Chromatin Accessibility Mapping Identifies Mediators of Basal Transcription and Retinoid-Induced Repression of OTX2 in Medulloblastoma
Despite an emerging understanding of the genetic alterations giving rise to various tumors, the mechanisms whereby most oncogenes are overexpressed remain unclear. Here we have utilized an integrated approach of genomewide regulatory element mapping via DNase-seq followed by conventional reporter assays and transcription factor binding site discovery to characterize the transcriptional regulation of the medulloblastoma oncogene Orthodenticle Homeobox 2 (OTX2). Through these studies we have revealed that OTX2 is differentially regulated in medulloblastoma at the level of chromatin accessibility, which is in part mediated by DNA methylation. In cell lines exhibiting chromatin accessibility of OTX2 regulatory regions, we found that autoregulation maintains OTX2 expression. Comparison of medulloblastoma regulatory elements with those of the developing brain reveals that these tumors engage a developmental regulatory program to drive OTX2 transcription. Finally, we have identified a transcriptional regulatory element mediating retinoid-induced OTX2 repression in these tumors. This work characterizes for the first time the mechanisms of OTX2 overexpression in medulloblastoma. Furthermore, this study establishes proof of principle for applying ENCODE datasets towards the characterization of upstream trans-acting factors mediating expression of individual genes.