Gherardi S. et al.
Although Men1 is a well-known tumour suppressor gene, little is known about the functions of Menin, the protein it encodes for. Since few years, numerous publications support a major role of Menin in the control of epigenetics gene regulation. While Menin interaction with MLL complex favours transcriptional activation of target genes through H3K4me3 marks, Menin also represses gene expression via mechanisms involving the Polycomb repressing complex (PRC). Interestingly, Ezh2, the PRC-methyltransferase that catalyses H3K27me3 repressive marks and Menin have been shown to co-occupy a large number of promoters. However, lack of binding between Menin and Ezh2 suggests that another member of the PRC complex is mediating this indirect interaction. Having found that ActivinB - a TGFβ superfamily member encoded by the Inhbb gene - is upregulated in insulinoma tumours caused by Men1 invalidation, we hypothesize that Menin could directly participate in the epigenetic-repression of Inhbb gene expression. Using Animal model and cell lines, we report that loss of Menin is directly associated with ActivinB-induced expression both in vivo and in vitro. Our work further reveals that ActivinB expression is mediated through a direct modulation of H3K27me3 marks on the Inhbb locus in Menin-KO cell lines. More importantly, we show that Menin binds on the promoter of Inhbb gene where it favours the recruitment of Ezh2 via an indirect mechanism involving Akt-phosphorylation. Our data suggests therefore that Menin could take an important part to the Ezh2-epigenetic repressive landscape in many cells and tissues through its capacity to modulate Akt phosphorylation.