Neuropilin is a transmembrane receptor for vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and is expressed in normal endothelial cells and upregulated in cancer cells. Neuropilin-1 (NRP-1) has been shown to promote tumour cell migration and survival in colon cancer in response to VEGF binding. The expression profiles of neuropilins, associated co-receptors and known ligands have been mapped in three colorectal cell lines: Caco-2, HCT116 & HT29. We have previously shown that butyrate, a naturally occurring histone deacetylase inhibitor (HDACi) produced by fermentation of fibre in the colon, causes apoptosis of colon cancer cell lines.
Here we demonstrate that butyrate down-regulates NRP-1 and VEGF at the mRNA and protein level in colorectal cancer cell lines. NRP-1 is a known transcriptional target of Sp1, whose activity is regulated by acetylation. NRP-1 down-regulation by butyrate was associated with decreased binding affinity of Sp1 for canonical Sp-binding sites in the NRP-1 promoter. siRNA-mediated knock-down of Sp1 implied that Sp1 may have strong DNA binding activity but weak transactivation potential.
The downregulation of the key apoptotic and angiogenesis regulator NRP-1 by butyrate suggests a novel contributory mechanism to the chemopreventive effect of dietary fibre.
Read full article: