G9a Promotes Breast Cancer Recurrence Through Repression of a Pro-inflammatory Program

Journal Article

Epigenetic dysregulation is a common feature of cancer, and is thought to underlie many aspects of tumor progression. Using a genetically engineered mouse model of breast cancer recurrence, we show that recurrent mammary tumors undergo widespread epigenomic and transcriptional alterations, and acquire dependence on the G9a histone methyltransferase. Genetic ablation of G9a delays tumor recurrence, and pharmacologic inhibition of G9a slows the growth of recurrent tumors. Mechanistically, G9a activity is required to silence pro-inflammatory cytokines, including TNF, through H3K9 methylation at gene promoters. G9a inhibition induces re-expression of these cytokines, leading to p53 activation and necroptosis. Recurrent tumors upregulate receptor interacting protein kinase-3 (RIPK3) expression and are dependent upon RIPK3 activity. High RIPK3 expression renders recurrent tumors sensitive to necroptosis following G9a inhibition. These findings demonstrate that epigenetic rewiring – specifically G9a-mediated silencing of pro-necroptotic proteins – is a critical step in tumor recurrence and suggest that G9a is a targetable dependency in recurrent breast cancer.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Mabe, N; Wolery, S; Newcomb, R; Meingasner, R; Vilona, B; Lin, C-C; Lupo, R; Chi, J-T; Alvarez, J

Published Date

  • January 9, 2020

Pubmed Central ID

  • PPR:PPR108344

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1101/2020.01.09.900183