Disruption of the MYC-miRNA-EZH2 loop to suppress aggressive B-cell lymphoma survival and clonogenicity

Leukemia. 2013 Dec;27(12):2341-50. doi: 10.1038/leu.2013.94. Epub 2013 Mar 29.


c-MYC (hereafter MYC) overexpression has been recognized in aggressive B-cell lymphomas and linked to adverse prognosis. MYC activation results in widespread repression of micro-RNA (miRNA) expression and associated with lymphoma aggressive progression. Our recent study identified a MYC-miRNA-EZH2 feed-forward loop linking overexpression of MYC, EZH2 and miRNA repression. Here, using a novel small-molecule BET bromodomain inhibitor, JQ1, and the EZH2 inhibitor, DZNep, we demonstrated that combined treatment of JQ1 and DZNep cooperatively disrupted MYC activation, resulting in a greater restoration of miR-26a expression and synergistically suppressed lymphoma growth and clonogenicity in aggressive lymphoma cells. Furthermore, CHIP assay demonstrated that MYC recruited EZH2 to miR-26a promoter and cooperatively repressed miR-26a expression in aggressive lymphoma cell lines, as well as primary lymphoma cells. Loss- or gain-of-function approaches revealed that miR-26a functioned as a tumor suppressor miRNA and mediated the combinatorial effects of JQ1 and DZNep. These findings represent a novel promising approach for silencing MYC-miRNA-EZH2 amplification loop for combinatorial therapy of aggressive B-cell lymphomas.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • DNA Primers
  • Enhancer of Zeste Homolog 2 Protein
  • Genes, myc*
  • Humans
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell / genetics
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell / pathology*
  • MicroRNAs / genetics*
  • Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 / genetics*
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic


  • DNA Primers
  • MicroRNAs
  • EZH2 protein, human
  • Enhancer of Zeste Homolog 2 Protein
  • Polycomb Repressive Complex 2