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1.  Promoter hypermethylation and loss of CD133 gene expression in colorectal cancers 
AIM: To understand CD133 promoter hypermethylation and expression in 32 colorectal cancer cell lines.
METHODS: Nucleic acid was isolated from 32 colorectal cancer cell lines and CD133 expression levels were measured by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and real-time PCR. Promoter methylation status of the CD133 gene was analyzed with a methylation-specific PCR after sodium-bisulfite modification and by clonal sequencing analysis. The correlation between expression and promoter methylation of CD133 gene was confirmed with treatment of 5-aza-2’-deoxycytidine.
RESULTS: We measured CD133 expression levels in 32 colorectal cancer cell lines. RT-PCR analysis showed undetectable or low levels of CD133 expression in 34.4% of cell lines. To verify the relation between CD133 expression and methylation status of the CD133 gene promoter in colorectal carcinogenesis, CD133 gene promoter hypermethylation was analyzed in 32 cancer cell lines. Promoter hypermethylation was detected in 13 (40.6%) of the cell lines using methylation specific-PCR and confirmed by bisulfite sequencing analysis. Treatment of 11 of the cell lines with the demethylation agent 5-aza-2’-deoxycytidine recovered CD133 expression in most of them.
CONCLUSION: Transcriptional repression of CD133 is caused by promoter hypermethylation of the CD133 CpG islands in some of colorectal cancer cell lines. The study may contribute to the understanding of the role of CD133 inactivation in the progression of colorectal cancers.
PMCID: PMC2896752  PMID: 20593500
CD133; Promoter; Hypermethylation; Colorectal cancer; Sodium bisulfite modification
2.  Promoter hypomethylation and reactivation of MAGE-A1 and MAGE-A3 genes in colorectal cancer cell lines and cancer tissues 
AIM: To verify the expression and methylation status of the MAGE-A1 and MAGE-A3 genes in colorectal cancer tissues and cancer cell lines.
METHODS: We evaluated promoter demethylation status of the MAGE-A1 and MAGE-A3 genes by RT-PCR analysis and methylation-specific PCR (MS-PCR), as well as sequencing analysis, after sodium bisulfite modification in 32 colorectal cancer cell lines and 87 cancer tissues.
RESULTS: Of the 32 cell lines, MAGE-A1 and MAGE-A3 expressions were observed in 59% and 66%, respectively. Subsequent to sodium bisulfite modification and MS-PCR analysis, the promoter hypomethylation of MAGE-A1 and MAGE-A3 was confirmed in both at 81% each. Promoter hypomethylation of MAGE-A1 and MAGE-A3 in colorectal cancer tissues was observed in 43% and 77%, respectively. Hypomethylation of MAGE-A1 and MAGE-A3 genes in corresponding normal tissues were observed in 2% and 6%, respectively.
CONCLUSION: The promoter hypomethylation of MAGE genes up-regulates its expression in colorectal carcinomas as well as in gastric cancers and might play a significant role in the development and progression of human colorectal carcinomas.
PMCID: PMC4088165  PMID: 17007017
MAGE-A1; MAGE-A3; Promoter; Hypomethy-lation; Colorectal cancer
3.  Presence of CCK-A, B receptors and effect of gastrin and cholecystokinin on growth of pancreatobiliary cancer cell lines 
AIM: To investigate the effects of gastrin and cholecystokinin (CCK) and their specific antagonists on the growth of pancreatic and biliary tract cancer cell lines.
METHODS: Five pancreatic and 6 biliary cancer cell lines with 2 control cells were used in this study. Cell proliferation study was done using 3-[4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl]-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide (MTT) test and direct cell count method. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and slot blot hybridization were performed to examine and quantify the expression of hormonal receptors in these cell lines.
RESULTS: SNU-308 showed a growth stimulating effect by gastrin-17, as did SNU-478 by both gastrin-17 and CCK-8. The trophic effect of these two hormones was completely blocked by specific antagonists (L-365, 260 for gastrin and L-364, 718 for CCK). Other cell lines did not respond to gastrin or CCK. In RT-PCR, the presence of CCK-A receptor and CCK-B/gastrin receptor mRNA was detected in all biliary and pancreatic cancer cell lines. In slot blot hybridization, compared to the cell lines which did not respond to hormones, those that responded to hormones showed high expression of receptor mRNA.
CONCLUSION: Gastrin and CCK exert a trophic action on some of the biliary tract cancers.
PMCID: PMC4250587  PMID: 15682471
Bile duct cancer; Gallbladder cancer; Pancreatic cancer; Gastrin; Cholecystokinin
4.  A Long Non-Coding RNA snaR Contributes to 5-Fluorouracil Resistance in Human Colon Cancer Cells 
Molecules and Cells  2014;37(7):540-546.
Several types of genetic and epigenetic regulation have been implicated in the development of drug resistance, one significant challenge for cancer therapy. Although changes in the expression of non-coding RNA are also responsible for drug resistance, the specific identities and roles of them remain to be elucidated. Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are a type of ncRNA (> 200 nt) that influence the regulation of gene expression in various ways. In this study, we aimed to identify differentially expressed lncRNAs in 5-fluorouracil-resistant colon cancer cells. Using two pairs of 5-FU-resistant cells derived from the human colon cancer cell lines SNU-C4 and SNU-C5, we analyzed the expression of 90 lncRNAs by qPCR-based profiling and found that 19 and 23 lncRNAs were differentially expressed in SNU-C4R and SNU-C5R cells, respectively. We confirmed that snaR and BACE1AS were downregulated in resistant cells. To further investigate the effects of snaR on cell growth, cell viability and cell cycle were analyzed after transfection of siRNAs targeting snaR. Down-regulation of snaR decreased cell death after 5-FU treatment, which indicates that snaR loss decreases in vitro sensitivity to 5-FU. Our results provide an important insight into the involvement of lncRNAs in 5-FU resistance in colon cancer cells.
PMCID: PMC4132306  PMID: 25078450
5-Fluorouracil; cell viability; drug resistance; long non-coding RNAs; snaR
6.  Effects of granulocyte-colony stimulating factor and the expression of its receptor on various malignant cells 
The Korean Journal of Hematology  2012;47(3):219-224.
Granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) is extensively used to improve neutrophil count during anti-cancer chemotherapy. We investigated the effects of G-CSF on several leukemic cell lines and screened for the expression of the G-CSF receptor (G-CSFR) in various malignant cells.
We examined the effects of the most commonly used commercial forms of G-CSF (glycosylated lenograstim and nonglycosylated filgrastim) on various leukemic cell lines by flow cytometry. Moreover, we screened for the expression of G-CSFR mRNA in 38 solid tumor cell lines by using real-time PCR.
G-CSF stimulated proliferation (40-80% increase in proliferation in treated cells as compared to that in control cells) in 3 leukemic cell lines and induced differentiation of AML1/ETO+ leukemic cells. Among the 38 solid tumor cell lines, 5 cell lines (hepatoblastoma, 2 breast carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma of the larynx, and melanoma cell lines) showed G-CSFR mRNA expression.
The results of the present study show that therapeutic G-CSF might stimulate the proliferation and differentiation of malignant cells with G-CSFR expression, suggesting that prescreening for G-CSFR expression in primary tumor cells may be necessary before using G-CSF for treatment.
PMCID: PMC3464340  PMID: 23071478
G-CSF; Differentiation; Proliferation; Solid tumor; AML
7.  Biology of SNU Cell Lines 
SNU (Seoul National University) cell lines have been established from Korean cancer patients since 1982. Of these 109 cell lines have been characterized and reported, i.e., 17 colorectal carcinoma, 12 hepatocellular carcinoma, 11 gastric carcinoma, 12 uterine cervical carcinoma, 17 B-lymphoblastoid cell lines derived from cancer patients, 5 ovarian carcinoma, 3 malignant mixed Mllerian tumor, 6 laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma, 7 renal cell carcinoma, 9 brain tumor, 6 biliary tract, and 4 pancreatic carcinoma cell lines. These SNU cell lines have been distributed to biomedical researchers domestic and worldwide through the KCLB (Korean Cell Line Bank), and have proven to be of value in various scientific research fields. The characteristics of these cell lines have been reported in over 180 international journals by our laboratory and by many other researchers from 1987. In this paper, the cellular and molecular characteristics of SNU human cancer cell lines are summarized according to their genetic and epigenetic alterations and functional analysis.
PMCID: PMC2785416  PMID: 19956504
SNU; Cell line; Cell culture; Cancer; Cancer research

Results 1-7 (7)