Epigenetic Alterations in Fanconi anaemia: Role in pathophysiology and therapeutic potential

Hélio Belo, Gabriela Silva, Bruno A. Cardoso, Beatriz Porto, Jordi Minguillon, José Barbot, Jorge Coutinho, Jose A. Casado, Manuela Benedito, Hema Saturnino, Emília Costa, Juan A. Bueren, Jordi Surralles, Antonio Almeida

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Abstract

© 2015 Belo et al.This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Fanconi anaemia (FA) is an inherited disorder characterized by chromosomal instability. The phenotype is variable, which raises the possibility that it may be affected by other factors, such as epigenetic modifications. These play an important role in oncogenesis and may be pharmacologically manipulated. Our aim was to explore whether the epigenetic profiles in FA differ from non-FA individuals and whether these could be manipulated to alter the disease phenotype. We compared expression of epigenetic genes and DNA methylation profile of tumour suppressor genes between FA and normal samples. FA samples exhibited decreased expression levels of genes involved in epigenetic regulation and hypomethylation in the promoter regions of tumour suppressor genes. Treatment of FA cells with histone deacetylase inhibitor Vorinostat increased the expression of DNM3Tβ and reduced the levels of CIITA and HDAC9, PAK1, USP16, all involved in different aspects of epigenetic and immune regulation. Given the ability of Vorinostat to modulate epigenetic genes in FA patients, we investigated its functional effects on the FA phenotype. This was assessed by incubating FA cells with Vorinostat and quantifying chromosomal breaks induced by DNA cross-linking agents. Treatment of FA cells with Vorinostat resulted in a significant reduction of aberrant cells (81% on average). Our results suggest that epigenetic mechanisms may play a role in oncogenesis in FA. Epigenetic agents may be helpful in improving the phenotype of FA patients, potentially reducing tumour incidence in this population. Copyright:
Original languageEnglish
Article number0139740
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Oct 2015

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