Gene Summary

Gene:SLC5A8; solute carrier family 5 member 8
Aliases: AIT, SMCT, SMCT1
Summary:SLC5A8 has been shown to transport iodide by a passive mechanism (Rodriguez et al., 2002 [PubMed 12107270]) and monocarboxylates and short-chain fatty acids by a sodium-coupled mechanism (Gopal et al., 2004 [PubMed 15322102]). In kidney, SLC5A8 functions as a high-affinity sodium-coupled lactate transporter involved in reabsorption of lactate and maintenance of blood lactate levels (Thangaraju et al., 2006 [PubMed 16873376]).[supplied by OMIM, Dec 2008]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:sodium-coupled monocarboxylate transporter 1
Source:NCBIAccessed: 10 March, 2017


What does this gene/protein do?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1992-2017)
Graph generated 10 March 2017 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 10 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (4)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: SLC5A8 (cancer-related)

Gurav A, Sivaprakasam S, Bhutia YD, et al.
Slc5a8, a Na+-coupled high-affinity transporter for short-chain fatty acids, is a conditional tumour suppressor in colon that protects against colitis and colon cancer under low-fibre dietary conditions.
Biochem J. 2015; 469(2):267-78 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Mammalian colon harbours trillions of bacteria under physiological conditions; this symbiosis is made possible because of a tolerized response from the mucosal immune system. The mechanisms underlying this tolerogenic phenomenon remain poorly understood. In the present study we show that Slc5a8 (solute carrier gene family 5a, member 8), a Na(+)-coupled high-affinity transporter in colon for the bacterial fermentation product butyrate, plays a critical role in this process. Among various immune cells in colon, dendritic cells (DCs) are unique not only in their accessibility to luminal contents but also in their ability to induce tolerogenic phenotype in T-cells. We found that DCs exposed to butyrate express the immunosuppressive enzymes indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase 1 (IDO1) and aldehyde dehydrogenase 1A2 (Aldh1A2), promote conversion of naive T-cells into immunosuppressive forkhead box P3(+) (FoxP3(+)) Tregs (regulatory T-cells) and suppress conversion of naive T-cells into pro-inflammatory interferon (IFN)-γ-producing cells. Slc5a8-null DCs do not induce IDO1 and Aldh1A2 and do not generate Tregs or suppress IFN-γ-producing T-cells in response to butyrate. We also provide in vivo evidence for an obligatory role for Slc5a8 in suppression of IFN-γ-producing T-cells. Furthermore, Slc5a8 protects against colitis and colon cancer under conditions of low-fibre intake but not when dietary fibre intake is optimal. This agrees with the high-affinity nature of the transporter to mediate butyrate entry into cells. We conclude that Slc5a8 is an obligatory link between dietary fibre and mucosal immune system via the bacterial metabolite butyrate and that this transporter is a conditional tumour suppressor in colon linked to dietary fibre content.

Ikeda K, Shiraishi K, Koga T, et al.
Prognostic Significance of Aberrant Methylation of Solute Carrier Gene Family 5A8 in Lung Adenocarcinoma.
Ann Thorac Surg. 2015; 99(5):1755-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Solute carrier family 5 member A8 (SLC5A8) is a sodium-coupled transporter for several chemicals. The SLC5A8 gene has been reported to function as a tumor suppressor gene that contributes to carcinogenesis and tumor progression. The expression of SLC5A8 is silenced in colon neoplasia by hypermethylation of CpG-rich islands located in exon 1. In this study, we assessed the significance of aberrant methylation of the SLC5A8 gene as a prognostic factor for lung adenocarcinoma (AD).
METHODS: We analyzed the methylation levels of a consecutive series of 143 node-negative stage I and II lung AD samples using pyrosequencing.
RESULTS: The methylation level of exon 1 in the SLC5A8 gene was significantly associated with poor prognosis in cases of node-negative stage I and II lung AD.
CONCLUSIONS: Gene silencing of SLC5A8 by hypermethylation was associated with poor prognosis in cases of node-negative stage I and II lung AD.

Foglietta F, Serpe L, Canaparo R, et al.
Modulation of butyrate anticancer activity by solid lipid nanoparticle delivery: an in vitro investigation on human breast cancer and leukemia cell lines.
J Pharm Pharm Sci. 2014; 17(2):231-47 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Histone modification has emerged as a promising approach to cancer therapy. The short-chain fatty acid, butyric acid, a histone deacetylase (HD) inhibitor, has shown anticancer activity. Butyrate transcriptional activation is indeed able to withdraw cancer cells from the cell cycle, leading to programmed cell death. Since butyrate's clinical use is hampered by unfavorable pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties, delivery systems, such as solid lipid nanoparticles (SLN), have been developed to overcome these constraints.
METHODS: In order to outline the influence of butyrate delivery on its anticancer activity, the effects of butyrate as a free (sodium butyrate, NB) or nanoparticle (cholesteryl butyrate solid lipid nanoparticles, CBSLN) formulation on the growth of different human cancer cell lines, such as the promyelocytic leukemia, HL-60, and the breast cancer, MCF-7 was investigated. A detailed investigation into the mechanism of the induced cytotoxicity was also carried out, with a special focus on the modulation of HD and cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) mRNA gene expression by real time PCR analysis.
RESULTS: In HL-60 cells, CBSLN induced a higher and prolonged expression level of the butyrate target genes at lower concentrations than NB. This led to a significant decrease in cell proliferation, along with considerable apoptosis, cell cycle block in the G0/G1 phase, significant inhibition of total HD activity and overexpression of the p21 protein. Conversely, in MCF-7 cells, CBSLN did not enhance the level of expression of the butyrate target genes, leading to the same anticancer activity as that of NB.
CONCLUSIONS: Solid lipid nanoparticles were able to improve butyrate anticancer activity in HL-60, but not in MCF-7 cells. This is consistent with difference in properties of the cells under study, such as expression of the TP53 tumor suppressor, or the transporter for short-chain fatty acids, SLC5A8.

Chernet BT, Levin M
Transmembrane voltage potential of somatic cells controls oncogene-mediated tumorigenesis at long-range.
Oncotarget. 2014; 5(10):3287-306 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The microenvironment is increasingly recognized as a crucial aspect of cancer. In contrast and complement to the field's focus on biochemical factors and extracellular matrix, we characterize a novel aspect of host:tumor interaction - endogenous bioelectric signals among non-excitable somatic cells. Extending prior work focused on the bioelectric state of cancer cells themselves, we show for the first time that the resting potentials of distant cells are critical for oncogene-dependent tumorigenesis. In the Xenopus laevis tadpole model, we used human oncogenes such as mutant KRAS to drive formation of tumor-like structures that exhibited overproliferation, increased nuclear size, hypoxia, acidity, and leukocyte attraction. Remarkably, misexpression of hyperpolarizing ion channels at distant sites within the tadpole significantly reduced the incidence of these tumors. The suppression of tumorigenesis could also be achieved by hyperpolarization using native CLIC1 chloride channels, suggesting a treatment modality not requiring gene therapy. Using a dominant negative approach, we implicate HDAC1 as the mechanism by which resting potential changes affect downstream cell behaviors. Based on published data on the voltage-mediated changes of butyrate flux through the SLC5A8 transporter, we present a model linking resting potentials of host cells to the ability of oncogenes to initiate tumorigenesis. Antibiotic data suggest that the relevant butyrate is generated by a native bacterial species, identifying a novel link between the microbiome and cancer that is mediated by alterations in bioelectric signaling.

Demokan S, Chuang AY, Pattani KM, et al.
Validation of nucleolar protein 4 as a novel methylated tumor suppressor gene in head and neck cancer.
Oncol Rep. 2014; 31(2):1014-20 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Methylation of CpG islands in the promoter region of genes acts as a significant mechanism of epigenetic gene silencing in head and neck cancer. In the present study, we assessed the association of epigenetic alterations of a panel of 12 genes [nucleolar protein 4 (NOL4), iroquois homeobox 1 (IRX1), SLC5A8, LRRC3B, FUSSEL18, EBF3, GBX2, HMX2, SEPT9, ALX3, SOCS3 and LHX6] with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) via a candidate gene approach. After the initial screening of methylated CpG islands on the promoter regions by bisulfite sequencing using salivary rinse samples, only two genes had methylated CpG dinucleotides on their promoter regions in tumor samples and absence of methylated CpGs were found in normal salivary rinse samples after bisulfite modification and bisulfite sequencing. We then performed real-time quantitative methylation-specific PCR (QMSP) on 16 salivary rinse and 14 normal mucosal samples from healthy subjects and 33 HNSCC tumor samples for the two genes selected. After validation with QMSP, one gene, NOL4, was highly methylated (91%) in tumor samples and unmethylated in normal salivary rinses and minimally methylated in normal mucosal samples demonstrating cancer-specific methylation in HNSCC tissues. Although the IRX1 gene was observed as methylated in normal mucosal and salivary rinse samples, the methylation values of these normal samples were very low (<10%). In conclusion, we identified NOL4 as a highly specific promoter methylated gene associated with HNSCC. IRX1 may have potential as a biomarker for HNSCC and should be assessed in a larger cohort.

Pussila M, Sarantaus L, Dermadi Bebek D, et al.
Cancer-predicting gene expression changes in colonic mucosa of Western diet fed Mlh1+/- mice.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(10):e76865 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second most common cause of cancer-related deaths in the Western world and interactions between genetic and environmental factors, including diet, are suggested to play a critical role in its etiology. We conducted a long-term feeding experiment in the mouse to address gene expression and methylation changes arising in histologically normal colonic mucosa as putative cancer-predisposing events available for early detection. The expression of 94 growth-regulatory genes previously linked to human CRC was studied at two time points (5 weeks and 12 months of age) in the heterozygote Mlh1(+/-) mice, an animal model for human Lynch syndrome (LS), and wild type Mlh1(+/+) littermates, fed by either Western-style (WD) or AIN-93G control diet. In mice fed with WD, proximal colon mucosa, the predominant site of cancer formation in LS, exhibited a significant expression decrease in tumor suppressor genes, Dkk1, Hoxd1, Slc5a8, and Socs1, the latter two only in the Mlh1(+/-) mice. Reduced mRNA expression was accompanied by increased promoter methylation of the respective genes. The strongest expression decrease (7.3 fold) together with a significant increase in its promoter methylation was seen in Dkk1, an antagonist of the canonical Wnt signaling pathway. Furthermore, the inactivation of Dkk1 seems to predispose to neoplasias in the proximal colon. This and the fact that Mlh1 which showed only modest methylation was still expressed in both Mlh1(+/-) and Mlh1(+/+) mice indicate that the expression decreases and the inactivation of Dkk1 in particular is a prominent early marker for colon oncogenesis.

Zane M, Agostini M, Enzo MV, et al.
Circulating cell-free DNA, SLC5A8 and SLC26A4 hypermethylation, BRAF(V600E): A non-invasive tool panel for early detection of thyroid cancer.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2013; 67(8):723-30 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: In the latest years, high levels of circulating cell-free DNA (cf-DNA) have been found to be associated with cancer diagnosis and progression, and cf-DNA has become a potential candidate as biomarker for tumor detection. cf-DNA has been investigated in plasma or serum of many tumor patients affected by different malignancies, but not yet in thyroid cancer (TC). Furthermore, in TC cells the capability to metabolize iodine is frequently lost. SLC5A8 and SLC26A4 genes are both involved in the iodine metabolism, and SLC5A8 hypermethylation status is associated with the BRAF(V600E) mutation, which is the most frequent genetic event underlying the development of papillary TC. The aim of our study is the development of a new non-invasive tool for the diagnosis and prognosis of TC based on cf-DNA, SLC5A8 and SLC26A4 hypermethylation, and BRAF(V600E) analysis.
METHODS: cf-DNA was measured by quantitative real-time PCR in nine cases of anaplastic thyroid cancer (ATC), 58 medullary thyroid cancers (MTC), five of synchronous medullary and follicular thyroid cancers (SMFC), 23 follicular adenomas (FA), 86 papillary thyroid cancers (PTC). A control group of 19 healthy subjects was taken. Moreover, in the PTC group we analyze the state of hypermethylation of SLC5A8 and SLC26A4, BRAF(V600E) mutation, and their involvement in the loss of function of the thyroid.
RESULTS: cf-DNA showed a high ability to discriminate healthy individuals from cancer patients. cf-DNAALU83 and cf-DNAALU244 values were significantly correlated with the histological type of TC (P-value < 0.0001). A significant increase in the amount of cf-DNAALU83 and cf-DNAALU244 when methylation occurs was observed (P-value = 0.02). A correlation between BRAF(V600E) and cf-DNAALU244/ALU83 was also found (P-value = 0.02).
CONCLUSIONS: According to our experimental results, the panel including cf-DNA, SLC5A8 and SLC26A4 hypermethylation, and BRAF(V600E) analysis appears easy, reproducible, and non-invasive for the diagnosis on TC. Its possible implication in clinical setting remains to be elucidated.

Elangovan S, Pathania R, Ramachandran S, et al.
Molecular mechanism of SLC5A8 inactivation in breast cancer.
Mol Cell Biol. 2013; 33(19):3920-35 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
SLC5A8 is a putative tumor suppressor that is inactivated in more than 10 different types of cancer, but neither the oncogenic signaling responsible for SLC5A8 inactivation nor the functional relevance of SLC5A8 loss to tumor growth has been elucidated. Here, we identify oncogenic HRAS (HRAS(G12V)) as a potent mediator of SLC5A8 silencing in human nontransformed normal mammary epithelial cell lines and in mouse mammary tumors through DNMT1. Further, we demonstrate that loss of Slc5a8 increases cancer-initiating stem cell formation and promotes mammary tumorigenesis and lung metastasis in an HRAS-driven murine model of mammary tumors. Mammary-gland-specific overexpression of Slc5a8 (mouse mammary tumor virus-Slc5a8 transgenic mice), as well as induction of endogenous Slc5a8 in mice with inhibitors of DNA methylation, protects against HRAS-driven mammary tumors. Collectively, our results provide the tumor-suppressive role of SLC5A8 and identify the oncogenic HRAS as a mediator of tumor-associated silencing of this tumor suppressor in mammary glands. These findings suggest that pharmacological approaches to reactivate SLC5A8 expression in tumor cells have potential as a novel therapeutic strategy for breast cancer treatment.

Chernet BT, Levin M
Transmembrane voltage potential is an essential cellular parameter for the detection and control of tumor development in a Xenopus model.
Dis Model Mech. 2013; 6(3):595-607 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Understanding mechanisms that orchestrate cell behavior into appropriately patterned tissues and organs within the organism is an essential element of preventing, detecting and treating cancer. Bioelectric signals (resting transmembrane voltage potential gradients in all cells) underlie an important and broadly conserved set of control mechanisms that regulate pattern formation. We tested the role of transmembrane potential in tumorigenesis mediated by canonical oncogenes in Xenopus laevis. Depolarized membrane potential (Vmem) was a characteristic of induced tumor-like structures (ITLSs) generated by overexpression of Gli1, Kras(G12D), Xrel3 or p53(Trp248). This bioelectric signature was also present in precursor ITLS sites. Vmem is a bioelectric marker that reveals ITLSs before they become histologically and morphologically apparent. Moreover, voltage was functionally important: overexpression of hyperpolarizing ion transporters caused a return to normal Vmem and significantly reduced ITLS formation in vivo. To characterize the molecular mechanism by which Vmem change regulates ITLS phenotypes, we performed a suppression screen. Vmem hyperpolarization was transduced into downstream events via Vmem-regulated activity of SLC5A8, a sodium-butyrate exchanger previously implicated in human cancer. These data indicate that butyrate, a histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor, might be responsible for transcriptional events that mediate suppression of ITLSs by hyperpolarization. Vmem is a convenient cellular parameter by which tumors induced by human oncogenes can be detected in vivo and represents a new diagnostic modality. Moreover, control of resting membrane potential is functionally involved in the process by which oncogene-bearing cells depart from normal morphogenesis programs to form tumors. Modulation of Vmem levels is a novel and promising strategy for tumor normalization.

Park JY, Kim D, Yang M, et al.
Gene silencing of SLC5A8 identified by genome-wide methylation profiling in lung cancer.
Lung Cancer. 2013; 79(3):198-204 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Aberrant DNA hypermethylation has been implicated as a component of an epigenetic mechanism that silences genes in cancers.
METHODS: We performed a genome-wide search to identify differentially methylated loci between 26 tumor and adjacent non-tumor paired tissues from same lung cancer patients using restriction landmark genomic scanning (RLGS) analysis. Among 229 loci which were hypermethylated in lung tumors as compared to adjacent non-tumor tissues, solute carrier family 5, member 8 (SLC5A8) was one of the hypermethylated genes, and known as a tumor suppressor gene which is silenced by epigenetic changes in various tumors. We investigated the significance of DNA methylation in SLC5A8 expression in lung cancer cell lines, and 23 paired tumor and adjacent non-tumor lung tissues by reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR), quantitative methylation specific PCR (QMSP) and bisulfite modified DNA sequencing analyses.
RESULTS: Reduced or lost expression of SLC5A8 was observed in 39.1% (9/23) of the tumor tissues as compared with paired adjacent non-tumor tissues. Bisulfite sequencing results of lung cancer cell lines and tissues which did not express SLC5A8 showed a densely methylated promoter region of SLC5A8. SLC5A8 was reactivated by treatment with DNA methyltransferase inhibitor, 5-Aza and/or HDAC inhibitor, trichostatin A (TSA) in lung cancer cell lines, which did not express SLC5A8. Hypermethylation was detected at the promoter region of SLC5A8 in primary lung tumor tissues as compared with adjacent non-tumor tissues (14/23, 60.9%).
CONCLUSION: These results suggest that DNA methylation in the SLC5A8 promoter region may suppress the expression of SLC5A8 in lung tumor.

Gnana-Prakasam JP, Veeranan-Karmegam R, Coothankandaswamy V, et al.
Loss of Hfe leads to progression of tumor phenotype in primary retinal pigment epithelial cells.
Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2013; 54(1):63-71 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: Hemochromatosis is a disorder of iron overload arising mostly from mutations in HFE. HFE is expressed in retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), and Hfe(-/-) mice develop age-related iron accumulation and retinal degeneration associated with RPE hyperproliferation. Here, the mechanism underlying the hyperproliferative phenotype in RPE was investigated.
METHODS: Cellular senescence was monitored by β-galactosidase activity. Gene expression was monitored by real-time PCR. Survivin was analyzed by Western blot and immunofluorescence. Migration and invasion were monitored using appropriate kits. Glucose transporters (GLUTs) were monitored by 3-O-methyl-D-glucose uptake. Histone deacetylases (HDACs) were studied by monitoring catalytic activity and acetylation status of histones H3/H4.
RESULTS: Hfe(-/-) RPE cells exhibited slower senescence rate and higher survivin expression than wild type cells. Hfe(-/-) cells migrated faster and showed greater glucose uptake and increased expression of GLUTs. The expression of HDACs and DNA methyltransferase (DNMTs) also was increased. Similarly, RPE cells from hemojuvelin (Hjv)-knockout mice, another model of hemochromatosis, also had increased expression of GLUTs, HDACs, and DNMTs. The expression of Slc5a8 was decreased in Hfe(-/-) RPE cells, but treatment with a DNA methylation inhibitor restored the transporter expression, indicating involvement of DNA methylation in the silencing of Slc5a8 in Hfe(-/-) cells.
CONCLUSIONS: RPE cells from iron-overloaded mice exhibit several features of tumor cells: decreased senescence, enhanced migration, increased glucose uptake, and elevated levels of HDACs and DNMTs. These features are seen in Hfe(-/-) RPE cells as well as in Hjv(-/-) RPE cells, providing a molecular basis for the hyperproliferative phenotype of Hfe(-/-) and Hjv(-/-) RPE cells.

Coothankandaswamy V, Elangovan S, Singh N, et al.
The plasma membrane transporter SLC5A8 suppresses tumour progression through depletion of survivin without involving its transport function.
Biochem J. 2013; 450(1):169-78 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
SLC5A8 (solute carrier gene family 5A, member 8) is a sodium-coupled transporter for monocarboxylates. Among its substrates are the HDAC (histone deacetylase) inhibitors butyrate, propionate and pyruvate. Expression of SLC5A8 is silenced in cancers via DNA methylation, and ectopic expression of SLC5A8 in cancer cells induces apoptosis in the presence of its substrates that are HDAC inhibitors. In the present study we show that ectopic expression of SLC5A8 in cancer cells translocates the anti-apoptotic protein survivin to the plasma membrane through protein-protein interaction resulting in depletion of nuclear survivin and also decreases cellular levels of survivin through inhibition of transcription. These SLC5A8-induced changes in the location and levels of survivin result in cell-cycle arrest, disruption of the chromosome passenger complex involved in mitosis, induction of apoptosis and enhancement in chemosensitivity. These effects are seen independently of the transport function of SLC5A8 and histone acetylation status of the cell; in the presence of pyruvate, a SLC5A8 substrate and also an HDAC inhibitor, these effects are amplified. Ectopic expression of SLC5A8 in the breast cancer cell line MB231 inhibits the ability of cells to form colonies in vitro and to form tumours in mouse xenografts in vivo. The suppression of survivin transcription occurs independently of HDAC inhibition, and the underlying mechanism is associated with decreased phosphorylation of STAT3 (signal transducer and activator of transcription 3). The observed effects are specific for survivin with no apparent changes in expression of other inhibitor-of-apoptosis proteins. The present study unravels a novel, hitherto unrecognized, mechanism for the tumour-suppressive role of a plasma membrane transporter independent of its transport function.

Lin HY, Park HY, Radlein S, et al.
Protein expressions and genetic variations of SLC5A8 in prostate cancer risk and aggressiveness.
Urology. 2011; 78(4):971.e1-9 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: To understand the role in prostate cancer risk and aggressiveness, we investigated the expression in prostate tumor and single nucleotide polymorphisms of SLC5A8. Previous studies have suggested that SLC5A8 might function as a tumor suppressor gene, whose silencing by epigenetic changes might contribute to carcinogenesis.
METHODS: We constructed tissue microarrays from 183 prostate tumor tissues, 43 adjacent non-neoplastic tissues from the same patients, and 13 tissue samples from patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia or prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia. A semiquantitative assessment of SLC5A8 protein expression was determined as the product of immunostaining intensity and the percentage of cells stained. In addition, we compared the frequencies of 4 single nucleotide polymorphisms (rs164365, rs1709189, rs1399236, and rs1681096) in SLC5A8 between 668 prostate cancer cases and 385 controls.
RESULTS: SLC5A8 expression was significantly greater in the tumor tissues than in the paired non-neoplastic tissues (P < .0001). In the Moffitt samples, we observed a borderline moderate risk increase in patients with a genotype containing ≥1 "A" allele of rs164365 (odds ratio 1.35, 95% confidence interval 1.00-1.80), especially among tall men (≥70 in.; odds ratio 1.80, 95% confidence interval 1.20-2.68). However, these results were not confirmed in the Cancer Genetic Markers of Susceptibility population.
CONCLUSION: These data suggest that the expression pattern of SLC5A8 might be used as a diagnostic biomarker, and a larger study is required to assess the importance of SLC5A8 single nucleotide polymorphisms in prostate cancer.

Brim H, Kumar K, Nazarian J, et al.
SLC5A8 gene, a transporter of butyrate: a gut flora metabolite, is frequently methylated in African American colon adenomas.
PLoS One. 2011; 6(6):e20216 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Colon cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer related deaths. Its impact on African Americans (AAs) is higher than in the general population both in the incidence and mortality from the disease. Colon cancer aggressiveness in AAs as well as non-frequent check-ups and follow up in this population have been proposed as ways to explain the observed discrepancies. These facts made the detection of early carcinogenesis markers in this population a priority.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Here, we analyzed 50 colon adenomas from AA patients for both microsatellite instability (MSI) and the methylation status of SLC5A8 gene. This gene's product is involved in the transport of butyrate that has anti-proliferative properties through its effects on histone acetylation and gene expression. A proteomic analysis to check the expressed histones in adenoma and normal tissues was also performed.
RESULTS: The analyzed samples displayed 82% (n = 41) methylation level of SLC5A8 gene in adenomas. The MSI-H (high) adenoma were about 18% (n = 9) while the rest were mostly MSS (microsatellite stable) with few MSI-L (Low). No association was found between SLC5A8 methylation and the MSI status. Also, there was no association between SLC5A8 methylation and the sex and age of the patients. However, there were more right sided adenomas with SLC5A8 methylation than the left sided ones. The proteomic analysis revealed distinct histone expression profiles between normal and adenoma tissues.
CONCLUSION: SLC5A8 is highly methylated in AA colon adenomas which points to its potential use as a marker for early detection. The MSI rate is similar to that found in colon cancer tumors in AAs. These findings suggest that both processes stem from the same epigenetic and genetic events occurring at an early stage in colon carcinogenesis in AAs.

Zhang Y, Bao YL, Yang MT, et al.
Activin A induces SLC5A8 expression through the Smad3 signaling pathway in human colon cancer RKO cells.
Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2010; 42(12):1964-72 [PubMed] Related Publications
SLC5A8 (Solute carrier family 5, member 8), proposed to be a potential tumor suppressor gene, is down-regulated by epigenetic changes in some colorectal cancer cells, and ectopic expression of SLC5A8 in SLC5A8-deficient colon cancer cell lines leads to suppression of the colony-forming ability of these cells. Activin A, a member of the transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) superfamily, has been shown to inhibit the proliferation of a variety of tumor (and normal) human cell types. However, the mechanism(s) by which activin A exerts its inhibitory effects are not yet understood. In this study, we showed that activin A up-regulated SLC5A8 expression in colorectal cancer RKO cells and human embryonic kidney (HEK) 293T cells. To elucidate the underlying mechanism involved in this process, we investigated the activation of the Smad signaling pathway, and analyzed the effects of dominant negative Smad3 and Smad2 proteins on activin A-induced SLC5A8 expression. The results indicated that activin A-induced SLC5A8 expression was dependent on activation of Smad3. Further analysis showed that activin A induced SLC5A8 expression via transcriptional activation. Deletion analysis indicated that the CAGA elements located within the -273/-222 region of the human SLC5A8 promoter were responsive to activin A. Taken together, our results strongly suggest that activin A up-regulates SLC5A8 expression through the Smad signaling pathway, which also partially explains the inhibitory effects of activin A in RKO cells.

Aytekin T, Ozaslan M, Cengiz B
Deletion mapping of chromosome region 12q13-24 in colorectal cancer.
Cancer Genet Cytogenet. 2010; 201(1):32-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Colorectal cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world. Colorectal cancer develops after a long and multistep process of carcinogenesis. Inactivation of tumor suppressor genes is among the most important steps in development of colorectal cancer. Analysis of loss of heterozygosity (LOH) is an effective method to determine the localization of tumor suppressor genes. In this study, we used five microsatellite markers to analyze the region 12q13-24 among 47 patients with colorectal cancer. The frequency of LOH and the clinicopathological data were compared using logistic regression and a chi-square test. In 34 of 47 tumor tissues (72%), LOH was detected at least in one marker. The highest LOH frequency was 34%, on the D12S129 locus; the lowest frequency was 23%, on the D12S78 locus. Loss of heterozygosity was detected as 32% on D12S83, 30% on D12S346, and 26% on D12S1660. No statistically significant correlation was found between the frequency of LOH and clinicopathological features (P > 0.05). Chromosome region 12q13-24 contains several known genes that may be candidate tumor suppressor genes, including RASAL1, ITGA7, STAB2, GLIPR1, and SLC5A8. Although the exact roles of these genes in colorectal cancer formation remain to be clarified, the present data point to a tumor suppressor role.

Garrity-Park MM, Loftus EV, Sandborn WJ, et al.
Methylation status of genes in non-neoplastic mucosa from patients with ulcerative colitis-associated colorectal cancer.
Am J Gastroenterol. 2010; 105(7):1610-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: Patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) are at increased risk for developing colorectal cancer (CRC). Surveillance in this at-risk population remains challenging. We assessed the methylation status of genes in the non-neoplastic mucosa of UC-CRC patients and controls to identify potential biomarkers of CRC.
METHODS: We evaluated the methylation status of 10 genes (p16, p14, runt-related transcript factor-3 (RUNX3), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), E-cadherin, methylated-in-tumor-1 (MINT1), MINT31, HPP1, estrogen receptor, SLC5A8) in UC-CRC tumors and non-neoplastic sections from both UC-CRC cases and UC controls (n=114 for each) using methylation-specific PCR.
RESULTS: Amplification was successful for 96 UC controls, 83 tumors, and 66 non-adjacent, non-neoplastic samples. The prevalence of methylation was significantly greater in UC-CRC tumors for p16, RUNX3, MINT1, MINT31, and HPP1. Methylation of COX-2 and E-cadherin was greater in UC controls than in tumors. Univariate testing of these genes using non-adjacent, non-neoplastic sections from UC-CRC cases indicated that associations between p16, RUNX3, MINT1, MINT31, E-cadherin, and COX-2 and UC-CRC remained significant. In multivariable analysis of the six genes, only RUNX3, MINT1, and COX-2 remained significantly associated with the UC-CRC cases (odds ratio=12.6, 9.0, and 0.2, respectively). The results remained unaffected by the presence of PSC or severity of inflammation. Logistic regression modeling with the three genes showed interactions that increased the odds ratio for each gene.
CONCLUSIONS: RUNX3, MINT1, and COX-2 are potential biomarkers for detecting the presence of CRC in patients with UC. These genes should be evaluated as biomarkers for colorectal dysplasia.

Bennett KL, Lee W, Lamarre E, et al.
HPV status-independent association of alcohol and tobacco exposure or prior radiation therapy with promoter methylation of FUSSEL18, EBF3, IRX1, and SEPT9, but not SLC5A8, in head and neck squamous cell carcinomas.
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2010; 49(4):319-26 [PubMed] Related Publications
Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is an aggressive malignancy with more than half a million people being diagnosed with the disease annually. Within the last 2 decades, the human papillomavirus (HPV) has been found to be associated with this malignancy. More recently, HPV-infected HNSCC has been found to exhibit higher levels of global DNA methylation. In a recent study, we identified five tumor suppressive genes (IRX1, EBF3, SLC5A8, SEPT9, and FUSSEL18) as frequently methylated in HNSCC biopsies using a global methylation analysis via restriction landmark genomic scanning. In this study, we verify these genes as valid methylation markers in two separate sets of HNSCC specimens. By using the available clinical information linked to the patient specimens, we found a strong association between promoter methylation of FUSSEL18, IRX1, and EBF3 and prior radiation therapy (P < 0.0001) irrespective of HPV status. Also, promoter methylation of FUSSEL18 and SEPTIN9 was found to correlate significantly with exposure to alcohol and tobacco (P = 0.021). Importantly, in this study, we preliminarily show a trend between HPV16 positivity and specific target gene hypermethylation of IRX1, EBF3, SLC5A8, and SEPT9. If replicated in a larger study, the HPV status may be a patient selection biomarker when determining the most efficacious treatment modality for these different subsets of patients (e.g., inclusion or exclusion of epigenetic therapies). Equally notable and independent of HPV status, hypermethylation of the promoters of a subset of these genes in recurrences especially in the setting of prior radiation or in the setting of alcohol and tobacco use might help guide adjunctive inclusion or exclusion or epigenetic therapy.

Bennett KL, Romigh T, Eng C
Disruption of transforming growth factor-beta signaling by five frequently methylated genes leads to head and neck squamous cell carcinoma pathogenesis.
Cancer Res. 2009; 69(24):9301-5 [PubMed] Related Publications
Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is an aggressive cancer with low survival rates in advanced stages. To facilitate timely diagnosis and improve outcome, early detection markers (e.g., DNA methylation) are crucial for timely cancer diagnosis. In a recent publication, an epigenome-wide screen revealed a set of genes that are commonly methylated and downregulated in head and neck cancers (SEPT9, SLC5A8, FUSSEL18, EBF3, and IRX1). Interestingly, these candidates are potentially involved in the transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) signaling pathway, which is often disrupted in HNSCC. Therefore, we sought to determine coordinated epigenetic silencing of these candidate genes in HNSCC as potential key disruptors of TGF-beta signaling, which could ultimately result in HNSCC progression. Through immunoprecipitation studies, all five of the investigated candidate genes were found to interact with components of the TGF-beta pathway. Overexpression of SLC5A8, EBF3, and IRX1 resulted in decreased mitotic activity and increased apoptosis. In addition, EBF3 was found to increase p21 promoter activity, and SMAD2 significantly increased IRX1 promoter activity. These findings are significant because they reveal a set of genes that interact with components of the TGF-beta pathway, and their silencing via methylation in HNSCC results in coordinated decrease in apoptosis, increased proliferation, and decreased differentiation.

Kanauchi O, Mitsuyama K, Andoh A, Iwanaga T
Modulation of intestinal environment by prebiotic germinated barley foodstuff prevents chemo-induced colonic carcinogenesis in rats.
Oncol Rep. 2008; 20(4):793-801 [PubMed] Related Publications
Butyrate was shown to have a preventive effect on colon cancer in vivo. Germinated barley foodstuff (GBF) was in a prebiotic stage and had the potency to attenuate mucosal inflammation and to increase fecal butyrate production in colitis. This study aimed to determine whether the GBF treatment in a colon cancer model had the potency to suppress colon cancer. After a pre-feeding of either a control or a GBF diet for two weeks, male F344 rats received subcutaneous injections of azoxymethane twice, at a dose level of 15 mg/kg body weight. The injections were administered once a week for 2 weeks (n=10/group). Four weeks after that, the number of aberrant crypt foci (ACF) and heat shock protein (HSP) 25-positive cells in colonic mucosa were observed histologically. The mRNA level of slc5a8 was evaluated by in situ hybridization. Colonic mucosal beta-catenin was determined by Western blotting. Cecal short chain fatty acids, beta-glucosidase and beta-glucuronidase were also determined. The results showed that GBF treatment significantly decreased the number of ACF and beta-catenin formations in the colonic mucosa. GBF significantly increased the production of slc5a8, which is a tumor suppressor gene, as well as the cecal butyrate content and beta-glucosidase activity. beta-glucuronidase activity remained at the same level in GBF and control subjects. The number of HSP25-positive cells in GBF was higher than that in the control group, although it did not reach significant difference. In conclusion, GBF showed anti-tumorigenicity in the AOM rat model. Changes in the colonic environment featured through the increase of butyrate production were found. Although a more detailed study is required, this study showed the promising anti-neoplastic effects of prebiotic treatment.

Thangaraju M, Carswell KN, Prasad PD, Ganapathy V
Colon cancer cells maintain low levels of pyruvate to avoid cell death caused by inhibition of HDAC1/HDAC3.
Biochem J. 2009; 417(1):379-89 [PubMed] Related Publications
Human colon cancer cells and primary colon cancer silence the gene coding for LDH (lactate dehydrogenase)-B and up-regulate the gene coding for LDH-A, resulting in effective conversion of pyruvate into lactate. This is associated with markedly reduced levels of pyruvate in cancer cells compared with non-malignant cells. The silencing of LDH-B in cancer cells occurs via DNA methylation, with involvement of the DNMTs (DNA methyltransferases) DNMT1 and DNMT3b. Colon cancer is also associated with the expression of pyruvate kinase M2, a splice variant with low catalytic activity. We have shown recently that pyruvate is an inhibitor of HDACs (histone deacetylases). Here we show that pyruvate is a specific inhibitor of HDAC1 and HDAC3. Lactate has no effect on any of the HDACs examined. Colon cancer cells exhibit increased HDAC activity compared with non-malignant cells. HDAC1 and HDAC3 are up-regulated in colon cancer cells and in primary colon cancer, and siRNA (small interfering RNA)-mediated silencing of HDAC1 and HDAC3 in colon cancer cells induces apoptosis. Colon cancer cells silence SLC5A8, the gene coding for a Na(+)-coupled pyruvate transporter. Heterologous expression of SLC5A8 in the human colon cancer cell line SW480 leads to inhibition of HDAC activity when cultured in the presence of pyruvate. This process is associated with an increase in intracellular levels of pyruvate, increase in the acetylation status of histone H4, and enhanced cell death. These studies show that cancer cells effectively maintain low levels of pyruvate to prevent inhibition of HDAC1/HDAC3 and thereby to evade cell death.

Thangaraju M, Cresci G, Itagaki S, et al.
Sodium-coupled transport of the short chain fatty acid butyrate by SLC5A8 and its relevance to colon cancer.
J Gastrointest Surg. 2008; 12(10):1773-81; discussion 1781-2 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: SLC5A8, expressed predominantly in the colon, is a Na(+)-coupled transporter for short-chain fatty acids. In this paper, we report on the characterization of butyrate transport by SLC5A8 and the relevance of SLC5A8-mediated butyrate transport to colon cancer.
RESULTS: SLC5A8 transports butyrate via a Na(+)-dependent electrogenic process. Na(+) activation of the transport process exhibits sigmoidal kinetics, indicating involvement of more than one Na(+) in the activation process. SLC5A8 is silenced in colon cancer in humans, in a mouse model of intestinal/colon cancer, and in colon cancer cell lines. The tumor-associated silencing of SLC5A8 involves DNA methylation by DNA methyltransferase 1. Reexpression of SLC5A8 in colon cancer cells leads to apoptosis but only in the presence of butyrate. SLC5A8-mediated entry of butyrate into cancer cells is associated with inhibition of histone deacetylation. The changes in gene expression in SLC5A8/butyrate-induced apoptosis include upregulation of pro-apoptotic genes and downregulation of anti-apoptotic genes. In addition, the expression of phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase subunits is affected differentially, with downregulation of p85alpha and upregulation of p55alpha and p50alpha.
CONCLUSION: These studies show that SLC5A8 mediates the tumor-suppressive effects of the bacterial fermentation product butyrate in the colon.

Whitman SP, Hackanson B, Liyanarachchi S, et al.
DNA hypermethylation and epigenetic silencing of the tumor suppressor gene, SLC5A8, in acute myeloid leukemia with the MLL partial tandem duplication.
Blood. 2008; 112(5):2013-6 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Posttranslationally modified histones and DNA hypermethylation frequently interplay to deregulate gene expression in cancer. We report that acute myeloid leukemia (AML) with an aberrant histone methyltransferase, the mixed lineage leukemia partial tandem duplication (MLL-PTD), exhibits increased global DNA methylation versus AML with MLL-wildtype (MLL-WT; P = .02). Among the differentially methylated genes, the SLC5A8 tumor suppressor gene (TSG) was more frequently hypermethylated (P = .003). In MLL-PTD(+) cell lines having SLC5A8 promoter hypermethylation, incubation with decitabine activated SLC5A8 expression. Ectopic SLC5A8 expression enhanced histones H3 and H4 acetylation in response to the histone deacetylase inhibitor, valproate, consistent with the encoded protein-SMCT1-short-chain fatty acid transport function. In addition, enhanced cell death was observed in SMCT1-expressing MLL-PTD(+) AML cells treated with valproate. Within the majority of MLL-PTD AML is a mechanism in which DNA hypermethylation silences a TSG that, together with MLL-PTD, can contribute further to aberrant chromatin remodeling and altered gene expression.

Bennett KL, Karpenko M, Lin MT, et al.
Frequently methylated tumor suppressor genes in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.
Cancer Res. 2008; 68(12):4494-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is a very aggressive cancer. In advanced stages, the patient has poor chances of receiving effective treatment, and survival rates are low. To facilitate timely diagnosis and improve treatment, elucidation of early detection markers is crucial. DNA methylation markers are particularly advantageous because DNA methylation is an early event in tumorigenesis, and the epigenetic modification, 5-methylcytosine, is a stable mark. A genome-wide screen using Restriction Landmark Genomic Scanning found a set of genes that are most commonly methylated in head and neck cancers. Five candidate genes: septin 9 (SEPT9), sodium-coupled monocarboxylate transporter 1 (SLC5A8), functional smad-suppressing element on chromosome 18 (FUSSEL18), early B-cell factor 3 (EBF3), and iroquois homeobox 1 (IRX1) were methylated in 27% to 67% of the HNSCC patient samples tested. Furthermore, approximately 50% of the methylated tumor samples shared methylation between two of the five genes (most commonly between EBF3 and IRX1), and 15% shared methylation between three of the five genes. Expression analysis revealed candidate gene down-regulation in 25% to 93% of the HNSCC samples, and 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine treatment was able to restore expression in at least 2 of 5 HNSCC cell lines for all of the genes tested. Overexpression of the three most frequently down-regulated candidates, SLC5A8, IRX1, and EBF3, validated their tumor suppressor potential by growth curve analysis and colony formation assay. Interestingly, all of the candidates identified may be involved in the transforming growth factor beta signaling pathway, which is often disrupted in HNSCC.

Park JY, Helm JF, Zheng W, et al.
Silencing of the candidate tumor suppressor gene solute carrier family 5 member 8 (SLC5A8) in human pancreatic cancer.
Pancreas. 2008; 36(4):e32-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: Few genetic mutations have been identified in pancreatic adenocarcinoma, whereas epigenetic changes that lead to gene silencing are known in several genes. Because SLC5A8 is regarded as a potential tumor suppressor gene that is down-regulated by epigenetic changes in several other cancers, we sought to characterize promoter methylation status and its relationship to SLC5A8 expression in pancreatic cancer.
METHODS: Promoter methylation and expression of SLC5A8 were evaluated in pancreatic cancer cell lines, tumor, and adjacent nontumor tissues from pancreatic cancer patients using methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction analysis, quantitative real-time and semiquantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, and bisulfate-modified sequencing.
RESULTS: Complete or partial loss of SLC5A8 expression was observed in all tumor tissues. Bisulfite sequencing analysis on pancreatic cancer cell lines that did not express SLC5A8 detected dense methylation of the promoter region. SLC5A8 expression was reactivated by treatment with aza-deoxycytidine or trichostatin A. Methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction detected methylation in 7 of 10 pancreatic tumor tissues, whereas in only 3 of 28 adjacent nontumor tissues (P < 0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings indicate loss of SLC5A8 expression as a result of aberrant promoter methylation in pancreatic adenocarcinoma. We suggest that SLC5A8 may function as a tumor suppressor gene whose silencing by epigenetic changes may contribute to carcinogenesis and progression of pancreatic cancer.

Park JY, Zheng W, Kim D, et al.
Candidate tumor suppressor gene SLC5A8 is frequently down-regulated by promoter hypermethylation in prostate tumor.
Cancer Detect Prev. 2007; 31(5):359-65 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The prostate gland is the most common site of cancer and the third leading cause of cancer mortality in men. Solute carrier family 5 (iodide transporter), member 8 (SLC5A8) was proposed as a potential tumor suppressor gene which is silenced by epigenetic changes in various tumors. The aim of this study was to investigate the significance of DNA methylation in SLC5A8 expression in prostate tumors.
METHODS: DNA methylation status of the promoter region and expression of SLC5A8 were evaluated in prostate cancer cell lines, tumor and adjacent non-tumor prostate tissues from same prostate cancer patients, by using bisulphite-modified sequencing, RT-PCR and quantitative methylation-specific PCR (QMSP) analysis.
RESULTS: The reduced or lost expression of SLC5A8 was observed in 70% of the tumor tissues. The bisulphite-modified sequencing analysis on the prostate cancer cell lines which do not express SLC5A8 detected the densely methylated SLC5A8 promoter region. SLC5A8 was reactivated by treatment with DNA methyl transferase inhibitor, 5-azacytidine but not by trichostatin A (TSA). Higher methylation at the promoter region of SLC5A8 in primary prostate tumor tissues was detected as compared with those in adjacent non-tumor tissues (7/10, 70%).
CONCLUSIONS: These data suggested that DNA methylation in the SLC5A8 promoter region suppressed the expression of SLC5A8 in prostate tumor.

Jiang Z, Li XG, Hu J, et al.
[The methylation and mRNA expression of SLC5A8 and TMS1/ASC genes in human glioma].
Zhonghua Yi Xue Za Zhi. 2007; 87(5):292-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: To study the methylation status of the SLC5A8 and TMS1/ASC genes, candidate tumor-inhibiting genes closely related to the central nervous system, in the promoter regions, the mRNA expression of these 2 genes, and their correlation with the clinical characteristics in human glioma.
METHODS: The methylation status of SLC5A8 and TMS1/ASC genes in the promoter regions was studied by methylation specific PCR (MSP) in the specimens of primary astrocytoma from 88 patients, 55 males and 33 females, aged 12 - 81, and 10 specimens of normal brain tissue, all obtained during operation, and in the human glioma cells of the lines U251 and SHG-44. The mRNA expression levels of SLC5A8 and TMS1/ASC genes in 30 specimens of primary glioma and 10 specimens of normal brain tissue were determined by conventional RT-PCR and real-time PCR. 5-Aza-2'-deoxycytidine (5-Aza-CdR), a demethylating agent, was added into the culture fluid of the U251 and SHG-44 cells, and then real-time PCR was used to the methylation status and mRNA expression levels of the SLC5A8 and TMS1/ASC genes.
RESULTS: MSP showed that the SLC5A8 promoter region was hypermethylated in 62 of the 88 specimens of astrocytoma (70.45%) and the TMS1/ASC promoter region was hypermethylated in 51 of the88 specimens of astrocytoma (57.95%). But no methylation of SLC5A8 and TMS1/ASC promoter was detected in the 10 specimens of normal brain tissue. The mRNA expression of SLC5A8 gene and the mRNA expression of TMS1/ASC gene in the specimens of astrocytoma of different pathological grades were all significantly decreased compared to the specimens of normal brain tissue (all P < 0.05). The mRNA expression of SLC5A8 gene was not significantly related to the age and sex, however, the mRNA expression of TMS1/ASC was significantly higher in the age group > 60 than in other age groups (all P < 0.05). Both U251 and SHG-44 glioma cells showed methylation of SLC5A8 and TMS1/ASC genes and after the treatment of 5-Aza-CdR both genes showed reactivated mRNA expression.
CONCLUSION: Hypermethylation of SLC5A8 and TMS1/ASC genes in the promoter regions may play an important role in the down-regulation of their mRNA levels in glioma. The methylation frequency and mRNA levels of SLC5A8 or TMS1/ASC genes are closely related to the malignant development of glioma.

Thangaraju M, Gopal E, Martin PM, et al.
SLC5A8 triggers tumor cell apoptosis through pyruvate-dependent inhibition of histone deacetylases.
Cancer Res. 2006; 66(24):11560-4 [PubMed] Related Publications
Tumor cells up-regulate glycolysis but convert pyruvate into lactate instead of oxidizing it. Here, we show that pyruvate, but not lactate, is an inhibitor of histone deacetylases (HDAC) and an inducer of apoptosis in tumor cells and that SLC5A8, a Na(+)/monocarboxylate cotransporter, is obligatory for this process. We found that SLC5A8 is expressed in nontransformed breast epithelial cell lines but silenced by DNA methylation in tumor cell lines. The down-regulation of the gene is also evident in primary breast tumors. When MCF7 breast tumor cells are transfected with SLC5A8 cDNA, the cells undergo pyruvate-dependent apoptosis. Butyrate and propionate also induce apoptosis in SLC5A8-expressing cells, whereas lactate does not. The differential ability of these monocarboxylates to cause apoptosis in SLC5A8-expressing MCF7 cells correlates with their ability to inhibit HDACs. Apoptosis induced by SLC5A8/pyruvate in MCF7 cells is associated with up-regulation of p53, Bax, tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL), TRAIL receptor (TRAILR) 1, and TRAILR2 and down-regulation of Bcl2 and survivin. Lactate dehydrogenase isozymes are differentially expressed in nontransformed cells and tumor cells such that the latter convert pyruvate into lactate. Silencing of SLC5A8 coupled with conversion of pyruvate into lactate in tumor cells correlates with increased HDAC activity in these cells compared with nontransformed cells. Our studies thus identify pyruvate as a HDAC inhibitor and indicate that the Na(+)-coupled pyruvate transport underlies the tumor-suppressive role of SLC5A8. We propose that tumor cells silence SLC5A8 and convert pyruvate into lactate as complementary mechanisms to avoid pyruvate-induced cell death.

Xing M
Gene methylation in thyroid tumorigenesis.
Endocrinology. 2007; 148(3):948-53 [PubMed] Related Publications
Aberrant gene methylation plays an important role in human tumorigenesis, including thyroid tumorigenesis. Many tumor suppressor genes are aberrantly methylated in thyroid cancer, and some even in benign thyroid tumors, suggesting a role of this epigenetic event in early thyroid tumorigenesis. Methylation of some of these genes tends to occur in certain types of thyroid cancer and is related to specific signaling pathways. For example, methylation of PTEN and RASSF1A genes occurs mostly in follicular thyroid cancer, and its tumorigenic role may be related to the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt signaling pathway, whereas methylation of genes for tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-3, SLC5A8, and death-associated protein kinase occurs in papillary thyroid cancer and is related to the BRAF/MAPK kinase/MAPK pathway. Methylation of thyroid-specific genes, such as those for sodium/iodide symporter and thyroid-stimulating hormone receptor, is also common in thyroid cancer. Although its tumorigenic role is not clear, methylation, and hence silencing, of these thyroid-specific genes is a cause for the failure of clinical radioiodine treatment of thyroid cancer. Unlike gene methylation, histone modifications have been relatively poorly investigated in thyroid tumors. Future studies need to emphasize the mechanistic aspects of these two types of epigenetic alterations to uncover new molecular mechanisms in thyroid tumorigenesis and to provide novel therapeutic targets for thyroid cancer.

Schagdarsurengin U, Gimm O, Dralle H, et al.
CpG island methylation of tumor-related promoters occurs preferentially in undifferentiated carcinoma.
Thyroid. 2006; 16(7):633-42 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: To understand the role of epigenetic inactivation of tumor-related genes in the pathogenesis of thyroid cancer, we investigated the methylation profile of distinct thyroid neoplasms.
DESIGN: We analyzed the methylation pattern of 17 gene promoters in nine thyroid cancer cell lines and in 38 primary thyroid carcinomas (13 papillary thyroid carcinoma [PTC], 10 follicular thyroid carcinoma [FTC], 9 undifferentiated thyroid carcinoma [UTC], 6 medullary thyroid carcinoma [MTC]), 12 goiters, and 10 follicular adenomas (FA) by methylation- specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Epigenetic inactivation was validated by expression analysis.
MAIN OUTCOME: Twelve of these genes (RASSF1A, p16(INK4A), TSHR, MGMT, DAPK, ERalpha, ERbeta, RARbeta, PTEN, CD26, SLC5A8, and UCHL1) were frequently methylated in UTC (15%-86%) and thyroid cancer cell lines (25%-100%). In the more aggressive UTC, the mean methylation index (MI = 0.44) was the highest compared to other thyroid alterations PTC (MI = 0.29, p = 0.123), FTC (MI = 0.15, p = 0.005), MTC (MI = 0.13; p = 0.017), FA (MI = 0.27; p = 0.075) and goiters (MI = 0.23; p = 0.024). Methylation of TSHR, MGMT, UCHL1, and p16 occurred preferentially in UTC and this inactivation was reverted by a demethylating agent.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results show that hypermethylation of several tumor-related gene promoters is a frequent event in UTC. The hypermethylation status may be reversed by DNA demethylating agents. Their clinical value remains to be investigated.

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