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J Biol Chem. 2008 Nov 14;283(46):31341-7. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M803729200. Epub 2008 Sep 17.

Chromatin modification requirements for 15-lipoxygenase-1 transcriptional reactivation in colon cancer cells.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Cancer Prevention, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.


15-Lipoxygenase-1 (15-LOX-1) contributes significantly to inflammation regulation and terminal cell differentiation. 15-LOX-1 is transcriptionally silenced in cancer cells, and its transcriptional reactivation (e.g. via histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACIs)) is essential for restoring terminal cell differentiation to cancer cells. STAT-6 acetylation via the histone acetyltransferase KAT3B has been proposed to be necessary for 15-LOX-1 transcriptional activation. However, the exact mechanism underlying 15-LOX-1 transcriptional reactivation in cancer cells is still undefined, especially in regard to the contribution of 15-LOX-1 promoter histone modifications. We therefore examined the relative mechanistic contributions of 15-LOX-1 promoter histone modifications and STAT-6 to 15-LOX-1 transcriptional reactivation by HDACIs in colon cancer cells. We found that: 1) histone H3 and H4 acetylation in the 15-LOX-1 promoter through KAT3B was critical to 15-LOX-1 transcriptional activation; 2) 15-LOX-1 transcription was activated independently from STAT-6; and 3) dimethyl-histone H3 lysine 9 (H3K9me2) demethylation in the 15-LOX-1 promoter via the histone lysine demethylase KDM3A was an early and specific histone modification and was necessary for activation of transcription. These findings demonstrate that histone modification in the 15-LOX-1 promoter is important to 15-LOX-1 transcriptional silencing in colon cancer cells and that HDACIs can activate gene transcription via KDM3A demethylation of H3K9me2.

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