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Oncoimmunology. 2017 Oct 16;7(2):e1382790. doi: 10.1080/2162402X.2017.1382790. eCollection 2018.

Glioma-induced SIRT1-dependent activation of hMOF histone H4 lysine 16 acetyltransferase in microglia promotes a tumor supporting phenotype.

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Institute of Environmental Medicine, Toxicology Unit, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
Department of Oncology-Pathology, Cancer Centrum Karolinska, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
Department of Women's and Children's Health, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
Department of Pediatric Oncology, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.


High-grade gliomas are malignant aggressive primary brain tumors with limited therapeutic options, and dismal prognosis for patients. Microglia, the resident immune cells of the brain, are recruited and reprogrammed into tumor-supporting cells by glioma cells, which in turn positively influence tumor expansion and infiltration into surrounding brain tissues. Here, we report that glioma-induced microglia conversion is coupled to an increase of histone H4 lysine 16 (H4K16) acetylation level in microglia, through increased nuclear localization of the deacetylase SIRT1, which in turn results in deacetylation of the H4K16 acetyltransferase hMOF and its recruitment to the chromatin at promoter regions of microglial target genes. Furthermore, we demonstrate that manipulation of the microglial H4K16 acetylation level, taking advantage of the intrinsic H4K16 deacetylase or acetyltransferase activities of SIRT1 and hMOF, respectively, modulated the tumor-supporting function of microglia. This study provides evidence that post-translational modifications of histones and the histone-modifying enzymes controlling them, such as H4K16 acetylation regulated by hMOF and SIRT1, are part of the microglial pro-tumoral activation pathway initiated by glioma cancer cells and represent potentially novel therapeutic targets.


H4K16 acetylation; SIRT1; glioma; hMOF (MYST1/KAT8); microglia

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