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Exp Cell Res. 2003 Jun 10;286(2):209-18.

Reconstitution of TIMP-2 expression in SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells by 5-azacytidine is mediated transcriptionally by NF-Y through an inverted CCAAT site.

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Section of Molecular Pathology, Department of Experimental Medicine, University of L'Aquila, 67100 L'Aquila, Italy.


Advanced stage neuroblastomas (NB) exhibit a tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase (TIMP)-2/matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) imbalance, considered a prerequisite for MMP involvement in tumor progression in vivo. Human SH-SY5Y NB cells exhibit a similar TIMP-2/MMP imbalance that promotes in vitro invasive behavior that is inhibited by exogenous TIMP-2. The DNA methyltransferase inhibitor 5-azacytidine (5-AzaC) redresses this TIMP-2/MMP imbalance, reconstituting TIMP-2 expression, without effecting that of MMP-2, by stimulating TIMP-2 transcription and inhibiting in vitro invasivity of SH-SY5Y cells. 5-AzaC stimulated transcription from a nonmethylated TIMP-2 promoter reporter gene construct consistent with regulation of a TIMP-2 transactivator. Promoter deletion and point-mutation analysis localized this effect to an inverted CCAAT element at position -73. This element bound specific complexes containing NF-YA and NF-YB proteins in SH-SY5Y nuclear extracts, the binding of which was augmented by 5-AzaC in association with enhanced levels of NF-YB protein and the function of which was confirmed by inhibition using dominant-negative NF-YA. The data highlight a novel indirect methylation-mediated mechanism for regulating the TIMP/MMP equilibrium in NB cells, involving repression of TIMP-2 relative to MMP-2 expression, dependent upon suboptimal NF-Y transcription factor function, which can be reversed by methyltransferase inhibition.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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