Local inhibition of PRC2 activity by H3.3K27M drives DNA replication defects through misregulation of the JNK pathway

Kamila Delaney, Maude Strobino, Joanna M. Wenda, Andrzej Pankowski and Florian A. Steiner

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Jan 22, 2019
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Received Date: 4th January 19

Substitution of lysine 27 with methionine in histone H3.3 is a recently discovered driver mutation of pediatric high-grade gliomas. Mutant tumor cells show decreased levels and altered distribution of H3K27me3. How these chromatin changes are established genome-wide and lead to tumorigenesis only in specific tissues remains unclear. Here we show that H3.3K27M-mediated alterations in H3K27me3 distribution result in ectopic DNA replication and cell cycle progression of germ cells in Caenorhabditis elegans. By genetically inducing changes in the H3.3 distribution, we demonstrate that both H3.3K27M oncohistone incorporation and pre-existing H3K27me3 act locally and antagonistically on Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 (PRC2) in a concentration-dependent manner, explaining the observed H3K27me3 distribution in mutant cells. The altered heterochromatin patterns lead to extensive misregulation of gene expression. Through unbiased genetic screening, we found that inhibiting JNK pathway components, which are overexpressed in H3.3K27M cells, suppresses the ectopic DNA replication and cell cycle progression without rescuing the altered H3K27me3 distribution. Moreover, we show that JNK inhibition suppresses the replicative fate in human tumor-derived H3.3K27M cells, thus establishing C. elegans as a powerful model for the identification of potential drug targets for treatment of H3.3K27M tumors.

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This is an abstract of a preprint hosted on an independent third party site. It has not been peer reviewed but is currently under consideration at Nature Communications.


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