The PRC2 molecule EED is a target of epigenetic therapy for neuroblastoma

Epigenetic modifications by polycomb repressive complex (PRC) molecules appear to play a role in the tumorigenesis and aggressiveness of neuroblastoma (NB). Embryonic ectoderm development (EED) is a member of the PRC2 complex that binds to the H3K27me3 mark deposited by EZH2 via propagation on adjacent nucleosomes. We herein investigated the molecular roles of EED in MYCN-amplified NB cells using EED-knockdown (KD) shRNAs, EED-knockout sgRNAs, and the EED small molecule inhibitor EED226. The suppression of EED markedly inhibited NB cell proliferation and flat and soft agar colony formation. A transcriptome analysis using microarrays of EED-KD NB cells indicated the de-repression of cell cycle-regulated and differentiation-related genes. The results of a GSEA analysis suggested that inhibitory cell cycle-regulated gene sets were markedly up-regulated. Furthermore, an epigenetic treatment with the EED inhibitor EED226 and the HDAC inhibitors valproic acid/SAHA effectively suppressed NB cell proliferation and colony formation. This combined epigenetic treatment up-regulated cell cycle-regulated and differentiation-related genes. The ChIP sequencing analysis of histone codes and PRC molecules suggested an epigenetic background for the de-repression of down-regulated genes in MYCN-amplified/PRC2 up-regulated NB.

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