Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

<div>Abstract<p>Expression of the transcription factor brachyury (TBXT) is normally restricted to the embryo, and its silencing is epigenetically regulated. TBXT promotes mesenchymal transition in a subset of common carcinomas, and in chordoma, a rare cancer showing notochordal differentiation, TBXT acts as a putative oncogene. We hypothesized that TBXT expression is controlled through epigenetic inhibition to promote chordoma cell death. Screening of five human chordoma cell lines revealed that pharmacologic inhibition of the histone 3 lysine 27 demethylases KDM6A (UTX) and KDM6B (JMJD3) leads to cell death. This effect was phenocopied by dual genetic inactivation of KDM6A/B using CRISPR/Cas9. Inhibition of KDM6A/B with a novel compound KDOBA67 led to a genome-wide increase in repressive H3K27me3 marks with concomitant reduction in active H3K27ac, H3K9ac, and H3K4me3 marks. <i>TBXT</i> was a KDM6A/B target gene, and chromatin changes at <i>TBXT</i> following KDOBA67 treatment were associated with a reduction in TBXT protein levels in all models tested, including primary patient-derived cultures. In all models tested, KDOBA67 treatment downregulated expression of a network of transcription factors critical for chordoma survival and upregulated pathways dominated by ATF4-driven stress and proapoptotic responses. Blocking the AFT4 stress response did not prevent suppression of TBXT and induction of cell death, but ectopic overexpression of <i>TBXT</i> increased viability, therefore implicating TBXT as a potential therapeutic target of H3K27 demethylase inhibitors in chordoma. Our work highlights how knowledge of normal processes in fetal development can provide insight into tumorigenesis and identify novel therapeutic approaches.</p>Significance:<p>Pharmacologic inhibition of H3K27-demethylases in human chordoma cells promotes epigenetic silencing of oncogenic TBXT, alters gene networks critical to survival, and represents a potential novel therapy.</p></div>

Original publication





Publication Date