Down-regulation of PLK3 gene expression by types and amount of dietary fat in rat colon tumors
- Wei Dai
- Tongyi Liu
- Qi Wang
- Chinthalapally V. Rao
- Bandaru S. Reddy
Published online on: January 1, 2002
Epidemiological studies suggest that high intake of dietary fat rich in saturated fatty acids increases the colon cancer risk whereas dietary fish oil high in omega-3 fatty acids reduces the colon cancer risk. Previously, we reported that consumption of omega-6 fatty acid rich diets such as corn oil strongly promotes azoxymethane (AOM)-induced colon carcinogenesis in rats as compared to ingestion of a diet with equivalent amount of fat containing fish oil (HFFO) or low-fat diet (LFCO). Expression of PLK3 (Polo-like kinase-3, previously named Prk) is negatively correlated with the development of certain cancers. Ectopic expression of human PLK3 results in cell cycle arrest or induces apoptosis. To understand the role of PLK3 in colon carcinogenesis and to study the effect of types and amount of dietary fat on the expression levels of PLK3 in colon tumors, we analyzed the colon tumors and mucosa of rats administered the diets containing fish oil and corn oil for PLK mRNA expression. Here we report that expression of PLK3 was down-regulated in rat colon tumors. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction demonstrated that PLK3 mRNA levels were significantly lower in carcinogen (azoxymethane)-induced rat colon tumors than their uninvolved normal colonic mucosa. Among the normal mucosa isolated from rats fed on diets with various levels of fat (LFCO, or high fat diet with corn oil, HFCO, or supplemented with fish oil, HFFO), no significant changes in PLK3 mRNA expression was detected. Tumors isolated from rats fed with HFCO diet contained a very low level of PLK3 mRNA expression. Interestingly, tumors from rats fed the HFFO diet did not exhibit as dramatic down-regulation of PLK3 as the tumors of animals fed the HFCO diet. Furthermore, our results also indicate that the ectopic expression of a kinase active PLK3 construct induced apoptosis in HT-29 colon carcinoma cells. These observations suggest for the first time that a decreased activity of PLK3 may play a key role in colon tumor development as well as in HFCO-induced colon tumorigenesis.