We would like to thank the editors for providing us with the opportunity to respond to the points raised by Dr. García Nieto.[...].
PMID: 21737566;PMCID: PMC3186211;Abstract:
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is characterized by a series of pathological changes that range from simple fatty liver to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). The objective of this study is to describe changes in global gene expression associated with the progression of human NAFLD. This study is focused on the expression levels of genes responsible for the absorption, distribution, metabolism, and elimination (ADME) of drugs. Differential gene expression between three clinically defined pathological groups - normal, steatosis, and NASH - was analyzed. Genome-wide mRNA levels in samples of human liver tissue were assayed with Affymetrix GeneChip Human 1.0ST arrays. A total of 11,633 genes exhibited altered expression out of 33,252 genes at a 5% false discovery rate. Most gene expression changes occurred in the progression from steatosis to NASH. Principal component analysis revealed that hepatic disease status was the major determinant of differential ADME gene expression rather than age or sex of sample donors. Among the 515 drug transporters and 258 drug-metabolizing enzymes (DMEs) examined, uptake transporters but not efflux transporters or DMEs were significantly over-represented in the number of genes down-regulated. These results suggest that uptake transporter genes are coordinately targeted for down-regulation at the global level during the pathological development of NASH and that these patients may have decreased drug uptake capacity. This coordinated regulation of uptake transporter genes is indicative of a hepatoprotective mechanism acting to prevent accumulation of toxic intermediates in disease- compromised hepatocytes. Copyright © 2011 by The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.
Low lean mass (LM) is a risk factor for chronic disease, a major cause of disability and diminished quality of life, and is a heritable trait. However, relatively few specific genetic factors have been identified as potentially influencing this trait.
Using an integrated approach of epigenomic scanning and gene expression profiling, we found aberrant methylation and epigenetic silencing of a small neighborhood of contiguous genes-the HOXA gene cluster in human breast cancer. The observed transcriptional repression was localized to approximately 100 kb of the HOXA gene cluster and did not extend to genes located upstream or downstream of the cluster. Bisulfite sequencing, chromatin immunoprecipitation, and quantitative reverse transcription-PCR analysis confirmed that the loss of expression of the HOXA gene cluster in human breast cancer is closely linked to aberrant DNA methylation and loss of permissive histone modifications in the region. Pharmacologic manipulations showed the importance of these aberrant epigenetic changes in gene silencing and support the hypothesis that aberrant DNA methylation is dominant to histone hypoacetylation. Overall, these data suggest that inactivation of the HOXA gene cluster in breast cancer may represent a new type of genomic lesion-epigenetic microdeletion. We predict that epigenetic microdeletions are common in human cancer and that they functionally resemble genetic microdeletions but are defined by epigenetic inactivation and transcriptional silencing of a relatively small set of contiguous genes along a chromosome, and that this type of genomic lesion is metastable and reversible in a classic epigenetic fashion.