Ribosomal RNA 2′O-methylation as a novel layer of inter-tumour heterogeneity in breast cancer

Virginie Marcel (Lead / Corresponding author), Janice Kielbassa, Virginie Marchand, Kundhavai s Natchiar, Hermes Paraqindes, Flora Nguyen Van Long, Lilia Ayadi, Valérie Bourguignon-Igel, Piero Lo Monaco, Déborah Monchiet, Véronique Scott, Laurie Tonon, Susan E. Bray, Alexandra Diot, Lee B. Jordan, Alastair M Thompson, Jean-Christophe Bourdon, Thierry Dubois, Fabrice André, Frédéric CatezAlain Puisieux, Yuri Motorin, Bruno p Klaholz, Alain Viari, Jean-Jacques Diaz (Lead / Corresponding author)

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Recent epitranscriptomics studies unravelled that ribosomal RNA (rRNA) 2′O-methylation is an additional layer of gene expression regulation highlighting the ribosome as a novel actor of translation control. However, this major finding lies on evidences coming mainly, if not exclusively, from cellular models. Using the innovative next-generation RiboMeth-seq technology, we established the first rRNA 2′O-methylation landscape in 195 primary human breast tumours. We uncovered the existence of compulsory/stable sites, which show limited inter-patient variability in their 2′O-methylation level, which map on functionally important sites of the human ribosome structure and which are surrounded by variable sites found from the second nucleotide layers. Our data demonstrate that some positions within the rRNA molecules can tolerate absence of 2′O-methylation in tumoral and healthy tissues. We also reveal that rRNA 2′O-methylation exhibits intra- and inter-patient variability in breast tumours. Its level is indeed differentially associated with breast cancer subtype and tumour grade. Altogether, our rRNA 2′O-methylation profiling of a large-scale human sample collection provides the first compelling evidence that ribosome variability occurs in humans and suggests that rRNA 2′O-methylation might represent a relevant element of tumour biology useful in clinic. This novel variability at molecular level offers an additional layer to capture the cancer heterogeneity and associates with specific features of tumour biology thus offering a novel targetable molecular signature in cancer.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberzcaa036
Number of pages12
JournalNAR Cancer
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 22 Dec 2020


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