Histone methyltransferase DOT1L coordinates AR and MYC stability in prostate cancer

R. Vatapalli, V. Sagar, Y. Rodriguez, J. C. Zhao, K. Unno, S. Pamarthy, B. Lysy, J. Anker, H. Han, Y. A. Yoo, M. Truica, Z. R. Chalmers, Francis Joseph Giles, J. Yu, D. Chakravarti, B. Carneiro, S. A. Abdulkadir*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


The histone methyltransferase DOT1L methylates lysine 79 (K79) on histone H3 and is involved in Mixed Lineage Leukemia (MLL) fusion leukemogenesis; however, its role in prostate cancer (PCa) is undefined. Here we show that DOT1L is overexpressed in PCa and is associated with poor outcome. Genetic and chemical inhibition of DOT1L selectively impaired the viability of androgen receptor (AR)-positive PCa cells and organoids, including castration-resistant and enzalutamide-resistant cells. The sensitivity of AR-positive cells is due to a distal K79 methylation-marked enhancer in the MYC gene bound by AR and DOT1L not present in AR-negative cells. DOT1L inhibition leads to reduced MYC expression and upregulation of MYC-regulated E3 ubiquitin ligases HECTD4 and MYCBP2, which promote AR and MYC degradation. This leads to further repression of MYC in a negative feed forward manner. Thus DOT1L selectively regulates the tumorigenicity of AR-positive prostate cancer cells and is a promising therapeutic target for PCa.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4153
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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