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Protein kinase C (PKC)-interacting cousin of thioredoxin (PICOT; also termed glutaredoxin 3 (Grx3; Glrx3)) is a ubiquitous protein that can interact with the embryonic ectoderm development (EED) protein via each of its two C-terminal PICOT/Grx homology domains. Since EED is a Polycomb-Group protein and a core component of the polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2), we tested the involvement of PICOT in the regulation of PRC2-mediated H3 lysine 27 trimethylation (H3K27me3), transcription and translation of selected PRC2 target genes. A fraction of the cellular PICOT protein was found in the nuclei of leukemia cell lines, where it was associated with the chromatin. In addition, PICOT coimmunoprecipitated with chromatin-residing EED derived from Jurkat and COS-7 cell nuclei. PICOT knockdown led to a reduced H3K27me3 mark and a decrease in EED and EZH2 at the CCND2 gene promoter. In agreement, PICOT-deficient T cells exhibited a significant increase in CCND2 mRNA and protein expression. Since elevated expression levels of PICOT were reported in several different tumors and correlated in the current studies with decreased transcription and translation of the CCND2 gene, we tested whether this opposite correlation exists in human cancers. Data from the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database indicated statistically significant negative correlation between PICOT and CCND2 in eight different human tumors where the highest correlation was in lung (p = 8.67E−10) and pancreatic (p = 1.06E−5) adenocarcinoma. Furthermore, high expression of PICOT and low expression of CCND2 correlated with poor patient survival in five different types of human tumors. The results suggest that PICOT binding to chromatin-associated EED modulates the H3K27me3 level at the CCND2 gene promoter which may be one of the potential mechanisms for regulation of cyclin D2 expression in tumors. These findings also indicate that a low PICOT/CCND2 expression ratio might serve as a good predictor of patient survival in selected human cancers.
Pandya, P., Jethva, M., Rubin, E., Birnbaum, R. Y., Braiman, A., & Isakov, N. (2019). PICOT binding to chromatin-associated EED negatively regulates cyclin D2 expression by increasing H3K27me3 at the CCND2 gene promoter. Cell Death and Disease, 10(10). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41419-019-1935-0