It has long been accepted that immunoglobulins (Igs) were produced by B lymphoid cells only. Recently Igs have been found to be expressed in various human cancer cells and promote tumor growth. Recombination activating gene 1 (RAG1) and RAG2, which are essential enzymes for initiating variable-diversity-joining segment recombination, have also been found to be expressed in cancer cells. However, the mechanism of RAG activation in these cancer cells has not been elucidated. Here, we investigated the regulatory mechanism of RAG expression in four human cancer cell lines by analyzing transcription factors that induce RAG activation in B cells. By RT-PCR, Western blot and immunofluorescence, we found that transcription factors E2A, FOXO1 and FOXP1 were expressed and localized to the nuclei of these cancer cells. Over-expression of E2A, FOXO1 or Foxp1 increased RAG expression, while RNA interference of E2A, FOXO1 or FOXP1 decreased RAG expression in the cancer cells. Chromatin immunoprecipitation experiments showed acetylation of RAG enhancer (Erag) and E2A, FOXO1 or FOXP1 were bound to Erag in vivo. These results indicate that in these cancer cells the transcription factors E2A, FOXO1 and FOXP1 regulate RAG expression, which initiates Ig gene rearrangement much in the way similar to B lymphocytes.
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Date Published: 31-May-2011
Author(s): Chen Z., Xiao Y., Zhang J., Li J., Liu Y., Zhao Y., Ma C., Luo J., Qiu Y., Huang G., Korteweg C., Gu J.