1. Laboratory for Molecular Pathobiochemistry and Clinical Research, Max Planck Institute of Molecular Physiology, Dortmund, Germany
2. Department of Statistics, University of Dortmund, D-44221 Dortmund, Germany
3. Medical Proteom-Center, Ruhr-University Bochum, D-44780 Bochum, Germany
We previously found that ethanol at millimolar level (1 mM) activates the expression of transcription factors with subsequent regulation of apoptotic genes in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) HepG2 cells. However, the role of ethanol on the expression of genes implicated in transcriptional and translational processes remains unknown. Therefore, the aim of this study was to characterize the effect of low concentration of ethanol on gene expression profiling in HepG2 cells using cDNA microarrays with especial interest in genes with transcriptional and translational function. The gene expression pattern observed in the ethanol-treated HepG2 cells revealed a relatively similar pattern to that found in the untreated control cells. The pairwise comparison analysis demonstrated four significantly up-regulated (COBRA1, ITGB4, STAU2, and HMGN3) genes and one down-regulated (ANK3) gene. All these genes exert their function on transcriptional and translational processes and until now none of these genes have been associated with ethanol. This functional genomic analysis demonstrates the reported interaction between ethanol and ethanol-regulated genes. Moreover, it confirms the relationship between ethanol-regulated genes and various signaling pathways associated with ethanol-induced apoptosis. The data presented in this study represents an important contribution toward the understanding of the molecular mechanisms of ethanol at low concentration in HepG2 cells, a HCC-derived cell line.
Keywords: human hepatocellular carcinoma cells, HepG2, ethanol, gene expression, transcriptional and translational processes