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    Alcohol intake is associated with numbers of different human cancers, such as hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and breast cancer. However, the molecular mechanism remains to be elucidated. RNA polymerase III-dependent genes (Pol III genes) deregulation elevates cellular production of tRNAs and 5S rRNA, resulting in an increase in translational capacity, which promote cell transformation and tumor formation. To explore a common mechanism of alcohol-associated human cancers, we have comparably analyzed that alcohol causes deregulation of Pol III genes in liver and breast cells. Our results reveal that alcohol enhances RNA Pol III gene transcription in both liver and breast cells. The induction of Pol III genes caused by alcohol in ER+ breast cancer lines or liver tumor lines are significantly higher than in their non-tumor cell lines. Alcohol increases cellular levels of Brf1 mRNA and protein, (which depeted) Brf1 is a key transcription factor and specifically regulate Pol III gene activity. Alcohol activates JNK1 to upregulate transcription of Brf1 and Pol III genes, whereas inhibition of JNK1 by SP600125 or its siRNA significantly decreases the induction of these genes. Furthermore, alcohol increases the rates of transformation of liver and breast cells, repressed JNK1 and Brf1 expression decrease transcription of Pol III genes and reduce the rates of colony formation of AML-12 and MCF-10 cells. Together, these studies support the idea that alcohol induces deregulation of Brf1 and RNA Pol III genes in liver and breast cells, which share a common signaling pathway to promote cell transformation. Through the common mechanism, alcohol-induced deregulation of RNA Pol III genes brings about greater phenotypic changes. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


    Yunfeng Yi, Chenghao Huang, Yanmei Zhang, Suke Tian, Junxia Lei, Songlin Chen, Ganggang Shi, Zhongdao Wu, Ningshao Xia, Shuping Zhong. Exploring a common mechanism of alcohol-induced deregulation of RNA Pol III genes in liver and breast cells. Gene. 2017 Aug 30;626:309-318

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    PMID: 28552569

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