BRD8-driven EP400 complex hijacks H2AZ to maintain proliferation in glioblastoma

Sun, Sherine Xueqin, Klingbeil, Olaf, Vakoc, Christopher, Mills, Alea (2023) BRD8-driven EP400 complex hijacks H2AZ to maintain proliferation in glioblastoma. In: American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2023, 2023 Apr 14-19, Orlando, FL.

DOI: 10.1158/1538-7445.AM2023-4734


Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most notorious primary brain tumor. The median survival of GBM patients is only about one year and about 95% patients succumb after five years. This gloomy picture has not been improved for decades, even with extensive treatments including surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy. Hence, a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying GBM development may provide new therapeutic opportunities. Primary GBM generally harbors a low mutational load when compared to other human cancers. Even P53—the guardian of the genome that is essentially disabled in nearly all human cancers, remains unmutated in about 71% of GBM cases. Moreover, these P53 wildtype GBM cases are as aggressive as those with P53 mutations. To explore the mechanism by which P53 wildtype GBM thrive in the presence of intact P53, we performed CRISPR screens in a panel of human cancer cell lines using an sgRNA library specifically targeting the functional domains of ~200 chromatin regulators. We discovered that BRD8’s bromodomain—a druggable domain as shown by the tremendous success in preclinical and clinical trial in diverse cancers—is a vulnerability specifically in P53 wildtype GBM cases. Our mechanistic studies demonstrate that BRD8 functions through the EP400 chromatin remodeling complex and hijacks the histone variant H2AZ at P53 target loci, enforcing a compact chromatin state that blocks P53’s accessibility to its targets. We show that targeting the BRD8 bromodomain releases H2AZ, opens up chromatin, engages P53-mediated transactivation, and triggers growth arrest. Consistent with these findings, BRD8 is highly expressed with H2AZ in patient-derived proliferating GBM cells, and is inversely correlated with the expression of P53 targets. Our work solves a long-standing mystery in P53 wildtype GBM, and presents a promising therapeutic target for the majority of GBM patients.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Subjects: Investigative techniques and equipment > CRISPR
diseases & disorders > cancer > cancer types > glioblastoma
bioinformatics > genomics and proteomics > genetics & nucleic acid processing > protein structure, function, modification > protein types > histone
CSHL Authors:
Communities: CSHL labs > Mills lab
CSHL labs > Vakoc lab
SWORD Depositor: CSHL Elements
Depositing User: CSHL Elements
Date: 2023
Date Deposited: 19 Sep 2023 15:53
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2023 15:53
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