Ph.D., University of Wuerzburg, Biochemistry (2021)
M. Sc., University of Ulm, Biochemistry (2015)
B. Sc., University of Ulm, Biochemistry (2012)
Karlene Cimprich, Postdoctoral Faculty Sponsor
MYC multimers shield stalled replication forks from RNA polymerase
Oncoproteins of the MYC family drive the development of numerous human tumours1. In unperturbed cells, MYC proteins bind to nearly all active promoters and control transcription by RNA polymerase II2,3. MYC proteins can also coordinate transcription with DNA replication4,5 and promote the repair of transcription-associated DNA damage6, but how they exert these mechanistically diverse functions is unknown. Here we show that MYC dissociates from many of its binding sites in active promoters and forms multimeric, often sphere-like structures in response to perturbation of transcription elongation, mRNA splicing or inhibition of the proteasome. Multimerization is accompanied by a global change in the MYC interactome towards proteins involved in transcription termination and RNA processing. MYC multimers accumulate on chromatin immediately adjacent to stalled replication forks and surround FANCD2, ATR and BRCA1 proteins, which are located at stalled forks7,8. MYC multimerization is triggered in a HUWE16 and ubiquitylation-dependent manner. At active promoters, MYC multimers block antisense transcription and stabilize FANCD2 association with chromatin. This limits DNA double strand break formation during S-phase, suggesting that the multimerization of MYC enables tumour cells to proliferate under stressful conditions.
View details for DOI 10.1038/s41586-022-05469-4
View details for Web of Science ID 000887877400001
View details for PubMedID 36424410
View details for PubMedCentralID 7611238
MYC promotes immune-suppression in triple-negative breast cancer via inhibition of interferon signaling.
2022; 13 (1): 6579
The limited efficacy of immune checkpoint inhibitor treatment in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) patients is attributed to sparse or unresponsive tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes, but the mechanisms that lead to a therapy resistant tumor immune microenvironment are incompletely known. Here we show a strong correlation between MYC expression and loss of immune signatures in human TNBC. In mouse models of TNBC proficient or deficient of breast cancer type 1 susceptibility gene (BRCA1), MYC overexpression dramatically decreases lymphocyte infiltration in tumors, along with immune signature remodelling. MYC-mediated suppression of inflammatory signalling induced by BRCA1/2 inactivation is confirmed in human TNBC cell lines. Moreover, MYC overexpression prevents the recruitment and activation of lymphocytes in both human and mouse TNBC co-culture models. Chromatin-immunoprecipitation-sequencing reveals that MYC, together with its co-repressor MIZ1, directly binds promoters of multiple interferon-signalling genes, resulting in their downregulation. MYC overexpression thus counters tumor growth inhibition by a Stimulator of Interferon Genes (STING) agonist via suppressing induction of interferon signalling. Together, our data reveal that MYC suppresses innate immunity and facilitates tumor immune escape, explaining the poor immunogenicity of MYC-overexpressing TNBCs.
View details for DOI 10.1038/s41467-022-34000-6
View details for PubMedID 36323660
MYCN recruits the nuclear exosome complex to RNA polymerase II to prevent transcription-replication conflicts
2022; 82 (1): 159-+
The MYCN oncoprotein drives the development of numerous neuroendocrine and pediatric tumors. Here we show that MYCN interacts with the nuclear RNA exosome, a 3'-5' exoribonuclease complex, and recruits the exosome to its target genes. In the absence of the exosome, MYCN-directed elongation by RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) is slow and non-productive on a large group of cell-cycle-regulated genes. During the S phase of MYCN-driven tumor cells, the exosome is required to prevent the accumulation of stalled replication forks and of double-strand breaks close to the transcription start sites. Upon depletion of the exosome, activation of ATM causes recruitment of BRCA1, which stabilizes nuclear mRNA decapping complexes, leading to MYCN-dependent transcription termination. Disruption of mRNA decapping in turn activates ATR, indicating transcription-replication conflicts. We propose that exosome recruitment by MYCN maintains productive transcription elongation during S phase and prevents transcription-replication conflicts to maintain the rapid proliferation of neuroendocrine tumor cells.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.molcel.2021.11.002
View details for Web of Science ID 000742487300003
View details for PubMedID 34847357
Ubiquitylation of MYC couples transcription elongation with double-strand break repair at active promoters
2021; 81 (4): 830-844.e13
The MYC oncoprotein globally affects the function of RNA polymerase II (RNAPII). The ability of MYC to promote transcription elongation depends on its ubiquitylation. Here, we show that MYC and PAF1c (polymerase II-associated factor 1 complex) interact directly and mutually enhance each other's association with active promoters. PAF1c is rapidly transferred from MYC onto RNAPII. This transfer is driven by the HUWE1 ubiquitin ligase and is required for MYC-dependent transcription elongation. MYC and HUWE1 promote histone H2B ubiquitylation, which alters chromatin structure both for transcription elongation and double-strand break repair. Consistently, MYC suppresses double-strand break accumulation in active genes in a strictly PAF1c-dependent manner. Depletion of PAF1c causes transcription-dependent accumulation of double-strand breaks, despite widespread repair-associated DNA synthesis. Our data show that the transfer of PAF1c from MYC onto RNAPII efficiently couples transcription elongation with double-strand break repair to maintain the genomic integrity of MYC-driven tumor cells.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.molcel.2020.12.035
View details for Web of Science ID 000631251700001
View details for PubMedID 33453168
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC7611325
MYC Recruits SPT5 to RNA Polymerase II to Promote Processive Transcription Elongation
2019; 74 (4): 674-+
The MYC oncoprotein binds to promoter-proximal regions of virtually all transcribed genes and enhances RNA polymerase II (Pol II) function, but its precise mode of action is poorly understood. Using mass spectrometry of both MYC and Pol II complexes, we show here that MYC controls the assembly of Pol II with a small set of transcription elongation factors that includes SPT5, a subunit of the elongation factor DSIF. MYC directly binds SPT5, recruits SPT5 to promoters, and enables the CDK7-dependent transfer of SPT5 onto Pol II. Consistent with known functions of SPT5, MYC is required for fast and processive transcription elongation. Intriguingly, the high levels of MYC that are expressed in tumors sequester SPT5 into non-functional complexes, thereby decreasing the expression of growth-suppressive genes. Altogether, these results argue that MYC controls the productive assembly of processive Pol II elongation complexes and provide insight into how oncogenic levels of MYC permit uncontrolled cellular growth.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.molcel.2019.02.031
View details for Web of Science ID 000468094300006
View details for PubMedID 30928206
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC6527870