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Loss of the short arm of chromosome 3 (3p) occurs early in >95% of clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC). Nearly ubiquitous 3p loss in ccRCC suggests haploinsufficiency for 3p tumor suppressors as early drivers of tumorigenesis. We previously reported methyltransferase , which trimethylates H3 histones on lysine 36 (H3K36me3) and is located in the 3p deletion, to also trimethylate microtubules on lysine 40 (αTubK40me3) during mitosis, with αTubK40me3 required for genomic stability. We now show that monoallelic, -deficient cells retaining H3K36me3, but not αTubK40me3, exhibit a dramatic increase in mitotic defects and micronuclei count, with increased viability compared with biallelic loss. In -inactivated human kidney cells, rescue with a pathogenic mutant deficient for microtubule (αTubK40me3), but not histone (H3K36me3) methylation, replicated this phenotype. Genomic instability (micronuclei) was also a hallmark of patient-derived cells from ccRCC. These data show that the tumor suppressor displays a haploinsufficiency phenotype disproportionately impacting microtubule methylation and serves as an early driver of genomic instability. Loss of a single allele of a chromatin modifier plays a role in promoting oncogenesis, underscoring the growing relevance of tumor suppressor haploinsufficiency in tumorigenesis. .
©2018 American Association for Cancer Research.
Methylation of histone H3 lysine 36 (H3K36me) by yeast Set2 is critical for the maintenance of chromatin structure and transcriptional fidelity. However, we do not know the full range of Set2/H3K36me functions or the scope of mechanisms that regulate Set2-dependent H3K36 methylation. Here, we show that the APC/CCDC20 complex regulates Set2 protein abundance during the cell cycle. Significantly, absence of Set2-mediated H3K36me causes a loss of cell cycle control and pronounced defects in the transcriptional fidelity of cell cycle regulatory genes, a class of genes that are generally long, hence highly dependent on Set2/H3K36me for their transcriptional fidelity. Because APC/C also controls human SETD2, and SETD2 likewise regulates cell cycle progression, our data imply an evolutionarily conserved cell cycle function for Set2/SETD2 that may explain why recurrent mutations of SETD2 contribute to human disease.
Protein lysine methyltransferases (KMTs) have emerged as important regulators of epigenetic signaling. These enzymes catalyze the transfer of donor methyl groups from the cofactor S-adenosylmethionine to specific acceptor lysine residues on histones, leading to changes in chromatin structure and transcriptional regulation. These enzymes also methylate an array of nonhistone proteins, suggesting additional mechanisms by which they influence cellular physiology. SMYD2 is reported to be an oncogenic methyltransferase that represses the functional activity of the tumor suppressor proteins p53 and RB. HTS screening led to identification of five distinct substrate-competitive chemical series. Determination of liganded crystal structures of SMYD2 contributed significantly to "hit-to-lead" design efforts, culminating in the creation of potent and selective inhibitors that were used to understand the functional consequences of SMYD2 inhibition. Taken together, these results have broad implications for inhibitor design against KMTs and clearly demonstrate the potential for developing novel therapies against these enzymes.
The yeast Set2 histone methyltransferase is a critical enzyme that plays a number of key roles in gene transcription and DNA repair. Recently, the human homologue, SETD2, was found to be recurrently mutated in a significant percentage of renal cell carcinomas, raising the possibility that the activity of SETD2 is tumor-suppressive. Using budding yeast and human cell line model systems, we examined the functional significance of two evolutionarily conserved residues in SETD2 that are recurrently mutated in human cancers. Whereas one of these mutations (R2510H), located in the Set2 Rpb1 interaction domain, did not result in an observable defect in SETD2 enzymatic function, a second mutation in the catalytic domain of this enzyme (R1625C) resulted in a complete loss of histone H3 Lys-36 trimethylation (H3K36me3). This mutant showed unchanged thermal stability as compared with the wild type protein but diminished binding to the histone H3 tail. Surprisingly, mutation of the conserved residue in Set2 (R195C) similarly resulted in a complete loss of H3K36me3 but did not affect dimethylated histone H3 Lys-36 (H3K36me2) or functions associated with H3K36me2 in yeast. Collectively, these data imply a critical role for Arg-1625 in maintaining the protein interaction with H3 and specific H3K36me3 function of this enzyme, which is conserved from yeast to humans. They also may provide a refined biochemical explanation for how H3K36me3 loss leads to genomic instability and cancer.
© 2016 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.
Posttranslational modifications (PTMs) of tubulin specify microtubules for specialized cellular functions and comprise what is termed a "tubulin code." PTMs of histones comprise an analogous "histone code," although the "readers, writers, and erasers" of the cytoskeleton and epigenome have heretofore been distinct. We show that methylation is a PTM of dynamic microtubules and that the histone methyltransferase SET-domain-containing 2 (SETD2), which is responsible for H3 lysine 36 trimethylation (H3K36me3) of histones, also methylates α-tubulin at lysine 40, the same lysine that is marked by acetylation on microtubules. Methylation of microtubules occurs during mitosis and cytokinesis and can be ablated by SETD2 deletion, which causes mitotic spindle and cytokinesis defects, micronuclei, and polyploidy. These data now identify SETD2 as a dual-function methyltransferase for both chromatin and the cytoskeleton and show a requirement for methylation in maintenance of genomic stability and the integrity of both the tubulin and histone codes.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The MYC oncogenes encode a family of transcription factors that feature prominently in cancer. MYC proteins are overexpressed or deregulated in a majority of malignancies and drive tumorigenesis by inducing widespread transcriptional reprogramming that promotes cell proliferation, metabolism, and genomic instability. The ability of MYC to regulate transcription depends on its dimerization with MAX, which creates a DNA-binding domain that recognizes specific sequences in the regulatory elements of MYC target genes. Recently, we discovered that recognition of target genes by MYC also depends on its interaction with WDR5, a WD40-repeat protein that exists as part of several chromatin-regulatory complexes. Here, we discuss how interaction of MYC with WDR5 could create an avidity-based chromatin recognition mechanism that allows MYC to select its target genes in response to both genetic and epigenetic determinants. We rationalize how the MYC-WDR5 interaction provides plasticity in target gene selection by MYC and speculate on the biochemical and genomic contexts in which this interaction occurs. Finally, we discuss how properties of the MYC-WDR5 interface make it an attractive point for discovery of small-molecule inhibitors of MYC function in cancer cells.
©2015 American Association for Cancer Research.
Nuclear LASP-1 (LIM and SH3 protein-1) has a direct correlation with overall survival of breast cancer patients. In this study, immunohistochemical analysis of a human breast TMA showed that LASP-1 is absent in normal human breast epithelium but the expression increases with malignancy and is highly nuclear in aggressive breast cancer. We investigated whether the chemokines and growth factors present in the tumor microenvironment could trigger nuclear translocation of LASP-1.Treatment of human breast cancer cells with CXCL12, EGF and HRG, and HMEC-CXCR2 cells with CXCL8 facilitated nuclear shuttling of LASP-1. Data from the biochemical analysis of the nuclear and cytosolic fractions further confirmed the nuclear translocation of LASP-1 upon chemokine and growth factor treatment. CXCL12-dependent nuclear import of LASP-1 could be blocked by CXCR4 antagonist, AMD-3100. Knock down of LASP-1 resulted in alterations in gene expression leading to an increased level of cell-junction and extracellular matrix proteins and an altered cytokine secretory profile. Three-dimensional cultures of human breast cancer cells on Matrigel revealed an altered colony growth, morphology and arborization pattern in LASP-1 knockdown cells. Functional analysis of the LASP-1 knockdown cells revealed increased adhesion to collagen IV and decreased invasion through the Matrigel. Proteomic analysis of immunoprecipitates of LASP-1 and subsequent validation approaches revealed that LASP-1 associated with the epigenetic machinery especially UHRF1, DNMT1, G9a and the transcription factor Snail1. Interestingly, LASP-1 associated with UHRF1, G9a, Snail1 and di- and tri-methylated histoneH3 in a CXCL12-dependent manner based on immunoprecipitation and proximity ligation assays. LASP-1 also directly bound to Snail1 which may stabilize Snail1. Thus, nuclear LASP-1 appears to functionally serve as a hub for the epigenetic machinery.
Comprehensive sequencing of human cancers has identified recurrent mutations in genes encoding chromatin regulatory proteins. For clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC), three of the five commonly mutated genes encode the chromatin regulators PBRM1, SETD2, and BAP1. How these mutations alter the chromatin landscape and transcriptional program in ccRCC or other cancers is not understood. Here, we identified alterations in chromatin organization and transcript profiles associated with mutations in chromatin regulators in a large cohort of primary human kidney tumors. By associating variation in chromatin organization with mutations in SETD2, which encodes the enzyme responsible for H3K36 trimethylation, we found that changes in chromatin accessibility occurred primarily within actively transcribed genes. This increase in chromatin accessibility was linked with widespread alterations in RNA processing, including intron retention and aberrant splicing, affecting ∼25% of all expressed genes. Furthermore, decreased nucleosome occupancy proximal to misspliced exons was observed in tumors lacking H3K36me3. These results directly link mutations in SETD2 to chromatin accessibility changes and RNA processing defects in cancer. Detecting the functional consequences of specific mutations in chromatin regulatory proteins in primary human samples could ultimately inform the therapeutic application of an emerging class of chromatin-targeted compounds.
Insulin-secreting β cells and glucagon-secreting α cells maintain physiological blood glucose levels, and their malfunction drives diabetes development. Using ChIP sequencing and RNA sequencing analysis, we determined the epigenetic and transcriptional landscape of human pancreatic α, β, and exocrine cells. We found that, compared with exocrine and β cells, differentiated α cells exhibited many more genes bivalently marked by the activating H3K4me3 and repressing H3K27me3 histone modifications. This was particularly true for β cell signature genes involved in transcriptional regulation. Remarkably, thousands of these genes were in a monovalent state in β cells, carrying only the activating or repressing mark. Our epigenomic findings suggested that α to β cell reprogramming could be promoted by manipulating the histone methylation signature of human pancreatic islets. Indeed, we show that treatment of cultured pancreatic islets with a histone methyltransferase inhibitor leads to colocalization of both glucagon and insulin and glucagon and insulin promoter factor 1 (PDX1) in human islets and colocalization of both glucagon and insulin in mouse islets. Thus, mammalian pancreatic islet cells display cell-type-specific epigenomic plasticity, suggesting that epigenomic manipulation could provide a path to cell reprogramming and novel cell replacement-based therapies for diabetes.
Small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) is an aggressive lung tumor subtype with poor prognosis. We sequenced 29 SCLC exomes, 2 genomes and 15 transcriptomes and found an extremely high mutation rate of 7.4±1 protein-changing mutations per million base pairs. Therefore, we conducted integrated analyses of the various data sets to identify pathogenetically relevant mutated genes. In all cases, we found evidence for inactivation of TP53 and RB1 and identified recurrent mutations in the CREBBP, EP300 and MLL genes that encode histone modifiers. Furthermore, we observed mutations in PTEN, SLIT2 and EPHA7, as well as focal amplifications of the FGFR1 tyrosine kinase gene. Finally, we detected many of the alterations found in humans in SCLC tumors from Tp53 and Rb1 double knockout mice. Our study implicates histone modification as a major feature of SCLC, reveals potentially therapeutically tractable genomic alterations and provides a generalizable framework for the identification of biologically relevant genes in the context of high mutational background.