Identification of Novel MeCP2 Cancer-Associated Target Genes and Post-Translational Modifications

Isabel Castro-Piedras, David Vartak, Monica Sharma, Somnath Pandey, Laura Casas, Deborah Molehin, Fahmida Rasha, Mohamed Fokar, Jacob Nichols, Sharilyn Almodovar, Rakhshanda Layeequr Rahman, Kevin Pruitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Abnormal regulation of DNA methylation and its readers has been associated with a wide range of cellular dysfunction. Disruption of the normal function of DNA methylation readers contributes to cancer progression, neurodevelopmental disorders, autoimmune disease and other pathologies. One reader of DNA methylation known to be especially important is MeCP2. It acts a bridge and connects DNA methylation with histone modifications and regulates many gene targets contributing to various diseases; however, much remains unknown about how it contributes to cancer malignancy. We and others previously described novel MeCP2 post-translational regulation. We set out to test the hypothesis that MeCP2 would regulate novel genes linked with tumorigenesis and that MeCP2 is subject to additional post-translational regulation not previously identified. Herein we report novel genes bound and regulated by MeCP2 through MeCP2 ChIP-seq and RNA-seq analyses in two breast cancer cell lines representing different breast cancer subtypes. Through genomics analyses, we localize MeCP2 to novel gene targets and further define the full range of gene targets within breast cancer cell lines. We also further examine the scope of clinical and pre-clinical lysine deacetylase inhibitors (KDACi) that regulate MeCP2 post-translationally. Through proteomics analyses, we identify many additional novel acetylation sites, nine of which are mutated in Rett Syndrome. Our study provides important new insight into downstream targets of MeCP2 and provide the first comprehensive map of novel sites of acetylation associated with both pre-clinical and FDA-approved KDACi used in the clinic. This report examines a critical reader of DNA methylation and has important implications for understanding MeCP2 regulation in cancer models and identifying novel molecular targets associated with epigenetic therapies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number576362
JournalFrontiers in Oncology
StatePublished - Dec 10 2020


  • ChIP-Seq analysis
  • MeCP2
  • breast cancer
  • post-translational modification
  • transcriptional regulation


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