Oncogene. 2020 Sep 2. doi: 10.1038/s41388-020-01449-y. Online ahead of print.
Aberrations in epigenetic modulation dysregulate transcription, playing a critical role in the developmental process of tumors, including lung cancer. Aberrant levels of the histone 3 lysine-27 demethylase KDM6A have been found in cancer and are either positively or negatively associated with tumorigenesis and prognosis. However, the clinical relevance and functional role of KDM6A in lung cancer is largely unknown. We found that KDM6A protein expression was higher in NSCLC tissues than in the corresponding paracancer tissues and that high KDM6A expression was associated with poor patient prognosis. Furthermore, KDM6A knockdown in NSCLC cell lines markedly inhibited the tumorigenic phenotype both in vitro and in vivo. Mechanistically, KDM6A colocalized and cooperated with KMT2B to reprogram the transcriptional network via regulating the cancer pathway, in which abnormal activation of the Wnt pathway is the dominant factor. Interestingly, in NSCLC cell lines, H3K4me3 but not H3K27me2/3 or H3K4me1/2 was markedly altered upon KDM6A or KMT2B knockdown, indicating that KDM6A may act independently of H3K27 demethylases in NSCLC. Taken together, these results indicated that KDM6A or KMT2B may be a prognostic biomarker and promising therapeutic target in NSCLC.