Dinucleotide repeats negatively modulate the promoter activity of Cyr61 and is unstable in hepatocellular carcinoma patients

Oncogene. 2005 Jun 2;24(24):3999-4008. doi: 10.1038/sj.onc.1208550.


Cyr61 is a secreted, cysteine-rich, heparin-binding protein that mediates diverse functions including extracellular matrix formation, differentiation, cell proliferation, adhesion, migration, survival, as well as angiogenesis and tumorigenesis. In this study, we found that Cyr61 gene expression is significantly downregulated in the tumors of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients. To elucidate its mechanism of gene regulation, we examined the promoter of Cyr61 which contains two long stretches of repeats, each comprising d(CA) dinucleotide repeats downstream of HNF3beta- and ATF-binding sites. We hypothesized that the d(CA) repeats may play an important role in regulating Cyr61 promoter activity and performed promoter reporter assays to examine this. We found that a greater number of d(CA) repeats resulted in significantly lower promoter activity of the Cyr61 gene in the KB3-1 and HepG2 cell lines, but not in the MCF-7 cell line. In addition, the d(CA) repeats, but not other random sequences, were found to be important for Cyr61 promoter activity. We further demonstrate that the ATF- and HNF3beta-binding sites upstream the d(CA) repeats positively and negatively modulate Cyr61 promoter activity, respectively. An examination of the d(CA) dinucleotide patterns in the Cyr61 promoter in HCC patients revealed that approximately 32% of these patients exhibited either loss of heterozygosity or somatic mosaicism in either the tumors, adjacent normal liver tissues or both.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Angiogenesis Inducing Agents
  • Base Sequence
  • Binding Sites
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / genetics*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cysteine-Rich Protein 61
  • Dinucleotide Repeats / genetics*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic*
  • Genes, Reporter
  • Humans
  • Immediate-Early Proteins / genetics*
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / genetics*
  • Liver Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic*
  • Reference Values


  • Angiogenesis Inducing Agents
  • CCN1 protein, human
  • Cysteine-Rich Protein 61
  • Immediate-Early Proteins
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins