Recent findings have established a connection between DNA methylation and transcriptionally inactive chromatin characterized by deacetylated histones. Because the absence of estrogen receptor α (ERα) gene expression has been associated with aberrant methylation of its CpG island in a significant fraction of breast cancers, we tested whether histone deacetylase activity contributes to the transcriptional inactivation of the methylated ER gene in a panel of ER-negative human breast cancer cells. Treatment of these cells with trichostatin A, a specific histone deacetylase inhibitor, led to dose- and time-dependent re-expression of ER mRNA as detected by reverse transcription-PCR without alteration in ERα CpG island methylation. Trichostatin A-induced ER re-expression was associated with increased sensitivity to DNase I at the ER locus in MDA-MB-231 cells. These data implicate inactive chromatin mediated by histone deacetylation as a critical component of ER gene silencing in human breast cancer cells. Therefore, histone deacetylation may be a potential target for therapeutic intervention in the treatment of a subset of ER-negative breast cancers.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||5|
|State||Published - Dec 15 2000|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research