NSD2 E1099K drives relapse in pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia by disrupting 3D chromatin organization

Sonali Narang, Nikki A. Evensen, Jason Saliba, Joanna Pierro, Mignon L. Loh, Patrick A. Brown, Pandurang Kolekar, Heather Mulder, Ying Shao, John Easton, Xiaotu Ma, Aristotelis Tsirigos, William L. Carroll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: The NSD2 p.E1099K (EK) mutation is shown to be enriched in patients with relapsed acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), indicating a role in clonal evolution and drug resistance. Results: To uncover 3D chromatin architecture-related mechanisms underlying drug resistance, we perform Hi-C on three B-ALL cell lines heterozygous for NSD2 EK. The NSD2 mutation leads to widespread remodeling of the 3D genome, most dramatically in terms of compartment changes with a strong bias towards A compartment shifts. Systematic integration of the Hi-C data with previously published ATAC-seq, RNA-seq, and ChIP-seq data show an expansion in H3K36me2 and a shrinkage in H3K27me3 within A compartments as well as increased gene expression and chromatin accessibility. These results suggest that NSD2 EK plays a prominent role in chromatin decompaction through enrichment of H3K36me2. In contrast, we identify few changes in intra-topologically associating domain activity. While compartment changes vary across cell lines, a common core of decompacting loci are shared, driving the expression of genes/pathways previously implicated in drug resistance. We further perform RNA sequencing on a cohort of matched diagnosis/relapse ALL patients harboring the relapse-specific NSD2 EK mutation. Changes in patient gene expression upon relapse significantly correlate with core compartment changes, further implicating the role of NSD2 EK in genome decompaction. Conclusions: In spite of cell-context-dependent changes mediated by EK, there appears to be a shared transcriptional program dependent on compartment shifts which could explain phenotypic differences across EK cell lines. This core program is an attractive target for therapeutic intervention.

Original languageEnglish
Article number64
JournalGenome biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023


  • Chromatin architecture
  • Clonal evolution
  • NSD2
  • Relapsed acute lymphoblastic leukemia


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