Whole-genome sequencing data mining efforts have revealed numerous histone mutations in a wide range of cancer types. These occur in all four core histones in both the tail and globular domains and remain largely uncharacterized. Here we used two high-throughput approaches, a DNA-barcoded mononucleosome library and a humanized yeast library, to profile the biochemical and cellular effects of these mutations. We identified cancer-associated mutations in the histone globular domains that enhance fundamental chromatin remodeling processes, histone exchange and nucleosome sliding, and are lethal in yeast. In mammalian cells, these mutations upregulate cancer-associated gene pathways and inhibit cellular differentiation by altering expression of lineage-specific transcription factors. This work represents a comprehensive functional analysis of the histone mutational landscape in human cancers and leads to a model in which histone mutations that perturb nucleosome remodeling may contribute to disease development and/or progression. [Figure not available: see fulltext.].
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology