DZNep-mediated apoptosis in B-cell lymphoma is independent of the lymphoma type, EZH2 mutation status and MYC, BCL2 or BCL6 translocations.
ABSTRACT: Enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2) tri-methylates histone 3 at position lysine 27 (H3K27me3). Overexpression and gain-of-function mutations in EZH2 are regarded as oncogenic drivers in lymphoma and other malignancies due to the silencing of tumor suppressors and differentiation genes. EZH2 inhibition is sought to represent a good strategy for tumor therapy. In this study, we treated Burkitt lymphoma (BL) and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) cell lines with 3-deazaneplanocin-A (DZNep), an indirect EZH2 inhibitor which possesses anticancer properties both in-vitro and in-vivo. We aimed to address the impact of the lymphoma type, EZH2 mutation status, as well as MYC, BCL2 and BCL6 translocations on the sensitivity of the lymphoma cell lines to DZNep-mediated apoptosis. We show that DZNep inhibits proliferation and induces apoptosis of these cell lines independent of the type of lymphoma, the EZH2 mutation status and the MYC, BCL2 and BCL6 rearrangement status. Furthermore, DZNep induced a much stronger apoptosis in majority of these cell lines at a lower concentration, and within a shorter period when compared with EPZ-6438, a direct EZH2 inhibitor currently in phase II clinical trials. Apoptosis induction by DZNep was both concentration-dependent and time-dependent, and was associated with the inhibition of EZH2 and subsequent downregulation of H3K27me3 in DZNep-sensitive cell lines. Although EZH2, MYC, BCL2 and BCL6 are important prognostic biomarkers for lymphomas, our study shows that they poorly influence the sensitivity of lymphoma cell lines to DZNep-mediated apoptosis.
Project description:c-MYC (hereafter MYC) overexpression has been recognized in aggressive B-cell lymphomas and linked to adverse prognosis. MYC activation results in widespread repression of micro-RNA (miRNA) expression and associated with lymphoma aggressive progression. Our recent study identified a MYC-miRNA-EZH2 feed-forward loop linking overexpression of MYC, EZH2 and miRNA repression. Here, using a novel small-molecule BET bromodomain inhibitor, JQ1, and the EZH2 inhibitor, DZNep, we demonstrated that combined treatment of JQ1 and DZNep cooperatively disrupted MYC activation, resulting in a greater restoration of miR-26a expression and synergistically suppressed lymphoma growth and clonogenicity in aggressive lymphoma cells. Furthermore, CHIP assay demonstrated that MYC recruited EZH2 to miR-26a promoter and cooperatively repressed miR-26a expression in aggressive lymphoma cell lines, as well as primary lymphoma cells. Loss- or gain-of-function approaches revealed that miR-26a functioned as a tumor suppressor miRNA and mediated the combinatorial effects of JQ1 and DZNep. These findings represent a novel promising approach for silencing MYC-miRNA-EZH2 amplification loop for combinatorial therapy of aggressive B-cell lymphomas.
Project description:Double-hit B-cell lymphoma is a common designation for a group of tumors characterized by concurrent translocations of MYC and BCL2, BCL6, or other genes. The prognosis of concurrent MYC and BCL6 translocations is not well known. In this study, we assessed rearrangements and expression of MYC, BCL2 and BCL6 in 898 patients with de novo diffuse large B-cell lymphoma treated with standard chemotherapy (cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone plus rituximab). Neither BCL6 translocation alone (more frequent in activated B-cell like diffuse large B-cell lymphoma) nor in combination with MYC translocation (observed in 2.0% of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma) predicted poorer survival in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma patients. Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma patients with MYC/BCL6 co-expression did have significantly poorer survival, however, MYC/BCL6 co-expression had no effect on prognosis in the absence of MYC/BCL2 co-expression, and had no additive impact in MYC+/BCL2+ cases. The isolated MYC+/BCL6+/BCL2- subset, more frequent in germinal center B-cell like diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, had significantly better survival compared with the isolated MYC+/BCL2+/BCL6- subset (more frequent in activated B-cell like diffuse large B-cell lymphoma). In summary, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma patients with either MYC/BCL6 rearrangements or MYC/BCL6 co-expression did not always have poorer prognosis; MYC expression levels should be evaluated simultaneously; and double-hit B-cell lymphoma needs to be refined based on the specific genetic abnormalities present in these tumors.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The poor outcome of high-grade B-cell lymphoma, with rearrangements of MYC, BCL2 and/or BCL6, also known as double-hit lymphoma or triple-hit lymphoma (DHL or THL), has been well documented, while the clinical significance of extra copies of MYC, BCL2 or BCL6 are still less well known. METHODS:In total, 130 cases of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, not otherwise specified (DLBCL-NOS) were included in our study. Fluorescence in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry were performed in all cases to evaluate the genetic status and protein expression levels of MYC, BCL2 and BCL6. RESULTS:Among the 130 cases of DLBCL, the prevalence rates of extra copies of MYC, BCL2 and BCL6 were 10.8, 20.0 and 14.6%, respectively, and the corresponding rates of gene rearrangement were 10.0, 14.6 and 16.9%, respectively. In total, 7.7% (10/130) of patients were DHL/THL; 9.2% (12/130) of patients were DLBCL with MYC and BCL2 and/or BCL6 gene abnormalities including rearrangements or extra copies, while excluded DHL/THL. The positive protein expression rates of MYC, BCL2 and BCL6 were 46.9% (61), 75.4% (98) and 70.0% (91), respectively. Among the 51 cases with MYC/BCL2 co-expression, 14 cases showed concurrence of MYC, BCL2 and/or BCL6 genetic abnormalities, and the remaining 37 cases were classified as double-expressor lymphoma (DEL). MYC and BCL2 rearrangement and BCL2 extra copies were all associated with upregulated protein expression. Cases with concurrence of MYC, BCL2 and/or BCL6 genetic abnormalities were both associated with MYC/BCL2 co-expression. Patients with concurrence of MYC, BCL2 and/or BCL6 genetic abnormalities excluded DHL/THL had shorter OS (P?<?0.001) than patients with DLBCL with no genetic change, and showed no statistical different with patients with DHL/THL (P?=?0.419). Extra copies of MYC was independent prognostic factors for DLBCL. CONCLUSIONS:Patients with MYC and BCL2 and/or BCL6 gene extra copies might show a trend towards poor prognosis, and the detection of extra copies of MYC, BCL2 and BCL6 might deserve more attention.
Project description:Double-hit lymphoma (DHL) is among the most aggressive and chemoresistant lymphoma subtypes. DHLs carry genomic abnormalities in MYC, BCL2, and/or BCL6 oncogenes. Due to the simultaneous overexpression of these driver oncogenes, DHLs are highly resistant to frontline therapies. Most DHLs overexpress both MYC and BCL2 driver oncogenes concurrently. We reasoned that simultaneous suppression of the two driver oncogenes would be more effective in eradicating DHLs than inactivation of single oncogene. XPO1 is a receptor for nuclear cytoplasmic transport of protein and RNA species. Recently, XPO1 inhibition was shown to downregulate MYC expression in several cancer cell lines. We therefore examined the role of XPO1 as a therapeutic target in suppressing MYC function and the potential synergistic effects of simultaneous suppression of XPO1 and BCL2 in the treatment of DHL. Here, we demonstrate that XPO1 inhibition abrogates MYC protein expression and induces massive tumor cell apoptosis. Combined use of XPO1 and BCL2 inhibitors is highly effective in eradicating DHL cells in cell culture. Notably, in a mouse model of DHL bearing primary tumor cells derived from lymphoma patients, combined treatment with XPO1 and BCL2 inhibitors blocks tumor progression, prevents brain metastasis, and extends host survival. Thus, our study confirms the simultaneous targeting of MYC and BCL2 driver oncogenes through the combined use of XPO1 and BCL2 inhibitors as a unique approach for the treatment of DHLs.
Project description: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 (EZH2(Y646F) in human; Ezh2(Y641F) in mouse) is conditionally expressed. Expression of Ezh2(Y641F) 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 Ezh2(Y641F) 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 Ezh2(Y641F) induces lymphoma and melanoma through a vast reorganization of chromatin structure, inducing both repression and activation of polycomb-regulated loci.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is the sixth most prevalent cancer worldwide with rates of HPV-positive oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC) dramatically increasing. The overexpression of enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2), a histone methyltransferase responsible for the trimethylation at lysine 27 of histone 3 (H3K27me3), is associated with a poor clinical prognosis and aggressive HPV-positive phenotypes.<h4>Methods</h4>We utilized three EZH2 pathway inhibitors, GSK-343, DZNeP, and EPZ-5687, and tested their efficacy in two HPV-positive and two HPV-negative OPSCC cell lines.<h4>Results</h4>Treatment with GSK-343 decreased H3K27me3 in all cell lines and treatment with DZNeP decreased H3K27me3 in only HPV-negative cell lines as determined by Western blot. Cells treated with EPZ-5687 displayed no appreciable change in H3K27me3. Epigenetic effect on gene expression was measured via ddPCR utilizing 11 target probes. Cells treated with DZNeP showed the most dramatic expressional changes, with decreased EGFR in HPV-positive cell lines and an overall increase in proliferation markers in HPV-negative cell lines. GSK-343-treated cells displayed moderate expressional changes, with CCND1 increased in HPV-positive cell lines and decreased TP53 in HPV-negative SCC-1. EPZ-5687-treated cell lines displayed few expressional changes overall. Only DZNeP-treated cells displayed anti-proliferative characteristics shown in wound-healing assays.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Our findings suggest that EZH2 inhibitors are a viable therapeutic option for the role of epigenetic effect, potentially sensitizing tumors to current chemotherapies or limiting cell differentiation.
Project description:<b>Rationale:</b> As the central hallmark of liver fibrosis, transdifferentiation of hepatic stellate cells (HSCs), the predominant contributor to fibrogenic hepatic myofibroblast responsible for extracellular matrix (ECM) deposition, is characterized with transcriptional and epigenetic remodeling. We aimed to characterize the roles of H3K27 methyltransferase EZH2 and demethylase JMJD3 and identify their effective pathways and novel target genes in HSCs activation and liver fibrosis. <b>Methods:</b> In primary HSCs, we analyzed effects of pharmacological inhibitions and genetic manipulations of EZH2 and JMJD3 on HSCs activation. In HSCs cell lines, we evaluated effects of EZH2 inhibition by DZNep on proliferation, cell cycling, senescence and apoptosis. In CCl<sub>4</sub> and BDL murine models of liver fibrosis, we assessed <i>in vivo</i> effects of DZNep administration and <i>Ezh2</i> silencing. We profiled rat primary HSCs transcriptomes with RNA-seq, screened the pathways and genes associated with DZNep treatment, analyzed EZH2 and JMJD3 regulation towards target genes by ChIP-qPCR. <b>Results:</b> EZH2 inhibition by DZNep resulted in retarded growth, lowered cell viability, cell cycle arrest in S and G2 phases, strengthened senescence, and enhanced apoptosis of HSCs, decreased hepatic collagen deposition and rescued the elevated serum ALT and AST activities of diseased mice, and downregulated cellular and hepatic expressions of H3K27me3, EZH2, ?-SMA and COL1A. <i>Ezh2</i> silencing by RNA interference <i>in vitro</i> and <i>in vivo</i> showed similar effects. JMJD3 inhibition by GSK-J4 and overexpression of wild-type but not mutant <i>Jmjd3</i> enhanced or repressed HSCs activation respectively. EZH2 inhibition by DZNep transcriptionally inactivated TGF-?1 pathway, cell cycle pathways and vast ECM components in primary HSCs. EZH2 inhibition decreased H3K27me3 recruitment at target genes encoding TGF-?1 pseudoreceptor BAMBI, anti-inflammatory cytokine IL10 and cell cycle regulators CDKN1A, GADD45A and GADD45B, and increased their expressions, while <i>Jmjd3</i> overexpression manifested alike effects. <b>Conclusions:</b> EZH2 and JMJD3 antagonistically modulate HSCs activation. The therapeutic effects of DZNep as epigenetic drug in liver fibrosis are associated with the regulation of EZH2 towards direct target genes encoding TGF-?1 pseudoreceptor BAMBI, anti-inflammatory cytokine IL10 and cell cycle regulators CDKN1A, GADD45A and GADD45B, which are also regulated by JMJD3. Our present study provides new mechanistic insight into the epigenetic modulation of EZH2 and JMJD3 in HSCs biology and hepatic fibrogenesis.
Project description:High-grade B-cell lymphomas with MYC and BCL2 and/or BCL6 rearrangements (double-/triple-hit lymphoma) have an aggressive clinical course. We investigated the prognostic value of transformation from low-grade lymphoma, cytological features (high grade versus large cell), MYC rearrangement partners (immunoglobulin versus nonimmunoglobulin gene), and treatment. We evaluated 100 adults with double-/triple-hit lymphoma, reviewing cytological features; cell of origin; and rearrangements of MYC, BCL2, and BCL6 using MYC, BCL2, and BCL6 break-apart and IGH/MYC, IGL/MYC, IGK/MYC, and IGH/BCL2 dual-fusion interphase fluorescence in situ hybridization probes. Outcome analysis was restricted to patients with lymphoma, de novo or at transformation, who received anthracycline-based chemotherapy. Among them, 60% had high-grade cytological features; 91% had a germinal center B-cell phenotype, and 60% had a MYC/IG rearrangement. Germinal center B-cell phenotype was associated with BCL2 rearrangements (P<0.001). Mean (95% confidence interval) 5-year overall survival was 49% (37%-64%). Transformation from previously treated and untreated low-grade lymphoma was associated with inferior overall survival (hazard ratio, 2.99; P=0.008). Patients with high-grade cytological features showed a non-significant tendency to inferior outcome (hazard ratio, 2.32; P=0.09). No association was observed between MYC rearrangement partner and overall survival (hazard ratio, 1.00; P=0.99). Compared with patients receiving rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, and vincristine (R-CHOP) and dose-adjusted etoposide, prednisone, vincristine, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, and rituximab (EPOCH-R), patients receiving rituximab, cyclophosphamide, vincristine, doxorubicin, methotrexate/ifosfamide, etoposide, and cytarabine (R-CODOX-M/IVAC) had a non-significant tendency to better overall survival (hazard ratio, 0.37; P=0.10). In conclusion, high-grade B-cell lymphomas with MYC and BCL2 and/or BCL6 rearrangements had heterogeneous outcomes and MYC/IG rearrangements were not associated with inferior overall survival.
Project description:Enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2), the histone methyltransferase of the Polycomb Repressive complex 2 catalyzing histone H3 lysine 27 tri-methylation (H3K27me3), is frequently up-regulated in human cancers. In this study, we identified the tumor suppressor Deleted in liver cancer 1 (DLC1) as a target of repression by EZH2-mediated H3K27me3. DLC1 is a GTPase-activating protein for Rho family proteins. Inactivation of DLC1 results in hyper-activated Rho/ROCK signaling and is implicated in actin cytoskeleton reorganization to promote cancer metastasis. By chromatin immunoprecipitation assay, we demonstrated that H3K27me3 was significantly enriched at the DLC1 promoter region of a DLC1-nonexpressing HCC cell line, MHCC97L. Depletion of EZH2 in MHCC97L by shRNA reduced H3K27me3 level at DLC1 promoter and induced DLC1 gene re-expression. Conversely, transient overexpression of GFP-EZH2 in DLC1-expressing Huh7 cells reduced DLC1 mRNA level with a concomitant enrichment of EZH2 on DLC1 promoter. An inverse relation between EZH2 and DLC1 expression was observed in the liver, lung, breast, prostate, and ovarian cancer tissues. Treating cancer cells with the EZH2 small molecular inhibitor, 3-Deazaneplanocin A (DZNep), restored DLC1 expression in different cancer cell lines, indicating that EZH2-mediated H3K27me3 epigenetic regulation of DLC1 was a common mechanism in human cancers. Importantly, we found that DZNep treatment inhibited HCC cell migration through disrupting actin cytoskeleton network, suggesting the therapeutic potential of DZNep in targeting cancer metastasis. Taken together, our study has shed mechanistic insight into EZH2-H3K27me3 epigenetic repression of DLC1 and advocated the significant pro-metastatic role of EZH2 via repressing tumor and metastasis suppressors.
Project description:Ezh2 is an histone methyltransferase (HMT) that catalyzes H3K27me3 and functions in TH1, TH2, and Treg cells primarily via HMT activity. Here we show that Ezh2 ablation impairs T follicular helper (TFH) cell differentiation and activation of the TFH transcription program. In TFH cells, most Ezh2-occupied genomic sites, including the Bcl6 promoter, are associated with H3K27ac rather than H3K27me3. Mechanistically, Ezh2 is recruited by Tcf1 to directly activate Bcl6 transcription, with this function requiring Ezh2 phosphorylation at Ser21. Meanwhile, Ezh2 deploys H3K27me3 to repress Cdkn2a expression in TFH cells, where aberrantly upregulated p19Arf, a Cdkn2a protein product, triggers TFH cell apoptosis and antagonizes Bcl6 function via protein-protein interaction. Either forced expression of Bcl6 or genetic ablation of p19Arf in Ezh2-deficient cells improves TFH cell differentiation and helper function. Thus, Ezh2 orchestrates TFH-lineage specification and function maturation by integrating phosphorylation-dependent transcriptional activation and HMT-dependent gene repression.