Germline inactivating mutations in Folliculin (FLCN) cause Birt–Hogg–Dubé (BHD) syndrome, a rare autosomal dominant disorder predisposing to kidney tumors. FLCN is a conserved, essential gene linked to diverse cellular processes but the mechanisms by which FLCN prevents kidney cancer remain unknown. Here we show that deleting FLCN activates TFE3, upregulating its downstream E-box genes in human renal tubular epithelial cells (RPTEC/TERT1), including RRAGD and GPNMB, without modifying mTORC1 activity. Surprisingly, deletion of FLCN or its binding partners FNIP1/FNIP2 also induces interferon response genes, but independently of interferon. Mechanistically, FLCN loss promotes STAT2 recruitment to chromatin and slows cellular proliferation. Our integrated analysis identifies STAT1/2 signaling as a novel target of FLCN in renal cells and BHD tumors. STAT1/2 activation appears to counterbalance TFE3-directed hyper-proliferation and may influence the immune response. These findings shed light on unique roles of FLCN in human renal tumorigenesis and pinpoint candidate prognostic biomarkers.
Data files of transcriptomic and proteomic data are provided as supplementary table 1. Raw data files deposited on Dryad Digital Repository (RNAseq): doi:10.5061/dryad.6djh9w0zsProteomeXchange (Mass Spec) under accession number PXD021346
RNAseq raw counts_FLCN positive vs. FLCN negative RPTECsDryad Digital Repository, doi:10.5061/dryad.6djh9w0zs.
Mass Spec data_FLCN positive vs. FLCN negative RPTECsProteomeXchange, PXD021346.
- Jarno Drost
- Sepide Derakhshan
- Jarno Drost
- Iris E Glykofridis
- Rob MF Wolthuis
- Jaco C Knol
- Thang V Pham
- Sander R Piersma
- Connie R Jimenez
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Human subjects: BHD T1 and BHD T2 tumor samples were obtained with informed consent. Both tissues are leftover material from surgery and are stored in our BHD biobank (2019.359 at AmsterdamUMC).
- Wilbert Zwart, Netherlands Cancer Institute, Netherlands
© 2021, Glykofridis et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
The Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 (PRC2) methylates H3K27 to regulate development and cell fate by transcriptional silencing. Alteration of PRC2 is associated with various cancers. Here, we show that mouse Kdm1a deletion causes dramatic reduction of PRC2 proteins, whereas mouse null mutation of L3mbtl3 or Dcaf5 results in PRC2 accumulation and increased H3K27 trimethylation. The catalytic subunit of PRC2, EZH2, is methylated at lysine 20 (K20), promoting EZH2 proteolysis by L3MBTL3 and the CLR4DCAF5 ubiquitin ligase. KDM1A (LSD1) demethylates the methylated K20 to stabilize EZH2. K20 methylation is inhibited by AKT-mediated phosphorylation of serine 21 in EZH2. Mouse Ezh2K20R/K20R mutants develop hepatosplenomegaly associated with high GFI1B expression, and Ezh2K20R/K20R mutant bone marrows expand hematopoietic stem cells and downstream hematopoietic populations. Our studies reveal that EZH2 is regulated by methylation-dependent proteolysis, which is negatively controlled by AKT-mediated S21 phosphorylation to establish a methylation-phosphorylation switch to control the PRC2 activity and hematopoiesis.
Mammalian ferredoxin 1 and 2 (FDX1/2) belong to an evolutionary conserved family of iron-sulfur cluster containing proteins and act as electron shutters between ferredoxin reductase (FDXR) and numerous proteins involved in critical biological pathways. FDX1 is involved in biogenesis of steroids and bile acids, Vitamin A/D metabolism, and lipoylation of tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle enzymes. FDX1 has been extensively characterized biochemically but its role in physiology and lipid metabolism has not been explored. In this study, we generated Fdx1-deficient mice and showed that knockout of both alleles of the Fdx1 gene led to embryonic lethality. We also showed that like Fdxr+/-+/-, Fdx1+/-+/- had a shorter life span and were prone to steatohepatitis. However, unlike Fdxr+/-+/-, Fdx1+/-+/- were not prone to spontaneous tumors. Additionally, we showed that FDX1 deficiency led to lipid droplet accumulation possibly via the ABCA1-SREBP1/2 pathway. Specifically, untargeted lipidomic analysis showed that FDX1 deficiency led to alterations in several classes of lipids, including cholesterol, triacylglycerides, acylcarnitines, ceramides, phospholipids and lysophospholipids. Taken together, our data indicate that FDX1 is essential for mammalian embryonic development and lipid homeostasis at both cellular and organismal levels.