Tissue and organ development is a time of exquisite sensitivity to environmental exposures, which can reprogram developing tissues to increase susceptibility to adult diseases, including cancer. In the developing prostate, even brief exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) can increase risk for developing cancer in adulthood, with disruption of the epigenome thought to play a key role in this developmental reprogramming. We find that EDC-induced nongenomic phosphoinositide 3-kinase; (PI3K) signaling engages the histone methyltransferase mixed-lineage leukemia 1 (MLL1), responsible for the histone H3 lysine 4 trimethylation (H3K4me3) active epigenetic mark, to increase cleavage and formation of active MLL1 dimers. In the developing prostate, EDC-induced MLL1 activation increased H3K4me3 at genes associated with prostate cancer, with increased H3K4me3 and elevated basal and hormone-induced expression of reprogrammed genes persisting into adulthood. These data identify a mechanism for MLL1 activation that is vulnerable to disruption by environmental exposures, and link MLL1 activation by EDCs to developmental reprogramming of genes involved in prostate cancer.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology