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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Three different stable human breast adenocarcinoma sublines that overexpress ALDH3A1 and certain other enzymes, apparently as a consequence of constitutively upregulated gene transcription mediated by transactivated EpREs (electrophile responsive elements) present in the 5'-upstream regions of these genes.

ALDH3A1 catalyzes the detoxification of cyclophosphamide, mafosfamide, 4-hydroperoxycyclophosphamide and other oxazaphosphorines. Constitutive ALDH3A1 levels, as well as those of certain other drug-metabolizing enzymes, e.g. NQO1 and CYP1A1, are relatively low in cultured, relatively oxazaphosphorine-sensitive, human breast adenocarcinoma MCF-7 cells. However, transient cellular insensitivity to the oxazaphosphorines can be brought about in these cells by transiently elevating ALDH3A1 levels in them as a consequence of transient exposure to: (1) electrophiles such as catechol that induce the transcription of a battery of genes, e.g. ALDH3A1 and NQO1, having in common an electrophile responsive element (EpRE) in their 5'-upstream regions; or (2) Ah-receptor agonists, e.g. indole-3-carbinol and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons such as 3-methylcholanthrene, that induce the transcription of a battery of genes, e.g. ALDH3A1, NQO1 and CYP1A1, having in common a xenobiotic responsive element (XRE) in their 5'-upstream regions. Further, MCF-7 sublines that are constitutively, i.e. when grown in the absence of the original selecting pressure, relatively oxazaphosphorine-insensitive as a consequence of constitutively relatively elevated cellular ALDH3A1 levels evolved when MCF-7 cells were: (1) continuously exposed for several months to gradually increasing concentrations of 4-hydroperoxycyclophosphamide or benz(a)pyrene; or (2) briefly exposed (once for 30 min) to a high concentration (1 mM) of mafosfamide. Each of these three stable sublines is constitutively relatively cross-insensitive to benz(a)pyrene and other polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Cellular levels of NQO1, but not of CYP1A1, are also constitutively relatively elevated in each of the three sublines. RT-PCR-based experiments established that ALDH3A1 mRNA levels are constitutively elevated ( approximately 5- to 8-fold) in each of the three sublines. The elevated ALDH3A1 mRNA levels are not the consequence of gene amplification, hypomethylation of a relevant regulatory element, or ALDH3A1 mRNA stabilization. Collectively, these observations suggest that constitutively elevated levels of ALDH3A1 and certain other enzymes in the three stable sublines are probably the consequence of a constitutive change in the cellular concentration of a key component of the EpRE signaling pathway, such that the cellular concentration of the relevant ultimate transactivating factor is constitutively elevated, i.e. gene transcription promoted by transactivated EpREs is constitutively upregulated. Further, constitutively upregulated gene transcription mediated by transactivated EpREs can be relatively easily induced, whereas that mediated by transactivated XREs cannot, at least in MCF-7 cells. Still further, the three sublines may facilitate study of the signaling pathway that leads to transactivation of the EpREs present in the 5'-upstream regions of ALDH3A1, NQO1 and other gene loci.[1]


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