Histone H3K27M is a driving mutation in diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), a deadly pediatric brain tumor. H3K27M reshapes the epigenome through a global inhibition of PRC2 catalytic activity and displacement of H3K27me2/3, promoting oncogenesis of DIPG. As a consequence, a histone modification H3K36me2, antagonistic to H3K27me2/3, is aberrantly elevated. Here, we investigate the role of H3K36me2 in H3K27M-DIPG by tackling its upstream catalyzing enzymes (writers) and downstream binding factors (readers). We determine that NSD1 and NSD2 are the key writers for H3K36me2. Loss of NSD1/2 in H3K27M-DIPG impedes cellular proliferation and tumorigenesis by disrupting tumor-promoting transcriptional programs. Further, we demonstrate that LEDGF and HDGF2 are the main readers mediating the protumorigenic effects downstream of NSD1/2-H3K36me2. Treatment with a chemically modified peptide mimicking endogenous H3K36me2 dislodges LEDGF/HDGF2 from chromatin and specifically inhibits the proliferation of H3K27M-DIPG. Our results indicate a functional pathway of NSD1/2-H3K36me2-LEDGF/HDGF2 as an acquired dependency in H3K27M-DIPG.
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