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Mol Carcinog. 2011 Nov;50(11):884-900. doi: 10.1002/mc.20757. Epub 2011 Mar 11.

Functional characterization of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-β/δ expression in colon cancer.

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  • 1Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences and The Center for Molecular Toxicology and Carcinogenesis, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania 16802, USA.


This study critically examined the role of PPARβ/δ in colon cancer models. Expression of PPARβ/δ mRNA and protein was lower and expression of CYCLIN D1 protein higher in human colon adenocarcinomas compared to matched non-transformed tissue. Similar results were observed in colon tumors from Apc(+/Min-FCCC) mice compared to control tissue. Dietary administration of sulindac to Apc(+/Min-FCCC) mice had no influence on expression of PPARβ/δ in normal colon tissue or colon tumors. Cleaved poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) was either increased or unchanged, while expression of 14-3-3ε was not influenced in human colon cancer cell lines cultured with the PPARβ/δ ligand GW0742 under conditions known to increase apoptosis. While DLD1 cells exhibited fewer early apoptotic cells after ligand activation of PPARβ/δ following treatment with hydrogen peroxide, this change was associated with an increase in late apoptotic/necrotic cells, but not an increase in viable cells. Stable over-expression of PPARβ/δ in human colon cancer cell lines enhanced ligand activation of PPARβ/δ and inhibition of clonogenicity in HT29 cells. These studies are the most quantitative to date to demonstrate that expression of PPARβ/δ is lower in human and Apc(+/Min-FCCC) mouse colon tumors than in corresponding normal tissue, consistent with the finding that increasing expression and activation of PPARβ/δ in human colon cancer cell lines inhibits clonogenicity. Because ligand-induced attenuation of early apoptosis can be associated with more late, apoptotic/necrotic cells, but not more viable cells, these studies illustrate why more comprehensive analysis of PPARβ/δ-dependent modulation of apoptosis is required in the future.

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