ß-Carotene (BC) is omnipresent in our diet, both as natural food component as well as an additive. BC and its metabolites have important biological functions. For this reason, BC is generally considered to be a health promoting compound. Two human trials, however, have described adverse effects in lung tissue, increasing the risk of lung cancer. We previously applied transcriptomic analyses in a unique animal model, beta-carotene 15,15'-monooxygenase 1 knockout (Bcmo1-/-) mice that are, like humans, able to accumulate intact BC. In our search to unravel the molecular action of BC in the lung, we previously identified two genes particularly strongly down-regulated by BC in lung tissue of the male Bcmo1-/- mice: frizzled homologue 6 (Fzd6) and collagen triple helix repeat containing 1 (Cthrc1). In the present study, our aim was to further elucidate the role of FZD6 in lung epithelial cells and to provide a mechanistic explanation for BC increased lung cancer risk in humans. We performed whole genome microarray analysis on silenced FZD6 in non-tumor human type II bronchial epithelial BEAS-2B cells using RNAi. To directly link FZD6 to BC-effects on the lung, we compared the FZD6-silenced BEAS-2B gene expression profile to the BC-dependent gene expression profile of Bcmo1-/- mouse lungs. A number of relevant genes were regulated in the same direction in FZD6- BEAS-2B and in BC-exposed lungs of Bcmo1-/- mice and revealed enrichment of the Gene Ontology terms “oncogenes”, “cell proliferation” and “cell cycle”, which suggests a mediating role of FZD6 in BC-induced uncontrolled proliferation of lung cells.
- epidemiologic evidence
- rna interference