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Evolutionarily-conserved chromatin crosstalk generates a DOT1L-dose dependency in thymic lymphoma caused by loss of HDAC1

By Hanneke Vlaming, Chelsea McLean, Tessy Korthout, Mir Farshid Alemdehy, Sjoerd Hendriks, Cesare Lancini, Sander Palit, Sjoerd Klarenbeek, Eliza Mari Kwesi-Maliepaard, Thom M Molenaar, Liesbeth Hoekman, Thierry T Schmidlin, A. F. Maarten Altelaar, Tibor van Welsem, Jan-Hermen Dannenberg, Heinz Jacobs, Fred van Leeuwen

Posted 10 Jan 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/509976 (published DOI: 10.15252/embj.2019101564)

DOT1L methylates histone H3K79 and is aberrantly regulated in MLL-rearranged leukemia. Inhibitors have been developed to target DOT1L activity in leukemia but the cellular mechanisms that regulate DOT1L are still poorly understood. Here we identify the budding yeast histone deacetylase Rpd3 as a negative regulator of Dot1. At its target genes, the transcriptional repressor Rpd3 restricts H3K79 methylation, explaining the absence of H3K79me3 at a subset of genes in the yeast genome. Similar to the crosstalk in yeast, inactivation of the murine Rpd3 homolog HDAC1 in thymocytes led to an increase in H3K79 methylation. Thymic lymphomas that arise upon genetic deletion of Hdac1 retained the increased H3K79 methylation and were sensitive to reduced DOT1L dosage. Furthermore, cell lines derived from Hdac1Δ/Δ thymic lymphomas were sensitive to DOT1L inhibitor, which induced apoptosis. In summary, we identified an evolutionarily-conserved crosstalk between HDAC1 and DOT1L with impact in murine thymic lymphoma development.

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