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:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:histone-lysine N-methyltransferase NSD2
Source:NCBIAccessed: 16 March, 2017


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

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1992-2017)
Graph generated 16 March 2017 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.

  • Mantle-Cell Lymphoma
  • Chromatin
  • Promoter Regions
  • Chromatin Immunoprecipitation
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Cyclin D1
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • Chromosome 14
  • Multiple Myeloma
  • Messenger RNA
  • Oncogene Fusion Proteins
  • Chromosome 4
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Apoptosis
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Immunoglobulin Heavy Chains
  • Survival Rate
  • Protein Isoforms
  • Methylation
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • siRNA
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Histones
  • Receptor, Fibroblast Growth Factor, Type 3
  • Protein Binding
  • Epigenetics
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Histone-Lysine N-Methyltransferase
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Neoplastic Cell Transformation
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • FISH
  • Translocation
  • Mutation
  • Gene Expression
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Receptors, Fibroblast Growth Factor
Tag cloud generated 16 March, 2017 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 Publications35
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 Publications2

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

Latest Publications: WHSC1 (cancer-related)

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.

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] 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.

Gu C, Feng L, Peng H, et al.
MTDH is an oncogene in multiple myeloma, which is suppressed by Bortezomib treatment.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(4):4559-69 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Metadherin (MTDH) is identified as an oncogene in multiple cancers including breast cancer, bladder cancer and endometrial cancer. However, the function of MTDH in multiple myeloma (MM) is still unexplored. In this study, we disclose that MTDH is an oncogene in MM. This is characterized by an elevation mRNA level of MTDH and chromosomal gain of MTDH locus in MM cells compared to normal samples. Moreover, MTDH expression significantly increased in MMSET translocation (MS) subgroup, one of the high-risk subgroups in MM, and was significantly correlated with MM patients' poor outcomes in Total Therapy 2 (TT2) cohort. Further knockdown of MTDH expression by shRNA in MM cells induced cell apoptosis, inhibited MM cells growth in vitro and decreased xenograft tumor formation in vivo. Interestingly, opposite to TT2, MM patients with high-MTDH expression showed favorable survival outcomes in the TT3 cohort, while Bortezomib treatment was the major difference between TT2 and TT3 cohort. Furthermore we proved that Bortezomib suppressed pre- and post-transcription levels of MTDH expression of MM cells in vitro and in vivo. Finally, our studies demonstrated that MTDH is a transcriptional gene of MMSET/NFκB /MYC signaling in MM cells, which is inhibited by Bortezomib treatment.

Weinhold N, Heuck CJ, Rosenthal A, et al.
Clinical value of molecular subtyping multiple myeloma using gene expression profiling.
Leukemia. 2016; 30(2):423-30 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Using a data set of 1217 patients with multiple myeloma enrolled in Total Therapies, we have examined the impact of novel therapies on molecular and risk subgroups and the clinical value of molecular classification. Bortezomib significantly improved the progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) of the MMSET (MS) subgroup. Thalidomide and bortezomib positively impacted the PFS of low-risk (LoR) cases defined by the GEP70 signature, whereas high-risk (HiR) cases showed no significant changes in outcome. We show that molecular classification is important if response rates are to be used to predict outcomes. The t(11;14)-containing CD-1 and CD-2 subgroups showed clear differences in time to response and cumulative response rates but similar PFS and OS. Furthermore, complete remission was not significantly associated with the outcome of the MAF/MAFB (MF) subgroup or HiR cases. HiR cases were enriched in the MF, MS and proliferation subgroups, but the poor outcome of these groups was not linked to subgroup-specific characteristics such as MAF overexpression per se. It is especially important to define risk status if HiR cases are to be managed appropriately because of their aggressive clinical course, high rates of early relapse and the need to maintain therapeutic pressure on the clone.

Katoh M
Mutation spectra of histone methyltransferases with canonical SET domains and EZH2-targeted therapy.
Epigenomics. 2016; 8(2):285-305 [PubMed] Related Publications
Germline mutations in canonical SET-methyltransferases have been identified in autism and intellectual disability syndromes and gain-of-function somatic alterations in EZH2, MLL3, NSD1, WHSC1 (NSD2) and WHSC1L1 (NSD3) in cancer. EZH2 interacts with AR, ERα, β-catenin, FOXP3, NF-κB, PRC2, REST and SNAI2, resulting in context-dependent transcriptional activation and repression. Pharmacological EZH2 inhibitors are currently in clinical trials for the treatment of B-cell lymphomas and solid tumors. EZH2 inhibitors might also be applicable in the treatment of SWI/SNF-mutant cancers, reflecting the reciprocal expression of and functional overlap between EZH2 and SMARCA4. Because of the risks for autoimmune diseases, cognitive impairment, cardiomyopathy and myelodysplastic syndrome, EZH2 inhibitors should be utilized for cancer treatment in patients receiving long-term surveillance but not for cancer chemoprevention.

Kervoëlen C, Ménoret E, Gomez-Bougie P, et al.
Dexamethasone-induced cell death is restricted to specific molecular subgroups of multiple myeloma.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(29):26922-34 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Due to its cytotoxic effect in lymphoid cells, dexamethasone is widely used in the treatment of multiple myeloma (MM). However, only a subset of myeloma patients responds to high-dose dexamethasone. Despite the undeniable anti-myeloma benefits of dexamethasone, significant adverse effects have been reported. We re-evaluate the anti-tumor effect of dexamethasone according to the molecular heterogeneity of MM. We demonstrated that the pro-death effect of dexamethasone is related to the genetic heterogeneity of MM because sensitive cell lines were restricted to MAF and MMSET signature subgroups, whereas all CCND1 cell lines (n = 10) were resistant to dexamethasone. We demonstrated that the glucocorticoid receptor expression was an important limiting factor for dexamethasone-induced cell death and we found a correlation between glucocorticoid receptor levels and the induction of glucocorticoid-induced leucine zipper (GILZ) under dexamethasone treatment. By silencing GILZ, we next demonstrated that GILZ is necessary for Dex induced apoptosis while triggering an imbalance between anti- and pro-apoptotic Bcl-2 proteins. Finally, the heterogeneity of the dexamethasone response was further confirmed in vivo using myeloma xenograft models. Our findings suggested that the effect of dexamethasone should be re-evaluated within molecular subgroups of myeloma patients to improve its efficacy and reduce its adverse effects.

Kunz JB, Rausch T, Bandapalli OR, et al.
Pediatric T-cell lymphoblastic leukemia evolves into relapse by clonal selection, acquisition of mutations and promoter hypomethylation.
Haematologica. 2015; 100(11):1442-50 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Relapsed precursor T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia is characterized by resistance against chemotherapy and is frequently fatal. We aimed at understanding the molecular mechanisms resulting in relapse of T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia and analyzed 13 patients at first diagnosis, remission and relapse by whole exome sequencing, targeted ultra-deep sequencing, multiplex ligation dependent probe amplification and DNA methylation array. Compared to primary T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, in relapse the number of single nucleotide variants and small insertions and deletions approximately doubled from 11.5 to 26. Targeted ultra-deep sequencing sensitively detected subclones that were selected for in relapse. The mutational pattern defined two types of relapses. While both are characterized by selection of subclones and acquisition of novel mutations, 'type 1' relapse derives from the primary leukemia whereas 'type 2' relapse originates from a common pre-leukemic ancestor. Relapse-specific changes included activation of the nucleotidase NT5C2 resulting in resistance to chemotherapy and mutations of epigenetic modulators, exemplified by SUZ12, WHSC1 and SMARCA4. While mutations present in primary leukemia and in relapse were enriched for known drivers of leukemia, relapse-specific changes revealed an association with general cancer-promoting mechanisms. This study thus identifies mechanisms that drive progression of pediatric T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia to relapse and may explain the characteristic treatment resistance of this condition.

Xie Z, Bi C, Chooi JY, et al.
MMSET regulates expression of IRF4 in t(4;14) myeloma and its silencing potentiates the effect of bortezomib.
Leukemia. 2015; 29(12):2347-54 [PubMed] Related Publications
Multiple myeloma (MM) is characterized by recurrent chromosomal translocations. In t(4;14) MM, the MM SET domain (MMSET) protein is universally overexpressed and has been suggested to have an important tumorigenic role. However, the exact molecular targets underlying MMSET activity are not well understood. Here, we found in t(4;14) MM cells that MMSET knockdown decreases interferon regulatory factor 4 (IRF4) expression, and ectopic MMSET increases IRF4 expression, suggesting that MMSET is an upstream regulator of IRF4. Further analyses indicated an interaction between MMSET and nuclear factor-κB, which both bind to the IRF4 promoter region. A luciferase reporter assay showed that MMSET is an important functional element for the IRF4 promoter. MMSET knockdown induces apoptosis and potentiates the effects of bortezomib in vitro and in vivo. Importantly, we found that bortezomib could reduce expression of MMSET and IRF4. This might partly explain the additive effect of combining MMSET knockdown and bortezomib treatment. These results identify MMSET as a key regulator involved in the regulatory network of transcription factor IRF4, which is critical for MM cell survival, suggesting that the combination of MMSET inhibition and bortezomib is likely to improve patient outcome in MM.

Riz I, Hawley TS, Hawley RG
KLF4-SQSTM1/p62-associated prosurvival autophagy contributes to carfilzomib resistance in multiple myeloma models.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(17):14814-31 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Multiple myeloma (MM) is an incurable clonal plasma cell malignancy. Because of a high rate of immunoglobulin synthesis, the endoplasmic reticulum of MM cells is subjected to elevated basal levels of stress. Consequently, proteasome inhibitors, which exacerbate this stress by inhibiting ubiquitin-proteasome-mediated protein degradation, are an important new class of chemotherapeutic agents being used to combat this disease. However, MM cells still develop resistance to proteasome inhibitors such as carfilzomib. Toward this end, we have established carfilzomib-resistant derivatives of MM cell lines. We found that resistance to carfilzomib was associated with elevated levels of prosurvival autophagy, and Kruppel-like factor 4 (KLF4) was identified as a contributing factor. Expression levels as well as nuclear localization of KLF4 protein were elevated in MM cells with acquired carfilzomib resistance. Chromatin immunoprecipitations indicated that endogenous KLF4 bound to the promoter regions of the SQSTM1 gene encoding the ubiquitin-binding adaptor protein sequestosome/p62 that links the proteasomal and autophagic protein degradation pathways. Ectopic expression of KLF4 induced upregulation of SQSTM1. On the other hand, inhibitors of autophagy sensitized MM cells to carfilzomib, even in carfilzomib-resistant derivatives having increased expression of the multidrug resistance protein P-glycoprotein. Thus, we report here a novel function for KLF4, one of the Yamanaka reprogramming factors, as being a contributor to autophagy gene expression which moderates preclinical proteasome inhibitor efficacy in MM.

Bolomsky A, Hose D, Schreder M, et al.
Insulin like growth factor binding protein 7 (IGFBP7) expression is linked to poor prognosis but may protect from bone disease in multiple myeloma.
J Hematol Oncol. 2015; 8:10 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Insulin like growth factor binding protein 7 (IGFBP7) is a secreted protein binding insulin like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), insulin, vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA), and activin A. It antagonizes bone morphogenetic proteins and is involved in the tumour propagation of solid as well as haematological malignancies. Its role in multiple myeloma (MM) is not defined so far. We therefore aim here to investigate its prognostic and pathophysiological role in MM.
METHODS: The clinical significance of IGFBP7 gene expression was investigated by gene expression profiling in two independent cohorts (n = 948) of newly-diagnosed MM patients. Methylation of the IGFBP7 promoter was analysed by pyrosequencing and treatment of MM cell lines with 5-aza-2-deoxycytidine. The impact of IGFBP7 on MM cells was studied by CCK-8 assay, BrdU assay and flow cytometry, respectively. IGFBP7 expression in bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) was studied by quantitative RT-PCR. For osteoblast development, immortalized and primary human BMSCs were cultured in osteogenic differentiation medium for 7-14 days in the presence of recombinant human IGFBP7 and/or activin A.
RESULTS: Median IGFBP7 expression is significantly lower in CD138-purified plasma cells from individuals with MGUS and MM, compared to normal bone marrow plasma cells. IGFBP7 gene expression in MM cells is regulated by methylation, shown by pyrosequencing and exposure to demethylating agents (5-aza-2-deoxycytidine). High expression of IGFBP7 in MM cells is associated with adverse survival in two independent cohorts of 247 and 701 newly-diagnosed MM patients treated with high-dose therapy and autologous stem cell transplantation. IGFBP7 is associated with prognostically adverse chromosomal aberrations (t(4;14) and gain of 1q21), MMSET expression, and higher myeloma cell proliferation. In vitro, IGFBP7 overcomes activin A induced osteoblast suppression and promotes osteogenesis. MM cells downregulate IGFBP7 in stromal cells, possibly contributing to the osteoblast suppression found in MM. Conversely, higher IGFBP7 expression is associated with a lower probability of myeloma bone disease.
CONCLUSIONS: Our data indicate that IGFBP7 expression is a marker for a specific methylation pattern in myeloma, linked to translocation t(4;14) associated MMSET expression, showing clinical features of adverse prognosis with absence of myeloma bone disease.

Ma X, Edmonson M, Yergeau D, et al.
Rise and fall of subclones from diagnosis to relapse in pediatric B-acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.
Nat Commun. 2015; 6:6604 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
There is incomplete understanding of genetic heterogeneity and clonal evolution during cancer progression. Here we use deep whole-exome sequencing to describe the clonal architecture and evolution of 20 pediatric B-acute lymphoblastic leukaemias from diagnosis to relapse. We show that clonal diversity is comparable at diagnosis and relapse and clonal survival from diagnosis to relapse is not associated with mutation burden. Six pathways were frequently mutated, with NT5C2, CREBBP, WHSC1, TP53, USH2A, NRAS and IKZF1 mutations enriched at relapse. Half of the leukaemias had multiple subclonal mutations in a pathway or gene at diagnosis, but mostly with only one, usually minor clone, surviving therapy to acquire additional mutations and become the relapse founder clone. Relapse-specific mutations in NT5C2 were found in nine cases, with mutations in four cases being in descendants of the relapse founder clone. These results provide important insights into the genetic basis of treatment failure in ALL and have implications for the early detection of mutations driving relapse.

Brabrand S, Johannessen B, Axcrona U, et al.
Exome sequencing of bilateral testicular germ cell tumors suggests independent development lineages.
Neoplasia. 2015; 17(2):167-74 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Intratubular germ cell neoplasia, the precursor of testicular germ cell tumors (TGCTs), is hypothesized to arise during embryogenesis from developmentally arrested primordial germ cells (PGCs) or gonocytes. In early embryonal life, the PGCs migrate from the yolk sac to the dorsal body wall where the cell population separates before colonizing the genital ridges. However, whether the malignant transformation takes place before or after this separation is controversial. We have explored the somatic exome-wide mutational spectra of bilateral TGCT to provide novel insight into the in utero critical time frame of malignant transformation and TGCT pathogenesis. Exome sequencing was performed in five patients with bilateral TGCT (eight tumors), of these three patients in whom both tumors were available (six tumors) and two patients each with only one available tumor (two tumors). Selected loci were explored by Sanger sequencing in 71 patients with bilateral TGCT. From the exome-wide mutational spectra, no identical mutations in any of the three bilateral tumor pairs were identified. Exome sequencing of all eight tumors revealed 87 somatic non-synonymous mutations (median 10 per tumor; range 5-21), some in already known cancer genes such as CIITA, NEB, platelet-derived growth factor receptor α (PDGFRA), and WHSC1. SUPT6H was found recurrently mutated in two tumors. We suggest independent development lineages of bilateral TGCT. Thus, malignant transformation into intratubular germ cell neoplasia is likely to occur after the migration of PGCs. We reveal possible drivers of TGCT pathogenesis, such as mutated PDGFRA, potentially with therapeutic implications for TGCT patients.

Saloura V, Cho HS, Kiyotani K, et al.
WHSC1 promotes oncogenesis through regulation of NIMA-related kinase-7 in squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck.
Mol Cancer Res. 2015; 13(2):293-304 [PubMed] Related Publications
UNLABELLED: Squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN) is a relatively common malignancy with suboptimal long-term prognosis, thus new treatment strategies are urgently needed. Over the last decade, histone methyltransferases (HMT) have been recognized as promising targets for cancer therapy, but their mechanism of action in most solid tumors, including SCCHN, remains to be elucidated. This study investigated the role of Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome candidate 1 (WHSC1), an NSD family HMT, in SCCHN. Immunohistochemical analysis of locoregionally advanced SCCHN, dysplastic, and normal epithelial tissue specimens revealed that WHSC1 expression and dimethylation of histone H3 lysine 36 (H3K36me2) were significantly higher in SCCHN tissues than in normal epithelium. Both WHSC1 expression and H3K36me2 levels were significantly correlated with histologic grade. WHSC1 knockdown in multiple SCCHN cell lines resulted in significant growth suppression, induction of apoptosis, and delay of the cell-cycle progression. Immunoblot and immunocytochemical analyses in SCCHN cells demonstrated that WHSC1 induced H3K36me2 and H3K36me3. Microarray expression profile analysis revealed NIMA-related kinase-7 (NEK7) to be a downstream target gene of WHSC1, and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays showed that NEK7 was directly regulated by WHSC1 through H3K36me2. Furthermore, similar to WHSC1, NEK7 knockdown significantly reduced cell-cycle progression, indicating that NEK7 is a key player in the molecular pathway regulated by WHSC1.
IMPLICATIONS: WHSC1 possesses oncogenic functions in SCCHN and represents a potential molecular target for the treatment of SCCHN.

Xie Z, Chng WJ
MMSET: role and therapeutic opportunities in multiple myeloma.
Biomed Res Int. 2014; 2014:636514 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Recurrent chromosomal translocations are central to the pathogenesis, diagnosis, and prognosis of hematologic malignancies. The translocation t(4; 14)(p16; q32) is one of the most common translocations in multiple myeloma (MM) and is associated with very poor prognosis. The t(4; 14) translocation leads to the simultaneous overexpression of two genes, FGFR3 (fibroblast growth factor receptor 3) and MMSET (multiple myeloma SET domain), both of which have potential oncogenic activity. However, approximately 30% of t(4; 14) MM patients do not express FGFR3 and have poor prognosis irrespective of FGFR3 expression, whereas MMSET overexpression is universal in t(4; 14) cases. In this review, we provide an overview of recent findings regarding the oncogenic roles of MMSET in MM and its functions on histone methylation. We also highlight some of MMSET partners and its downstream signalling pathways and discuss the potential therapeutics targeting MMSET.

Mirabella F, Murison A, Aronson LI, et al.
A novel functional role for MMSET in RNA processing based on the link between the REIIBP isoform and its interaction with the SMN complex.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(6):e99493 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The chromosomal translocation t(4;14) deregulates MMSET (WHSC1/NSD2) expression and is a poor prognostic factor in multiple myeloma (MM). MMSET encodes two major protein isoforms. We have characterized the role of the shorter isoform (REIIBP) in myeloma cells and identified a clear and novel interaction of REIIBP with members of the SMN (survival of motor neuron) complex that directly affects the assembly of the spliceosomal ribonucleic particles. Using RNA-seq we show that REIIBP influences the RNA splicing pattern of the cell. This new discovery provides novel insights into the understanding of MM pathology, and potential new leads for therapeutic targeting.

Feng Q, Zhang Z, Shea MJ, et al.
An epigenomic approach to therapy for tamoxifen-resistant breast cancer.
Cell Res. 2014; 24(7):809-19 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Tamoxifen has been a frontline treatment for estrogen receptor alpha (ERα)-positive breast tumors in premenopausal women. However, resistance to tamoxifen occurs in many patients. ER still plays a critical role in the growth of breast cancer cells with acquired tamoxifen resistance, suggesting that ERα remains a valid target for treatment of tamoxifen-resistant (Tam-R) breast cancer. In an effort to identify novel regulators of ERα signaling, through a small-scale siRNA screen against histone methyl modifiers, we found WHSC1, a histone H3K36 methyltransferase, as a positive regulator of ERα signaling in breast cancer cells. We demonstrated that WHSC1 is recruited to the ERα gene by the BET protein BRD3/4, and facilitates ERα gene expression. The small-molecule BET protein inhibitor JQ1 potently suppressed the classic ERα signaling pathway and the growth of Tam-R breast cancer cells in culture. Using a Tam-R breast cancer xenograft mouse model, we demonstrated in vivo anti-breast cancer activity by JQ1 and a strong long-lasting effect of combination therapy with JQ1 and the ER degrader fulvestrant. Taken together, we provide evidence that the epigenomic proteins BRD3/4 and WHSC1 are essential regulators of estrogen receptor signaling and are novel therapeutic targets for treatment of Tam-R breast cancer.

Wei J, Costa C, Shen J, et al.
Differential effect of MMSET mRNA levels on survival to first-line FOLFOX and second-line docetaxel in gastric cancer.
Br J Cancer. 2014; 110(11):2662-8 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Breast cancer susceptibility gene 1 (BRCA1) expression differentially affects outcome to platinum- and taxane-based chemotherapy. Mediator of DNA damage checkpoint protein 1 (MDC1), p53-binding protein 1 (53BP1), multiple myeloma SET domain (MMSET) and ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme 9 (UBC9) are involved in DNA repair and could modify the BRCA1 predictive model.
METHODS: Mediator of DNA damage checkpoint protein 1, 53BP1, MMSET and UBC9 mRNA were assessed in gastric tumours from patients in whom BRCA1 levels had previously been determined.
RESULTS: In vitro chemosensitivity assay, MMSET levels were higher in docetaxel-sensitive samples. In a separate cohort, survival was longer in those with low MMSET (12.3 vs 8.8 months; P=0.04) or UBC9 (12.4 vs 8.8 months; P=0.01) in patients receiving only folinic acid, fluorouracil (5-FU) and oxaliplatin (FOLFOX). Conversely, among patients receiving second-line docetaxel, longer survival was associated with high MMSET (19.1 vs 13.9 months; P=0.003). Patients with high MMSET and BRCA1 attained a median survival of 36.6 months, compared with 13.9 months for those with high BRCA1 and low MMSET (P=0.003). In the multivariate analyses, low MMSET (hazard ratio (HR), 0.59; P=0.04) and low UBC9 (HR, 0.52; P=0.01) levels were markers of longer survival to first-line FOLFOX, whereas palliative surgery (HR, 2.47; P=0.005), low BRCA1 (HR, 3.17; P=0.001) and low MMSET (HR, 2.52; P=0.004) levels were markers of shorter survival to second-line docetaxel.
CONCLUSIONS: Breast cancer susceptibility gene 1, MMSET and UBC9 can be useful for customising chemotherapy in gastric cancer patients.

Türkmen S, Binder A, Gerlach A, et al.
High prevalence of immunoglobulin light chain gene aberrations as revealed by FISH in multiple myeloma and MGUS.
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2014; 53(8):650-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
Multiple myeloma (MM) is a malignant B-cell neoplasm characterized by an uncontrolled proliferation of aberrant plasma cells in the bone marrow. Chromosome aberrations in MM are complex and represent a hallmark of the disease, involving many chromosomes that are altered both numerically and structurally. Nearly half of the cases are nonhyperdiploid and show IGH translocations with the following partner genes: CCND1, FGFR3 and MMSET, MAF, MAFB, and CCND3. The remaining 50% are grouped into a hyperdiploid group that is characterized by multiple trisomies involving chromosomes 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 15, 19, and 21. In this study, we analyzed the immunoglobulin light chain kappa (IGK, 2p12) and lambda (IGL, 22q11) loci in 150 cases, mostly with MM but in a few cases monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS), without IGH translocations. We identified aberrations in 27% (= 40 patients) including rearrangements (12%), gains (12%), and deletions (4.6%). In 6 of 18 patients with IGK or/and IGL rearrangements, we detected a MYC rearrangement which suggests that MYC is the translocation partner in the majority of these cases.

Zhang J, Jima D, Moffitt AB, et al.
The genomic landscape of mantle cell lymphoma is related to the epigenetically determined chromatin state of normal B cells.
Blood. 2014; 123(19):2988-96 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
In this study, we define the genetic landscape of mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) through exome sequencing of 56 cases of MCL. We identified recurrent mutations in ATM, CCND1, MLL2, and TP53. We further identified a number of novel genes recurrently mutated in patients with MCL including RB1, WHSC1, POT1, and SMARCA4. We noted that MCLs have a distinct mutational profile compared with lymphomas from other B-cell stages. The ENCODE project has defined the chromatin structure of many cell types. However, a similar characterization of primary human mature B cells has been lacking. We defined, for the first time, the chromatin structure of primary human naïve, germinal center, and memory B cells through chromatin immunoprecipitation and sequencing for H3K4me1, H3K4me3, H3Ac, H3K36me3, H3K27me3, and PolII. We found that somatic mutations that occur more frequently in either MCLs or Burkitt lymphomas were associated with open chromatin in their respective B cells of origin, naïve B cells, and germinal center B cells. Our work thus elucidates the landscape of gene-coding mutations in MCL and the critical interplay between epigenetic alterations associated with B-cell differentiation and the acquisition of somatic mutations in cancer.

Tian E, Sawyer JR, Heuck CJ, et al.
In multiple myeloma, 14q32 translocations are nonrandom chromosomal fusions driving high expression levels of the respective partner genes.
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2014; 53(7):549-57 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
In studies of patients with multiple myeloma (MM), gene expression profiling (GEP) of myeloma cells demonstrates substantially higher expression of MMSET, FGFR3, CCND3, CCND1, MAF, and MAFB--the partner genes of 14q32 translocations--than GEP of plasma cells from healthy individuals. Interphase fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) was used to discriminate between chromosomal translocations involving different regions of the immunoglobulin heavy chain (IGH) genes at 14q32. With special probes designed for the constant region (IGHC) and the variable region (IGHV), IGH translocations were shown to be definite, nonrandom chromosomal fusions of IGHC with the loci of FGFR3, CCND1, CCND3, MAF, and MAFB genes; and IGHV with the locus of MMSET gene. When correlated with GEP results, the IGH translocations were found to drive expression levels of the partner genes to significantly higher levels (spikes) than copy-number variations. Hence, 42% of IGH translocations were identified among newly diagnosed MM patients (448/1,060). As GEP has become essential for assessing cancer risk, this novel approach is highly consistent with the cytogenetic features of the chromosomal translocations to effectively stratify molecular subgroups of MM on the basis of gene expression profiles of the IGH translocation partner genes in myeloma cells. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Bonanno L, Costa C, Majem M, et al.
The predictive value of 53BP1 and BRCA1 mRNA expression in advanced non-small-cell lung cancer patients treated with first-line platinum-based chemotherapy.
Oncotarget. 2013; 4(10):1572-81 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Platinum-based chemotherapy is the standard first-line treatment for non-oncogene- addicted non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLCs) and the analysis of multiple DNA repair genes could improve current models for predicting chemosensitivity. We investigated the potential predictive role of components of the 53BP1 pathway in conjunction with BRCA1. The mRNA expression of BRCA1, MDC1, CASPASE3, UBC13, RNF8, 53BP1, PIAS4, UBC9 and MMSET was analyzed by real-time PCR in 115 advanced NSCLC patients treated with first-line platinum-based chemotherapy. Patients expressing low levels of both BRCA1 and 53BP1 obtained a median progression-free survival of 10.3 months and overall survival of 19.3 months, while among those with low BRCA1 and high 53BP1 progression-free survival was 5.9 months (P less than 0.0001) and overall survival was 8.2 months (P=0.001). The expression of 53BP1 refines BRCA1-based predictive modeling to identify patients most likely to benefit from platinum-based chemotherapy.

Beà S, Valdés-Mas R, Navarro A, et al.
Landscape of somatic mutations and clonal evolution in mantle cell lymphoma.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013; 110(45):18250-5 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) is an aggressive tumor, but a subset of patients may follow an indolent clinical course. To understand the mechanisms underlying this biological heterogeneity, we performed whole-genome and/or whole-exome sequencing on 29 MCL cases and their respective matched normal DNA, as well as 6 MCL cell lines. Recurrently mutated genes were investigated by targeted sequencing in an independent cohort of 172 MCL patients. We identified 25 significantly mutated genes, including known drivers such as ataxia-telangectasia mutated (ATM), cyclin D1 (CCND1), and the tumor suppressor TP53; mutated genes encoding the anti-apoptotic protein BIRC3 and Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2); and the chromatin modifiers WHSC1, MLL2, and MEF2B. We also found NOTCH2 mutations as an alternative phenomenon to NOTCH1 mutations in aggressive tumors with a dismal prognosis. Analysis of two simultaneous or subsequent MCL samples by whole-genome/whole-exome (n = 8) or targeted (n = 19) sequencing revealed subclonal heterogeneity at diagnosis in samples from different topographic sites and modulation of the initial mutational profile at the progression of the disease. Some mutations were predominantly clonal or subclonal, indicating an early or late event in tumor evolution, respectively. Our study identifies molecular mechanisms contributing to MCL pathogenesis and offers potential targets for therapeutic intervention.

Huang Z, Wu H, Chuai S, et al.
NSD2 is recruited through its PHD domain to oncogenic gene loci to drive multiple myeloma.
Cancer Res. 2013; 73(20):6277-88 [PubMed] Related Publications
Histone lysine methyltransferase NSD2 (WHSC1/MMSET) is overexpressed frequently in multiple myeloma due to the t(4;14) translocation associated with 15% to 20% of cases of this disease. NSD2 has been found to be involved in myelomagenesis, suggesting it may offer a novel therapeutic target. Here we show that NSD2 methyltransferase activity is crucial for clonogenicity, adherence, and proliferation of multiple myeloma cells on bone marrow stroma in vitro and that NSD2 is required for tumorigenesis of t(4;14)+ but not t(4;14)- multiple myeloma cells in vivo. The PHD domains in NSD2 were important for its cellular activity and biological function through recruiting NSD2 to its oncogenic target genes and driving their transcriptional activation. By strengthening its disease linkage and deepening insights into its mechanism of action, this study provides a strategy to therapeutically target NSD2 in multiple myeloma patients with a t(4;14) translocation.

Xie Z, Gunaratne J, Cheong LL, et al.
Plasma membrane proteomics identifies biomarkers associated with MMSET overexpression in T(4;14) multiple myeloma.
Oncotarget. 2013; 4(7):1008-18 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Multiple myeloma (MM) is characterized by recurrent chromosomal translocations. MMSET, identified by its fusion to the IgH locus in t(4;14) MM, is universally overexpressed in t(4;14) MM. In order to identify cell surface biomarkers associated with t(4;14) MM for small molecule or antibody based therapies, we knocked down MMSET expression with shRNA and generated a cell line pair from KMS11, a t(4;14) MM cell line. We used quantitative mass spectrometry to identify plasma membrane proteins associated with MMSET overexpression. Using this approach, 50 cell surface proteins were identified as differentially expressed between KMS11 and KMS11/shMMSET. Western blot and flow cytometry analysis indicated SLAMF7 was over-expressed in t(4;14) MM cell lines and down-regulated by MMSET shRNAs. SLAMF7 expression was also confirmed in primary t(4;14) MM samples by flow cytometry analysis. Quantitative RT-PCR and ChIP analysis indicated MMSET might regulate the transcription level of SLAMF7 and be an important functional element for SLAMF7 promoter activity. Furthermore, SLAMF7 shRNA could induce G1 arrest or apoptosis and reduce clonogenetic capacity in t(4;14) MM cells. Overall, these results illustrated SLAMF7 might be a novel cell surface protein associated with t(4;14) MM. It is potential to develop t(4;14) MM targeted therapy by SLAMF7 antibody mediated drug delivery.

Van Wier S, Braggio E, Baker A, et al.
Hypodiploid multiple myeloma is characterized by more aggressive molecular markers than non-hyperdiploid multiple myeloma.
Haematologica. 2013; 98(10):1586-92 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Multiple myeloma can be categorized into hyperdiploid or non-hyperdiploid myeloma based on the number of chromosomes found in the tumor clone. Among the non-hyperdiploid myelomas, the hypodiploid subtype has the most aggressive clinical phenotype, but the genetic differences between groups are not completely defined. In order to understand the genetic background of hypodiploid multiple myeloma better, we compared the genomic (array-based comparative genomic hybridization) and transcriptomic (gene expression profiling) background of 49 patients with hypodiploid myeloma with 50 other non-hyperdiploid and 125 hyperdiploid myeloma patients. There were significant chromosomal and gene expression differences between hyperdiploid patients and non-hyperdiploid and hypodiploid patients. Non-hyperdiploid and hypodiploid patients shared most of the chromosomal abnormalities; nevertheless a subset of these abnormalities, such as monosomies 13, 14 and 22, was markedly increased in hypodiploid patients. Furthermore, deletions of 1p, 12p, 16q and 17p, all associated with poor outcome or progression in multiple myeloma, were significantly enriched in hypodiploid patients. Molecular risk-stratification indices reinforce the worse prognosis associated with hypodiploid multiple myeloma compared with non-hyperdiploid multiple myeloma. Gene expression profiling clustered hypodiploid and non-hyperdiploid subgroups closer than hyperdiploid myeloma but also highlighted the up-regulation of CCND2, WHSC1/MMSET and FGFR3 in the hypodiploid subtype. In summary, hypodiploid multiple myeloma is genetically similar to non-hyperdiploid multiple myeloma but characterized by a higher prevalence of genetic alterations associated with poor outcome and disease progression. It is provocative to hypothesize that hypodiploid multiple myeloma is an advanced stage of non-hyperdiploid multiple myeloma.

Yang S, Zhang Y, Meng F, et al.
Overexpression of multiple myeloma SET domain (MMSET) is associated with advanced tumor aggressiveness and poor prognosis in serous ovarian carcinoma.
Biomarkers. 2013; 18(3):257-63 [PubMed] Related Publications
Multiple myeloma SET domain (MMSET) has been shown to be overexpressed in many different cancer tissues. Our study was to investigate the expression of MMSET in serous ovarian carcinoma and to evaluate its clinical significance in patients with serous ovarian carcinoma. Immunohistochemistry was performed to determine the expression of MMSET in 132 serous ovarian carcinoma, 32 normal ovarian and fallopian tube specimens. The high expression of MMSET was observed in 49.2% (65/132) in patients with serous ovarian carcinoma. MMSET high expression correlated with the advanced extent of serous ovarian carcinoma and poor outcome. MMSET may serve as a new molecular marker to predict the prognosis of serous ovarian carcinoma in the clinic.

Asangani IA, Ateeq B, Cao Q, et al.
Characterization of the EZH2-MMSET histone methyltransferase regulatory axis in cancer.
Mol Cell. 2013; 49(1):80-93 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Histone methyltransferases (HMTases), as chromatin modifiers, regulate the transcriptomic landscape in normal development as well in diseases such as cancer. Here, we molecularly order two HMTases, EZH2 and MMSET, that have established genetic links to oncogenesis. EZH2, which mediates histone H3K27 trimethylation and is associated with gene silencing, was shown to be coordinately expressed and function upstream of MMSET, which mediates H3K36 dimethylation and is associated with active transcription. We found that the EZH2-MMSET HMTase axis is coordinated by a microRNA network and that the oncogenic functions of EZH2 require MMSET activity. Together, these results suggest that the EZH2-MMSET HMTase axis coordinately functions as a master regulator of transcriptional repression, activation, and oncogenesis and may represent an attractive therapeutic target in cancer.

Min DJ, Ezponda T, Kim MK, et al.
MMSET stimulates myeloma cell growth through microRNA-mediated modulation of c-MYC.
Leukemia. 2013; 27(3):686-94 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Multiple myeloma (MM) represents the malignant proliferation of terminally differentiated B cells, which, in many cases, is associated with the maintenance of high levels of the oncoprotein c-MYC. Overexpression of the histone methyltransferase MMSET (WHSC1/NSD2), due to t(4;14) chromosomal translocation, promotes the proliferation of MM cells along with global changes in chromatin; nevertheless, the precise mechanisms by which MMSET stimulates neoplasia remain incompletely understood. We found that MMSET enhances the proliferation of MM cells by stimulating the expression of c-MYC at the post-transcriptional level. A microRNA (miRNA) profiling experiment in t(4;14) MM cells identified miR-126* as an MMSET-regulated miRNA predicted to target c-MYC mRNA. We show that miR-126* specifically targets the 3'-untranslated region (3'-UTR) of c-MYC, inhibiting its translation and leading to decreased c-MYC protein levels. Moreover, the expression of this miRNA was sufficient to decrease the proliferation rate of t(4;14) MM cells. Chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis showed that MMSET binds to the miR-126* promoter along with the KAP1 corepressor and histone deacetylases, and is associated with heterochromatic modifications, characterized by increased trimethylation of H3K9 and decreased H3 acetylation, leading to miR-126* repression. Collectively, this study shows a novel mechanism that leads to increased c-MYC levels and enhanced proliferation of t(4;14) MM, and potentially other cancers with high MMSET expression.

Xiao M, Yang S, Chen J, et al.
Overexpression of MMSET in endometrial cancer: a clinicopathologic study.
J Surg Oncol. 2013; 107(4):428-32 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Endometrial cancer is a common gynecologic malignancy. It has been reported that overexpression of multiple myeloma SET (MMSET) promoted cellular adhesion, clonogenic growth, and tumorigenicity in other carcinomas. Therefore, the authors expected to investigate whether MMSET overexpression is an independent prognostic marker in endometrial cancer.
METHODS: Immunohistochemistry was performed to examine the expression of MMSET in 161 endometrial cancer specimens and 62 normal endometrium specimens. The correlation of MMSET expression with clinicopathological parameters was assessed using χ(2) analysis. Patients' survival was analyzed using the Kaplan-Meier and log-rank tests. Cox regression was used for the multivariate analysis of prognostic factors.
RESULTS: MMSET immunoreactivity was overexpressed in endometrial cancer compared with normal endometrium (P < 0.001). Moreover, MMSET expression was correlated with FIGO stage, histological grade, depth of myometrial invasion, lymph node metastasis, and vascular/lymphatic invasion. Furthermore, Patients with positive MMSET expression had significantly poorer overall survival and disease-free survival compared with patients with negative expression of MMSET (both P < 0.001, log-rank test). Multivariate Cox regression analysis revealed that positive MMSET expression was an independent prognostic factor for both OS and DFS of patients with endometrial cancer (P = 0.008 and P = 0.048, respectively).
CONCLUSIONS: Overexpression of MMSET may contribute to the progression of endometrial cancer and also may serve as a new biomarker to predict the prognosis of endometrial cancer.

Ezponda T, Popovic R, Shah MY, et al.
The histone methyltransferase MMSET/WHSC1 activates TWIST1 to promote an epithelial-mesenchymal transition and invasive properties of prostate cancer.
Oncogene. 2013; 32(23):2882-90 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Epigenetic deregulation of gene expression has a role in the initiation and progression of prostate cancer (PCa). The histone methyltransferase MMSET/WHSC1 (Multiple Myeloma SET domain) is overexpressed in a number of metastatic tumors, but its mechanism of action has not been defined. In this work, we found that PCa cell lines expressed significantly higher levels of MMSET compared with immortalized, non-transformed prostate cells. Knockdown experiments showed that, in metastatic PCa cell lines, dimethylation of lysine 36 and trimethylation of lysine 27 on histone H3 (H3K36me2 and H3K27me3, respectively) depended on MMSET expression, whereas depletion of MMSET in benign prostatic cells did not affect chromatin modifications. Knockdown of MMSET in DU145 and PC-3 tumor cells decreased cell proliferation, colony formation in soft agar and strikingly diminished cell migration and invasion. Conversely, overexpression of MMSET in immortalized, non-transformed RWPE-1 cells promoted cell migration and invasion, accompanied by an epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Among a panel of EMT-promoting genes analyzed, TWIST1 expression was strongly activated in response to MMSET. Chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis demonstrated that MMSET binds to the TWIST1 locus and leads to an increase in H3K36me2, suggesting a direct role of MMSET in the regulation of this gene. Depletion of TWIST1 in MMSET-overexpressing RWPE-1 cells blocked cell invasion and EMT, indicating that TWIST1 was a critical target of MMSET, responsible for the acquisition of an invasive phenotype. Collectively, these data suggest that MMSET has a role in PCa pathogenesis and progression through epigenetic regulation of metastasis-related genes.

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