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FEBS Lett. 2001 Jun 22;499(3):199-204.

Genes modulated by histone acetylation as new effectors of butyrate activity.

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Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics F. Cedrangolo, Medical School, Second University of Naples, Italy.


A wealth of evidence correlates the chemopreventive activity of a fiber-rich diet with the production of butyrate. In order to identify the genes transcriptionally modulated by the molecule, we analyzed the expression profile of butyrate-treated colon cancer cells by means of cDNA expression arrays. Moreover, the effect of trichostatin A, a specific histone deacetylase inhibitor, was studied. A superimposable group of 23 genes out of 588 investigated is modulated by both butyrate and trichostatin A. Among them, a major target was tob-1, a gene involved in the control of cell cycle. tob-1 is also up-regulated by butyrate in a neuroblastoma-derived cell line, and its overexpression in the colon cells caused growth arrest. Our findings represent an extensive analysis of genes modulated by butyrate and identify completely new effectors of its biological activities.

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