Epigenetic gene silencing is an important mechanism in the initiation and progression of cancer. Abnormal DNA CpG island hypermethylation and histone modifications are involved in aberrant silencing of tumour-suppressor genes. LSD1 (lysine-specific demethylase 1) was the first enzyme identified to specifically demethylate H3K4 (Lys 4 of histone H3). Methylated H3K4 is an important mark associated with transcriptional activation. The flavin adenine dinucleotidebinding amine oxidase domain of LSD1 is homologous with two polyamine oxidases, SMO (spermine oxidase) and APAO (N 1- acetylpolyamine oxidase).We have demonstrated previously that long-chain polyamine analogues, the oligoamines, are inhibitors of LSD1. In the present paper we report the synergistic effects of specific oligoamines in combination with DFMO (2-difluoromethylornithine), an inhibitor of ornithine decarboxylase, in human colorectal cancer cells. DFMO treatment depletes natural polyamines and increases the uptake of exogenous polyamines. The combination of oligoamines and DFMO results in a synergistic re-expression of aberrantly silenced tumour-suppressor genes, including SFRP2 (secreted frizzled-related protein 2), which encodes a Wnt signalling pathway antagonist and plays an anti-tumorigenic role in colorectal cancer. The treatment-induced re-expression of SFRP2 is associated with increased H3K4me2 (di-methyl H3K4) in the gene promoter. The combination of LSD1-inhibiting oligoamines and DFMO represents a novel approach to epigenetic therapy of cancer.
- Lysine-specific demethylase 1 (LSD1)
- Ornithine decarboxylase
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology
- Molecular Biology