Cell-type specific and differential regulation of the human metallothionein genes. Correlation with DNA methylation and chromatin structure

Nadia Jahroudi*, Randy Foster, Janet Price-Haughey, Greg Beitel, Lashitew Gedamu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

104 Scopus citations

Abstract

The expression of three human metallothionein genes, MT-IIA, MT-IF, and MT-IG was studied in the human hepatoblastoma (HepG2), the hepatocarcinoma (Hep3B2), the embryonic kidney (Hek 293), and the lymphoblastoid-derived (Wi-L2) cell lines. The pattern of expression of each specific MT gene in response to various heavy metals was different among the four cell lines studied indicating differential regulation of MT gene expression. The MT-IF or MT-IG and the MT-IIA genes were regulated in a cell-type specific manner in response to heavy metals and dexamethasone, respectively. DNA methylation was shown to be correlated to cell-type specific regulation of MT gene expression since 5-azacytidine treatment resulted in the expression of the MT-IF and MT-IG genes in response to cadmium and zinc in Wi-L2 cells, of the MT-IIA gene in response to dexamethasone in Wi-L2 cells, and of the MT-IG in response to zinc and copper in Hek 293 cells. Furthermore, transfection studies indicated that all the trans-acting factors necessary for the expression of these genes were present and functional in Wi-L2 and Hek 293 cells. The differential level of expression of the MT-IF and MT-IG genes in response to heavy metals in the Hek 293 cell line was shown to be correlated to their chromatin structure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6506-6511
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume265
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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