Regulation and function of spermidine/spermine N¹ acetyl transferase (SSAT) in colon carcinogenesis
AdvisorGerner, Eugene W.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractEpidemiological data suggest that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have anti-tumorigenic activities against colorectal cancer. NSAIDs work by inhibiting cyclooxygenases (COX) enzyme. Sulindac, a NSAID prodrug, is metabolized into pharmacologically active sulfide and sulfone derivatives. Microarray analysis was used to detect COX independent effects of sulindac on gene expression in human colorectal cells. Spermidine/spermine N 1-acetyl transferase (SSAT) gene, which encodes a polyamine catabolic enzyme, was one of the genes induced by clinically relevant sulindac sulfone concentrations. Promoter analysis and mutational studies were done to map the sulindac sulfone dependent response sequences in SSAT 5' flanking sequences, which led to the identification of two Peroxisome Proliferator Activated Receptors (PPARs) response elements (PPREs) in the SSAT gene. PPRE-2 is required for the induction of SSAT by sulindac sulfone and is specifically bound by PPARgamma in the Caco-2 cells, while PPRE-1 is not required for the induction of SSAT by sulindac sulfone, but can be bound by both PPARdelta and PPARgamma. Clinically relevant concentrations of sulfone reduced intracellular polyamine levels, inhibited cell growth and induced apoptosis in colon cancer cells. Further, only sulindac sulfone induced apoptosis could be partially rescued by exogenous polyamines. Upon evaluating other NSAIDs for their action on SSAT gene expression, it was found that they induce SSAT mRNA in either a COX dependent or independent mechanism in colon cancer cells. Studies with physiologically relevant concentrations of aspirin show that these concentrations can induce SSAT expression thereby leading to a decrease in polyamine levels. Activating mutations in K-ras, which is a late process in colon carcinogenesis, led to the suppression of SSAT expression in the Caco-2 cells due to the inhibition of PPARgamma by ERK. K-ras didn't have any effect on the induction of SSAT by sulindac sulfone but partially abolished the apoptosis caused by sulindac sulfone, indicating a possible role of mutant K-ras in sulindac resistant colon polyps. Sulindac sulfone, or Exisulin(TM) have been recently used in clinical trials for the prevention of colon, lung and prostate cancer. The data shown here, suggest that one of the mechanisms, by which sulindac sulfone could act as a chemopreventive agent is to induce the expression of SSAT thereby leading to a decrease in the intracellular polyamines. This reduction in polyamines plays an important part in the apoptosis induced by sulindac sulfone in the colon cancer cells. Further, induction of SSAT seems to a general mechanism for different NSAIDs like aspirin, indomethacin, ibuprofen, sulindac and celecoxib in colon cancer. Aspirin is able to induce SSAT and decrease intracellular polyamines at physiological concentrations, which can lead to a significant reduction in adenoma recurrence. Also, activated K- ras suppressed SSAT, but was not able to abolish the induction of SSAT by sulindac sulfone indicating the potential of using sulindac sulfone in colon cancer chemoprevention.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Molecular and Cellular Biology