Article ID: 16-111
Extracellular-superoxide dismutase (EC-SOD) is a secreted antioxidative enzyme, and its presence in vascular walls may play an important role in protecting the vascular system against oxidative stress. EC-SOD expression in cultured cell lines is regulated by various cytokines including tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α). TNF-α is a major mediator of pathophysiological conditions and may induce or suppress the generation of various types of mediators. Epigenetics have been defined as mitotically heritable changes in gene expression that do not affect the DNA sequence, and include DNA methylation and histone modifications. The results of the present study demonstrated that TNF-α significantly decreased EC-SOD level in fibroblasts with an accompanying increase in methylated DNA. In DNA methylation and demethylation, cytosine is methylated to 5-methylcytosine (5mC) by DNA methyltransferase (DNMT), and 5mC is then converted to 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC) and cytosine in a stepwise manner by ten-eleven translocation methylcytosine dioxygenases (TETs). However, DNMT did not participate in TNF-α-induced DNA methylation within the EC-SOD promoter region. On the other hand, TNF-α significantly suppressed TET1 expression and EC-SOD mRNA levels were decreased by the silencing of TET1 in fibroblasts. These results demonstrate that the down-regulation of EC-SOD by TNF-α is regulated by DNA methylation through reductions in TET1.