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Histone H3 point mutations have been identified in incurable pediatric brain cancers, but the mechanisms through which these mutations drive tumorigenesis are incompletely understood. Here, we provide evidence that RACK7 (ZMYND8) recognizes the histone H3.3 patient mutation (H3.3G34R) in vitro and in vivo. We show that RACK7 binding to H3.3G34R suppresses transcription of CIITA, which is the master regulator of MHC (major histocompatibility complex) class II molecules and genes involved in vesicular transport of MHC class II molecules to the cell surface, resulting in suppression of MHC class II molecule expression and transport. CRISPR-based knock-in correction of the H3.3G34R mutation in human pediatric glioblastoma (pGBM) cells significantly reduces overall RACK7 chromatin binding and derepresses the same set of genes as does knocking out RACK7 in the H3.3G34R pGBM cells. By demonstrating that H3.3G34R and RACK7 work together, our findings suggest a potential molecular mechanism by which H3.3G34R promotes cancer.

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Journal article


Science advances

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Center for Medical Research and Innovation, Shanghai Pudong Hospital, Fudan University Pudong Medical Center, and the Shanghai Key Laboratory of Medical Epigenetics, the International Co-laboratory of Medical Epigenetics and Metabolism, Ministry of Science and Technology, Institutes of Biomedical Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai 200032, China.


Humans, Glioblastoma, Brain Neoplasms, Tumor Suppressor Proteins, Histones, Histocompatibility Antigens Class II, Mutation, Child