Qiwei Yang, Somayeh Vafaei, Ali Falahati, Azad Khosh, Maria Victoria Bariani, Mervat M. Omran, Tao Bai, Hiba Siblini, Mohamed Ali, Chuan He, Thomas G. Boyer, Ayman Al-Hendy

Bromodomain-Containing Protein 9 Regulates Signaling Pathways and Reprograms the Epigenome in Immortalized Human Uterine Fibroid Cells

  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Spectroscopy
  • Molecular Biology
  • General Medicine
  • Catalysis

Bromodomain-containing proteins (BRDs) are involved in many biological processes, most notably epigenetic regulation of transcription, and BRD dysfunction has been linked to many diseases, including tumorigenesis. However, the role of BRDs in the pathogenesis of uterine fibroids (UFs) is entirely unknown. The present study aimed to determine the expression pattern of BRD9 in UFs and matched myometrium and further assess the impact of a BRD9 inhibitor on UF phenotype and epigenetic/epitranscriptomic changes. Our studies demonstrated that the levels of BRD9 were significantly upregulated in UFs compared to matched myometrium, suggesting that the aberrant BRD expression may contribute to the pathogenesis of UFs. We then evaluated the potential roles of BRD9 using its specific inhibitor, I-BRD9. Targeted inhibition of BRD9 suppressed UF tumorigenesis with increased apoptosis and cell cycle arrest, decreased cell proliferation, and extracellular matrix deposition in UF cells. The latter is the key hallmark of UFs. Unbiased transcriptomic profiling coupled with downstream bioinformatics analysis further and extensively demonstrated that targeted inhibition of BRD9 impacted the cell cycle- and ECM-related biological pathways and reprogrammed the UF cell epigenome and epitranscriptome in UFs. Taken together, our studies support the critical role of BRD9 in UF cells and the strong interconnection between BRD9 and other pathways controlling the UF progression. Targeted inhibition of BRDs might provide a non-hormonal treatment option for this most common benign tumor in women of reproductive age.

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