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1.  Association between Polymorphisms in Glutathione Peroxidase and Selenoprotein P Genes, Glutathione Peroxidase Activity, HRT Use and Breast Cancer Risk 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(9):e73316.
Breast cancer (BC) is one of the most common cancers in women. Evidence suggests that genetic variation in antioxidant enzymes could influence BC risk, but to date the relationship between selenoproteins and BC risk remains unclear. In this report, a study population including 975 Danish cases and 975 controls matched for age and hormone replacement therapy (HRT) use was genotyped for five functional single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in SEPP1, GPX1, GPX4 and the antioxidant enzyme SOD2 genes. The influence of genetic polymorphisms on breast cancer risk was assessed using conditional logistic regression. Additionally pre-diagnosis erythrocyte GPx (eGPx) activity was measured in a sub-group of the population. A 60% reduction in risk of developing overall BC and ductal BC was observed in women who were homozygous Thr carriers for SEPP1 rs3877899. Additionally, Leu carriers for GPX1 Pro198Leu polymorphism (rs1050450) were at ∼2 fold increased risk of developing a non-ductal BC. Pre-diagnosis eGPx activity was found to depend on genotype for rs713041 (GPX4), rs3877899 (SEPP1), and rs1050450 (GPX1) and on HRT use. Moreover, depending on genotype and HRT use, eGPx activity was significantly lower in women who developed BC later in life compared with controls. Furthermore, GPx1 protein levels increased in human breast adenocarcinoma MCF7 cells exposed to β-estradiol and sodium selenite.In conclusion, our data provide evidence that SNPs in SEPP1 and GPX1 modulate risk of BC and that eGPx activity is modified by SNPs in SEPP1, GPX4 and GPX1 and by estrogens. Our data thus suggest a role of selenoproteins in BC development.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0073316
PMCID: PMC3769272  PMID: 24039907
2.  Polymorphisms in Thioredoxin Reductase and Selenoprotein K Genes and Selenium Status Modulate Risk of Prostate Cancer 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(11):e48709.
Increased dietary intake of Selenium (Se) has been suggested to lower prostate cancer mortality, but supplementation trials have produced conflicting results. Se is incorporated into 25 selenoproteins. The aim of this work was to assess whether risk of prostate cancer is affected by genetic variants in genes coding for selenoproteins, either alone or in combination with Se status. 248 cases and 492 controls from an EPIC-Heidelberg nested case-control study were subjected to two-stage genotyping with an initial screening phase in which 384 tagging-SNPs covering 72 Se-related genes were determined in 94 cases and 94 controls using the Illumina Goldengate methodology. This analysis was followed by a second phase in which genotyping for candidate SNPs identified in the first phase was carried out in the full study using Sequenom. Risk of high-grade or advanced stage prostate cancer was modified by interactions between serum markers of Se status and genotypes for rs9880056 in SELK, rs9605030 and rs9605031 in TXNRD2, and rs7310505 in TXNRD1. No significant effects of SNPs on prostate cancer risk were observed when grade or Se status was not taken into account. In conclusion, the risk of high-grade or advanced-stage prostate cancer is significantly altered by a combination of genotype for SNPs in selenoprotein genes and Se status. The findings contribute to explaining the biological effects of selenium intake and genetic factors in prostate cancer development and highlight potential roles of thioredoxin reductases and selenoprotein K in tumour progression.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0048709
PMCID: PMC3486803  PMID: 23133653
3.  The RNA Binding Zinc Finger Protein Tristetraprolin Regulates AU-Rich mRNAs Involved in Breast Cancer-Related Processes 
Oncogene  2010;29(29):4205-4215.
Tristetraprolin (TTP or ZFP36) is a tandem CCCH zinc finger RNA binding protein that regulates the stability of certain AU-rich mRNAs. Recent work suggests that TTP is deficient in cancer cells when compared to normal cell types. Here we found that TTP expression was lower in invasive breast cancer cells (MDA-MB-231) compared to normal breast cell lines, MCF12A and MCF-10. TTP targets were probed using a novel approach by expressing the C124R zinc finger TTP mutant that act as dominant negative and increase target mRNA expression. In contrast to wt TTP, C124R TTP was able to increase certain ARE-mRNA expression in serum-stimulated breast cancer cells. Using an ARE-gene microarray, novel targets of TTP regulation were identified; urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA), uPA receptor, and matrix metallo-proteinase-1 (MMP1), all known to play prominent roles in breast cancer invasion and metastasis. Expression of these targets was upregulated in the tumorigenic types, particularly, the highly invasive MDA-MB-231. The mRNA half lives of these TTP-regulated genes were increased in TTP-knockout embryonic mouse fibroblasts as assessed by real time PCR while forced restoration of TTP by transfection led to a reduction of their mRNA levels. RNA immunoprecipitation confirmed an association of TTP, but not C124R, with these target transcripts. Moreover, TTP reduced, while the mutant C124R TTP increased, the activity of reporter constructs fused to target ARE. As a result of TTP regulation, invasiveness of MDAMB231 cells was reduced. The data suggest that TTP, in a 3′UTR- and ARE-dependent manner, regulates an important subset of cancer-related genes that are involved in cellular growth, invasion, and metastasis.
doi:10.1038/onc.2010.168
PMCID: PMC3422647  PMID: 20498646
Post-transcriptional control; AU-rich elements; RNA binding proteins; RNA stability; Tristetraprolin
4.  Selenium Promotes T-Cell Response to TCR-Stimulation and ConA, but Not PHA in Primary Porcine Splenocytes 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(4):e35375.
There is controversy in the literature over whether the selenium (Se) influences cellular immune responses, and the mechanisms possibly underlying these effects are unclear. In this study, the effects of Se on T-cell proliferation and IL-2 production were studied in primary porcine splenocytes. Splenocytes were treated with different mitogens in the presence of 0.5–4 µmol/L sodium selenite. Se significantly promoted T-cell receptor (TCR) or concanavalin A (ConA)-induced T-cell proliferation and IL-2 production but failed to regulate T-cell response to phytohemagglutinin (PHA). In addition, Se significantly increased the levels of cytosolic glutathione peroxidase (GPx1) and thioredoxin reductase 1 (TR1) mRNA, the activity of GPx1 and the concentration of reduced glutathione (GSH) in the unstimulated, or activated splenocytes. These results indicated that Se improved the redox status in all splenocytes, including unstimulated, TCR, ConA and PHA -stimulated, but only TCR and ConA-induced T-cell activation was affected by the redox status. N-acetylcysteine (NAC), a pharmacological antioxidant, increased T-cell proliferation and IL-2 production by TCR and ConA stimulated splenocytes but had no effect on the response to PHA in primary porcine splenocytes confirming that PHA-induced T-cell activation is insensitive to the redox status. We conclude that Se promotes GPx1 and TR1 expression and increases antioxidative capacity in porcine splenocytes, which enhances TCR or ConA -induced T-cell activation but not PHA-induced T-cell activation. The different susceptibilities to Se between the TCR, ConA and PHA -induced T-cell activation may help to explain the controversy in the literature over whether or not Se boosts immune responses.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0035375
PMCID: PMC3328446  PMID: 22530011
5.  A T/C polymorphism in the GPX4 3′UTR affects the selenoprotein expression pattern and cell viability in transfected Caco-2 cells 
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta  2011;1810(6):284-291.
Background
Synthesis of selenoproteins such as glutathione peroxidases (GPx) requires a specific tRNA and a stem-loop structure in the 3′untranslated region (3′UTR) of the mRNA. A common single nucleotide polymorphism occurs in the GPX4 gene in a region corresponding to the 3′UTR.
Methods
The two variant 3′UTR sequences were linked to sequences from a selenoprotein reporter gene (iodothyronine deiodinase) and expressed in Caco-2 cells. Clones expressing comparable levels of deiodinase (assessed by real-time PCR) were selected and their response to tert-butyl hydroperoxide assessed by cell viability and measurement of reactive oxygen species. Selenoprotein expression was assessed by real-time PCR, enzyme activity and immunoassay.
Results
When selenium supply was low, cells overexpressing the C variant 3′UTR showed lower viability after oxidative challenge, increased levels of reactive oxygen species and lower GPx activity and SelH mRNA expression compared to cells overexpressing the T variant. After selenium supplementation, cell viability and GPx4 expression were higher in the cells overexpressing the C variant. Expression of transgenes incorporating the T/C variant GPX4 (rs713041) sequences in Caco-2 cells leads to alterations in both cell viability after an oxidative challenge and selenoprotein expression. This suggests that the two variants compete differently in the selenoprotein hierarchy.
General Significance
The data provide evidence that the T/C variant GPX4 (rs713041) alters the pattern of selenoprotein synthesis if selenium intake is low. Further work is required to assess the impact on disease susceptibility.
Research highlights
► Clones over-expressed a GPX4 3′UTR transgene with either T or C variant of rs713041. ► T/C polymorphism modulated effect of over-expression on selenoprotein hierarchy. ► T/C polymorphism modulated effect of transgene on sensitivity to oxidative challenge.
doi:10.1016/j.bbagen.2011.03.016
PMCID: PMC3793862  PMID: 21459128
Selenium; Glutathione peroxidase 4; Oxidative stress; 3′untranslated region; Selenoprotein hierarchy; Transfection
6.  The Micronutrient Genomics Project: a community-driven knowledge base for micronutrient research 
Genes & Nutrition  2010;5(4):285-296.
Micronutrients influence multiple metabolic pathways including oxidative and inflammatory processes. Optimum micronutrient supply is important for the maintenance of homeostasis in metabolism and, ultimately, for maintaining good health. With advances in systems biology and genomics technologies, it is becoming feasible to assess the activity of single and multiple micronutrients in their complete biological context. Existing research collects fragments of information, which are not stored systematically and are thus not optimally disseminated. The Micronutrient Genomics Project (MGP) was established as a community-driven project to facilitate the development of systematic capture, storage, management, analyses, and dissemination of data and knowledge generated by biological studies focused on micronutrient–genome interactions. Specifically, the MGP creates a public portal and open-source bioinformatics toolbox for all “omics” information and evaluation of micronutrient and health studies. The core of the project focuses on access to, and visualization of, genetic/genomic, transcriptomic, proteomic and metabolomic information related to micronutrients. For each micronutrient, an expert group is or will be established combining the various relevant areas (including genetics, nutrition, biochemistry, and epidemiology). Each expert group will (1) collect all available knowledge, (2) collaborate with bioinformatics teams towards constructing the pathways and biological networks, and (3) publish their findings on a regular basis. The project is coordinated in a transparent manner, regular meetings are organized and dissemination is arranged through tools, a toolbox web portal, a communications website and dedicated publications.
doi:10.1007/s12263-010-0192-8
PMCID: PMC2989004  PMID: 21189865
Micronutrient; Bioinformatics; Database; Genomics
7.  The Micronutrient Genomics Project: a community-driven knowledge base for micronutrient research 
Genes & Nutrition  2010;5(4):285-296.
Micronutrients influence multiple metabolic pathways including oxidative and inflammatory processes. Optimum micronutrient supply is important for the maintenance of homeostasis in metabolism and, ultimately, for maintaining good health. With advances in systems biology and genomics technologies, it is becoming feasible to assess the activity of single and multiple micronutrients in their complete biological context. Existing research collects fragments of information, which are not stored systematically and are thus not optimally disseminated. The Micronutrient Genomics Project (MGP) was established as a community-driven project to facilitate the development of systematic capture, storage, management, analyses, and dissemination of data and knowledge generated by biological studies focused on micronutrient–genome interactions. Specifically, the MGP creates a public portal and open-source bioinformatics toolbox for all “omics” information and evaluation of micronutrient and health studies. The core of the project focuses on access to, and visualization of, genetic/genomic, transcriptomic, proteomic and metabolomic information related to micronutrients. For each micronutrient, an expert group is or will be established combining the various relevant areas (including genetics, nutrition, biochemistry, and epidemiology). Each expert group will (1) collect all available knowledge, (2) collaborate with bioinformatics teams towards constructing the pathways and biological networks, and (3) publish their findings on a regular basis. The project is coordinated in a transparent manner, regular meetings are organized and dissemination is arranged through tools, a toolbox web portal, a communications website and dedicated publications.
doi:10.1007/s12263-010-0192-8
PMCID: PMC2989004  PMID: 21189865
Micronutrient; Bioinformatics; Database; Genomics
8.  Polymorphisms in the selenoprotein S and 15-kDa selenoprotein genes are associated with altered susceptibility to colorectal cancer 
Genes & Nutrition  2010;5(3):215-223.
Selenium (Se), a dietary trace metal essential for human health, is incorporated into ~25 selenoproteins including selenoprotein S (SelS) and the 15-kDa selenoprotein (Sep15) both of which have functions in the endoplasmic reticulum protein unfolding response. The aim of this study was to investigate whether genetic variants in such selenoprotein genes are associated with altered risk of colorectal cancer (CRC). A Korean population of 827 patients with CRC and 733 healthy controls was genotyped for 7 SNPs in selenoprotein genes and one SNP in the gene encoding manganese superoxide dismutase using Sequenom technology. Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that after adjustment for lifestyle factors three SNP variants were associated with altered disease risk. There was a mean odds ratio of 2.25 [95% CI 1.13,4.48] in females homozygous TT for rs34713741 in SELS with the T variant being associated with higher risk of rectal cancer, and odds ratios of 2.47 and 2.51, respectively, for rs5845 and rs5859 in SEP15 with the minor A and T alleles being associated with increased risk of male rectal cancer. The data indicate that the minor alleles for rs5845, rs5859 and rs34713741 are associated with increased rectal cancer risk and that the effects of the three SNPs are dependent on gender. The results highlight potential links between Se, the function of two selenoproteins involved in the protein unfolding response and CRC risk. Further studies are required to investigate whether the effects of the variants on CRC risk are also modulated by dietary Se intake.
doi:10.1007/s12263-010-0176-8
PMCID: PMC2935533  PMID: 21052528
Selenium; Rectal cancer; 15-kDa selenoprotein; Selenoprotein S; SNP
9.  Fine mapping of interactions between eEF1α protein and 3′UTR of metallothionein-1 mRNA 
The localization of metallothionein-1 (MT-1) mRNA to the perinuclear cytoskeleton is determined by a signal in the 3′untranslated region (3′UTR) and trans-acting binding proteins. The present study carried out detailed mapping of this signal and further characterized the binding to elongation factor 1 alpha (eEF1α) and other interacting proteins. Electrophoresis mobility shift assays demonstrated that shortening of a stem region proximal to nucleotides 66–76 abrogated binding. Full length recombinant rat eEF1α, and independently domains I and III, formed complexes with the mRNA. Proteins binding to biotinylated MT-1 3′UTR sequences were isolated using RNA-affinity techniques, and mass spectrometry identified histidine-tRNA ligase as one of the major MT-1 3′UTR binding proteins. We conclude that a 5-bp internal stem in the MT-1 3′UTR is critical for binding of eEF1α and histidine-tRNA ligase, and that binding of eEF1α is facilitated through domains I and III.
doi:10.1016/j.bbrc.2009.05.146
PMCID: PMC2719692  PMID: 19501573
Metallothionein-1; Perinuclear mRNA localisation; 3′Untranslated region; Elongation factor 1α; RNA binding protein; RNA secondary structure; Histidine-tRNA ligase
10.  The challenges for molecular nutrition research 1: linking genotype to healthy nutrition 
Genes & Nutrition  2008;3(2):41-49.
Nutrition science finds itself at a major crossroad. On the one hand we can continue the current path, which has resulted in some substantial advances, but also many conflicting messages which impair the trust of the general population, especially those who are motivated to improve their health through diet. The other road is uncharted and is being built over the many exciting new developments in life sciences. This new era of nutrition recognizes the complex relation between the health of the individual, its genome, and the life-long dietary exposure, and has lead to the realisation that nutrition is essentially a gene–environment interaction science. This review on the relation between genotype, diet and health is the first of a series dealing with the major challenges in molecular nutrition, analyzing the foundations of nutrition research. With the unravelling of the human genome and the linking of its variability to a multitude of phenotypes from “healthy” to an enormously complex range of predispositions, the dietary modulation of these propensities has become an area of active research. Classical genetic approaches applied so far in medical genetics have steered away from incorporating dietary effects in their models and paradoxically, most genetic studies analyzing diet-associated phenotypes and diseases simply ignore diet. Yet, a modest but increasing number of studies are accounting for diet as a modulator of genetic associations. These range from observational cohorts to intervention studies with prospectively selected genotypes. New statistical and bioinformatics approaches are becoming available to aid in design and evaluation of these studies. This review discusses the various approaches used and provides concrete recommendations for future research.
doi:10.1007/s12263-008-0086-1
PMCID: PMC2467452  PMID: 18850186
Nutrigenetics; Nutrigenomics; Genotype; Candidate gene
11.  Competition between the signal sequence and a 3'UTR localisation signal during redirection of beta-globin mRNA to the endoplasmic reticulum: implications for biotechnology 
Cytotechnology  1999;30(1-3):37-47.
Secretion of an intracellular protein from a cell factory requires as a first step the redirection of the mRNA for synthesis of the protein on the endoplasmic reticulum. The feasibility of retargeting a mRNA coding for an intracellular protein to the endoplasmic reticulum was investigated using Ltk- fibroblasts stably transfected with gene constructs in which rabbit beta-globin coding region and 5'UTR was linked to albumin signal sequence and different 3'untranslated regions. Globin transcripts with the native globin 3'untranslated region or with the 3'untranslated region of c-myc are present in free/cytoskeletal-bound polysomes. The addition of the signal sequence from rat albumin redirects both these globin transcripts to membrane-bound polysomes but the presence of the c-myc 3'UTR reduces the extent of redirection. Globin transcripts with both the signal sequence and 3'untranslated region from the albumin gene are efficiently redirected to membrane-bound polysomes. The results suggest competition between 5' and 3' localising signals. The addition of the signal sequence does not destabilise the mRNA nor affect translational efficiency. It is concluded that it is possible to retarget an mRNA to the endoplasmic reticulum while maintaining stability and translational capacity. This has important implications for the development of vectors to promote secretion of intracellular proteins from cell factories.
doi:10.1023/A:1008079901508
PMCID: PMC3449937  PMID: 19003354
cell factory; mRNA localisation; mRNA stability; protein synthesis; targeting signals; translational efficiency
12.  The single-nucleotide polymorphism (GPX4c718t) in the glutathione peroxidase 4 gene influences endothelial cell function: Interaction with selenium and fatty acids 
Molecular Nutrition & Food Research  2013;57(12):2185-2194.
Scope
Selenium (Se) is incorporated into selenoproteins as selenocysteine, which requires structures in the 3′-untranslated region (3′-UTR) of selenoprotein mRNAs. The functional consequences of a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) within the 3′-UTR of the selenoprotein GPX4 gene (GPX4c718t) was assessed in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) and monocytes from human volunteers.
Methods and results
HUVEC and monocytes homozygous for the T- or C-variant of the GPX4c718t SNP were assessed for monocyte–endothelial cell adhesion, expression of VCAM-1 and sensitivity to oxidative challenge. Interaction of the SNP with Se and different PUFA and effects on selenoprotein expression were also investigated. HUVEC and monocytes homozygous for the T-variant showed elevated adhesion levels compared to cells of the C-variant. This effect was modified by Se and PUFA. HUVEC homozygous for the T-variant showed elevated levels of VCAM-1 protein in the presence of arachidonic acid, were more sensitive to oxidative challenge and showed Se-dependant changes in lipid peroxide levels and expression of additional selenoproteins.
Conclusion
These findings demonstrate functional effects of the GPX4c718t SNP in endothelial cells and may suggest that individuals with the TT genotype have impaired endothelial function and are at greater risk of vascular disease compared to individuals with the CC genotype.
doi:10.1002/mnfr.201300216
PMCID: PMC4063342  PMID: 23934705
Endothelial; Glutathione peroxidase 4; Monocyte; Selenium; Single nucleotide polymorphism

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