Retinoids and EZH2 inhibitors cooperate to orchestrate anti-oncogenic effects on bladder cancer cells.


The highly mutated nature of bladder cancers harboring mutations in chromatin regulatory genes opposing Polycomb-mediated repression highlights the importance of targeting EZH2 in bladder cancer. Furthermore, the critical role of the retinoic acid signaling pathway in the development and homeostasis of the urothelium, and the anti-oncogenic effects of retinoids are well established. Therefore, our aim is to simultaneously target EZH2 and retinoic acid signaling in bladder cancer to potentiate the therapeutic response. Here we report that this coordinated targeting strategy stimulates an anti-oncogenic profile, as reflected by inducing a synergistic reduction in cell viability that was associated with increased apoptosis and cell cycle arrest in a cooperative and orchestrated manner. This study characterized anti-oncogenic transcriptional reprogramming centered on the transcriptional regulator CHOP by stimulating the endoplasmic reticulum stress response. We further portrayed a molecular mechanism whereby EZH2 maintains H3K27me3-mediated repression of a subset of genes involved in unfolded protein responses, reflecting the molecular mechanism underlying this co-targeting strategy. These findings highlight the importance of co-targeting the EZH2 and retinoic acid pathway in bladder cancers and encourage the design of novel treatments employing retinoids coupled with EZH2 inhibitors in bladder carcinoma.

More about this publication

Cancer gene therapy
  • Volume 31
  • Issue nr. 4
  • Pages 537-551
  • Publication date 01-04-2024

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