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Journal Article

Loss of SUV420H2-Dependent Chromatin Compaction Drives Right-Sided Colon Cancer Progression


Looso,  Mario
Bioinformatics, Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research, Max Planck Society;


Kuenne,  Carsten
Bioinformatics, Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research, Max Planck Society;

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Boonsanay, B., Mosa, M. H., Looso, M., Weichenhan, D., Ceteci, F., Pudelko, L., et al. (2023). Loss of SUV420H2-Dependent Chromatin Compaction Drives Right-Sided Colon Cancer Progression. GASTROENTEROLOGY, 164(2), 214-227. doi:10.1053/j.gastro.2022.10.036.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000C-BC51-5
BACKGROUND & AIMS: Epigenetic processes regulating gene expression contribute markedly to epithelial cell plasticity in colorectal carcinogenesis. The lysine methyltransferase SUV420H2 comprises an important regulator of epithelial plasticity and is primarily responsible for trimethylation of H4K20 (H4K20me3). Loss of H4K20me3 has been suggested as a hallmark of human cancer due to its interaction with DNMT1. However, the role of Suv4-20h2 in colorectal cancer is un-known. METHODS: We examined the alterations in histone modifications in patient-derived colorectal cancer organoids. Patient-derived colorectal cancer organoids and mouse intes-tinal organoids were genetically manipulated for functional studies in patient-derived xenograft and orthotopic trans-plantation. Gene expression profiling, micrococcal nuclease assay, and chromatin immunoprecipitation were performed to understand epigenetic regulation of chromatin states and gene expression in patient-derived and mouse intestinal organoids. RESULTS: We found that reduced H4K20me3 levels occurredpredominantly in right-sided patient-derived colorectal cancer organoids, which were associated with increased chromatin accessibility. Re-compaction of chromatin by methylstat, a his -tone demethylase inhibitor, resulted in reduced growth selec-tively in subcutaneously grown tumors derived from right -sided cancers. Using mouse intestinal organoids, we confirmed that Suv4-20h2-mediated H4K20me3 is required for maintaining heterochromatin compaction and to prevent R -loop formation. Cross-species comparison of Suv4-20h2- depleted murine organoids with right-sided colorectal cancer organoids revealed a large overlap of gene signatures involved in chromatin silencing, DNA methylation, and stemness/Wnt signaling. CONCLUSIONS: Loss of Suv4-20h2-mediated H4K20me3 drives right-sided colorectal tumorigenesis through an epigenetically controlled mechanism of chromatin compac-tion. Our findings unravel a conceptually novel approach for subtype-specific therapy of this aggressive form of colorectal cancer.