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Shikun He, Ernesto Barron, Keijiro Ishikawa, Hossein Nazari Khanamiri, Chris Spee, Peng Zhou, Satoru Kase, Zhuoshi Wang, Laurie Diane Dustin, David R. Hinton; Inhibition of DNA Methylation and Methyl-CpG-Binding Protein 2 Suppresses RPE Transdifferentiation: Relevance to Proliferative Vitreoretinopathy. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2015;56(9):5579-5589. doi: 10.1167/iovs.14-16258.
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The purpose of this study was to evaluate expression of methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MeCP2) in epiretinal membranes from patients with proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR) and to investigate effects of inhibition of MeCP2 and DNA methylation on transforming growth factor (TGF)-β–induced retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cell transdifferentiation.
Expression of MeCP2 and its colocalization with cytokeratin and α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) in surgically excised PVR membranes was studied using immunohistochemistry. The effects of 5-AZA-2′-deoxycytidine (5-AZA-dC) on human RPE cell migration and viability were evaluated using a modified Boyden chamber assay and the colorimetric 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazolyl-2)-2, 5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. Expression of RASAL1 mRNA and its promoter region methylation were evaluated by real-time PCR and methylation-specific PCR. Effects of 5-AZA-dC on expression of α-SMA, fibronectin (FN), and TGF-β receptor 2 (TGF-β R2) and Smad2/3 phosphorylation were analyzed by Western blotting. Effect of short interfering RNA (siRNA) knock-down of MeCP2 on expression of α-SMA and FN induced by TGFβ was determined.
MeCP2 was abundantly expressed in cells within PVR membranes where it was double labeled with cells positive for cytokeratin and α-SMA. 5-AZA-dC inhibited expression of MeCP2 and suppressed RASAL1 gene methylation while increasing expression of the RASAL1 gene. Treatment with 5-AZA-dC significantly suppressed the expression of α-SMA, FN, TGF-β R2 and phosphorylation of Smad2/3 and inhibited RPE cell migration. TGF-β induced expression of α-SMA, and FN was suppressed by knock-down of MeCP2.
MeCP2 and DNA methylation regulate RPE transdifferentiation and may be involved in the pathogenesis of PVR.
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