Research Summary: Low Levels of GSTA1 Expression Are Required for Caco-2 Cell Proliferation


The colonic epithelium continuously regenerates with transitions through various cellular phases including proliferation, differentiation and cell death via apoptosis. Human colonic adenocarcinoma (Caco-2) cells in culture undergo spontaneous differentiation into mature enterocytes in association with progressive increases in expression of glutathione S-transferase alpha-1 (GSTA1). We hypothesize that GSTA1 plays a functional role in controlling proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis in Caco-2 cells. We demonstrate increased GSTA1 levels associated with decreased proliferation and increased expression of differentiation markers alkaline phosphatase, villin, dipeptidyl peptidase-4 and E-cadherin in postconfluent Caco-2 cells. Results of MTS assays, BrdU incorporation and flow cytometry indicate that forced expression of GSTA1 significantly reduces cellular proliferation and siRNA-mediated down-regulation of GSTA1 significantly increases cells in S-phase and associated cell proliferation. Sodium butyrate (NaB) at a concentration of 1 mM reduces Caco-2 cell proliferation, increases differentiation and increases GSTA1 activity 4-fold by 72 hours. In contrast, 10 mM NaB causes significant toxicity in preconfluent cells via apoptosis through caspase-3 activation with reduced GSTA1 activity. However, GSTA1 down-regulation by siRNA does not alter NaB-induced differentiation or apoptosis in Caco-2 cells. While 10 mM NaB causes GSTA1-JNK complex dissociation, phosphorylation of JNK is not altered. These findings suggest that GSTA1 levels may play a role in modulating enterocyte proliferation but do not influence differentiation or apoptosis.


Publisher: Public Library of Science

Date Published: 10-December-2012

Author(s): Adnan H., Quach H., MacIntosh K., Antenos M., Kirby G.


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