Osteosarcoma is the most common primary malignant bone tumor affecting the pediatric population with a high potential to metastasize. However, insights into the molecular features enabling its metastatic potential are limited. We mapped the active chromatin landscapes of osteosarcoma tumors by integrating histone H3 lysine–acetylated chromatin state (n = 13), chromatin accessibility profiles (n = 11), and gene expression (n = 13) to understand the differences in their active chromatin profiles and their impact on molecular mechanisms driving the malignant phenotypes. Primary osteosarcoma tumors from patients with metastasis (primary met) have a distinct active chromatin landscape compared with those without metastasis (localized). This difference shapes the transcriptional profile of osteosarcoma. We identified novel candidate genes, including PPP1R1B, PREX1, and IGF2BP1, that exhibit increased chromatin activity in primary met. Loss of PREX1 in primary met osteosarcoma cells significantly diminishes osteosarcoma proliferation, invasion, migration, and colony formation capacity. Differential chromatin activity in primary met is associated with genes regulating cytoskeleton organization, cellular adhesion, and extracellular matrix, suggesting their role in facilitating osteosarcoma metastasis. Chromatin profiling of tumors from metastatic lung lesions shows increased chromatin activity in genes involved in cell migration and Wnt pathway. These data demonstrate that metastatic potential is intrinsically present in primary met tumors, with cellular chromatin profiles further adapting for successful dissemination, migration, and colonization at the distal site.

Implications: Our study demonstrates that metastatic potential is intrinsic to primary metastatic osteosarcoma tumors, with chromatin profiles further adapting for successful dissemination, migration, and colonization at the distal metastatic site.

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