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PNAS Study Digs Into Distinct Epigenetic Effects of SOX9 Transcription Factor in Brain Cancers

Editor's Note: The article described below is not yet available at the PNAS site but is scheduled to be posted this week.

The development-related transcription factor Sox9 appears to contribute to brain tumor epigenetics in a context-specific fashion, according to a paper slated to appear in PNAS this week. With the help of CRISPR-Cas9-based gene editing, reporter proteins, chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing, RNA sequencing, and other approaches in mouse models representing high-grade glioma or ependymoma, researchers at the Baylor College of Medicine and other centers detected separate Sox9 interactions with histone deacetylase enzyme complexes in glioma and ependymoma, coinciding with divergent histone regulation and tumor development patterns. "Alterations in the epigenome play a critical role in the malignant progression of brain tumors," the authors write, adding that results from their analyses "indicate that the roles of developmental transcription factors in brain tumor can vary based on distinct epigenetic functions and have critical implications for the clinical use of epigenetic therapies."

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