WNT7B expression and thus activated Wnt signaling pathway. Moreover, survival analysis indicates that the elevated expression of IDH2 predicts a poor prognosis. Higher expression of FTO is related to higher International Staging System (ISS) stage and higher Revised-ISS (R-ISS) stage of MM. Collectively, our studies reveal that IDH2 regulates global m6A RNA modification in MM via targeting RNA demethylases FTO. The imbalance of m6A methylation activates the Wnt signaling pathway by enhancing the WNT7B expression, and thus promoting tumorigenesis and progression of MM. IDH2 might be used as a therapeutic target and a possible prognostic factor for MM.
  4. PeerJ. 2021 ;9 e11714
      Background: Diet-induced metabolic dysfunction precedes multiple disease states including diabetes, heart disease, and vascular dysfunction. The critical role of the vasculature in disease progression is established, yet the details of how gene expression changes in early cardiovascular disease remain an enigma. The objective of the current pilot project was to evaluate whether a quantitative assessment of gene expression within the aorta of six-week old healthy male Sprague-Dawley rats compared to those exhibiting symptoms of metabolic dysfunction could reveal potential mediators of vascular dysfunction.Methods: RNA was extracted from the aorta of eight rats from a larger experiment; four animals fed a high-fat diet (HFD) known to induce symptoms of metabolic dysfunction (hypertension, increased adiposity, fasting hyperglycemia) and four age-matched healthy animals fed a standard chow diet (CHOW). The bioinformatic workflow included Gene Ontology (GO) biological process enrichment and network analyses.
    Results: The resulting network contained genes relevant to physiological processes including fat and protein metabolism, oxygen transport, hormone regulation, vascular regulation, thermoregulation, and circadian rhythm. The majority of differentially regulated genes were downregulated, including several associated with circadian clock function. In contrast, leptin and 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA synthase 2 (Hmgcs2) were notably upregulated. Leptin is involved in several major energy balance signaling pathways and Hmgcs2 is a mitochondrial enzyme that catalyzes the first reaction of ketogenesis.
    Conclusion: Together, these data describe changes in gene expression within the aortic wall of HFD rats with early metabolic dysfunction and highlight potential pathways and signaling intermediates that may impact the development of early vascular dysfunction.
    Keywords:  Aorta; Cardiovascular; Gene; High fat diet; Metabolic syndrome; RNA