Abstract 247: ADAR1 promotes malignant progenitor reprogramming in chronic myeloid leukemia.
ABSTRACT The molecular etiology of human progenitor reprogramming into self-renewing leukemia stem cells (LSC) has remained elusive. Although DNA sequencing has uncovered spliceosome gene mutations that promote alternative splicing and portend leukemic transformation, isoform diversity also may be generated by RNA editing mediated by adenosine deaminase acting on RNA (ADAR) enzymes that regulate stem cell maintenance. In this study, whole-transcriptome sequencing of normal, chronic phase, and serially transplantable blast crisis chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) progenitors revealed increased IFN-γ pathway gene expression in concert with BCR-ABL amplification, enhanced expression of the IFN-responsive ADAR1 p150 isoform, and a propensity for increased adenosine-to-inosine RNA editing during CML progression. Lentiviral overexpression experiments demonstrate that ADAR1 p150 promotes expression of the myeloid transcription factor PU.1 and induces malignant reprogramming of myeloid progenitors. Moreover, enforced ADAR1 p150 expression was associated with production of a misspliced form of GSK3β implicated in LSC self-renewal. Finally, functional serial transplantation and shRNA studies demonstrate that ADAR1 knockdown impaired in vivo self-renewal capacity of blast crisis CML progenitors. Together these data provide a compelling rationale for developing ADAR1-based LSC detection and eradication strategies.
Article: Natural course and biology of CML[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) is a myeloproliferative disorder arising in the haemopoietic stem cell (HSC) compartment. This disease is characterised by a reciprocal t(9;22) chromosomal translocation, resulting in the formation of the Philadelphia (Ph) chromosome containing the BCR-ABL1 gene. As such, diagnosis and monitoring of disease involves detection of BCR-ABL1. It is the BCR-ABL1 protein, in particular its constitutively active tyrosine kinase activity, that forges the pathogenesis of CML. This aberrant kinase signalling activates downstream targets that reprogram the cell to cause uncontrolled proliferation and results in myeloid hyperplasia and ‘indolent’ symptoms of chronic phase (CP) CML. Without successful intervention, the disease will progress into blast crisis (BC), resembling an acute leukaemia. This advanced disease stage takes on an aggressive phenotype and is almost always fatal. The cell biology of CML is also centred on BCR-ABL1. The presence of BCR-ABL1 can explain virtually all the cellular features of the leukaemia (enhanced cell growth, inhibition of apoptosis, altered cell adhesion, growth factor independence, impaired genomic surveillance and differentiation). This article provides an overview of the clinical and cell biology of CML, and highlights key findings and unanswered questions essential for understanding this disease.Annals of Hematology 04/2015; 94(2). DOI:10.1007/s00277-015-2325-z · 2.40 Impact Factor
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Deregulation of RNA editing by adenosine deaminases acting on dsRNA (ADARs) has been implicated in the progression of diverse human cancers including hematopoietic malignancies such as chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). Inflammation-associated activation of ADAR1 occurs in leukemia stem cells specifically in the advanced, often drug-resistant stage of CML known as blast crisis. However, detection of cancer stem cell-associated RNA editing by RNA sequencing in these rare cell populations can be technically challenging, costly and requires PCR validation. The objectives of this study were to validate RNA editing of a subset of cancer stem cell-associated transcripts, and to develop a quantitative RNA editing fingerprint assay for rapid detection of aberrant RNA editing in human malignancies. To facilitate quantification of cancer stem cell-associated RNA editing in exons and intronic or 3'UTR primate-specific Alu sequences using a sensitive, cost-effective method, we established an in vitro RNA editing model and developed a sensitive RNA editing fingerprint assay that employs a site-specific quantitative PCR (RESSq-PCR) strategy. This assay was validated in a stably-transduced human leukemia cell line, lentiviral-ADAR1 transduced primary hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells, and in primary human chronic myeloid leukemia stem cells. In lentiviral ADAR1-expressing cells, increased RNA editing of MDM2, APOBEC3D, GLI1 and AZIN1 transcripts was detected by RESSq-PCR with improved sensitivity over sequencing chromatogram analysis. This method accurately detected cancer stem cell-associated RNA editing in primary chronic myeloid leukemia samples, establishing a cancer stem cell-specific RNA editing fingerprint of leukemic transformation that will support clinical development of novel diagnostic tools to predict and prevent cancer progression. RNA editing quantification enables rapid detection of malignant progenitors signifying cancer progression and therapeutic resistance, and will aid future RNA editing inhibitor development efforts.Journal of Translational Medicine 12/2015; 13(1):370. DOI:10.1186/s12967-014-0370-3 · 3.99 Impact Factor
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Dormant leukemia stem cells (LSC) promote therapeutic resistance and leukemic progression as a result of unbridled activation of stem cell gene expression programs. Thus, we hypothesized that 1) deregulation of the hedgehog (Hh) stem cell self-renewal and cell cycle regulatory pathway would promote dormant human LSC generation and 2) that PF-04449913, a clinical antagonist of the GLI2 transcriptional activator, smoothened (SMO), would enhance dormant human LSC eradication. To test these postulates, whole transcriptome RNA sequencing (RNA-seq), microarray, qRT-PCR, stromal co-culture, confocal fluorescence microscopic, nanoproteomic, serial transplantation and cell cycle analyses were performed on FACS purified normal, chronic phase (CP) chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), blast crisis (BC) phase CML progenitors with or without PF-04449913 treatment. Notably, RNA-seq analyses revealed that Hh pathway and cell cycle regulatory gene overexpression correlated with leukemic progression. While lentivirally enforced GLI2 expression enhanced leukemic progenitor dormancy in stromal co-cultures, this was not observed with a mutant GLI2 lacking a transactivation domain, suggesting that GLI2 expression prevented cell cycle transit. Selective SMO inhibition with PF-04449913 in humanized stromal co-cultures and LSC xenografts reduced downstream GLI2 protein and cell cycle regulatory gene expression. Moreover, SMO inhibition enhanced cell cycle transit and sensitized BC LSC to tyrosine kinase inhibition in vivo at doses that spare normal HSC. In summary, while GLI2, forms part of a core HH pathway transcriptional regulatory network that promotes human myeloid leukemic progression and dormant LSC generation, selective inhibition with PF-04449913 reduces the dormant LSC burden thereby providing a strong rationale for clinical trials predicated on SMO inhibition in combination with TKIs or chemotherapeutic agents with the ultimate aim of obviating leukemic therapeutic resistance, persistence and progression.Journal of Translational Medicine 03/2015; 13(1):98. DOI:10.1186/s12967-015-0453-9 · 3.99 Impact Factor