PBRM1-deficient PBAF complexes target aberrant genomic loci to activatethe NF-κB pathway in clear cell renal cell carcinoma.

Yao X. et al.

PBRM1 encodes an accessory subunit of the PBAF SWI/SNF chromatin remodeller, and the inactivation of PBRM1 is a frequent event in kidney cancer. However, the impact of PBRM1 loss on chromatin remodelling is not well examined. Here we show that, in VHL-deficient renal tumours, PBRM1 deficiency results in ectopic PBAF complexes that localize to de novo genomic loci, activating the pro-tumourigenic NF-κB pathway. PBRM1-deficient PBAF complexes retain the association between SMARCA4 and ARID2, but have loosely tethered BRD7. The PBAF complexes redistribute from promoter proximal regions to distal enhancers containing NF-κB motifs, heightening NF-κB activity in PBRM1-deficient models and clinical samples. The ATPase function of SMARCA4 maintains chromatin occupancy of pre-existing and newly acquired RELA specific to PBRM1 loss, activating downstream target gene expression. Proteasome inhibitor bortezomib abrogates RELA occupancy, suppresses NF-κB activation and delays growth of PBRM1-deficient tumours. In conclusion, PBRM1 safeguards the chromatin by repressing aberrant liberation of pro-tumourigenic NF-κB target genes by residual PBRM1-deficient PBAF complexes.


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April, 2023


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