TCF3 is epigenetically silenced by EZH2 and DNMT3B and functions as a tumor suppressor in endometrial cancer

Endometrial cancer (EC) is the most common gynecological malignancy worldwide. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying EC progression are still largely unknown, and chemotherapeutic options for EC patients are currently very limited. In this study, we found that histone methyltransferase EZH2 and DNA methyltransferase DNMT3B were upregulated in EC samples from patients, and promoted EC cell proliferation as evidenced by assays of cell viability, cell cycle, colony formation. Mechanistically, we found that EZH2 promoted EC cell proliferation by epigenetically repressing TCF3, a direct transcriptional activator of CCKN1A (p21WAF1/Cip1), in vitro and in vivo. In addition, we found that DNMT3B specifically methylated the TCF3 promoter, repressing TCF3 expression and accelerating EC cell proliferation independently of EZH2. Importantly, elevated expression of EZH2 or DNMT3B in EC patients inversely correlated with expression of TCF3 and p21, and was associated with shorter overall survival. We show that combined treatment with GSK126 and 5-Aza-2d treatment wit synergistically inhibited methyltransferase activity of EZH2 and DNMT3B, resulting in a profound block of EC cell proliferation as well as EC tumor progression in cell line-derived xenograft (CDX) and patient-derived xenograft (PDX) mouse models. These findings reveal that TCF3 functions as a tumor suppressor epigenetically silenced by EZH2 and DNMT3B in EC, and support the notion that targeting the EZH2/DNMT3B/TCF3/p21 axis may be a novel and effective therapeutic strategy for treatment of EC.

Related Products

Cat.No. Product Name Information
S7061 GSK126 GSK126 (GSK2816126A, GSK2816126) is a potent, highly selective EZH2 methyltransferase inhibitor with IC50 of 9.9 nM, >1000-fold selective for EZH2 over 20 other human methyltransferases.

Related Targets

EZH1/2 Histone Methyltransferase