BRD4 profiling identifies critical chronic lymphocytic leukemia oncogenic circuits and reveals sensitivity to PLX51107, a novel structurally distinct bet inhibitor

Hatice Gulcin Ozer, Dalia El-Gamal, Ben Powell, Zachary A. Hing, James S. Blachly, Bonnie Harrington, Shaneice Mitchell, Nicole R. Grieselhuber, Katie Williams, Tzung Huei Lai, Lapo Alinari, Robert A. Baiocchi, Lindsey Brinton, Elizabeth Baskin, Matthew Cannon, Larry Beaver, Virginia M. Goettl, David M. Lucas, Jennifer A. Woyach, Deepa SampathAmy M. Lehman, Lianbo Yu, Jiazhong Zhang, Yan Ma, Ying Zhang, Wayne Spevak, Songyuan Shi, Paul Severson, Rafe Shellooe, Heidi Carias, Garson Tsang, Ken Dong, Todd Ewing, Adhirai Marimuthu, Christina Tantoy, Jason Walters, Laura Sanftner, Hamid Rezaei, Marika Nespi, Bernice Matusow, Gaston Habets, Prabha Ibrahim, Chao Zhang, Ewy A. Mathe, Gideon Bollag, John C. Byrd, Rosa Lapalombella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations

Abstract

Bromodomain and extra-terminal (BET) family proteins are key regulators of gene expression in cancer. Herein, we utilize BRD4 profiling to identify critical pathways involved in pathogenesis of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). BRD4 is overexpressed in CLL and is enriched proximal to genes upregulated or de novo expressed in CLL with known functions in disease pathogenesis and progression. These genes, including key members of the B-cell receptor (BCR) signaling pathway, provide a rationale for this therapeutic approach to identify new targets in alternative types of cancer. Additionally, we describe PLX51107, a structurally distinct BET inhibitor with novel in vitro and in vivo pharmacologic properties that emulates or exceeds the efficacy of BCR signaling agents in preclinical models of CLL. Herein, the discovery of the involvement of BRD4 in the core CLL transcriptional program provides a compelling rationale for clinical investigation of PLX51107 as epigenetic therapy in CLL and application of BRD4 profiling in other cancers. SIGNIFICANCE: To date, functional studies of BRD4 in CLL are lacking. Through integrated genomic, functional, and pharmacologic analyses, we uncover the existence of BRD4-regulated core CLL transcriptional programs and present preclinical proof-of-concept studies validating BET inhibition as an epigenetic approach to target BCR signaling in CLL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)458-477
Number of pages20
JournalCancer Discovery
Volume8
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology

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