Rara haploinsufficiency modestly influences the phenotype of acute promyelocytic leukemia in mice

Section of Stem Cell Biology, Division of Oncology, Washington University School of Medicine, 660 South Euclid Avenue, St Louis, MO 63110, USA.
Blood (Impact Factor: 9.78). 12/2010; 117(8):2460-8. DOI: 10.1182/blood-2010-08-300087
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT RARA (retinoic acid receptor alpha) haploinsufficiency is an invariable consequence of t(15;17)(q22;q21) translocations in acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL). Retinoids and RARA activity have been implicated in hematopoietic self-renewal and neutrophil maturation. We and others therefore predicted that RARA haploinsufficiency would contribute to APL pathogenesis. To test this hypothesis, we crossed Rara(+/-) mice with mice expressing PML (promyelocytic leukemia)-RARA from the cathepsin G locus (mCG-PR). We found that Rara haploinsufficiency cooperated with PML-RARA, but only modestly influenced the preleukemic and leukemic phenotype. Bone marrow from mCG-PR(+/-) × Rara(+/-) mice had decreased numbers of mature myeloid cells, increased ex vivo myeloid cell proliferation, and increased competitive advantage after transplantation. Rara haploinsufficiency did not alter mCG-PR-dependent leukemic latency or penetrance, but did influence the distribution of leukemic cells; leukemia in mCG-PR(+/-) × Rara(+/-) mice presented more commonly with low to normal white blood cell counts and with myeloid infiltration of lymph nodes. APL cells from these mice were responsive to all-trans retinoic acid and had virtually no differences in expression profiling compared with tumors arising in mCG-PR(+/-) × Rara(+/+) mice. These data show that Rara haploinsufficiency (like Pml haploinsufficiency and RARA-PML) can cooperate with PML-RARA to influence the pathogenesis of APL in mice, but that PML-RARA is the t(15;17) disease-initiating mutation.