UMass Chan Medical School Faculty Publications


MEN1 is a Melanoma Tumor Suppressor that Preserves Genomic Integrity by Stimulating Transcription of Genes that Promote Homologous Recombination-Directed DNA Repair

UMMS Affiliation

Program in Molecular Medicine; Program in Gene Function and Expression

Publication Date


Document Type



Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Type 1; Genes, Tumor Suppressor; Recombinational DNA Repair


Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology | Cancer Biology | Genetics and Genomics | Molecular Biology | Molecular Genetics


Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 is a familial cancer syndrome resulting from loss-of-function mutations in the MEN1 gene. We previously identified the tumor suppressor MEN1 as a gene required for oncogene-induced senescence in melanocytes, raising the possibility that MEN1 is a melanoma tumor suppressor. Here we show that MEN1 expression is lost in a high percentage of human melanomas and melanoma cell lines. We find that melanocytes depleted of MEN1 are deficient in homologous recombination (HR)-directed DNA repair, which is accompanied by increased non-homologous end joining activity. Following DNA damage, MEN1 levels increase resulting from phosphorylation by the DNA damage kinase ATM/ATR. Most importantly, we show that MEN1 functions by directly stimulating transcription of several genes, including BRCA1, RAD51 and RAD51AP1, that encode proteins involved in HR. MEN1 and its coactivator, the histone methyltransferase MLL, are recruited to the BRCA1, RAD51 and RAD51AP1 promoters by estrogen receptor 1, resulting in increased histone H3-lysine 4 trimethylation and transcription. Collectively, our results indicate that MEN1 is a melanoma tumor suppressor that functions by stimulating transcription of genes involved in HR-directed DNA repair.

DOI of Published Version



Mol Cell Biol. 2013 Jul;33(13):2635-47. doi: 10.1128/MCB.00167-13. Link to article on publisher's site

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Molecular and cellular biology

PubMed ID