Ubiquitination-mediated degradation of TRDMT1 regulates homologous recombination and therapeutic response
The RNA methyltransferase TRDMT1 has recently emerged as a key regulator of homologous recombination (HR) in the transcribed regions of the genome, but how it is regulated and its relevance in cancer remain unknown. Here, we identified that TRDMT1 is poly-ubiquitinated at K251 by the E3 ligase TRIM28, removing TRDMT1 from DNA damage sites and allowing completion of HR. Interestingly, K251 is adjacent to G155 in the 3D structure, and the G155V mutation leads to hyper ubiquitination of TRDMT1, reduced TRDMT1 levels and impaired HR. Accordingly, a TRDMT1 G155V mutation in an ovarian cancer super responder to platinum treatment. Cells expressing TRDMT1-G155V are sensitive to cisplatin in vitro and in vivo. In contrast, high expression of TRDMT1 in patients with ovarian cancer correlates with platinum resistance. A potent TRDMT1 inhibitor resensitizes TRDMT1-high tumor cells to cisplatin. These results suggest that TRDMT1 is a promising therapeutic target to sensitize ovarian tumors to platinum therapy.