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Cell-specific transcriptional regulation and reactivation of galectin-1 gene expression are controlled by DNA methylation of the promoter region



Cell-specific transcriptional regulation and reactivation of galectin-1 gene expression are controlled by DNA methylation of the promoter region



Molecular and Cellular Biology 16(6): 2736-2743



The galectin-1 gene is a developmentally regulated gene whose activity is strongly modulated during cell differentiation and transformation. We have previously shown that galectin-1 promoter constructs are highly active when transiently transfected in cells both expressing and not expressing the endogenous gene and that the basal activity is determined by a small region encompassing the transcription start site (from positions -50 to +50). We have now investigated the role of DNA methylation in galectin-1 gene expression. Southern blot analysis with HpaII and MspI endonucleases and sodium bisulfite analysis of genomic DNA from expressing and nonexpressing cell lines and cell hybrids showed a close correlation between gene activity and demethylation of the 5' region of the galectin-1 gene. We found that the galectin-1 promoter region is fully methylated, at every CpG site on both strands, in nonexpressing differentiated rat liver (FAO) and thyroid (PC C13) cells and unmethylated in the expressing undifferentiated liver (BRL3A) and thyroid transformed (PC myc/raf) cell lines. In addition, reactivation of the silent FAO alleles in the FAO-human osteosarcoma (143TK-) hybrid cells is accompanied by a complete demethylation of the promoter region. Finally, when galectin-1-chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT) promoter constructs were methylated in vitro by SssI methylase at every cytosine residue of the CpG doublets and transfected into mouse fibroblasts, the transcription of the CAT reporter gene was strongly inhibited.

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Accession: 008274664

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PMID: 8649381

DOI: 10.1128/mcb.16.6.2736


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