Semi-quantitative mass spectrometry in AML cells identifies new non-genomic targets of the EZH2 methyltransferase

Yordan Sbirkov, Colin Kwok, Amandeep Bhamra, Andrew J. Thompson, Veronica Gil, Arthur Zelent, Kevin Petrie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Alterations to the gene encoding the EZH2 (KMT6A) methyltransferase, including both gain-of-function and loss-of-function, have been linked to a variety of haematological malignancies and solid tumours, suggesting a complex, context-dependent role of this methyltransferase. The successful implementation of molecularly targeted therapies against EZH2 requires a greater understanding of the potential mechanisms by which EZH2 contributes to cancer. One aspect of this effort is the mapping of EZH2 partner proteins and cellular targets. To this end we performed affinity-purification mass spectrometry in the FAB-M2 HL-60 acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) cell line before and after all-trans retinoic acid-induced differentiation. These studies identified new EZH2 interaction partners and potential non-histone substrates for EZH2-mediated methylation. Our results suggest that EZH2 is involved in the regulation of translation through interactions with a number of RNA binding proteins and by methylating key components of protein synthesis such as eEF1A1. Given that deregulated mRNA translation is a frequent feature of cancer and that eEF1A1 is highly expressed in many human tumours, these findings present new possibilities for the therapeutic targeting of EZH2 in AML.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1440
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 5 2017


  • Acute myeloid leukaemia
  • EEF1A1
  • EZH2
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Methylation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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