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The cohesin complex participates in the organization of 3D genome through generating and maintaining DNA loops. Stromal antigen 2 (STAG2), a core subunit of the cohesin complex, is frequently mutated in various cancers. However, the impact of STAG2 inactivation on 3D genome organization, especially the long-range enhancer-promoter contacts and subsequent gene expression control in cancer, remains poorly understood. Here we show that depletion of STAG2 in melanoma cells leads to expansion of topologically associating domains (TADs) and enhances the formation of acetylated histone H3 lysine 27 (H3K27ac)-associated DNA loops at sites where binding of STAG2 is switched to its paralog STAG1. We further identify Interferon Regulatory Factor 9 (IRF9) as a major direct target of STAG2 in melanoma cells via integrated RNA-seq, STAG2 ChIP-seq and H3K27ac HiChIP analyses. We demonstrate that loss of STAG2 activates IRF9 through modulating the 3D genome organization, which in turn enhances type I interferon signaling and increases the expression of PD-L1. Our findings not only establish a previously unknown role of the STAG2 to STAG1 switch in 3D genome organization, but also reveal a functional link between STAG2 and interferon signaling in cancer cells, which may enhance the immune evasion potential in STAG2-mutant cancer.

Original publication

DOI

10.1038/s41467-022-29541-9

Type

Journal article

Journal

Nature communications

Publication Date

06/04/2022

Volume

13

Addresses

Cutaneous Biology Research Center, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Charlestown, Massachusetts, USA.

Keywords

Humans, Melanoma, Cell Cycle Proteins, Interferons, Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone, Genome