Cancer cells utilize epigenetic alterations to acquire autonomous capabilities for tumor maintenance. Here, we show that pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA) cells utilize super-enhancers (SEs) to activate the transcription factor EVI1 (ecotropic viral integration site 1) gene, resulting in activation of an EVI1-dependent transcription program conferring PDA tumorigenesis. Our data indicate that SE is the vital cis-Acting element to maintain aberrant EVI1 transcription in PDA cells. Consistent with disease progression and inferior survival outcomes of PDA patients, we further show that EVI1 upregulation is a major cause of aggressive tumor phenotypes. Specifically, EVI1 promotes anchorage-independent growth and motility in vitro and enhances tumor propagation in vivo. Mechanistically, EVI1-dependent activation of tumor-promoting gene expression programs through the stepwise configuration of the active enhancer chromatin attributes to these phenotypes. In sum, our findings support the premise that EVI1 is a crucial driver of oncogenic transcription programs in PDA cells. Further, we emphasize the instructive role of epigenetic aberrancy in establishing PDA tumorigenesis.
|Publication status||Published - 2021 Jun 1|
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of NAR Cancer.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research