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J Biol Chem. 2014 Mar 14;289(11):7483-96. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M113.521625. Epub 2014 Jan 30.

Transcriptional repression of histone deacetylase 3 by the histone demethylase KDM2A is coupled to tumorigenicity of lung cancer cells.

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  • 1From the Department of Molecular and Cellular Oncology and.


Dysregulated expression of histone methyltransferases and demethylases is an emerging epigenetic mechanism underlying cancer development and metastasis. We recently showed that the histone H3 lysine 36 (H3K36) demethylase KDM2A (also called FBXL11 and JHDM1A) is necessary for tumorigenic and metastatic capabilities of KDM2A-overexpressing non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells. Here, we report that KDM2A transcriptionally represses the histone deacetylase 3 (HDAC3) gene by removing methyl groups from dimethylated H3K36 at the HDAC3 promoter in KDM2A-overexpressing NSCLC cells. KDM2A depletion reduced expression levels of cell cycle-associated genes (e.g. CDK6) and cell invasion-related genes (e.g. NANOS1); these levels were rescued by ectopic expression of KDM2A but not its catalytic mutant. These genes were occupied and down-regulated by HDAC3. HDAC3 knockdown significantly recovered the proliferation and invasiveness of KDM2A-depleted NSCLC cells as well as the levels of CDK6 and NANOS1 expression in these cells. Similar to their previously reported functions in other cell types, CDK6 and NANOS1 were required for the proliferation and invasion, respectively, of KDM2A-overexpressing NSCLC cells. In a mouse xenograft model, HDAC3 depletion substantially restored the tumorigenic ability of KDM2A knockdown cells. These findings reveal a novel cancer-epigenetic pathway in which the antagonistic effect of KDM2A on HDAC3 expression releases cell cycle-associated genes and cell invasion-related genes from HDAC3 repression and indicate the importance of this pathway for tumorigenicity and invasiveness of KDM2A-overexpressing NSCLC cells.


Chromatin; Gene Regulation; Histone Modification; Lung Cancer; Transcription Repressor

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