Bimodal Regulation of the PRC2 Complex by USP7 Underlies Melanomagenesis
Posted 18 May 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/641977
Posted 18 May 2019
Although overexpression of EZH2, a catalytic subunit of the polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2), is an eminent feature of various cancers, the regulation of its abundance and function remains insufficiently understood. We report here that the PRC2 complex is physically associated with ubiquitin-specific protease USP7 in melanoma cells where USP7 acts to deubiquitinate and stabilize EZH2. Interestingly, we found that USP7-catalyzed H2BK120 deubiquitination is a prerequisite for chromatin loading of PRC2 thus H3K27 trimethylation. Genome-wide analysis of the transcriptional targets of the USP7/PRC2 complex identified a cohort of genes including FOXO1 that are involved in cell growth and proliferation. We demonstrated that the USP7/PRC2 complex drives melanoma cell proliferation and tumorigenesis in vitro and in vivo. We showed that the expression of both USP7 and EZH2 elevates during melanoma progression, corresponding to a diminished FOXO1 expression, and the level of the expression of USP7 and EZH2 strongly correlates with histological grades and prognosis of melanoma patients. These results reveal a dual role for USP7 in the regulation of the abundance and function of EZH2, supporting the pursuit of USP7 as a therapeutic target for melanoma.
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