Effects of sulforaphane and 3,3'-diindolylmethane on genome-wide promoter methylation in normal prostate epithelial cells and prostate cancer cells.
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Epigenetic changes, including aberrant DNA methylation, result in altered gene expression and play an important role in carcinogenesis. Phytochemicals such as sulforaphane (SFN) and 3,3'-diindolylmethane (DIM) are promising chemopreventive agents for the treatment of prostate cancer. Both have been shown to induce re-expression of genes, including tumor suppressor genes silenced in cancer cells, via modulation of epigenetic marks including DNA methylation. However, it remained unclear the effects SFN and DIM on DNA methylation at a genomic scale. The goal of this study was to determine the genome-wide effects of SFN and DIM on promoter methylation in normal prostate epithelial cells and prostate cancer cells. Both SFN and DIM treatment decreased DNA methyltransferase expression in normal prostate epithelial cells (PrEC), and androgen-dependent (LnCAP) and androgen-independent (PC3) prostate cancer cells. The effects of SFN and DIM on promoter methylation profiles in normal PrEC, LnCAP and PC3 prostate cancer cells were determined using methyl-DNA immunoprecipitation followed by genome-wide DNA methylation array. We showed widespread changes in promoter methylation patterns, including both increased and decreased methylation, in all three prostate cell lines in response to SFN or DIM treatments. In particular, SFN and DIM altered promoter methylation in distinct sets of genes in PrEC, LnCAP, and PC3 cells, but shared similar gene targets within a single cell line. We further showed that SFN and DIM reversed many of the cancer-associated methylation alterations, including aberrantly methylated genes that are dysregulated or are highly involved in cancer progression. Overall, our data suggested that both SFN and DIM are epigenetic modulators that have broad and complex effects on DNA methylation profiles in both normal and cancerous prostate epithelial cells. Results from our study may provide new insights into the epigenetic mechanisms by which SFN and DIM exert their cancer chemopreventive effects.