Schiffgen M, Schmidt DH, von Rücker A, Müller SC, Ellinger J
The underlying mechanisms of microRNA deregulation in cancer cells include epigenetic modifications, which play a crucial role in carcinogenesis. We demonstrate that numerous microRNAs are induced in renal cell carcinoma cell lines after treatment with inhibitors of the DNA-methyltransferase (5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine) and the histone-deacetylase (suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid). We provide evidence that enrichment of H3 and H3K18 acetylation at the miR-9 promoter is causative for re-expression, while DNA hypermethylation remains unchanged. Our experiments show that the treatment with the epigenetic drugs causes re-expression of silenced microRNAs with putative tumor suppressive function in ccRCC cell lines.