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Inhibition of the liver enriched protein FOXA2 recovers HNF6 activity in human colon carcinoma and liver hepatoma cells

: Lehner, F.; Kulik, U.; Klempnauer, J.; Borlak, J.

Postprint urn:nbn:de:0011-n-1464368 (5.5 MByte PDF)
MD5 Fingerprint: ce5f2578537de4d6af008c6fb4363eb0
Erstellt am: 5.1.2011

PLoS one. Online journal 5 (2010), Nr.10, Art. e13344, 12 S.
ISSN: 1932-6203
Zeitschriftenaufsatz, Elektronische Publikation
Fraunhofer ITEM ()

Recently, we demonstrated that the transcription factors HNF6 and FOXA2 function as key regulators in human colorectal liver metastases. To better understand their proposed inhibitory crosstalk, the consequences of functional knockdown of FOXA2 on HNF6 and C/EBP alpha activity were investigated in the human colon Caco-2 and HepG2 carcinoma cell lines. Specifically, siRNA-mediated gene silencing of FOXA2 repressed transcript expression by >80%. This resulted in a statistically significant 6-, 3-, 4-, and 8-fold increase in mRNA expression of HNF6 and of genes targeted by this transcription factor, e.g., HSP105B, CYP51, and C/EBP alpha, as determined by qRT-PCR. Thus, functional knockdown of FOXA2 recovered HNF6 activity. Furthermore, with nuclear extracts of Caco-2 cells no HNF6 DNA binding was observed, but expression of HNF1 alpha, FOXA2, FOXA3, and HNF4 alpha protein was abundant. We therefore transfected a plasmid encoding HNF6 into Caco-2 cells but also employed a retroviral vector to transfect HNF6 into HepG2 cells. This resulted in HNF6 protein expression with DNA binding activity being recovered as determined by EMSA band shift assays. Furthermore, by flow cytometry the consequences of HNF6 expression on cell cycle regulation in transfected cells was studied. Essentially, HNF6 inhibited cell cycle progression in the G2/M and G1 phase in Caco-2 and HepG2 cell lines, respectively. Here, proliferation was reduced by 80% and 50% in Caco-2 and HepG2 cells, respectively, as determined by the BrdU labeling assay. Therefore functional knockdown of FOXA2 recovered HNF6 activity and inhibited growth of tumor-cells and may possibly represent a novel therapeutic target in primary and secondary liver malignancies.