Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma-mediated differentiation: a mutation in colon cancer cells reveals divergent and cell type-specific mechanisms.

Activation of the nuclear hormone receptor peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARgamma) inhibits cell growth and induces differentiation in both adipocyte and epithelial cell lineages, although it is unclear whether this occurs through common or cell-type specific mechanisms. We have identified four human colon cancer cell lines that do no undergo growth inhibition or induce markers of differentiation after exposure to PPARgamma agonists. Sequence analysis of the PPARgamma gene revealed that all four cell lines contain a previously unidentified point mutation in the ninth alpha-helix of the ligand binding domain at codon 422 (K422Q). The mutant receptor did not exhibit any defects in DNA binding or retinoid X receptor heterodimerization and was transcriptionally active in an artificial reporter assay. However, only retroviral transduction of the wild-type (WT), but not mutant, receptor could restore PPARgamma ligand-induced growth inhibition and differentiation in resistant colon cancer cell lines. In contrast, there was no difference in the ability of fibroblast cells expressing WT or K422Q mutant receptor to undergo growth inhibition, express adipocyte differentiation markers, or uptake lipid after treatment with a PPARgamma agonist. Finally, analysis of direct PPARgamma target genes in colon cancer cells expressing the WT or K422Q mutant allele suggests that the mutation may disrupt the ability of PPARgamma to repress the basal expression of a subset of genes in the absence of exogenous ligand. Collectively, these data argue that codon 422 may be a part of a co-factor(s) interaction domain necessary for PPARgamma to induce terminal differentiation in epithelial, but not adipocyte, cell lineages and argues that the receptor induces growth inhibition and differentiation via cell lineage-specific mechanisms.
Mesh Terms:
Amino Acid Sequence, Amino Acid Substitution, Animals, Cell Differentiation, Colonic Neoplasms, Genetic Variation, Humans, Mice, Models, Molecular, Molecular Sequence Data, Mutagenesis, Site-Directed, Organ Specificity, Protein Conformation, Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear, Transcription Factors, Tumor Cells, Cultured
J. Biol. Chem. Jun. 20, 2003; 278(25);22669-77 [PUBMED:12591919]
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