1 Robot Section, BRIC Laboratories, BRIC, Københavns Universitet2 Helin Group, BRIC Research Groups, BRIC, Københavns Universitet3 Administration, BRIC Administration, BRIC, Københavns Universitet4 The Danish Stem Cell Center, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet5 unknown6 Helin Group, BRIC Research Groups, BRIC, Københavns Universitet7 Robot Section, BRIC Laboratories, BRIC, Københavns Universitet
The Hedgehog (Hh) signaling pathway plays an important role in embryonic patterning and development of many tissues and organs as well as in maintaining and repairing mature tissues in adults. Uncontrolled activation of the Hh-Gli pathway has been implicated in developmental abnormalities as well as in several cancers, including brain tumors like medulloblastoma and glioblastoma. Inhibition of aberrant Hh-Gli signaling has, thus, emerged as an attractive approach for anticancer therapy; however, the mechanisms that mediate Hh-Gli signaling in vertebrates remain poorly understood. Here, we show that the histone acetyltransferase PCAF/KAT2B is an important factor of the Hh pathway. Specifically, we show that PCAF depletion impairs Hh activity and reduces expression of Hh target genes. Consequently, PCAF downregulation in medulloblastoma and glioblastoma cells leads to decreased proliferation and increased apoptosis. In addition, we found that PCAF interacts with GLI1, the downstream effector in the Hh-Gli pathway, and that PCAF or GLI1 loss reduces the levels of H3K9 acetylation on Hh target gene promoters. Finally, we observed that PCAF silencing reduces the tumor-forming potential of neural stem cells in vivo. In summary, our study identified the acetyltransferase PCAF as a positive cofactor of the Hh-Gli signaling pathway, leading us to propose PCAF as a candidate therapeutic target for the treatment of patients with medulloblastoma and glioblastoma.
Cancer Research, 2013, Vol 73, Issue 20, p. 6323-33