Uterine leiomyomas (fibroids) are a major source of gynecologic morbidity in reproductive age women and are characterized by the excessive deposition of a disorganized extracellular matrix, resulting in rigid benign tumors. Although down regulation of the transcription factor AP-1 is highly prevalent in leiomyomas, the functional consequence of AP-1 loss on gene transcription in uterine fibroids remains poorly understood. Using high-resolution ChIP-sequencing, promoter capture Hi-C, and RNA-sequencing of matched normal and leiomyoma tissues, here we show that modified enhancer architecture is a major driver of transcriptional dysregulation in MED12 mutant uterine leiomyomas. Furthermore, modifications in enhancer architecture are driven by the depletion of AP-1 occupancy on chromatin. Silencing of AP-1 subunits in primary myometrium cells leads to transcriptional dysregulation of extracellular matrix associated genes and partly recapitulates transcriptional and epigenetic changes observed in leiomyomas. These findings establish AP-1 driven aberrant enhancer regulation as an important mechanism of leiomyoma disease pathogenesis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)