Alteration of CEACAM1 gene transcription in prostate cancer cells: The role of AR, Sp2, and HDAC

Dillon Thanh Phan, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


Cell to cell adhesion molecule (CEACAM1), a type II tumor suppressor, has been found to be down-regulated in prostate cancer cells. The mechanism that causes CEACAM1's down-regulation in tumorigenesis is unknown. Here we show that the transcriptional activity of CEACAM1 is decreased in prostate cancer cells. This decrease is not due to methylation of the CEACAM1's promoter, but rather to the alteration of transcription factors regulating CEACAM1 expression. Since androgen/androgen receptors (AR) are potent regulators of prostate growth and differentiation, their role on CEACAM1 gene transcription was examined. The androgen receptor could directly increase CEACAM1 transcriptional activity in a ligand dependent manner by interacting with an AR consensus element that resides in the CEACAM1 promoter. However, AR binding to the CEACAM1 promoter is not related to the loss of CEACAM1 during prostate cancer progression. Further analysis enabled us to determine the particular region in the CEACAM1 promoter that mediates a decrease in CEACAM1 transcriptional activity in prostate cancer cells. Upon further examination, we found that this CEACAM1 promoter region interacts with the Sp1, Sp2, and Sp3 transcription factors. However, only Sp2 expression was found to increase in prostate cancer cells. Inhibiting Sp2 from binding to the CEACAM1 promoter caused an increase in CEACAM1 transcriptional activity in prostate cancer cells. In addition, over-expressing Sp2 in normal prostate cells resulted in a decrease in CEACAM1 transcriptional activity and endogenous protein expression. These observations suggest that Sp2 is a transcription repressor of CEACAM1. Furthermore, prostate cancer cells treated with trichostatin A (TSA), a specific histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor, activated CEACAM1 transcriptional activity. This implies that HDACs are involved in CEACAM1 transcriptional activity. Mutation of the Sp2 DNA binding region on the CEACAM1 promoter inhibited TSA activation of CEACAM1 transcriptional activity. This indicates that HDACs inhibit CEACAM1 transcriptional activity through Sp2. Base on these results, we propose that Sp2 is critical for down-regulating CEACAM1 expression, and one mechanism by which Sp2 represses CEACAM1 expression is by recruiting HDAC to the CEACAM1 promoter in prostate cancer cells. Collectively, these findings provide novel insights into mechanisms that cause the down-regulation of CEACAM1 expression in prostate cancer cells.

Subject Area

Molecular biology|Oncology|Anatomy & physiology|Animals|Cellular biology

Recommended Citation

Phan, Dillon Thanh, "Alteration of CEACAM1 gene transcription in prostate cancer cells: The role of AR, Sp2, and HDAC" (2002). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3046069.