Radiation-Induced Phosphorylation of a Prion-Like Domain Regulates Transformation by FUS-CHOP.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Chromosomal translocations generate oncogenic fusion proteins in approximately one-third of sarcomas, but how these proteins promote tumorigenesis is not well understood. Interestingly, some translocation-driven cancers exhibit dramatic clinical responses to therapy, such as radiotherapy, although the precise mechanism has not been elucidated. Here we reveal a molecular mechanism by which the fusion oncoprotein FUS-CHOP promotes tumor maintenance that also explains the remarkable sensitivity of myxoid liposarcomas to radiation therapy. FUS-CHOP interacted with chromatin remodeling complexes to regulate sarcoma cell proliferation. One of these chromatin remodelers, SNF2H, colocalized with FUS-CHOP genome-wide at active enhancers. Following ionizing radiation, DNA damage response kinases phosphorylated the prion-like domain of FUS-CHOP to impede these protein-protein interactions, which are required for transformation. Therefore, the DNA damage response after irradiation disrupted oncogenic targeting of chromatin remodelers required for FUS-CHOP-driven sarcomagenesis. This mechanism of disruption links phosphorylation of the prion-like domain of an oncogenic fusion protein to DNA damage after ionizing radiation and reveals that a dependence on oncogenic chromatin remodeling underlies sensitivity to radiation therapy in myxoid liposarcoma. SIGNIFICANCE: Prion-like domains, which are frequently translocated in cancers as oncogenic fusion proteins that drive global epigenetic changes, confer sensitivity to radiation via disruption of oncogenic interactions.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Chen, M; Foster, JP; Lock, IC; Leisenring, NH; Daniel, AR; Floyd, W; Xu, E; Davis, IJ; Kirsch, DG

Published Date

  • October 1, 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 81 / 19

Start / End Page

  • 4939 - 4948

PubMed ID

  • 34385184

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC8487964

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1538-7445

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-20-1497


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States