Modulation of the prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase 2 gene expression by variant haplotypes: influence of the 3′-untranslated region

<div><p>The inducible inflammatory enzyme cycloxigenase-2 is up-regulated in cancer, and favors tumor progression. Cycloxigenase-2 is encoded by the prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase 2 (PTGS2) gene, which presents sequence variations in the promoter region (PR) and in the 3′-untranslated region (3′-UTR). Different PR (rs689465, rs689466, rs20417) and 3′-UTR (rs5275) variants were generated by site-directed mutagenesis, and combined in haplotypes to access expression levels using a reporter system (luciferase) in human cells (MCF-7 and HEK293FT). Luciferase activity did not differ significantly among PTGS2 PR constructs, except for pAAC (containing variant allele rs20417 C), with 40% less activity than pAAG (wild-type sequence) in MCF-7 cells (P<0.01). Despite the lack of individual significant differences, PTGS2 PR constructs enclosing rs689466 G (pAGG and pAGC) showed an approximate two-fold increase in luciferase activity when compared to those containing rs689466 A (pAAG, pGAC, pAAC and pGAG) in both cell lines (P<0.001 for MCF-7 and P=0.03 for HEK293FT). The effect of PTGS2 3′-UTR sequences varied between MCF-7 and HEK293FT: MCF-7 cells showed significant reduction (40–60%) in luciferase activity (at least P<0.01), whereas HEK293FT cells showed more diverse results, with an average 2-fold increase when combined constructs (PR and 3′-UTR) were compared to respective parental PR sequences. The contribution of 3′-UTR variant (rs5275) was not consistent in either cell line. Despite the modulation of the 3′-UTR, with variable effects of rs5275, the enhancing transcriptional effect of rs689466 G was still detectable (P<0.0001 in MCF-7 or P=0.03 in HEK293FT cells).</p></div>