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Down-regulation of UHRF1, associated with re-expression of tumor suppressor genes, is a common feature of natural compounds exhibiting anti-cancer properties

Author(s): Alhosin Mahmoud | Sharif Tanveer | Mousli Marc | Etienne-Selloum Nelly | Fuhrmann Guy | Schini-Kerth Valérie | Bronner Christian

Journal: Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research
ISSN 1756-9966

Volume: 30;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 41;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Abstract Over-expressed in numerous cancers, Ubiquitin-like containing PHD Ring Finger 1 (UHRF1, also known as ICBP90 or Np95) is characterized by a SRA domain (Set and Ring Associated) which is found only in the UHRF family. UHRF1 constitutes a complex with histone deacetylase 1 (HDAC1) and DNA methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1) via its SRA domain and represses the expression of several tumour suppressor genes (TSGs) including p16 INK4A , hMLH1, BRCA1 and RB1. Conversely, UHRF1 is regulated by other TSGs such as p53 and p73. UHRF1 is hypothetically involved in a macro-molecular protein complex called "ECREM" for "Epigenetic Code Replication Machinery". This complex would be able to duplicate the epigenetic code by acting at the DNA replication fork and by activating the right enzymatic activity at the right moment. There are increasing evidence that UHRF1 is the conductor of this replication process by ensuring the crosstalk between DNA methylation and histone modifications via the SRA and Tandem Tudor Domains, respectively. This cross-talk allows cancer cells to maintain the repression of TSGs during cell proliferation. Several studies showed that down-regulation of UHRF1 expression in cancer cells by natural pharmacological active compounds, favors enhanced expression or re-expression of TSGs, suppresses cell growth and induces apoptosis. This suggests that hindering UHRF1 to exert its role in the duplication of the methylation patterns (DNA + histones) is responsible for inducing apoptosis. In this review, we present UHRF1 expression as a target of several natural products and we discuss their underlying molecular mechanisms and benefits for chemoprevention and chemotherapy.
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