Front Oncol. 2020 Jul 24;10:1226. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2020.01226. eCollection 2020.
The polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2) maintains the transcriptional repression of target genes through its catalytic component enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2). Through modulating critical gene expression, EZH2 also plays a role in cancer development and progression by promoting cancer cell survival and invasion. Mutations in EZH2 are prevalent in certain B-cell lymphoma subtypes such as diffuse large cell lymphoma and follicular lymphoma; while no EZH2 mutation has been reported in the
mantle cell lymphoma (MCL). Here we demonstrate that the PRC2 components EZH2, EED and SUZ12 are upregulated in the MCL cells as compared to normal B-cells. Moreover, stably transfected cells with wild-type EZH2 or-EED showed increased cell growth and H3K27-trimehtylation. However, unlike wild-type EZH2, ectopic expression of a deletion construct of EZH2 (EZH2Δ550-738 lacking SET domain) had no growth advantage over control cells. Pharmacological inhibition of EZH2 suppressed H3K27me3 and had significant inhibitory effect on cell growth and colony forming capacity (p < 0.05) of MCL cells, and this effect was more or less comparable to the anti-proliferative effects of EZH2 inhibition in cells harboring EZH2-mutation. Mechanistically, EZH2 appears to downregulate expression of cdkn2b gene via enhanced H3K27me3, a well-known suppressive epigenetic mark, at the cdkn2b promoter region. Overall, these results highlight that deregulation of PRC2/EZH2 is associated with epigenetic suppression of cdkn2b in MCL, and in part responsible for increased cell growth, thus the EZH2 inhibitors may have therapeutic potential in the patients with MCL.