Publications

EGFR promoter exhibits dynamic histone modifications and binding of ASH2L and P300 in human germinal matrix and gliomas

Erfani, P., Tome-Garcia, J., Canoll, P., Doetsch, F., Tsankova, N.M.

Several signaling pathways important for the proliferation and growth of brain cells are pathologically dysregulated in gliomas, including the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). Expression of EGFR is high in neural progenitors during development and in gliomas but decreases significantly in most adult brain regions. Here we show that EGFR expression is maintained in the astrocyte ribbon of the adult human subventricular zone. The transcriptional regulation of EGFR expression is poorly understood. To investigate the role of epigenetics on EGFR regulation in the contexts of neural development and gliomagenesis, we measured levels of DNA methylation and histone H3 modifications at the EGFR promoter in human brain tissues, glioma specimens, and EGFR-expressing neural cells, acutely isolated from their native niche. While DNA was constitutively hypomethylated in non-neoplastic and glioma samples, regardless of their EGFR-expression status, the activating histone modifications H3K27ac and H3K4me3 were enriched only when EGFR is highly expressed (developing germinal matrix and gliomas). Conversely, repressive H3K27me3 marks predominated in adult white matter where EGFR is repressed. Furthermore, the histone methyltransferase core enzyme ASH2L was bound at EGFR in the germinal matrix and in gliomas where levels of H3K4me3 are high, and the histone acetyltransferase P300 was bound in samples with H3K27ac enrichment. Our studies use human cells and tissues undisturbed by cell-culture artifact, and point to an important, locus-specific role for chromatin remodeling in EGFR expression in human neural development that may be dysregulated during gliomagenesis, unraveling potential novel targets for future drug therapy.

Citation

Erfani, P., Tome-Garcia, J., Canoll, P., Doetsch, F., Tsankova, N.M. "EGFR promoter exhibits dynamic histone modifications and binding of ASH2L and P300 in human germinal matrix and gliomas" Epigenetics (2015): 496–507