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Gene. 2008 Feb 15;409(1-2):100-8. doi: 10.1016/j.gene.2007.11.015. Epub 2007 Dec 3.

Hypoxia induces class III beta-tubulin gene expression by HIF-1alpha binding to its 3' flanking region.

Author information

1
Department of Oncology, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Campobasso, Italy.

Abstract

Class III beta-tubulin (TUBB3) overexpression represents a major mechanism of drug resistance to microtubule interacting agents such as taxanes and Vinca alkaloids. Here, we tested hypoxia as a possible inducer of TUBB3. The effects of hypoxia on TUBB3 expression were monitored at mRNA and protein level in A2780, in its paclitaxel-resistant counterpart (TC1) and in HeLa cells. Hypoxia was a strong inducer of TUBB3 in A2780, but not in TC1 and HeLa cells. In A2780 HIF-1alpha was knocked down using RNA interference and TUBB3 expression was assessed in normoxia and hypoxia. The silencing abolished the hypoxia-dependent increase of TUBB3, thereby demonstrating that HIF-1alpha mediates TUBB3 induction in hypoxia. To investigate this phenomenon, the 5' flanking region of human TUBB3 was cloned upstream GFP as a reporter. This region contained the promoter gene, but activity of the reporter was unaffected by hypoxia. Thus, we looked at the 3' flanking region and, at +168 nucleotides from the stop codon, an HIF-1alpha binding site was proven to be active in hypoxia, using a construct in which the site was cloned downstream GFP as reporter gene. Deletion of the site in the construct abolished GFP enhancement upon hypoxia. Chromatin immunoprecipitation revealed the engagement by HIF-1alpha of this site in hypoxia. Methylation analysis of this 3' enhancer showed that it was free of methylation in 70% of cells in A2780, while in less than 16% in both TC1 and HeLa cells, thereby suggesting that TUBB3 increase upon hypoxia is abolished through methylation of the 3' enhancer.

PMID:
18178340
DOI:
10.1016/j.gene.2007.11.015
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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