A Survey of hMLH1 mRNA Splicing Profiles in Human Cell Lines: Comparing Primary Cultured Fibroblasts Before and After Oxidative Stress and Transiently versus Stably Demethylated Colon Cancer Derived Cell Lines
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Most human genes undergo alternative splicing and loss of splicing fidelity is associated with disease. Epigenetic silencing of hMLH 1 via promoter cytosine methylation is causally linked to a subset of sporadic non-polyposis colon cancer and is reversible by 5-aza-2' -deoxycytidine treatment. Here I investigated changes in hMLHI mRNA splicing profiles in normal fibroblasts and colon cancer-derived human cell lines. I established the types and frequencies of hMLHI mRNA transcripts generated under baseline conditions, after hydrogen peroxide induced oxidative stress, and in acutely 5-aza-2' -deoxycytidine-treated and stably derepressed cancer cell lines. I found that hMLHI is extensively spliced under all conditions including baseline (50% splice variants), the splice variant distribution changes in response to oxidative stress, and certain splice variants are sensitive to 5- aza-2' -deoxycytidine treatment: Splice variant diversity and frequency of exon 17 skipping correlates with the level of hMLHI promoter methylation suggesting a link between promoter methylation and mRNA splicing.