Reduced chromatin binding of MYC is a key effect of HDAC inhibition in MYC amplified medulloblastoma

Jonas Ecker, Venu Thatikonda, Gianluca Sigismondo, Florian Selt, Gintvile Valinciute, Ina Oehme, Carina Müller, Juliane L. Buhl, Johannes Ridinger, Diren Usta, Nan Qin, Cornelis M. Van Tilburg, Christel Herold-Mende, Marc Remke, Felix Sahm, Frank Westermann, Marcel Kool, Robert J. Wechsler-Reya, Lukas Chavez, Jeroen KrijgsveldNatalie Jäger, Stefan M. Pfister, Olaf Witt, Till Milde

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The sensitivity of myelocytomatosis oncogene (MYC) amplified medulloblastoma to class I histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibition has been shown previously; however, understanding the underlying molecular mechanism is crucial for selection of effective HDAC inhibitors for clinical use. The aim of this study was to investigate the direct molecular interaction of MYC and class I HDAC2, and the impact of class I HDAC inhibition on MYC function. Methods: Co-immunoprecipitation and mass spectrometry were used to determine the co-localization of MYC and HDAC2. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) sequencing and gene expression profiling were used to analyze the co-localization of MYC and HDAC2 on DNA and the impact on transcriptional activity in primary tumors and a MYC amplified cell line treated with the class I HDAC inhibitor entinostat. The effect on MYC was investigated by quantitative real-time PCR, western blot, and immunofluorescence. Results: HDAC2 is a cofactor of MYC in MYC amplified medulloblastoma. The MYC-HDAC2 complex is bound to genes defining the MYC-dependent transcriptional profile. Class I HDAC inhibition leads to stabilization and reduced DNA binding of MYC protein, inducing a downregulation of MYC activated genes (MAGs) and upregulation of MYC repressed genes (MRGs). MAGs and MRGs are characterized by opposing biological functions and by distinct enhancer-box distribution. Conclusions: Our data elucidate the molecular interaction of MYC and HDAC2 and support a model in which inhibition of class I HDACs directly targets MYC's transactivating and transrepressing functions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)226-239
Number of pages14
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • E-box
  • HDAC2
  • medulloblastoma
  • MYC


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