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

n-butyrate reduces the expression of beta-galactoside alpha 2,6-sialyltransferase in Hep G2 cells.

n-Butyrate, a short chain fatty acid that is produced by colonic bacterial fermentation, is detectable in portal blood and induces differentiation in various human neoplastic cell lines. Earlier reports indicated approximately 20-fold induction in vitro by n-butyrate of the sialyltransferase that catalyzes terminal glycosylation of GM3 ganglioside in HeLa and colon cancer cells. We previously isolated a 1.3-kilobase cDNA for a human beta-galactoside alpha 2,6-sialyltransferase, for which N-linked glycoproteins are the acceptors. We report here that treatment of Hep G2 cells with 5 mM n-butyrate for 24 h reduced beta-galactoside alpha 2,6-sialyltransferase mRNA levels by approximately 90%. Reductions in mRNA level were followed by approximately 75 and approximately 90% reductions, respectively, in specific beta-galactoside alpha 2,6-sialyltransferase enzyme activity after treatment for 24 and 36 h with 5 mM n-butyrate. However, in contrast with earlier reports of enhanced ganglioside synthesis in response to n-butyrate treatment, incubation of Hep G2 cells with n-butyrate did not alter the ganglioside pattern as assessed by thin layer chromatography of lipids extracted from treated cells. Nuclear run-on reactions indicated that the rate of transcription of beta-galactoside, alpha 2,6-sialyltransferase was not altered by treatment with 5 mM n-butyrate for 24 h, but the effects of this treatment on cytoplasmic levels of beta-galactoside alpha 2,6-sialyltransferase mRNA were largely negated by co-treatment with actinomycin D or cycloheximide. Therefore, our results show that n-butyrate reduces expression of mature beta-galactoside alpha 2,6-sialyltransferase mRNA by post-transcriptional mechanisms.[1]


  1. n-butyrate reduces the expression of beta-galactoside alpha 2,6-sialyltransferase in Hep G2 cells. Shah, S., Lance, P., Smith, T.J., Berenson, C.S., Cohen, S.A., Horvath, P.J., Lau, J.T., Baumann, H. J. Biol. Chem. (1992) [Pubmed]
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