Gene Summary

Gene:NSD2; nuclear receptor binding SET domain protein 2
Summary:This gene encodes a protein that contains four domains present in other developmental proteins: a PWWP domain, an HMG box, a SET domain, and a PHD-type zinc finger. It is expressed ubiquitously in early development. Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome (WHS) is a malformation syndrome associated with a hemizygous deletion of the distal short arm of chromosome 4. This gene maps to the 165 kb WHS critical region and has also been involved in the chromosomal translocation t(4;14)(p16.3;q32.3) in multiple myelomas. Alternative splicing of this gene results in multiple transcript variants encoding different isoforms. Some transcript variants are nonsense-mediated mRNA (NMD) decay candidates, hence not represented as reference sequences. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:histone-lysine N-methyltransferase NSD2
Source:NCBIAccessed: 01 September, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (16)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 01 September 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

  • Translocation
  • Methylation
  • Messenger RNA
  • Transcription Factors
  • Histone-Lysine N-Methyltransferase
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Gene Expression
  • Chromosome 14
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Survival Rate
  • Signal Transduction
  • Epigenetics
  • Xenograft Models
  • Transfection
  • Chromosome 4
  • Chromatin Immunoprecipitation
  • Mantle-Cell Lymphoma
  • Cell Cycle
  • Neoplastic Cell Transformation
  • Disease Progression
  • Mutation
  • DNA Methylation
  • Histones
  • Protein Binding
  • Apoptosis
  • Carcinogenesis
  • Multiple Myeloma
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Protein Isoforms
  • Receptor, Fibroblast Growth Factor, Type 3
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Lysine
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Chromatin
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Promoter Regions
  • siRNA
Tag cloud generated 01 September, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (2)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Entity Topic PubMed Papers
Multiple MyelomaWHSC1 and Multiple Myeloma View Publications17
Lymphoma, Mantle-CellWHSC1 mutations in Mantle Cell Lymphoma
In a GWAS study Bea et al (2013) reported WHSC1 mutations in 10% (13/130) of MTC cases.
View Publications3

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: NSD2 (cancer-related)

Murase T, Ri M, Narita T, et al.
Immunohistochemistry for identification of CCND1, NSD2, and MAF gene rearrangements in plasma cell myeloma.
Cancer Sci. 2019; 110(8):2600-2606 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The t(11;14)/CCND1-IGH, t(4;14)/NSD2(MMSET)-IGH, and t(14;16)/IGH-MAF gene rearrangements detected by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) are used for risk stratification in patients with multiple myeloma (MM). Compared with conventional FISH techniques using fresh cells, immunohistochemistry (IHC) is much more cost- and time-efficient, and can be readily applied to routinely prepared formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) materials. In this study, we performed tissue FISH and IHC employing FFPE specimens, and examined the usefulness of IHC as a tool for detecting CCND1, NSD2, and MAF gene rearrangements. CD138 signals were used to identify plasma cells in tissue FISH and IHC analyses. With cohort 1 (n = 70), we performed tissue FISH and subsequently IHC, and determined IHC cut-off points. In this cohort, the sensitivity and specificity for the 3 molecules were ≥.90 and ≥.96, respectively. With cohort 2, using MM cases with an unknown gene status (n = 120), we performed IHC, and the gene status was estimated using the cut-off points determined with cohort 1. The subsequent FISH analysis showed that the sensitivity and specificity for the 3 molecules were ≥.92 and ≥.98, respectively. CCND1, NSD2, and MAF gene rearrangements were estimated accurately by IHC, suggesting that conventional FISH assays can be replaced by IHC.

Liu C, Jiang YH, Zhao ZL, et al.
Knockdown of Histone Methyltransferase WHSC1 Induces Apoptosis and Inhibits Cell Proliferation and Tumorigenesis in Salivary Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma.
Anticancer Res. 2019; 39(6):2729-2737 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIM: Salivary adenoid cystic carcinoma (SACC) is the most common malignancy of the salivary gland with a poor prognosis and survival. The present study aimed to investigate the role of histone methyltransferase WHSC1 in SACC.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Human SACC specimens were evaluated for WHSC1 expression by RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry. The effects of WHSC1 knockdown on SACC cells proliferation, cell cycle, clone and tumorsphere formation, and apoptosis as well as on the expression of related genes were examined. A xenograft mouse model of SACC was used to evaluate the in vivo effects of WHSC1 knockdown on SACC tumorigenesis.
RESULTS: WHSC1 expression was up-regulated in human SACC tissues (p<0.01). WHSC1 knockdown in SACC cells significantly inhibited cell proliferation, clone and tumorsphere formation (p<0.05). Cell distribution at the S and G
CONCLUSION: Knockdown of WHSC1 inhibited cell proliferation, induced apoptosis and affected tumorigenesis in SACC.

Li Y, Tran Q, Shrestha R, et al.
LETM1 is required for mitochondrial homeostasis and cellular viability (Review).
Mol Med Rep. 2019; 19(5):3367-3375 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Leucine zipper/EF‑hand‑containing transmembrane protein 1 (LETM1) has been identified as the gene responsible for Wolf‑Hirschhorn syndrome (WHS), which is characterized by intellectual disability, epilepsy, growth delay and craniofacial dysgenesis. LETM1 is a mitochondrial inner membrane protein that encodes a homolog of the yeast protein Mdm38, which is involved in mitochondrial morphology. In the present review, the importance of LETM1 in WHS and its role within the mitochondrion was explored. LETM1 governs the mitochondrion ion channel and is involved in mitochondrial respiration. Recent studies have reported that LETM1 acts as a mitochondrial Ca2+/H+ antiporter. LETM1 has also been identified as a K+/H+ exchanger, and serves a role in Mg2+ homeostasis. The function of LETM1 in mitochondria regulation is regulated by its binding partners, carboxyl‑terminal modulator protein and mitochondrial ribosomal protein L36. Therefore, we describe the remarkable role of LETM1 in mitochondrial network physiology and its function in mitochondrion‑mediated cell death. In the context of these findings, we suggest that the participation of LETM1 in tumorigenesis through the alteration of cancer metabolism should be investigated. This review provides a comprehensive description of LETM1 function, which is required for mitochondrial homeostasis and cellular viability.

Aytes A, Giacobbe A, Mitrofanova A, et al.
NSD2 is a conserved driver of metastatic prostate cancer progression.
Nat Commun. 2018; 9(1):5201 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Deciphering cell-intrinsic mechanisms of metastasis progression in vivo is essential to identify novel therapeutic approaches. Here we elucidate cell-intrinsic drivers of metastatic prostate cancer progression through analyses of genetically engineered mouse models (GEMM) and correlative studies of human prostate cancer. Expression profiling of lineage-marked cells from mouse primary tumors and metastases defines a signature of de novo metastatic progression. Cross-species master regulator analyses comparing this mouse signature with a comparable human signature identifies conserved drivers of metastatic progression with demonstrable clinical and functional relevance. In particular, nuclear receptor binding SET Domain Protein 2 (NSD2) is robustly expressed in lethal prostate cancer in humans, while its silencing inhibits metastasis of mouse allografts in vivo. We propose that cross-species analysis can elucidate mechanisms of metastasis progression, thus providing potential additional therapeutic opportunities for treatment of lethal prostate cancer.

Xie Z, Chooi JY, Toh SHM, et al.
MMSET I acts as an oncoprotein and regulates GLO1 expression in t(4;14) multiple myeloma cells.
Leukemia. 2019; 33(3):739-748 [PubMed] Related Publications
Multiple myeloma (MM) is characterized by recurrent chromosomal translocations. T(4;14) MM overexpresses multiple myeloma SET domain-containing protein (MMSET). MMSET has three major isoforms: the full-length form MMSET II and the short isoforms REIIBP and MMSET I. Here we show that the short isoform MMSET I is an oncoprotein that promoted cell survival and tumorigenesis in vitro and in vivo. Gene expression array analysis indicated that MMSET I increased glyoxalase I (GLO1) expression. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) coupled with qPCR indicated that MMSET I bound upstream of the GLO1 transcription start site. Ectopic overexpression of MMSET I or its mutants showed MMSET I depended on its C terminus to regulate GLO1 expression. GLO1 knockdown (KD) induced apoptosis and reduced colony formation. MMSET I or GLO1 KD reduced the levels of anti-apoptosis factors such as MCL1 and BCL2. Ectopic overexpression of GLO1 resulted in the significant rescue of KMS11 cells from MMSET I KD-induced apoptosis and glycolysis inhibition. This suggested that GLO1 may be of functional importance target downstream of MMSET I. Cumulatively, our study suggests that MMSET I is an oncoprotein and potential therapeutic target for t(4;14) MM.

Swaroop A, Oyer JA, Will CM, et al.
An activating mutation of the NSD2 histone methyltransferase drives oncogenic reprogramming in acute lymphocytic leukemia.
Oncogene. 2019; 38(5):671-686 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
NSD2, a histone methyltransferase specific for methylation of histone 3 lysine 36 (H3K36), exhibits a glutamic acid to lysine mutation at residue 1099 (E1099K) in childhood acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), and cells harboring this mutation can become the predominant clone in relapsing disease. We studied the effects of this mutant enzyme in silico, in vitro, and in vivo using gene edited cell lines. The E1099K mutation altered enzyme/substrate binding and enhanced the rate of H3K36 methylation. As a result, cell lines harboring E1099K exhibit increased H3K36 dimethylation and reduced H3K27 trimethylation, particularly on nucleosomes containing histone H3.1. Mutant NSD2 cells exhibit reduced apoptosis and enhanced proliferation, clonogenicity, adhesion, and migration. In mouse xenografts, mutant NSD2 cells are more lethal and brain invasive than wildtype cells. Transcriptional profiling demonstrates that mutant NSD2 aberrantly activates factors commonly associated with neural and stromal lineages in addition to signaling and adhesion genes. Identification of these pathways provides new avenues for therapeutic interventions in NSD2 dysregulated malignancies.

Park JW, Chae YC, Kim JY, et al.
Methylation of Aurora kinase A by MMSET reduces p53 stability and regulates cell proliferation and apoptosis.
Oncogene. 2018; 37(48):6212-6224 [PubMed] Related Publications
The histone methyltransferase multiple myeloma SET domain protein (MMSET/WHSC1) is highly expressed in diverse tumor types, and its expression appears to be involved in cell proliferation. In this study, we report that MMSET interacts with and methylates Aurora kinase A (AURKA). We show that MMSET-mediated methylation of AURKA induces interaction with p53 as well as enhanced kinase activity of AURKA, which results in the proteasomal degradation of p53. MMSET-mediated p53 degradation increases cell proliferation and results in oncogenic activity. Furthermore, knockdown of MMSET potently inhibits tumorigenic cells and renders them sensitive to growth inhibition by the therapeutic drug, alisertib (AURKA inhibitor). Taken together, our results suggest that MMSET is a regulator of p53 stability via methylation of AURKA in proliferating cells and might be a potential therapeutic target in solid tumors.

Paisitkriangkrai S, Quek K, Nievergall E, et al.
Co-fuse: a new class discovery analysis tool to identify and prioritize recurrent fusion genes from RNA-sequencing data.
Mol Genet Genomics. 2018; 293(5):1217-1229 [PubMed] Related Publications
Recurrent oncogenic fusion genes play a critical role in the development of various cancers and diseases and provide, in some cases, excellent therapeutic targets. To date, analysis tools that can identify and compare recurrent fusion genes across multiple samples have not been available to researchers. To address this deficiency, we developed Co-occurrence Fusion (Co-fuse), a new and easy to use software tool that enables biologists to merge RNA-seq information, allowing them to identify recurrent fusion genes, without the need for exhaustive data processing. Notably, Co-fuse is based on pattern mining and statistical analysis which enables the identification of hidden patterns of recurrent fusion genes. In this report, we show that Co-fuse can be used to identify 2 distinct groups within a set of 49 leukemic cell lines based on their recurrent fusion genes: a multiple myeloma (MM) samples-enriched cluster and an acute myeloid leukemia (AML) samples-enriched cluster. Our experimental results further demonstrate that Co-fuse can identify known driver fusion genes (e.g., IGH-MYC, IGH-WHSC1) in MM, when compared to AML samples, indicating the potential of Co-fuse to aid the discovery of yet unknown driver fusion genes through cohort comparisons. Additionally, using a 272 primary glioma sample RNA-seq dataset, Co-fuse was able to validate recurrent fusion genes, further demonstrating the power of this analysis tool to identify recurrent fusion genes. Taken together, Co-fuse is a powerful new analysis tool that can be readily applied to large RNA-seq datasets, and may lead to the discovery of new disease subgroups and potentially new driver genes, for which, targeted therapies could be developed. The Co-fuse R source code is publicly available at https://github.com/sakrapee/co-fuse .

Yang P, Zhang W, Wang J, et al.
Genomic landscape and prognostic analysis of mantle cell lymphoma.
Cancer Gene Ther. 2018; 25(5-6):129-140 [PubMed] Related Publications
To gain insight into the molecular pathogenesis of patients with mantle cell lymphoma (MCL), next-generation whole-exome sequencing of 16 MCL patients was performed. We identified recurrent mutations in genes that are well known to be functionally relevant in MCL, including ATM (37.5%), TP53 (31.3%), WHSC1 (31.3%), CCND1 (18.8%), NOTCH2 (6.3%), and CDKN2A (6.3%). We also identified somatic mutations in genes for which a functional role in MCL has not been previously suspected. These genes included CCDC15, APC, CDH1, S1PR1, ATRX, BRCA2, CASP8, and NOTCH3. Further, we investigated the prognostic factors associated with MCL from clinical, pathological, and genetic mutations. Mutations of TP53 (P = 0.021) was a significant prognostic factor with shorter overall survival (OS). Although there was no statistical difference, the median survival time of patients with WHSC1 mutations was shorter than those without mutations (P = 0.070). Mutations in ATM and CCND1 had no prognostic value (P = 0.552, 0.566). When adjusted for MCL International Prognostic Index (MIPI) or combined MCL-International Prognostic Index (MIPI-c), TP53 and WHSC1 mutations were the most important prognostic factors in MCL (P < 0.05). Our data provide an unbiased view of the landscape of mutations in MCL and commend that all patients benefit from mutations of TP53 and WHSC1 at diagnosis, in addition to MIPI and MIPI-c score.

Chen HQ, Gao D
Inhibitory effect of microRNA-154 targeting WHSC1 on cell proliferation of human skin squamous cell carcinoma through mediating the P53 signaling pathway.
Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2018; 100:22-29 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: Skin squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is a common, morbid, and frequently lethal malignancy and ranks as the sixth most deadly cancer worldwide. Hence, this study aims to explore the effect of microRNA-154 (miR-154) targeting WHSC1 on proliferation and apoptosis of SCC cells via the P53 signaling pathway.
METHODS: The targeting relationship between WHSC1 and miR-154 was validated using dual-luciferase reporter assay. Normal human epidermal keratinocytes (NHEK) were included, and SCC A431 and SCC-15 cell lines were cultured and transfected with miR-154 mimic, miR-154 inhibitor or siRNA-WHSC1. Reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) and western blot analysis were used for the miR-154 expression and levels of WHSC1, P53 signaling pathway- and apoptosis-related genes. MTT assay and flow cytometry were applied to determine the cell viability and apoptosis.
RESULTS: WHSC1 is a target gene of miR-154. MiR-154 negatively regulated WHSC1 expression and inhibited the activation of P53 signaling pathway. In response to miR-154 mimic or siRNA-WHSC1, SCC A431 and SCC-15 cell lines exhibited increased expression of P73, P16 and Bax, decreased expression of WHSC1, P53, c-myc and Bcl-2, as well as attenuated cell viability and enhanced cell apoptosis. The treatment of miR-154 inhibitor reversed the tendency.
CONCLUSION: These results demonstrate that up-regulation of miR-154 inhibits proliferation and induces apoptosis of human skin SCC cells by down-regulating WHSC1 and blocking the P53 signaling pathway.

Peri S, Izumchenko E, Schubert AD, et al.
NSD1- and NSD2-damaging mutations define a subset of laryngeal tumors with favorable prognosis.
Nat Commun. 2017; 8(1):1772 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck (SCCHN) affect anatomical sites including the oral cavity, nasal cavity, pharynx, and larynx. Laryngeal cancers are characterized by high recurrence and poor overall survival, and currently lack robust molecular prognostic biomarkers for treatment stratification. Using an algorithm for integrative clustering that simultaneously assesses gene expression, somatic mutation, copy number variation, and methylation, we for the first time identify laryngeal cancer subtypes with distinct prognostic outcomes, and differing from the non-prognostic laryngeal subclasses reported by The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). Although most common laryngeal gene mutations are found in both subclasses, better prognosis is strongly associated with damaging mutations of the methyltransferases NSD1 and NSD2, with findings confirmed in an independent validation cohort consisting of 63 laryngeal cancer patients. Intriguingly, NSD1/2 mutations are not prognostic for nonlaryngeal SCCHN. These results provide an immediately useful clinical metric for patient stratification and prognostication.

Sankaran SM, Gozani O
Characterization of H3.3K36M as a tool to study H3K36 methylation in cancer cells.
Epigenetics. 2017; 12(11):917-922 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Recurrent mutations at key lysine residues in the histone variant H3.3 are thought to play an etiologic role in the development of distinct subsets of pediatric gliomas and bone and cartilage cancers. H3.3K36M is one such mutation that was originally identified in chondroblastomas, and its expression in these tumors contributes to oncogenic reprogramming by triggering global depletion of dimethylation and trimethylation at H3K36 with a concomitant increase in the levels of H3K27 trimethylation. H3.3K36M expression can also cause epigenomic changes in cell types beyond chondrocytic cells. Here we show that expression of H3.3K36M in HT1080 fibrosarcoma cancer cells severely impairs cellular proliferation, which contrasts its role in promoting transformation of chondrocytic cells. H3.3K36M-associated cellular toxicity phenocopies the specific depletion of H3K36me2, but not loss of H3K36me3. We further find that the H3K36me2-associated toxicity is largely independent of changes in H3K27me3. Together, our findings lend support to the argument that H3K36me2 has distinct roles in cancer cells independent of H3K36me3 and H3K27me3, and highlight the use of H3.3K36M as an epigenetic tool to study H3K36 and H3K27 methylation dynamics in diverse cell types.

Laganà A, Perumal D, Melnekoff D, et al.
Integrative network analysis identifies novel drivers of pathogenesis and progression in newly diagnosed multiple myeloma.
Leukemia. 2018; 32(1):120-130 [PubMed] Related Publications
Multiple myeloma (MM) is an incurable malignancy of bone marrow plasma cells characterized by wide clinical and molecular heterogeneity. In this study we applied an integrative network biology approach to molecular and clinical data measured from 450 patients with newly diagnosed MM from the MMRF (Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation) CoMMpass study. A novel network model of myeloma (MMNet) was constructed, revealing complex molecular disease patterns and novel associations between clinical traits and genomic markers. Genomic alterations and groups of coexpressed genes correlate with disease stage, tumor clonality and early progression. We validated CDC42BPA and CLEC11A as novel regulators and candidate therapeutic targets of MMSET-related myeloma. We then used MMNet to discover novel genes associated with high-risk myeloma and identified a novel four-gene prognostic signature. We identified new patient classes defined by network features and enriched for clinically relevant genetic events, pathways and deregulated genes. Finally, we demonstrated the ability of deep sequencing techniques to detect relevant structural rearrangements, providing evidence that encourages wider use of such technologies in clinical practice. An integrative network analysis of CoMMpass data identified new insights into multiple myeloma disease biology and provided improved molecular features for diagnosing and stratifying patients, as well as additional molecular targets for therapeutic alternatives.

Xie L, Li T, Yang LH
E2F2 induces MCM4, CCNE2 and WHSC1 upregulation in ovarian cancer and predicts poor overall survival.
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2017; 21(9):2150-2156 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: To explore the genes co-upregulated with E2F2 in ovarian cancer and their association with survival outcomes in ovarian cancer patients.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The raw data of GDS3592 was downloaded from GEO datasets for reanalysis. The overlapping subset between the top 150 upregulated genes in ovarian cancer epithelial cells (CEPIs) and the E2F2 positively correlated genes (Pearson's r≥0.5) in ovarian cancer cohort in TCGA was identified. The association between E2F2, MCM4, CCNE2 and WHSC1 and overall survival (OS) and recurrence-free survival (RFS) in ovarian cancer patients were assessed using Kaplan-Meier plotter.
RESULTS: E2F2 is a significantly upregulated transcription factor in CEPIs. MCM4, CCNE2, and WHSC1 are co-upregulated with E2F2 among the 308 ovarian cancer samples (Pearson's r=0.5159, 0.3963 and 0.4941 respectively). Enforced E2F2 expression significantly enhanced MCM4, CCNE2 and WHSC1 transcription in SKOV3 and A2780 cells. High E2F2 and CCNE2 expression are associated with worse OS (high E2F2, HR: 1.48, 95%CI: 1.17-1.85, p<0.01; high CCNE2, HR: 1.36, 95%CI: 1.15-1.6, p<0.01). High MCM expression might be associated with worse RFS at the margin of significance (HR: 1.18, 95%CI: 1.00-1.39, p=0.055).
CONCLUSIONS: MCM4, CCNE2, and WHSC1 are co-upregulated with E2F2 in ovarian cancer. Enforced E2F2 expression significantly increased MCM4, CCNE2, and WHSC1 expression in ovarian cancer cells. High E2F2 and CCNE2 expression are associated with worse OS among ovarian cancer patients.

Li J, Li T, Lu Y, et al.
MiR-2392 suppresses metastasis and epithelial-mesenchymal transition by targeting
FASEB J. 2017; 31(9):3774-3786 [PubMed] Related Publications
MicroRNAs have emerged as essential regulators of various cellular processes. We identified the role and underlying mechanisms of miR-2392 in gastric cancer (GC) metastasis. MiR-2392 was down-regulated in GC cell lines and tissues, and overexpression of miR-2392 significantly inhibited GC invasion and metastasis

Stein CK, Pawlyn C, Chavan S, et al.
The varied distribution and impact of RAS codon and other key DNA alterations across the translocation cyclin D subgroups in multiple myeloma.
Oncotarget. 2017; 8(17):27854-27867 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
We examined a set of 805 cases that underwent DNA sequencing using the FoundationOne Heme (F1H) targeted sequencing panel and gene expression profiling. Known and likely variant calls from the mutational data were analyzed for significant associations with gene expression defined translocation cyclin D (TC) molecular subgroups. The spectrum of KRAS, NRAS, and BRAF codon mutations varied across subgroups with NRAS mutations at Q61 codon being common in hyperdiploid (HRD) and t(11;14) myeloma while being rare in MMSET and MAF. In addition, the presence of RAS-RAF mutations was inversely associated with NFκB pathway activation in all subgroups excluding MAF. In the MMSET subgroup, cases with low FGFR3 expression frequently had RAS-RAF mutations. Conditional inference tree analysis determined that mutation and homozygous deletion of TP53, CDKN2C, and RB1 were key prognostic factors associated with adverse outcome in a non-relapse clinical setting. In conclusion, this study highlights the heterogeneity in the distribution and clinical outcomes of RAS codon and other mutations in multiple myeloma dependent upon primary molecular subgroup.

Kuramoto J, Arai E, Tian Y, et al.
Genome-wide DNA methylation analysis during non-alcoholic steatohepatitis-related multistage hepatocarcinogenesis: comparison with hepatitis virus-related carcinogenesis.
Carcinogenesis. 2017; 38(3):261-270 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The aim of this study was to clarify the significance of DNA methylation alterations during non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH)-related hepatocarcinogenesis. Single-CpG-resolution genome-wide DNA methylation analysis was performed on 264 liver tissue samples using the Illumina Infinium HumanMethylation450 BeadChip. After Bonferroni correction, 3331 probes showed significant DNA methylation alterations in 113 samples of non-cancerous liver tissue showing NASH (NASH-N) as compared with 55 samples of normal liver tissue (NLT). Principal component analysis using the 3331 probes revealed distinct DNA methylation profiles of NASH-N samples that were different from those of NLT samples and 37 samples of non-cancerous liver tissue showing chronic hepatitis or cirrhosis associated with hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection (viral-N). Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis identified 194 probes that were able to discriminate NASH-N samples from viral-N samples with area under the curve values of more than 0.95. Jonckheere-Terptsra trend test revealed that DNA methylation alterations in NASH-N samples from patients without hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) were inherited by or strengthened in NASH-N samples from patients with HCC, and then inherited by or further strengthened in 22 samples of NASH-related HCC (NASH-T) themselves. NASH- and NASH-related HCC-specific DNA methylation alterations, which were not evident in viral-N samples and 37 samples of HCC associated with HBV or HCV infection, were observed in tumor-related genes, such as WHSC1, and were frequently associated with mRNA expression abnormalities. These data suggested that NASH-specific DNA methylation alterations may participate in NASH-related multistage hepatocarcinogenesis.

Rutter S, Morotti RA, Peterec S, Gallagher PG
Hepatic Malignancy in an Infant with Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome.
Fetal Pediatr Pathol. 2017; 36(3):256-262 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome (WHS) is a contiguous gene syndrome involving deletions of the chromosome 4p16 region associated with growth failure, characteristic craniofacial abnormalities, cardiac defects, and seizures.
CASE REPORT: This report describes a six-month-old girl with WHS with growth failure and typical craniofacial features who died of complex congenital heart disease. Genetic studies revealed a 9.8 Mb chromosome 4p-terminal deletion. At autopsy, the liver was grossly unremarkable. Routine sampling and histologic examination revealed two hepatocellular nodular lesions with expanded cell plates and mild cytologic atypia. Immunohistochemical staining revealed these nodules were positive for glutamine synthetase and glypican 3, with increased Ki-67 signaling and diffuse CD34 expression in sinusoidal endothelium. These findings are consistent with hepatoblastoma or hepatocellular carcinoma.
CONCLUSIONS: A possible association between WHS and hepatic malignancy may be an important consideration in the care and management of WHS patients.

Yin Z, Sun Y, Ge S, Sun J
Epigenetic activation of WHSC1 functions as an oncogene and is associated with poor prognosis in cervical cancer.
Oncol Rep. 2017; 37(4):2286-2294 [PubMed] Related Publications
Overexpression of Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome candidate 1 (WHSC1) is commonly observed in various types of tumors. However, the potential mechanism responsible for this molecular event is poorly understood. In the present study, we found that the mRNA levels of WHSC1 were significantly increased in cervical cancer cells, and that CpG sites were almost fully methylated in HaCaT cells, but partially methylated in HeLa and C33A cells. Clinically, the results of quantitative methylation-specific PCR (QMSP) and quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR), showed that methylation levels of the WHSC1 gene were significantly decreased in cervical cancer tumors and inversely correlated with its mRNA expression levels. Both decreased methylation of WHSC1 and increased mRNA were associated with cancer progression and poor prognosis. In addition, overexpression of WHSC1 contributed to cell proliferation, migration and invasion, while cells with WHSC1 knockdown exhibited the opposite effects. AKT/metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) signaling was activated and inactivated upon overexpression and silencing of WHSC1, respectively. Silencing of WHSC1 also suppressed tumor growth in a xenograft model. In conclusion, WHSC1 is hypomethylated in cervical cancer, and consequent overexpression of WHSC1 mRNA may promote cervical carcinogenesis by activating the AKT/MMP-2 signaling pathway.

Bennett RL, Swaroop A, Troche C, Licht JD
The Role of Nuclear Receptor-Binding SET Domain Family Histone Lysine Methyltransferases in Cancer.
Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med. 2017; 7(6) [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The nuclear receptor-binding SET Domain (NSD) family of histone H3 lysine 36 methyltransferases is comprised of NSD1, NSD2 (MMSET/WHSC1), and NSD3 (WHSC1L1). These enzymes recognize and catalyze methylation of histone lysine marks to regulate chromatin integrity and gene expression. The growing number of reports demonstrating that alterations or translocations of these genes fundamentally affect cell growth and differentiation leading to developmental defects illustrates the importance of this family. In addition, overexpression, gain of function somatic mutations, and translocations of NSDs are associated with human cancer and can trigger cellular transformation in model systems. Here we review the functions of NSD family members and the accumulating evidence that these proteins play key roles in tumorigenesis. Because epigenetic therapy is an important emerging anticancer strategy, understanding the function of NSD family members may lead to the development of novel therapies.

Mahajan N, Wu HJ, Bennett RL, et al.
Sabotaging of the oxidative stress response by an oncogenic noncoding RNA.
FASEB J. 2017; 31(2):482-490 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Overexpression of the multiple myeloma set domain (MMSET) Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome candidate 1 gene, which contains an orphan box H/ACA class small nucleolar RNA, ACA11, in an intron, is associated with several cancer types, including multiple myeloma (MM). ACA11 and MMSET are overexpressed cotranscriptionally as a result of the t(4;14) chromosomal translocation in a subset of patients with MM. RNA sequencing of CD138

Ding LW, Sun QY, Tan KT, et al.
Mutational Landscape of Pediatric Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.
Cancer Res. 2017; 77(2):390-400 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Current standard of care for patients with pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is mainly effective, with high remission rates after treatment. However, the genetic perturbations that give rise to this disease remain largely undefined, limiting the ability to address resistant tumors or develop less toxic targeted therapies. Here, we report the use of next-generation sequencing to interrogate the genetic and pathogenic mechanisms of 240 pediatric ALL cases with their matched remission samples. Commonly mutated genes fell into several categories, including RAS/receptor tyrosine kinases, epigenetic regulators, transcription factors involved in lineage commitment, and the p53/cell-cycle pathway. Unique recurrent mutational hotspots were observed in epigenetic regulators CREBBP (R1446C/H), WHSC1 (E1099K), and the tyrosine kinase FLT3 (K663R, N676K). The mutant WHSC1 was established as a gain-of-function oncogene, while the epigenetic regulator ARID1A and transcription factor CTCF were functionally identified as potential tumor suppressors. Analysis of 28 diagnosis/relapse trio patients plus 10 relapse cases revealed four evolutionary paths and uncovered the ordering of acquisition of mutations in these patients. This study provides a detailed mutational portrait of pediatric ALL and gives insights into the molecular pathogenesis of this disease. Cancer Res; 77(2); 390-400. ©2016 AACR.

Bragagnolo S, Colovati ME, Guilherme RS, et al.
Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome with Epibulbar Dermoid: An Unusual Association in a Patient with 4p Deletion and Functional Xp Disomy.
Cytogenet Genome Res. 2016; 150(1):17-22 [PubMed] Related Publications
Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome (WHS) is a contiguous gene and multiple malformation syndrome that results from a deletion in the 4p16.3 region. We describe here a 6-month-old girl that presented with WHS features but also displayed unusual findings, such as epibulbar dermoid in the left eye, ear tags, and left microtia. Although on G-banding her karyotype appeared to be normal, chromosomal microarray analysis revealed an ∼13-Mb 4p16.3p15.33 deletion and an ∼9-Mb Xp22.33p22.31 duplication, resulting from a balanced maternal t(X;4)(p22.31;p15.33) translocation. The patient presented with functional Xp disomy due to an unbalanced X-autosome translocation, a rare cytogenetic finding in females with unbalanced rearrangements. Sequencing of both chromosome breakpoints detected no gene disruption. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first patient described in the literature with WHS and epibulbar dermoid, a typical characteristic of the oculoauriculovertebral spectrum (OAVS). Our data suggest that possible candidate genes for OAVS may have been deleted along with the WHS critical region.

White-Al Habeeb NM, Garcia J, Fleshner N, Bapat B
Metformin Elicits Antitumor Effects and Downregulates the Histone Methyltransferase Multiple Myeloma SET Domain (MMSET) in Prostate Cancer Cells.
Prostate. 2016; 76(16):1507-1518 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: This study explored the biological effects of metformin on prostate cancer (PCa) cells and determined molecular pathways and epigenetic regulators implicated in its mechanism of action.
METHODS: We performed mRNA expression profiling in 22Rv1 cells following 2.5 mM and 5 mM metformin treatment. Genes significantly modified by metformin treatment were ranked based on altered expression, involvement with cancer-related processes, and reported dysregulation in PCa. The effects of the top ranked gene, MMSET, on the proliferative and invasive capabilities of PCa cells were investigated via siRNA knockdown alone and also combined with metformin treatment.
RESULTS: Metformin treatment decreased cell growth of PCa cell line 22Rv1 and stalled cells at the G1/S checkpoint in a time- and dose-dependent manner, resulting in increased cells in G1 (P < 0.05) and decreased cells in S (P < 0.05) phase. Metformin activated the AMPK/mTOR signaling pathway as shown by increased p-AMPK and decreased p-p70S6K. mRNA expression profiling following metformin treatment identified significant changes in 136 chromatin-modifying genes. The top ranked gene, multiple myeloma SET domain (MMSET) showed increased expression in PCa cell lines (22Rv1 and DU145) when compared to the benign prostate epithelium-derived cell-line RWPE-1, and its expression was decreased upon metformin treatment. siRNA-mediated knockdown of MMSET showed decreased cellular migration and invasion in DU-145 cells. MMSET knockdown in combination with metformin treatment resulted in further reduction in the capacity of PCa cells to migrate and invade.
CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest MMSET may play a role in the inhibitory effect of metformin on PCa and could serve as a potential novel therapeutic target for PCa. Prostate 76:1507-1518, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

García-Carpizo V, Sarmentero J, Han B, et al.
NSD2 contributes to oncogenic RAS-driven transcription in lung cancer cells through long-range epigenetic activation.
Sci Rep. 2016; 6:32952 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The histone methyltransferase NSD2/WHSC1/MMSET is overexpressed in a number of solid tumors but its contribution to the biology of these tumors is not well understood. Here, we describe that NSD2 contributes to the proliferation of a subset of lung cancer cell lines by supporting oncogenic RAS transcriptional responses. NSD2 knock down combined with MEK or BRD4 inhibitors causes co-operative inhibitory responses on cell growth. However, while MEK and BRD4 inhibitors converge in the downregulation of genes associated with cancer-acquired super-enhancers, NSD2 inhibition affects the expression of clusters of genes embedded in megabase-scale regions marked with H3K36me2 and that contribute to the RAS transcription program. Thus, combinatorial therapies using MEK or BRD4 inhibitors together with NSD2 inhibition are likely to be needed to ensure a more comprehensive inhibition of oncogenic RAS-driven transcription programs in lung cancers with NSD2 overexpression.

Furukawa Y, Kikuchi J
Epigenetic mechanisms of cell adhesion-mediated drug resistance in multiple myeloma.
Int J Hematol. 2016; 104(3):281-92 [PubMed] Related Publications
Multiple myeloma cells acquire the resistance to anti-cancer drugs through physical and functional interactions with the bone marrow microenvironment via two overlapping mechanisms. First, bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) produce soluble factors, such as interleukin-6 and insulin-like growth factor-1, to activate signal transduction pathways leading to drug resistance (soluble factor-mediated drug resistance). Second, BMSCs up-regulate the expression of cell cycle inhibitors, anti-apoptotic members of the Bcl-2 family and ABC drug transporters in myeloma cells upon direct adhesion [cell adhesion-mediated drug resistance (CAM-DR)]. Elucidation of the mechanisms underlying drug resistance may greatly contribute to the advancement of cancer therapies. Recent investigations, including ours, have revealed the involvement of epigenetic alterations in drug resistance especially CAM-DR. For example, we found that class I histone deacetylases (HDACs) determine the sensitivity of proteasome inhibitors and the histone methyltransferase EZH2 regulates the transcription of anti-apoptotic genes during the acquisition of CAM-DR by myeloma cells. In addition, another histone methyltransferase MMSET was shown to confer drug resistance to myeloma cells by facilitating DNA repair. These findings provide a rationale for the inclusion of epigenetic drugs, such as HDAC inhibitors and histone methylation modifiers, in combination chemotherapy for MM patients to increase the therapeutic index.

Fang D, Gan H, Lee JH, et al.
The histone H3.3K36M mutation reprograms the epigenome of chondroblastomas.
Science. 2016; 352(6291):1344-8 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
More than 90% of chondroblastomas contain a heterozygous mutation replacing lysine-36 with methionine-36 (K36M) in the histone H3 variant H3.3. Here we show that H3K36 methylation is reduced globally in human chondroblastomas and in chondrocytes harboring the same genetic mutation, due to inhibition of at least two H3K36 methyltransferases, MMSET and SETD2, by the H3.3K36M mutant proteins. Genes with altered expression as well as H3K36 di- and trimethylation in H3.3K36M cells are enriched in cancer pathways. In addition, H3.3K36M chondrocytes exhibit several hallmarks of cancer cells, including increased ability to form colonies, resistance to apoptosis, and defects in differentiation. Thus, H3.3K36M proteins reprogram the H3K36 methylation landscape and contribute to tumorigenesis, in part through altering the expression of cancer-associated genes.

Wang J, Duan Z, Nugent Z, et al.
Reprogramming metabolism by histone methyltransferase NSD2 drives endocrine resistance via coordinated activation of pentose phosphate pathway enzymes.
Cancer Lett. 2016; 378(2):69-79 [PubMed] Related Publications
Metabolic reprogramming such as the aerobic glycolysis or Warburg effect is well recognized as a common feature of tumorigenesis. However, molecular mechanisms underlying metabolic alterations for tumor therapeutic resistance are poorly understood. Through gene expression profiling analysis we found that histone H3K36 methyltransferase NSD2/MMSET/WHSC1 expression was highly elevated in tamoxifen-resistant breast cancer cell lines and clinical tumors. IHC analysis indicated that NSD2 protein overexpression was associated with the disease recurrence and poor survival. Ectopic expression of NSD2 wild type, but not the methylase-defective mutant, drove endocrine resistance in multiple cell models and xenograft tumors. Mechanistically, NSD2 was recruited to and methylated H3K36me2 at the promoters of key glucose metabolic enzyme genes. Its overexpression coordinately up-regulated hexokinase 2 (HK2) and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD), two key enzymes of glycolysis and the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP), as well as TP53-induced glycolysis regulatory phosphatase TIGAR. Consequently, NSD2-driven tamoxifen-resistant cells and tumors displayed heightened PPP activity, elevated NADPH production, and reduced ROS level, without significantly altered glycolysis. These results illustrate a coordinated, epigenetic activation of key glucose metabolic enzymes in therapeutic resistance and nominate methyltransferase NSD2 as a potential therapeutic target for endocrine resistant breast cancer.

Shah MY, Martinez-Garcia E, Phillip JM, et al.
MMSET/WHSC1 enhances DNA damage repair leading to an increase in resistance to chemotherapeutic agents.
Oncogene. 2016; 35(45):5905-5915 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
MMSET/WHSC1 is a histone methyltransferase (HMT) overexpressed in t(4;14)+ multiple myeloma (MM) patients, believed to be the driving factor in the pathogenesis of this MM subtype. MMSET overexpression in MM leads to an increase in histone 3 lysine 36 dimethylation (H3K36me2), and a decrease in histone 3 lysine 27 trimethylation (H3K27me3), as well as changes in proliferation, gene expression and chromatin accessibility. Prior work linked methylation of histones to the ability of cells to undergo DNA damage repair. In addition, t(4;14)+ patients frequently relapse after regimens that include DNA damage-inducing agents, suggesting that MMSET may play a role in DNA damage repair and response. In U2OS cells, we found that MMSET is required for efficient non-homologous end joining as well as homologous recombination. Loss of MMSET led to loss of expression of several DNA repair proteins, as well as decreased recruitment of DNA repair proteins to sites of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). By using genetically matched MM cell lines that had either high (pathological) or low (physiological) expression of MMSET, we found that MMSET-high cells had increased damage at baseline. Upon addition of a DNA-damaging agent, MMSET-high cells repaired DNA damage at an enhanced rate and continued to proliferate, whereas MMSET-low cells accumulated DNA damage and entered cell cycle arrest. In a murine xenograft model using t(4;14)+ KMS11 MM cells harboring an inducible MMSET shRNA, depletion of MMSET enhanced the efficacy of chemotherapy, inhibiting tumor growth and extending survival. These findings help explain the poorer prognosis of t(4;14) MM and further validate MMSET as a potential therapeutic target in MM and other cancers.

Pérez-Alea M, Vivancos A, Caratú G, et al.
Genetic profile of GNAQ-mutated blue melanocytic neoplasms reveals mutations in genes linked to genomic instability and the PI3K pathway.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(19):28086-95 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Melanomas arising in association with a common or cellular blue nevus (MABN) comprise a relatively rare and heterogeneous group of lethal melanomas. Although GNAQ is known to be frequently mutated in common blue nevus, cellular blue nevus (CBN) and MABN and these malignant lesions present gross chromosome alterations harboring BAP1 mutations, little is known about other mutations that contribute to the development and progression of these neoplasms. Thus, the genetic profile of these tumors is important to increase the number of intervention and treatment modalities. Here, we characterized and genetically profiled two different sections of a rare MABN and two CBNs from three different patients. All of the samples harbored a GNAQ mutation, exhibited RAS pathway activation, and harbored additional mutations in genes associated with genomic instability and epigenetic regulation (KMT2C, FANCD2, ATR, ATRX, NBN, ERCC2, SETD2, and WHSC1). In addition, all neoplasms harbored mutations that directly or indirectly affected either the regulation or activation of the PI3K pathway (PIK3CA, NF1, INPP5B and GSK3B). Our results not only help understand the genetic complexity of these blue melanocytic lesions but provide a rationale to use the combination of PI3K/MTOR and MEK1/2 inhibitors against these types of tumors.

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