UTX/KDM6A Loss Enhances the Malignant Phenotype of Multiple Myeloma and Sensitizes Cells to EZH2 inhibition
Teresa Ezponda 1 , Daphné Dupéré-Richer 2 , Christine M Will 1 , Eliza C Small 1 , Nobish Varghese 1 , Tej Patel 1 , Behnam Nabet 1 , Relja Popovic 1 , Jon Oyer 1 , Marinka Bulic 1 , Yupeng Zheng 3 , Xiaoxiao Huang 4 , Mrinal Y Shah 1 , Sayantan Maji 2 , Alberto Riva 5 , Manuela Occhionorelli 6 , Giovanni Tonon 6 , Neil Kelleher 4 , Jonathan Keats 7 , Jonathan D Licht 8
Loss or inactivation of the histone H3K27 demethylase UTX occurs in several malignancies, including multiple myeloma (MM). Using an isogenic cell system, we found that loss of UTX leads to deactivation of gene expression ultimately promoting the proliferation, clonogenicity, adhesion, and tumorigenicity of MM cells
Moreover, UTX mutant cells showed increased in vitro and in vivo sensitivity to inhibition of EZH2, a histone methyltransferase that generates H3K27me3. Such sensitivity was related to a decrease in the levels of IRF4 and c-MYC and an activation of repressors of IRF4 characteristic of germinal center B cells such as BCL6 and IRF1. Rebalance of H3K27me3 levels at specific genes through EZH2 inhibitors may be a therapeutic strategy in MM cases harboring UTX mutations.