Loss of MED12 activates the TGFβ pathway to promote chemoresistance and replication fork stability in BRCA-deficient cells

Lindsey M. Jackson, Ashna Dhoonmoon, Anastasia Hale, Kady A. Dennis, Emily M. Schleicher, Claudia M. Nicolae, George Lucian Moldovan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Understanding chemoresistance mechanisms in BRCA-deficient cells will allow for identification of biomarkers for predicting tumor response to therapy, as well as the design of novel therapeutic approaches targeting this chemoresistance. Here, we show that the protein MED12, a component of the Mediator transcription regulation complex, plays an unexpected role in regulating chemosensitivity in BRCA-deficient cells. We found that loss of MED12 confers resistance to cisplatin and PARP inhibitors in both BRCA1- and BRCA2-deficient cells, which is associated with restoration of both homologous recombination and replication fork stability. Surprisingly, MED12-controlled chemosensitivity does not involve a function of the Mediator complex, but instead reflects a distinct role of MED12 in suppression of the TGFβ pathway. Importantly, we show that ectopic activation of the TGFβ pathway is enough to overcome the fork protection and DNA repair defects of BRCA-mutant cells, resulting in chemoresistance. Our work identifies the MED12-TGFβ module as an important regulator of genomic stability and chemosensitivity in BRCA-deficient cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12855-12869
Number of pages15
JournalNucleic acids research
Volume49
Issue number22
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 16 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics

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