Identification and characterization of apoptosis-associated genes in hematopoietic cells using gene trapping and microarray technologies

  • A gene trap strategy was used to identify genes induced in hematopoietic cells undergoing apoptosis by growth factor withdrawal. IL-3 dependent survival of hematopoietic cells relies on a delicate balance between proliferation and apoptosis that is controlled by the availability of cytokines (Thompson, 1995; Iijima et al., 2002). From our previous results of gene trap assay, we postulated that transcriptionally activated antagonistic genes against apoptosis might actually block or delay cell death (Wempe et al., 2001) causing cells to have carcinogenic behavior. The analysis attempted to better understand the outcome of a death program following IL-3 deprivation and to identify those survival genes whose expression is affected by time dependent manner. As described in the chapter 4, there would be two major conclusions evident from the three separate experiments (Genetrap, Atlas cDNA array and Affymetrix chips): Firstly 56% of trapped genes, that are up-regulated by IL-3 withdrawal (28 of 50), are directly related to cell death or survival. Secondly, unlike most array technologies, gene trapping only selects for the transiently induced genes that is independent of pre-existing steady state mRNA levels. In regarding correlations of the genes with potential carcinogenesis, the pre-existing mRNA makes difficult to describe the unique characteristics of deregulated tumor tissue genes. For a joint project with Schering (Schering AG, Berlin), the genes of our GTSTs were examined. The first screen with custom array was used to look for whether the survival genes of our GTSTs are involved in various cancer cell lines, whilst the second screen with Matched Tumor/Normal Array was used to characterize if the selected seven genes (ERK3, Plekha2, KIAA1140, PI4P5Ka/g, KIAA0740, KIAA1036 and PEST domains) are transformation-related genes or not in different tumor tissues. Twenty-six genes were identified as either induced or repressed in one or more cell lines. Genetic information is expressed in complex and ever changing patterns throughout a life span of cells. A description of these patterns and how they relate to the tissue specific cancer is crucial for our understanding of the network of genetic interactions that underlie the processes of normal development, disease and evolution. The development of cancer and its progression is clearly a multiplex phenotype, as a function of time, involving dozens of primary genes and hundreds of secondary modifier genes. There would be a major conclusion evident from the three separate experiments (Genetrap, Affymetrix mouse chip and Matched Tumor/Normal Array): ERK3 could play a significant role in breast, stomach and uterus carcinogenesis with tissue specific regulations. It is clear that ERK3 is obvious putative survival gene in these tumor tissues. Especially, in breast tumors, seven times up-regulation was considerable and the activation of ERK3 could be a feature of breast tumors. My results imply that the unique deregulation of ERK3 is perhaps the major consequence of possible transformation of normal cells into malignant cancer cells, even though further analysis remains to be determined whether an alterated activity of associated survival genes is primarily responsible for a carcinogenesis. However unlike all the other known MAP Kinases, no stimuli and no nuclear substrates of ERK3 is reported. Therefore, it will be necessary first to determine the spectrum of substrates and to identify the proximal effectors for the ERK3 in breast carcinoma cells.

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Author:Ji Yeon Yang
Referee:Harald von Melchner
Document Type:Doctoral Thesis
Date of Publication (online):2004/04/05
Year of first Publication:2003
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Granting Institution:Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität
Date of final exam:2004/02/04
Release Date:2004/04/05
Institutes:Biowissenschaften / Biowissenschaften
Dewey Decimal Classification:6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit / 610 Medizin und Gesundheit
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht