Dissecting and targeting noncanonical functions of EZH2 in multiple myeloma via an EZH2 degrader

Xufen Yu, Jun Wang, Weida Gong, Anqi Ma, Yudao Shen, Chengwei Zhang, Xijuan Liu, Ling Cai, Jing Liu, Gang Greg Wang, Jian Jin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Multiple myeloma (MM) is the second most common hematological malignancy with poor prognosis. Enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2) is the enzymatic subunit of polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2), which catalyzes trimethylation of histone H3 lysine 27 (H3K27me3) for transcriptional repression. EZH2 have been implicated in numerous hematological malignancies, including MM. However, noncanonical functions of EZH2 in MM tumorigenesis are not well understood. Here, we uncovered a noncanonical function of EZH2 in MM malignancy. In addition to the PRC2-mediated and H3K27me3-dependent canonical function, EZH2 interacts with cMyc and co-localizes with gene activation-related markers, promoting MM tumorigenesis in a PRC2- and H3K27me3-independent manner. Both canonical EZH2-PRC2 and noncanonical EZH2-cMyc complexes can be effectively depleted in MM cells by MS177, an EZH2 degrader we reported previously, leading to profound activation of EZH2-PRC2-associated genes and simultaneous suppression of EZH2-cMyc oncogenic nodes. The MS177-induced degradation of both canonical EZH2-PRC2 and noncanonical EZH2-cMyc complexes also reactivated immune response genes in MM cells. Phenotypically, targeting of EZH2’s both canonical and noncanonical functions by MS177 effectively suppressed the proliferation of MM cells both in vitro and in vivo. Collectively, this study uncovers a new noncanonical function of EZH2 in MM tumorigenesis and provides a novel therapeutic strategy, pharmacological degradation of EZH2, for treating EZH2-dependent MM.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)994-1009
Number of pages16
JournalOncogene
Volume42
Issue number13
DOIs
StatePublished - 24 Mar 2023

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