The chromosomal t(4;14) (p16;q32) translocation drives high expression of histone methyltransferase nuclear SET domain-containing 2 (NSD2) and plays vital roles in multiple myeloma (MM) evolution and progression. However, the mechanisms of NSD2-driven epigenomic alterations in chemoresistance to proteasome inhibitors (PIs) are not fully understood. Using a CRISPR/Cas9 sgRNA library in a bone marrow-bearing MM model, we found that hepatoma-derived growth factor 2 (HRP2) was a suppressor of chemoresistance to PIs and that its downregulation correlated with a poor response and worse outcomes in the clinic. We observed suppression of HRP2 in bortezomib-resistant MM cells, and knockdown of HRP2 induced a marked tolerance to PIs. Moreover, knockdown of HRP2 augmented H3K27me3 levels, consequentially intensifying transcriptome alterations promoting cell survival and restriction of ER stress. Mechanistically, HRP2 recognized H3K36me2 and recruited the histone demethylase MYC-induced nuclear antigen (MINA) to remove H3K27me3. Tazemetostat, a highly selective epigenetic inhibitor that reduces H3K27me3 levels, synergistically sensitized the anti-MM effects of bortezomib both in vitro and in vivo. Collectively, these results provide a better understanding of the origin of chemoresistance in patients with MM with the t(4;14) translocation and a rationale for managing patients with MM who have different genomic backgrounds.
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