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EcDNA hubs drive cooperative intermolecular oncogene expression


Date: 20th November 2020 | Source: bioRxiv

Authors: King L. Hung, Kathryn E. Yost, Liangqi Xie, Sihan Wu, Joshua T. Lange, Connor V. Duffy, View ORCID ProfileKaterina Kraft, Jun Tang, Quanming Shi, John C. Rose, M. Ryan Corces, Jeffrey M. Granja, Rui Li, Utkrisht Rajkumar, Robert Tjian, Vineet Bafna, Paul S. Mischel, Zhe Liu, Howard Y. Chang.

Extrachromosomal DNAs (ecDNAs) are prevalent in human cancers and mediate high oncogene expression through elevated copy number and altered gene regulation. Gene expression typically involves distal enhancer DNA elements that contact and activate genes on the same chromosome.

Here we show that ecDNA hubs, comprised of ~10-100 ecDNAs clustered in the nucleus of interphase cells, drive intermolecular enhancer input for amplified oncogene expression.

Single-molecule sequencing, single-cell multiome, and 3D enhancer connectome reveal subspecies of MYC-PVT1 ecDNAs lacking enhancers that access intermolecular and ectopic enhancer-promoter interactions in ecDNA hubs. ecDNA hubs persist without transcription and are tethered by BET protein BRD4. BET inhibitor JQ1 disperses ecDNA hubs, preferentially inhibits ecDNA oncogene transcription, and kills ecDNA+ cancer cells. Two amplified oncogenes MYC and FGFR2 intermix in ecDNA hubs, engage in intermolecular enhancer-promoter interactions, and transcription is uniformly sensitive to JQ1. Thus, ecDNA hubs are nuclear bodies of many ecDNAs tethered by proteins and platforms for cooperative transcription, leveraging the power of oncogene diversification and combinatorial DNA interactions.

We suggest ecDNA hubs, rather than individual ecDNAs, as units of oncogene function, cooperative evolution, and new targets for cancer therapy.

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