The Tumor Suppressor ARID1A Controls Global Transcription via Pausing of RNA Polymerase II.
ABSTRACT: AT-rich interactive domain-containing proteins 1A and 1B (ARID1A and ARID1B) are mutually exclusive subunits of the chromatin remodeler SWI/SNF. ARID1A is the most frequently mutated chromatin regulator across all cancers, and ovarian clear cell carcinoma (OCCC) carries the highest prevalence of ARID1A mutations (?57%). Despite evidence implicating ARID1A in tumorigenesis, the mechanism remains elusive. Here, we demonstrate that ARID1A binds active regulatory elements in OCCC. Depletion of ARID1A represses RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) transcription but results in modest changes to accessibility. Specifically, pausing of RNAPII is severely impaired after loss of ARID1A. Compromised pausing results in transcriptional dysregulation of active genes, which is compensated by upregulation of ARID1B. However, a subset of ARID1A-dependent genes is not rescued by ARID1B, including many p53 and estrogen receptor (ESR1) targets. Our results provide insight into ARID1A-mediated tumorigenesis and unveil functions of SWI/SNF in modulating RNAPII dynamics.
Project description:AT-rich interactive domain 1A (ARID1A) and AT-rich interactive domain 1B (ARID1B) are subunits of the SWI/SNF chromatin complex. ARID1A is a tumor suppressor gene that is frequently mutated (46%) in ovarian clear cell carcinomas (OCCC). Loss of ARID1B in an ARID1A-deficient background eliminates the intact SWI/SNF complex, indicating that ARID1B is essential for the formation or stabilization of an intact SWI/SNF complex and, thus, the survival of ARID1A-mutant cancer cell lines. In this study, we investigated the clinicopathologic and prognostic relevance of ARID1B in OCCC by immunohistochemical analysis of 53 OCCC patient samples and loss-of-function experiments in OCCC cell lines. We also examined whether ARID1B could be a therapeutic target or prognostic biomarker in OCCC. siRNA-mediated knockdown of ARID1B in an ARID1A-mutant cell line significantly decreased cell growth, whereas concurrent depletion of both ARID1A and ARID1B was required to decrease wild type cell growth. In the immunohistochemical analyses, low ARID1B level was frequent in samples lacking ARID1A and was associated with shorter progression-free survival. This is the first report demonstrating that a low ARID1B level could be a marker of poor prognosis in OCCC. Moreover, the correlation between the loss of ARID1A immunoreactivity and reduced ARID1B levels indicates that ARID1B could be an attractive target for anti-cancer therapy.
Project description:Genes encoding subunits of SWI/SNF (BAF) chromatin-remodeling complexes are collectively mutated in ?20% of all human cancers. Although ARID1A is the most frequent target of mutations, the mechanism by which its inactivation promotes tumorigenesis is unclear. Here we demonstrate that Arid1a functions as a tumor suppressor in the mouse colon, but not the small intestine, and that invasive ARID1A-deficient adenocarcinomas resemble human colorectal cancer (CRC). These tumors lack deregulation of APC/?-catenin signaling components, which are crucial gatekeepers in common forms of intestinal cancer. We find that ARID1A normally targets SWI/SNF complexes to enhancers, where they function in coordination with transcription factors to facilitate gene activation. ARID1B preserves SWI/SNF function in ARID1A-deficient cells, but defects in SWI/SNF targeting and control of enhancer activity cause extensive dysregulation of gene expression. These findings represent an advance in colon cancer modeling and implicate enhancer-mediated gene regulation as a principal tumor-suppressor function of ARID1A.
Project description:Ovarian clear-cell carcinoma (OCCC) is an aggressive form of ovarian cancer with high ARID1A mutation rates. Here we present a mutant mouse model of OCCC. We find that ARID1A inactivation is not sufficient for tumour formation, but requires concurrent activation of the phosphoinositide 3-kinase catalytic subunit, PIK3CA. Remarkably, the mice develop highly penetrant tumours with OCCC-like histopathology, culminating in haemorrhagic ascites and a median survival period of 7.5 weeks. Therapeutic treatment with the pan-PI3K inhibitor, BKM120, prolongs mouse survival by inhibiting the tumour cell growth. Cross-species gene expression comparisons support a role for IL-6 inflammatory cytokine signalling in OCCC pathogenesis. We further show that ARID1A and PIK3CA mutations cooperate to promote tumour growth through sustained IL-6 overproduction. Our findings establish an epistatic relationship between SWI/SNF chromatin remodelling and PI3K pathway mutations in OCCC and demonstrate that these pathways converge on pro-tumorigenic cytokine signalling. We propose that ARID1A protects against inflammation-driven tumorigenesis.
Project description:Recent studies have revealed that ARID1A, encoding AT-rich interactive domain 1A (SWI-like), is frequently mutated across a variety of human cancers and also has bona fide tumor suppressor properties. Consequently, identification of vulnerabilities conferred by ARID1A mutation would have major relevance for human cancer. Here, using a broad screening approach, we identify ARID1B, an ARID1A homolog whose gene product is mutually exclusive with ARID1A in SWI/SNF complexes, as the number 1 gene preferentially required for the survival of ARID1A-mutant cancer cell lines. We show that loss of ARID1B in ARID1A-deficient backgrounds destabilizes SWI/SNF and impairs proliferation in both cancer cells and primary cells. We also find that ARID1A and ARID1B are frequently co-mutated in cancer but that ARID1A-deficient cancers retain at least one functional ARID1B allele. These results suggest that loss of ARID1A and ARID1B alleles cooperatively promotes cancer formation but also results in a unique functional dependence. The results further identify ARID1B as a potential therapeutic target for ARID1A-mutant cancers.
Project description:ARID1A, a subunit of the SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complex, is frequently mutated in cancer. Deficiency in its homolog ARID1B is synthetically lethal with ARID1A mutation. However, the functional relationship between these homologs has not been explored. Here, we use ATAC-seq, genome-wide histone modification mapping, and expression analysis to examine colorectal cancer cells lacking one or both ARID proteins. We find that ARID1A has a dominant role in maintaining chromatin accessibility at enhancers, while the contribution of ARID1B is evident only in the context of ARID1A mutation. Changes in accessibility are predictive of changes in expression and correlate with loss of H3K4me and H3K27ac marks, nucleosome spacing, and transcription factor binding, particularly at growth pathway genes including MET. We find that ARID1B knockdown in ARID1A mutant ovarian cancer cells causes similar loss of enhancer architecture, suggesting that this is a conserved function underlying the synthetic lethality between ARID1A and ARID1B.
Project description:Mutations in members of the SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling family are common events in cancer, but the mechanisms whereby disruption of SWI/SNF components alters tumorigenesis remain poorly understood. To model the effect of loss of function mutations in the SWI/SNF subunit Arid1a in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) initiation, we directed shRNA triggered, inducible and reversible suppression of Arid1a to the mouse pancreas in the setting of oncogenic KrasG12D. Arid1a cooperates with Kras in the adult pancreas as postnatal silencing of Arid1a following sustained KrasG12D expression induces rapid and irreversible reprogramming of acinar cells into mucinous PDAC precursor lesions. In contrast, Arid1a silencing during embryogenesis, concurrent with KrasG12D activation, leads to retention of acinar cell fate. Together, our results demonstrate Arid1a as a critical modulator of Kras-dependent changes in acinar cell identity, and underscore an unanticipated influence of timing and genetic context on the effects of SWI/SNF complex alterations in epithelial tumorigenesis.
Project description:Current treatment for advanced stage ovarian clear cell cancer is severely hampered by a lack of effective systemic therapy options, leading to a poor outlook for these patients. Sequencing studies revealed that ARID1A is mutated in over 50% of ovarian clear cell carcinomas. To search for a rational approach to target ovarian clear cell cancers with ARID1A mutations, we performed kinome-centered lethality screens in a large panel of ovarian clear cell carcinoma cell lines. Using the largest OCCC cell line panel established to date, we show here that BRD2 inhibition is predominantly lethal in ARID1A mutated ovarian clear cell cancer cells. Importantly, small molecule inhibitors of the BET (bromodomain and extra terminal domain) family of proteins, to which BRD2 belongs, specifically inhibit proliferation of ARID1A mutated cell lines, both in vitro and in ovarian clear cell cancer xenografts and patient-derived xenograft models. BET inhibitors cause a reduction in the expression of multiple SWI/SNF members including ARID1B, providing a potential explanation for the observed lethal interaction with ARID1A loss. Our data indicate that BET inhibition may represent a novel treatment strategy for a subset of ARID1A mutated ovarian clear cell carcinomas.
Project description:The components of the Switch/Sucrose non-fermentable (SWI/SNF) complex are mutated in approximately 20% of human cancers. The A/T-rich interacting domain 1A (ARID1A) subunit has one of the highest mutation rates. Most notably, ARID1A is mutated in over 50% of ovarian clear cell carcinomas (OCCCs). We reported that inhibition of enhancer of zeste homology 2 (EZH2) is synthetically lethal in ARID1A-mutated OCCC.
Project description:Every known SWI/SNF chromatin-remodeling complex incorporates an ARID DNA binding domain-containing subunit. Despite being a ubiquitous component of the complex, physiological roles for this domain remain undefined. Here, we show that disruption of ARID1a-DNA binding in mice results in embryonic lethality, with mutant embryos manifesting prominent defects in the heart and extraembryonic vasculature. The DNA binding-defective mutant ARID1a subunit is stably expressed and capable of assembling into a SWI/SNF complex with core catalytic properties, but nucleosome substrate binding and promoter occupancy by ARID1a-containing SWI/SNF complexes (BAF-A) are impaired. Depletion of ARID domain-dependent, BAF-A associations at THROMBOSPONDIN 1 (THBS1) led to the concomitant upregulation of this SWI/SNF target gene. Using a THBS1 promoter-reporter gene, we further show that BAF-A directly regulates THBS1 promoter activity in an ARID domain-dependent manner. Our data not only demonstrate that ARID1a-DNA interactions are physiologically relevant in higher eukaryotes but also indicate that these interactions facilitate SWI/SNF binding to target sites in vivo. These findings support the model wherein cooperative interactions among intrinsic subunit-chromatin interaction domains and sequence-specific transcription factors drive SWI/SNF recruitment.
Project description:Mutations of the SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complex occur in 20% of all human cancers, including ovarian cancer. Approximately half of ovarian clear cell carcinomas (OCCC) carry mutations in the SWI/SNF subunit ARID1A, while small cell carcinoma of the ovary hypercalcemic type (SCCOHT) presents with inactivating mutations of the SWI/SNF ATPase SMARCA4 alongside epigenetic silencing of the ATPase SMARCA2. Loss of these ATPases disrupts SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling activity and may also interfere with the function of other histone-modifying enzymes that associate with or are dependent on SWI/SNF activity. One such enzyme is lysine-specific histone demethylase 1 (LSD1/KDM1A), which regulates the chromatin landscape and gene expression by demethylating proteins such as histone H3. Cross-cancer analysis of the TCGA database shows that LSD1 is highly expressed in SWI/SNF-mutated tumors. SCCOHT and OCCC cell lines have shown sensitivity to the reversible LSD1 inhibitor SP-2577 (Seclidemstat), suggesting that SWI/SNF-deficient ovarian cancers are dependent on LSD1 activity. Moreover, it has been shown that inhibition of LSD1 stimulates interferon (IFN)-dependent anti-tumor immunity through induction of endogenous retroviral elements and may thereby overcome resistance to checkpoint blockade. In this study, we investigated the ability of SP-2577 to promote anti-tumor immunity and T-cell infiltration in SCCOHT and OCCC cell lines. We found that SP-2577 stimulated IFN-dependent anti-tumor immunity in SCCOHT and promoted the expression of PD-L1 in both SCCOHT and OCCC. Together, these findings suggest that the combination therapy of SP-2577 with checkpoint inhibitors may induce or augment immunogenic responses of SWI/SNF-mutated ovarian cancers and warrants further investigation.