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BET bromodomain inhibition potentiates radiosensitivity in models of H3K27-altered diffuse midline glioma.

Diffuse midline glioma (DMG) H3K27-altered is one of the devastating childhood cancers. Radiation therapy remains the only effective treatment yet provides a 5-year survival rate of only 1%. Several clinical trials have attempted to enhance radiation anti-tumor activity using radiosensitizing agents, although none have been successful. Given this, there is a critical need for identifying effective therapeutics to enhance radiation sensitivity for the treatment of DMG. Using high-throughput radiosensitivity screening, we identified bromo- and extra-terminal domain (BET) protein inhibitors as potent radiosensitizers in DMG cells. Genetic and pharmacologic inhibition of BET bromodomain activity reduced DMG cell proliferation and enhanced radiation-induced DNA damage by inhibiting DNA repair pathways. RNA-seq and CUT & RUN showed that BET bromodomain inhibitors regulate the expression of DNA repair genes mediated by H3K27 acetylation at enhancers. BET bromodomain inhibitors enhanced DMG radiation-response in patient-derived xenografts as well as genetically engineered mouse models. Together, our results highlight BET bromodomain inhibitors as radiosensitizer and provide a rationale for developing combination therapy with radiation for the treatment of DMG.

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