mTORC1 Promotes ARID1A degradation and oncogenic chromatin remodeling in hepatocellular carcinoma

Shanshan Zhang, Yu Feng Zhou, Jian Cao, Stephen K. Burley, Hui Yun Wang, X. F.Steven Zheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complexes control accessibility of chromatin to transcriptional and coregulatory machineries. Chromatin remodeling plays important roles in normal physiology and diseases, particularly cancer. The ARID1A-containing SWI/SNF complex is commonly mutated and thought to be a key tumor suppressor in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), but its regulation in response to oncogenic signals remains poorly understood. mTOR is a conserved central controller of cell growth and an oncogenic driver of HCC. Remarkably, cancer mutations in mTOR and SWI/SNF complex are mutually exclusive in human HCC tumors, suggesting that they share a common oncogenic function. Here, we report that mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1) interact with ARID1A and regulates ubiquitination and proteasomal degradation of ARID1A protein. The mTORC1–ARID1A axis promoted oncogenic chromatin remodeling and YAP-dependent transcription, thereby enhancing liver cancer cell growth in vitro and tumor development in vivo. Conversely, excessive ARID1A expression counteracted AKT-driven liver tumorigenesis in vivo. Moreover, dysregulation of this axis conferred resistance to mTOR-targeted therapies. These findings demonstrate that the ARID1A–SWI/SNF complex is a regulatory target for oncogenic mTOR signaling, which is important for mTORC1-driven hepatocarcinogenesis, with implications for therapeutic interventions in HCC. Significance: mTOR promotes oncogenic chromatin remodeling by controlling ARID1A degradation, which is important for liver tumorigenesis and response to mTOR- and YAP-targeted therapies in hepatocellular carcinoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5642-5665
Number of pages24
JournalCancer Research
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 15 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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