A noncanonical Flt3ITD/NF-κB signaling pathway represses DAPK1 in acute myeloid leukemia.
ABSTRACT Death-associated protein kinase 1 (DAPK1), a tumor suppressor, is a rate-limiting effector in an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress-dependent apoptotic pathway. Its expression is epigenetically suppressed in several tumors. A mechanistic basis for epigenetic/transcriptional repression of DAPK1 was investigated in certain forms of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) with poor prognosis, which lacked ER stress-induced apoptosis.
Heterogeneous primary AMLs were screened to identify a subgroup with Flt3ITD in which repression of DAPK1, among NF-κB-and c-Jun-responsive genes, was studied. RNA interference knockdown studies were carried out in an Flt3ITD(+) cell line, MV-4-11, to establish genetic epistasis in the pathway Flt3ITD-TAK1-DAPK1 repression, and chromatin immunoprecipitations were carried out to identify proximate effector proteins, including TAK1-activated p52NF-κB, at the DAPK1 locus.
AMLs characterized by normal karyotype with Flt3ITD were found to have 10- to 100-fold lower DAPK1 transcripts normalized to the expression of c-Jun, a transcriptional activator of DAPK1, as compared with a heterogeneous cytogenetic category. In addition, Meis1, a c-Jun-responsive adverse AML prognostic gene signature was measured as control. These Flt3ITD(+) AMLs overexpress relB, a transcriptional repressor, which forms active heterodimers with p52NF-κB. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays identified p52NF-κB binding to the DAPK1 promoter together with histone deacetylase 2 (HDAC2) and HDAC6 in the Flt3ITD(+) human AML cell line MV-4-11. Knockdown of p52NF-κB or its upstream regulator, NF-κB-inducing kinase (NIK), de-repressed DAPK1. DAPK1-repressed primary Flt3ITD(+) AMLs had selective nuclear activation of p52NF-κB.
Flt3ITD promotes a noncanonical pathway via TAK1 and p52NF-κB to suppress DAPK1 in association with HDACs, which explains DAPK1 repression in Flt3ITD(+) AML.