Differential expression of Hox A5 in human colon cancer cell differentiation: A quantitative study using real-time RT-PCR
- Yuxun Wang
- Carrie Hung
- Dawn Koh
- Denis Cheong
- Shing Chuan Hooi
Published online on: Thursday, March 1, 2001
Fifteen different homeobox genes were identified from normal colon mucosa, untreated COLO 205 and herbimycin A treated COLO 205 cells in a degenerate primer RT-PCR screen. Several of the homeobox genes, including Cdx-1, Cdx-2, Pdx-1 and Hox A5, showed a trend toward differential expression in normal colon mucosa, and undifferentiated COLO 205 cells. Hox A5 was recently shown to suppress growth and induce p53-dependent apoptosis. To determine if Hox A5 was differentially expressed in differentiation of colon epithelial cells, we quantified Hox A5 expression by real-time quantitative RT-PCR. Expression of Hox A5 was 5.3- and 4.8-fold higher in normal colon mucosa compared to COLO 205 and HT-29 cells, respectively, suggesting that Hox A5 expression was higher in differentiated compared to undifferentiated colon epithelial cells. To avoid the complexity of tissue specimens and the influence of individual variation in Hox A5 expression, the effect of differentiation on Hox A5 expression was studied in COLO 205 cells treated with herbimycin A. The quantitative study showed that Hox A5 expression was increased when COLO 205 cells were induced to differentiate. The expression of Hox A5 was about 2-fold higher in the cells treated for 48 h compared to the untreated poorly-differentiated cells. The present study shows that Hox A5 may be involved in intestinal cell differentiation, in addition to its role in apoptosis.