Ribozyme-mediated compensatory induction of menin-oncosuppressor function in primary fibroblasts from MEN1 patients

Cancer Gene Ther. 2010 Nov;17(11):814-25. doi: 10.1038/cgt.2010.39. Epub 2010 Aug 13.


Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1) syndrome is characterized by the occurrence of tumors of parathyroids, neuroendocrine cells of the gastro-enteropancreatic tract and anterior pituitary. MEN1 gene encodes menin-oncosuppressor protein. Loss of heterozygosity at 11q13 is typical of MEN1 tumors. We have analyzed the MEN1 mRNA and menin expression in fibroblasts from normal skin biopsies and from MEN1 patients (two with a frameshift 738del4 (exon 3) mutation, introducing a premature stop codon, and an individual with an R460X (exon 10) nonsense mutation). The expression of full-length menin protein did not differ between MEN1 and normal fibroblasts. Wild-type alleles mRNAs were expressed in MEN1 patients, whereas mutant alleles were partially degraded by nonsense-mediated mRNA decay pathway, suggesting a mechanism of compensation for allelic loss by the up-regulation of wild-type menin expression at a post-transcriptional level. Small-interfering RNA silencing of the wild-type mRNA allele abolished menin compensation, whereas the ribozyme silencing of the MEN1-mutated mRNA allele resulted in strongly enhanced wild-type menin expression. Gel-retardation analysis showed that in vitro-specific RNA-protein complexes bound to MEN1 mRNA. These findings contribute to the understanding of tumorigenesis in MEN1, offering the basis for the development of RNA-based therapies in MEN1 gene mutation carriers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Caspase 8 / metabolism
  • Exons
  • Female
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • Loss of Heterozygosity
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Type 1 / genetics
  • Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Type 1 / metabolism*
  • Mutation
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / genetics*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / metabolism
  • RNA Interference
  • RNA, Catalytic / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • RNA, Small Interfering / metabolism*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • Up-Regulation


  • MEN1 protein, human
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • RNA, Catalytic
  • RNA, Messenger
  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • CASP8 protein, human
  • Caspase 8