Alternative Transcription Of The SLIT2/Mir-218-1 Transcriptional Axis Mediates Pancreatic Cancer Invasion
AuthorRheinheimer, Brenna Ann
Axon guidance molecules
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe development of several organ systems through modeling and shaping of the tissue structure occurs from signaling through axon guidance molecules. The Slit family of ligands has been shown to regulate branching morphogenesis in mammary gland duct development and loss of Slit gene expression during this time leads to the formation of hyperplastic, disorganized lesions suggesting a potential role for Slits in cancer formation. Characterization of human pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma cell lines showed a loss of SLIT2 expression in cells that contain activated Kras. Loss of SLIT2 expression was associated with DNA methylation of CpG sites within the SLIT2 core promoter and chromatin enrichment of repressive histone modifications at the SLIT2 transcriptional start site. Additionally, treatment of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma cell lines with demethylating agent 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine led to SLIT2 re-expression while treatment with histone deacetylase inhibitor Trichostatin A did not. Mir-218-1 is an intronic microRNA encoded within intron 15 of the SLIT2 gene. Expression of mir-218-1 does not correlate with SLIT2 mRNA expression suggesting that it is transcribed from a promoter independent of the SLIT2 gene promoter. Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma cell lines showed a peak of H3K4me3 chromatin enrichment localized to a 1kb region within intron 4 of the SLIT2 gene denoting a candidate alternative promoter for mir-218-1. A concordant peak of H4ac chromatin enrichment overlapped the peak of H3K4me3 enrichment and transcriptional activity was measured from the 1kb region in all pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma cell lines. A NF-κB binding site was also predicted to exist within the 1kb region. Transfection with two independent siRNAs to NF-κB led to an increase in both pre-mir-218-1 and mature mir-218-1 while treatment with an inhibitor to IκB kinase led to an increase in pre-mir-218-1 expression. Additionally, the p65 subunit of NF-κB was found to bind to the candidate mir-218-1 alternative promoter in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma cell lines that do not contain DNA CpG methylation at the predicted NF-κB binding site. It was discovered that miR-218 is a modulator of ARF6 expression suggesting a role in the inhibition of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma cell invasion through modulation of the actin cytoskeleton. Overexpression with a miR-218 precursor showed that miR-218 is an inhibitor of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma cell invasion in two dimensions. Additionally, it was found that while miR-218 does not have an affect on the ability of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma cells to form functional invadopodia, miR-218 is an inhibitor of the extracellular matrix degradation properties of mature invadopodia. Interestingly, the effect of miR-218 on pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma cell invasion or extracellular matrix degradation is not reliant on the cell's dependency on Kras signaling for growth and survival. Collectively, these observations indicate that understanding the transcriptional regulation of SLIT2 and mir-218-1 expression as well as their signaling properties may provide a step toward the development of diagnostic tests and therapeutic treatments for patients with invasive or metastatic pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.
Degree ProgramGraduate College