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Carcinogenesis. 2007 Dec;28(12):2605-13. Epub 2007 Jul 25.

Chronic exposure to 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate represses sod2 induction in vivo: the negative role of p50.

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Graduate Center for Toxicology, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40536, USA.


It is well documented that the tumor promoter 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA) can activate manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) expression. However, it is unclear how repeated exposure to TPA following a single application of tumor initiator 7,12-dimethylbenz-(a)-anthracene causes tumor development. We generated transgenic mice expressing human MnSOD promoter- and enhancer-driven luciferase reporter gene and used a non-invasive imaging system to investigate the effects of TPA on MnSOD expression in vivo. Our data indicate that TPA initially activates MnSOD expression, but this positive effect declines after repeated applications. Changes in MnSOD expression in vivo were verified by measuring MnSOD mRNA and protein levels. Using chromatin immunoprecipitation coupled to Western analysis of the transcription factors known to be essential for the constitutive and TPA-induced transcription of MnSOD, we found that TPA treatment leads to both activation and inactivation of MnSOD gene transcription. During the activation phase, the levels of p50, p65, specificity protein 1 (Sp1) and nucleophosmin (NPM) increase after TPA treatments. Sustained treatments with TPA lead to further increase of p50 but not p65, Sp1 or NPM, suggesting that excess p50 may have inhibitory effects leading to the suppression of MnSOD. Alteration of p50 levels by expressing p50 cDNA or p50 small interfering RNA in mouse epithelial (JB6) cells confirms that p50 is inhibitory to MnSOD transcription. These findings identify p50 as having a negative effect on MnSOD induction upon repeated applications of TPA and provide an insight into a cause for the reduction of MnSOD expression during early stages of skin carcinogenesis.

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