Differential modulation of nuclear texture, histone acetylation, and MDR1 gene expression in human drug-sensitive and -resistant OV1 cell lines

Sonia Yatouji, Victoria El-Khoury, Chantal Trentesaux, Aurelie Trussardi-Regnier, Rym Benabid, Franck Bontems, Jean Dufer
International Journal of Oncology 2007, 30 (4): 1003-9
Image cytometric study of pathological specimens or cell lines has suggested that epigenetic mechanisms are likely to play a major role in determining chromatin patterns evaluable through nuclear texture analysis. We previously reported that nuclear textural changes observed in the OV1-VCR etoposide-resistant ovarian carcinoma cell line were associated with an increased acetylated histone H4 level. In this study we analyzed the effects of treatments with the HDAC inhibitor trichostatin A (TSA) or with nickel subsulfide on histone H4 acetylation, nuclear texture, and MDR1 gene expression in drug-sensitive IGROV1 and drug-resistant OV1-VCR cell lines. In IGROV1 cells, TSA induced an increase in acetylated H4 level associated with a chromatin textural decondensation and an increase in MDR1 gene expression. In OV1-VCR cells, a similar increase in H4 acetylation was observed, but nuclear texture or MDR1 gene expression remained unchanged. ChIP analysis revealed that MDR1 gene expression remained stable in TSA-treated OV1-VCR cells despite a localized increase in H4 acetylation at the promoter level. Analysis of the methylation status of MDR1 promoter showed an increase in DNA methylation at 3 specific sites in OV1-VCR cells, that could participate to TSA low responsiveness in these cells. Treatment with nickel subsulfide induced a decrease in H4 acetylation without any effect on nuclear texture characteristics in both cell lines. In OV1-VCR cells, nickel subsulfide induced a significant down-regulation of the MDR1 gene expression. These results indicate that modulation of histone H4 acetylation level can be associated with up- or down-regulation of the MDR1 gene in OV1 cells. However, this modulation does not always result in chromatin pattern alterations and these data emphasize the complexity of chromatin texture regulation in tumor cells.

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