RAS and PP2A activities converge on epigenetic gene regulation

Anna Aakula, Mukund Sharma, Francesco Tabaro, Reetta Nätkin, Jesse Kamila, Henrik Honkanen, Matthieu Schapira, Cheryl Arrowsmith, Matti Nykter, Jukka Westermarck

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RAS-mediated human cell transformation requires inhibition of the tumor suppressor protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A). However, the phosphoprotein targets and cellular processes in which RAS and PP2A activities converge in human cancers have not been systematically analyzed. Here, we discover that phosphosites co-regulated by RAS and PP2A are enriched on proteins involved in epigenetic gene regulation. As examples, RAS and PP2A co-regulate the same phosphorylation sites on HDAC1/2, KDM1A, MTA1/2, RNF168, and TP53BP1. We validate RAS- and PP2A-elicited regulation of HDAC1/2 chromatin recruitment, of RNF168-TP53BP1 interaction, and of gene expression. Consistent with their known synergistic effects in cancer, RAS activation and PP2A inhibition resulted in epigenetic reporter derepression and activation of oncogenic transcription. Transcriptional derepression by PP2A inhibition was associated with an increase in euchromatin and a decrease in global DNA methylation. Collectively, the results indicate that epigenetic protein complexes constitute a significant point of convergence for RAS hyperactivity and PP2A inhibition in cancer. Furthermore, the work provides an important resource for future studies focusing on phosphoregulation of epigenetic gene regulation in cancer and in other RAS/PP2A-regulated cellular processes.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere202301928
Number of pages17
JournalLife science alliance
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)
  • Plant Science
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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