The histone demethylase JMJD2A/KDM4A facilitates prostate cancer development, yet how JMJD2A function is regulated has remained elusive. Here, we demonstrate that SET7/9-mediated methylation on 6 lysine residues modulated JMJD2A. Joint mutation of these lysine residues suppressed JMJD2A’s ability to stimulate the MMP1 matrix metallopeptidase promoter upon recruitment by the ETV1 transcription factor. Mutation of just 3 methylation sites (K505, K506, and K507) to arginine residues (3xR mutation) was sufficient to maximally reduce JMJD2A transcriptional activity and also decreased its binding to ETV1. Introduction of the 3xR mutation into DU145 prostate cancer cells reduced in vitro growth and invasion and also severely compromised tumorigenesis. Consistently, the 3xR genotype caused transcriptome changes related to cell proliferation and invasion pathways, including downregulation of MMP1 and the NPM3 nucleophosmin/nucleoplasmin gene. NPM3 downregulation phenocopied and its overexpression rescued, to a large degree, the 3xR mutation in DU145 cells, suggesting that NPM3 was a seminal downstream effector of methylated JMJD2A. Moreover, we found that NPM3 was overexpressed in prostate cancer and might be indicative of disease aggressiveness. SET7/9-mediated lysine methylation of JMJD2A may aggravate prostate tumorigenesis in a manner dependent on NPM3, implying that the SET7/9→JMJD2A→NPM3 axis could be targeted for therapy.
Ruicai Gu, Tae-Dong Kim, Hoogeun Song, Yuan Sui, Sook Shin, Sangphil Oh, Ralf Janknecht