It is well known that the histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor trichostatin A (TSA) acts synergistically with the DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) inhibitor 5-aza-2′-deoxycytidine (ADC) to reactivate DNA methylation-silenced genes. Moreover, in several studies, TSA was capable of inducing DNA demethylation even in the absence of ADC. Here we describe a mechanism by which HDAC inhibitors affect DNA methylation through their regulation on DNMT3B, a methyltransferase responsible for de novo DNA methylation. Using quantitative real-time PCR and Western blot analysis, we show that TSA down-regulates DNMT3B mRNA and protein expression in human endometrial cancer cells. This decrease in DNMT3B mRNA results in a significant reduction in de novo methylation activities. Further experiments indicated that TSA decreases DNMT3B mRNA stability and reduces its half-life from ∼4 to 2.5 hours. We established that protein synthesis is required for posttranscriptional regulation, suggesting the involvement of an RNase and/or key mRNA stabilization factor(s) controlling the DNMT3B mRNA stability. Therefore, TSA may not only modify histone acetylation, but also potentially alter DNA methylation. Since the HDAC inhibitors are frequently used in epigenetic studies and are considered to be promising anticancer drugs, these new findings will have implications in both laboratory and clinical settings.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research