SCW Lee, B Phipson, CD Hyland, HS Leong, RS Allan, A Lun, DJ Hilton, SL Nutt, ME Blewitt, GK Smyth, WS Alexander, IJ Majewski
Deregulation of polycomb group complexes polycomb repressive complex 1 (PRC1) and 2 (PRC2) is associated with human cancers. Although inactivating mutations in PRC2-encoding genes EZH2, EED, and SUZ12 are present in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia and in myeloid malignancies, gain-of-function mutations in EZH2 are frequently observed in B-cell lymphoma, implying disease-dependent effects of individual mutations. We show that, in contrast to PRC1, PRC2 is a tumor suppressor in Eµ-myc lymphomagenesis, because disease onset was accelerated by heterozygosity for Suz12 or by short hairpin RNA-mediated knockdown of Suz12 or Ezh2. Accelerated lymphomagenesis was associated with increased accumulation of B-lymphoid cells in the absence of effects on apoptosis or cell cycling. However, Suz12-deficient B-lymphoid progenitors exhibit enhanced serial clonogenicity. Thus, PRC2 normally restricts the self-renewal of B-lymphoid progenitors, the disruption of which contributes to lymphomagenesis. This finding provides new insight regarding the functional contribution of mutations in PRC2 in a range of leukemias.