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      Histone methyltransferase SETDB1 regulates liver cancer cell growth through methylation of p53

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          Abstract

          SETDB1 is a histone H3K9 methyltransferase that has a critical role in early development. It is located within a melanoma susceptibility locus and facilitates melanoma formation. However, the mechanism by which SETDB1 regulates tumorigenesis remains unknown. Here we report the molecular interplay between SETDB1 and the well-known hotspot gain-of-function (GOF) TP53 R249S mutation. We show that in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) SETDB1 is overexpressed with moderate copy number gain, and GOF TP53 mutations including R249S associate with this overexpression. Inactivation of SETDB1 in HCC cell lines bearing the R249S mutation suppresses cell growth. The TP53 mutation status renders cancer cells dependent on SETDB1. Moreover, SETDB1 forms a complex with p53 and catalyses p53K370 di-methylation. SETDB1 attenuation reduces the p53K370me2 level, which subsequently leads to increased recognition and degradation of p53 by MDM2. Together, we provide both genetic and biochemical evidence for a mechanism by which SETDB1 regulates cancer cell growth via methylation of p53.

          Abstract

          SETDB1 is a histone methyltransferase and a role for the protein has been proposed in cancer. Here, the authors show that SETDB1 contributes to hepatocellular cancer by preferably forming a complex with mutant p53, resulting in di-methylation of a critical lysine residue and stabilization of the protein.

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          Most cited references 31

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          Mutant p53 in Cancer: New Functions and Therapeutic Opportunities

          Many different types of cancer show a high incidence of TP53 mutations, leading to the expression of mutant p53 proteins. There is growing evidence that these mutant p53s have both lost wild-type p53 tumor suppressor activity and gained functions that help to contribute to malignant progression. Understanding the functions of mutant p53 will help in the development of new therapeutic approaches that may be useful in a broad range of cancer types.
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            Assessing the significance of chromosomal aberrations in cancer: methodology and application to glioma.

            Comprehensive knowledge of the genomic alterations that underlie cancer is a critical foundation for diagnostics, prognostics, and targeted therapeutics. Systematic efforts to analyze cancer genomes are underway, but the analysis is hampered by the lack of a statistical framework to distinguish meaningful events from random background aberrations. Here we describe a systematic method, called Genomic Identification of Significant Targets in Cancer (GISTIC), designed for analyzing chromosomal aberrations in cancer. We use it to study chromosomal aberrations in 141 gliomas and compare the results with two prior studies. Traditional methods highlight hundreds of altered regions with little concordance between studies. The new approach reveals a highly concordant picture involving approximately 35 significant events, including 16-18 broad events near chromosome-arm size and 16-21 focal events. Approximately half of these events correspond to known cancer-related genes, only some of which have been previously tied to glioma. We also show that superimposed broad and focal events may have different biological consequences. Specifically, gliomas with broad amplification of chromosome 7 have properties different from those with overlapping focalEGFR amplification: the broad events act in part through effects on MET and its ligand HGF and correlate with MET dependence in vitro. Our results support the feasibility and utility of systematic characterization of the cancer genome.
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              When mutants gain new powers: news from the mutant p53 field.

              Ample data indicate that mutant p53 proteins not only lose their tumour suppressive functions, but also gain new abilities that promote tumorigenesis. Moreover, recent studies have modified our view of mutant p53 proteins, portraying them not as inert mutants, but rather as regulated proteins that influence the cancer cell transcriptome and phenotype. This influence is clinically manifested as association of TP53 mutations with poor prognosis and drug resistance in a growing array of malignancies. Here, we review recent studies on mutant p53 regulation, gain-of-function mechanisms, transcriptional effects and prognostic association, with a focus on the clinical implications of these findings.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nat Commun
                Nat Commun
                Nature Communications
                Nature Publishing Group
                2041-1723
                16 October 2015
                2015
                : 6
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research , Shanghai 201203, China
                [2 ]College of Life Sciences, Sichuan University , Chengdu 610064, China
                Author notes
                [*]

                Present address: Lilly China R&D Center, Shanghai 201203, China

                Article
                ncomms9651
                10.1038/ncomms9651
                5426523
                26471002
                Copyright © 2015, Nature Publishing Group, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited. All Rights Reserved.

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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