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phalanx biotech

An essential role for DNA methyltransferase 3a in melanoma tumorigenesis.

Abnormal DNA methylation and associated silencing of tumor suppressor genes are common to many types of cancers. Among the three coordinate DNA methyltransferases (Dnmts), Dnmt1 and Dnmt3b were both shown to be important for cancer cell survival and tumorigenesis. However, the relationship between Dnmt3a and tumorigenesis is still largely unknown. Here, we show that inhibition of Dnmt3a expression, by stable transfection of a Dnmt3a-RNA interference (RNAi) construct dramatically inhibited melanoma growth and metastasis in mouse melanoma models. Microarray analysis revealed that genes critical for the tumor immune response, were implicated in the inhibition of melanoma growth. Expression of a cluster of class I and class II MHC genes, class II transactivator (Ciita), as well as a subset of 5 chemokines (Cxcl9, Cxcl16, Ccl12, Ccl4, and Ccl2) were up-regulated. Furthermore, we determined that the promoter IV of Ciita was significantly demethylated in Dnmt3a-depleted tumors. In addition, several known tumor-related genes, which are critical for developmental processes and cell cycle, were confirmed to be misregulated, including TgfB1, Socs1, Socs2, E2F6, Ccne1, and Cyr61. The results presented in this report strongly suggest that Dnmt3a plays an essential role in melanoma tumorigenesis, and that the underlying mechanisms include the modulation of the tumor immune response, as well as other processes.