Silencing of LRRC49 and THAP10 genes by bidirectional promoter hypermethylation is a frequent event in breast cancer
International Journal of Oncology
Previously we found that levels of LRRC49 (leucine rich repeat containing 49; FLJ20156) transcripts were elevated in ER-positive breast tumors compared with ER-negative breast tumors. The LRRC49 gene is located on chromosome 15q23 in close proximity to the THAP10 (THAP domain containing 10) gene. These two genes have a bidirectional organization being arranged head-to-head on opposite strands, possibly sharing the same promoter region. Analysis of the promoter region of this gene pair revealed
... he presence of potential estrogen response elements (EREs), suggesting the potential of this promoter to be under the control of estrogen. We used quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) to evaluate the expression of LRRC49 and THAP10 in a series of 72 primary breast tumors, and found reduced LRRC49 and THAP10 expression in 61 and 46% of the primary breast tumors analyzed, respectively. In addition, the occurrence of LRRC49/THAP10 promoter hypermethylation was examined by methylation specific PCR (MSP) in a sub-group of the breast tumors. Hypermethylation was observed in 57.5% of the breast tumors analyzed, and the levels of mRNA expression of both genes were inversely correlated with promoter hypermethylation. We investigated the effects of 17ß-estradiol on LRRC49 and THAP10 expression in MCF-7 breast cancer cells and found both transcripts to be up-regulated 2-to 3-fold upon 17ß-estradiol treatment. Our results show that the transcripts of LRRC49/THAP10 bidirectional gene pair are co-regulated by estrogen and that hypermethylation of the bidirectional promoter region simultaneously silences both genes. Further studies will be necessary to elucidate the role of LRRC49/THAP10 down-regulation in breast cancer.