An oncogenic Ezh2 mutation induces tumors through global redistribution of histone 3 lysine 27 trimethylation

George P. Souroullas, William R. Jeck, Joel S. Parker, Jeremy M. Simon, Jie Yu Liu, Joshiawa Paulk, Jessie Xiong, Kelly S. Clark, Yuri Fedoriw, Jun Qi, Christin E. Burd, James E. Bradner, Norman E. Sharpless

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations

Abstract

B cell lymphoma and melanoma harbor recurrent mutations in the gene encoding the EZH2 histone methyltransferase (EZH2), but the carcinogenic role of these mutations is unclear. Here we describe a mouse model in which the most common somatic Ezh2 gain-of-function mutation (EZH2Y646F in human; Ezh2Y641F in mouse) is conditionally expressed. Expression of Ezh2Y641F in mouse B cells or melanocytes caused high-penetrance lymphoma or melanoma, respectively. Overexpression of the anti-apoptotic protein Bcl2, but not the oncoprotein Myc, or loss of the tumor suppressor protein p53 (encoded by Trp53 in mice) further accelerated lymphoma progression. Expression of the mutant Braf but not the mutant Nras oncoprotein further accelerated melanoma progression. Although expression of Ezh2Y641F globally increased the abundance of trimethylated Lys27 of histone H3 (H3K27me3), it also caused a widespread redistribution of this repressive mark, including a loss of H3K27me3 that was associated with increased transcription at many loci. These results suggest that Ezh2Y641F induces lymphoma and melanoma through a vast reorganization of chromatin structure, inducing both repression and activation of polycomb-regulated loci.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)632-640
Number of pages9
JournalNature medicine
Volume22
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016

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