As a reader of histone H3K4me3, BPTF associated protein of 18 kDa (BAP18) is involved in modulation of androgen receptor action in prostate cancer. However, the function of BAP18 on oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) and its molecular mechanism remains to be elusive.
OSCC-derived cell lines carrying silenced BAP18 were established by Lentiviral infection. Quantitative PCR (qPCR), western blot, and ChIP assay were performed to detect gene transcription regulation and the possible mechanism. Colony formation, cell growth curve and xenograft tumor experiments were performed to examine cell growth and proliferation.
Our study demonstrated that BAP18 was highly expressed in OSCC samples compared with that in benign. BAP18 depletion obviously influenced the expression of a series of genes, including cell cycle-related genes. We thus provided the evidence to demonstrate that BAP18 depletion significantly decreases CCND1 and CCND2 (CCND1/2) transcription. In addition, BAP18 is recruited to the promoter regions of CCND1/2, thereby facilitating the recruitment of the core subunits of MLL1 complex to the same regions, to increase histone H3K4me3 levels. Furthermore, BAP18 depletion delayed G1-S phase transition and inhibited cell growth in OSCC-derived cell lines.
This study suggests that BAP18 is involved in modulation of CCND1/2 transcription and promotes OSCC progression. BAP18 could be a potential target for OSCC treatment and diagnosis. FUND: This work was funded by National Natural Science Foundation of China (31871286, 81872015, 31701102, 81702800, 81902889), Foundation for Special Professor of Liaoning Province, and Supported project for young technological innovation-talents in Shenyang (No. RC170541).

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