HIRA loss transforms FH-deficient cells

Lorea Valcarcel-Jimenez, Connor Rogerson, Cissy Yong, Christina Schmidt, Ming Yang, Monica Cremades-Rodelgo, Victoria Harle, Victoria Offord, Kim Wong, Ariane Mora, Alyson Speed, Veronica Caraffini, Maxine Gia Binh Tran, Eamonn R Maher, Grant D Stewart, Sakari Vanharanta, David J Adams, Christian Frezza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fumarate hydratase (FH) is a mitochondrial enzyme that catalyzes the reversible hydration of fumarate to malate in the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle. Germline mutations of FH lead to hereditary leiomyomatosis and renal cell carcinoma (HLRCC), a cancer syndrome characterized by a highly aggressive form of renal cancer. Although HLRCC tumors metastasize rapidly, FH-deficient mice develop premalignant cysts in the kidneys, rather than carcinomas. How Fh1-deficient cells overcome these tumor-suppressive events during transformation is unknown. Here, we perform a genome-wide CRISPR-Cas9 screen to identify genes that, when ablated, enhance the proliferation of Fh1-deficient cells. We found that the depletion of the histone cell cycle regulator (HIRA) enhances proliferation and invasion of Fh1-deficient cells in vitro and in vivo. Mechanistically, Hira loss activates MYC and its target genes, increasing nucleotide metabolism specifically in Fh1-deficient cells, independent of its histone chaperone activity. These results are instrumental for understanding mechanisms of tumorigenesis in HLRCC and the development of targeted treatments for patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbereabq8297
JournalScience Advances
Issue number42
Publication statusPublished - 21 Oct 2022


Dive into the research topics of 'HIRA loss transforms FH-deficient cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this