[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aberrant post-transcriptional regulation by miRNAs has been shown to be involved in the pathogenesis of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). In a previous study, we performed a large functional screen using a retroviral barcoded miRNA expression library. Here, we report that overexpression of miR-9/9* in myeloid 32D cell line (32D-miR-9/9*) had profound impact on G-CSF induced differentiation. Further in vitro studies showed that enforced expression of miR-9/9* blocked normal neutrophil development in 32D and in primary murine lineage-negative bone marrow cells. We examined the expression of miR-9/9* in a cohort of 647 primary human AMLs. In most cases, miR-9 and miR-9* were significantly upregulated and their expression levels varied according to AML subtype; with the highest expression in MLL-related leukemias harboring 11q23 abnormalities, and the lowest expression in AML cases with t(8;21) and biallelic mutations in CEBPA. Gene expression profiling of AMLs with high expression of miR-9/9* and 32D-miR-9/9* identified ETS-related gene (Erg) as the only common potential target. Upregulation of ERG in 32D cells rescued miR-9/9*-induced block in neutrophil differentiation. Taken together, this study demonstrates that miR-9/9* are aberrantly expressed in most of AML cases and interfere with normal neutrophil differentiation by downregulation of ERG.Leukemia accepted article preview online, 15 July 2015. doi:10.1038/leu.2015.183.
Leukemia: official journal of the Leukemia Society of America, Leukemia Research Fund, U.K 07/2015; DOI:10.1038/leu.2015.183 · 10.43 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Myeloid malignancies bearing chromosomal inv(3)/t(3;3) abnormalities are among the most therapy-resistant leukemias. Deregulated expression of EVI1 is the molecular hallmark of this disease; however, the genome-wide spectrum of cooperating mutations in this disease subset has not been systematically elucidated. Here, we show that 98% of inv(3)/t(3;3) myeloid malignancies harbor mutations in genes activating RAS/receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) signaling pathways. In addition, hemizygous mutations in GATA2 as well as heterozygous alterations in RUNX1, SF3B1, and genes encoding epigenetic modifiers frequently co-occur with the inv(3)/t(3;3) aberration. Notably, neither mutational patterns nor gene expression profiles differ across inv(3)/t(3;3) AML, CML, and MDS cases, suggesting recognition of inv(3)/t(3;3) myeloid malignancies as one disease entity irrespective of blast count. The high incidence of activating RAS/RTK signaling mutations may provide a target for a rational treatment strategy in this high-risk patient group.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chromosomal rearrangements without gene fusions have been implicated in leukemogenesis by causing deregulation of proto-oncogenes via relocation of cryptic regulatory DNA elements. AML with inv(3)/t(3;3) is associated with aberrant expression of the stem-cell regulator EVI1. Applying functional genomics and genome-engineering, we demonstrate that both 3q rearrangements reposition a distal GATA2 enhancer to ectopically activate EVI1 and simultaneously confer GATA2 functional haploinsufficiency, previously identified as the cause of sporadic familial AML/MDS and MonoMac/Emberger syndromes. Genomic excision of the ectopic enhancer restored EVI1 silencing and led to growth inhibition and differentiation of AML cells, which could be replicated by pharmacologic BET inhibition. Our data show that structural rearrangements involving the chromosomal repositioning of a single enhancer can cause deregulation of two unrelated distal genes, with cancer as the outcome.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mutations in splice factor (SF) genes occur more frequently in myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) than in acute myeloid leukemias (AML). We sequenced cDNA from bone marrow of 47 RAEB (refractory anemia with excess of blasts) patients, 29 AML cases with low marrow blast cell count (AML-LBC) and 325 other AML patients and determined the presence of SF-hotspot mutations in SF3B1, U2AF35, and SRSF2. SF-mutations were found in 10 RAEB, 12 AML-LBC and 25 other AML cases. Our study provides evidence that SF-mutant RAEB and SF-mutant AML are clinically, cytologically and molecularly highly similar. An integrated analysis of gene expression (GEP) and DNA-methylation profiling (DMP) data revealed two unique patient-clusters highly enriched for SF-mutant RAEB/AML. The combined GEP/DMP signatures revealed one SF-mutant patient-cluster with an erythroid signature. The other SF-mutant patient-cluster was enriched for NRAS/KRAS mutations and showed an inferior survival. We conclude that SF-mutant RAEB/AML constitute a related disorder overriding the artificial separation between AML and MDS, and that SF-mutant RAEB/AML is composed of two molecularly and clinically distinct subgroups. We conclude that SF-mutant disorders should be considered as myeloid malignancies that transcend the boundaries of AML and MDS.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The EVI1 (ecotropic viral integration site 1) gene at 3q26 codes for a transcriptional regulator with an essential role in haematopoiesis. Overexpression of EVI1 in acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) is frequently associated with 3q26 rearrangements and confers extremely poor prognosis. EVI1 mediates transcriptional regulation, signalling, and epigenetic modifications by interacting with DNA, proteins and protein complexes. To explore to what extent protein phosphorylation impacts on EVI1 functions, we analysed endogenous EVI1 protein from a high EVI1 expressing Fanconi anaemia (FA) derived AML cell line. Mass spectrometric analysis of immunoprecipitated EVI1 revealed phosphorylation at serine 196 (S196) in the sixth zinc finger of the N-terminal zinc finger domain. Mutated EVI1 with an aspartate substitution at serine 196 (S196D), which mimics serine phosphorylation of this site, exhibited reduced DNA-binding and transcriptional repression from a gene promotor selectively targeted by the N-terminal zinc finger domain. Forced expression of the S196D mutant significantly reduced EVI1 mediated transformation of Rat1 fibroblasts. While EVI1-mediated serial replating of murine haematopoietic progenitors was maintained by EVI1-S196D, this was associated with significantly higher Evi1-trancript levels compared with WT-EVI1 or EVI1-S196A, mimicking S196 non-phosphorylated EVI1. These data suggest that EVI1 function is modulated by phosphorylation of the first zinc finger domain.
PLoS ONE 06/2013; 8(6):e66510. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0066510 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The proto-oncogene EVI1 (ecotropic viral integration site-1), located on chromosome band 3q26, is aberrantly expressed in human acute myeloid leukemia (AML) with 3q26 rearrangements. In the current study, we showed, in a large AML cohort carrying 11q23 translocations, that ∼ 43% of all mixed lineage leukemia (MLL)-rearranged leukemias are EVI1(pos). High EVI1 expression occurs in AMLs expressing the MLL-AF6, -AF9, -AF10, -ENL, or -ELL fusion genes. In addition, we present evidence that EVI1(pos) MLL-rearranged AMLs differ molecularly, morphologically, and immunophenotypically from EVI1(neg) MLL-rearranged leukemias. In mouse bone marrow cells transduced with MLL-AF9, we show that MLL-AF9 fusion protein maintains Evi1 expression on transformation of Evi1(pos) HSCs. MLL-AF9 does not activate Evi1 expression in MLL-AF9-transformed granulocyte macrophage progenitors (GMPs) that were initially Evi1(neg). Moreover, shRNA-mediated knockdown of Evi1 in an Evi1(pos) MLL-AF9 mouse model inhibits leukemia growth both in vitro and in vivo, suggesting that Evi1 provides a growth-promoting signal. Using the Evi1(pos) MLL-AF9 mouse leukemia model, we demonstrate increased sensitivity to chemotherapeutic agents on reduction of Evi1 expression. We conclude that EVI1 is a critical player in tumor growth in a subset of MLL-rearranged AMLs.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: DNA methylation patterns are frequently dysregulated in cancer, although little is known of the mechanisms through which specific gene sets become aberrantly methylated. The ecotropic viral integration site 1 (EVI1) locus encodes a DNA binding zinc-finger transcription factor that is aberrantly expressed in a subset of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients with poor outcome. We find that the promoter DNA methylation signature of EVI1 AML blast cells differs from those of normal CD34(+) bone marrow cells and other AMLs. This signature contained 294 differentially methylated genes, of which 238 (81%) were coordinately hypermethylated. An unbiased motif analysis revealed an overrepresentation of EVI1 binding sites among these aberrantly hypermethylated loci. EVI1 was capable of binding to these promoters in 2 different EVI1-expressing cell lines, whereas no binding was observed in an EVI1-negative cell line. Furthermore, EVI1 was observed to interact with DNA methyl transferases 3A and 3B. Among the EVI1 AML cases, 2 subgroups were recognized, of which 1 contained AMLs with many more methylated genes, which was associated with significantly higher levels of EVI1 than in the cases of the other subgroup. Our data point to a role for EVI1 in directing aberrant promoter DNA methylation patterning in EVI1 AMLs.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The ecotropic viral integration site 1 ( Evi1) gene encodes a putative transcription regulator, which is aberrantly expressed in acute myeloid leukemias (AML) with chromosomal abnormalities involving the 3q26 locus. Repression and activation of transcriptional control have been reported, but it is currently unclear how Evi1 may evoke these opposing effects. Using a yeast two-hybrid screen, we identified a novel binding partner of Evi1, i.e., methyl binding domain 3b (Mbd3b) protein, a member of the Mi-2/NuRD histone deacetylase complex. Applying in vitro and in vivo assays, we found that Evi1 interacts with Mbd3b but not with other MBD family members Mbd1, -2, and -4 or MeCP2. We show that interaction of Evi1 with Mbd3 requires 40 amino acids that are adjacent and downstream of the methyl binding domain (MBD). We further demonstrate that the first three zinc fingers of Evi1 are needed for Mbd3 interaction. Evi1 acts as a transcriptional repressor when recruited to an active promoter, yet when present in the Mi-2/NuRD complex through Mbd3 interaction, it inhibits the histone deacetylation function of this multiprotein structure. Our data may in part explain how Evi1 could act as a repressor as well as an activator of transcription.