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TP63, SOX2 and KLF5 Establish Core Regulatory Circuitry and Construct Cancer Specific Epigenome in Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma

By Yan-Yi Jiang, Yuan Jiang, Chun-Quan Li, Ying Zhang, Pushkar Dakle, Harvinder Kaur, Jian-Wen Deng, Ruby Yu-Tong Lin, Lin Han, Jian-Jun Xie, Anand Mayakonda, Masaharu Hazawa, Liang Xu, YanYu Li, Luay Aswad, Maya Jeitany, Deepika Kanojia, Xin-Yuan Guan, Melissa J. Fullwood, De-Chen Lin, H. Phillip Koeffler

Posted 06 Nov 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/825372

Transcriptional network is controlled by master transcription factors (TFs) and cis-regulatory elements through interacting with target sequences and recruiting epigenetic regulators. By integration of enhancer profiling and chromatin accessibility, we establish super-enhancer (SE) mediated core regulatory circuitry (CRC) for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) and identify tumor cells-dependent CRC TFs-TP63, SOX2 and KLF5. They preferentially co-occupy SE loci and form a positive interconnected auto-regulatory loop through SEs to orchestrate chromatin and transcriptional programming. SE-associated oncogene-ALDH3A1 is identified as a novel CRC target contributing to ESCC viability. Using circular chromosome conformation capture sequencing (4C-seq) and CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing, the direct interaction between TP63 promoter and functional enhancers which is mediated by CRC TFs is identified. Deletion of each enhancer decreases expression of CRC TFs and impairs cell viability, phenocopying the knockdown of each CRC TF. Targeting epigenetic regulation by inhibition of either the BET bromodomain or HDAC disrupts the CRC program and its dependent global epigenetic modification, consequently suppressing ESCC tumor growth. Importantly, combination of both compounds result in synergistic anti-tumor effect.

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