MYC AND EGR1 SYNERGIZE TO TRIGGER TUMOR CELL DEATH BY CONTROLLING NOXA AND BIM TRANSCRIPTION UPON TREATMENT WITH THE PROTEASOME INHIBITOR BORTEZOMIB
Matthias Wirth, Natasa Stojanovic, Jan Christian, Mariel C. Paul, Roland H. Stauber, Roland M. Schmid, Georg Häcker, Oliver H. Krämer, Dieter Saur and Günter Schneider. (21-08-2014).
Nucleic Acids Research, 2014, Vol. 42, No. 16, 10433–10447, 2014, DOI 10.1093/nar/gku763
Research Area C
The c-MYC (MYC afterward) oncogene is well known for driving numerous oncogenic programs. However, MYC can also induce apoptosis and this function of MYC warrants further clariﬁcation. We report here that a clinically relevant proteasome inhibitor signiﬁcantly increases MYC protein levels and that endogenous MYC is necessary for the induction of apoptosis. This kind of MYC-induced cell death is mediated by enhanced expression of the pro-apoptotic BCL2 family members NOXA and BIM. Quantitative promoter-scanning chromatin immunoprecipitations (qChIP) further revealed binding of MYC to the promoters of NOXA and BIM upon proteasome inhibition, correlating with increased transcription. Both promoters are further characterized by the presence of tri-methylated lysine 4 of histone H3, marking active chromatin. We provide evidence that in our apoptosis models cell death occurs independently of p53 or ARF. Furthermore, we demonstrate that recruitment of MYC to the NOXA as well as to the BIM gene promoters depends on MYC’s interaction with the zinc ﬁnger transcription factor EGR1 and an EGR1-binding site in both promoters. Our study uncovers a novel molecular mechanism by showing that the functional cooperation of MYC with EGR1 is required for bortezomib-induced cell death. This observation may be important for novel therapeutic strategies engaging the inherent pro-death function of MYC.