ABSTRACT: The transcription factor CCAAT enhancer-binding protein alpha (C/EBPalpha) has an important role in granulopoiesis. The tumor suppressor function of C/EBPalpha is shown by the findings that loss of expression or function of C/EBPalpha in leukemic blasts contributes to a block in myeloid cell differentiation and to leukemia. C/EBPalpha mutations are found in around 9% of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients. The mechanism by which the mutant form of C/EBPalpha (C/EBPalpha-p30) exerts a differentiation block is not well understood. By using a proteomic screen, we have recently reported PIN1 as a target of C/EBPalpha-p30 in AML. In the present study, we show that C/EBPalpha-p30 induces PIN1 expression. We observed elevated PIN1 expression in leukemic patient samples. Induction of C/EBPalpha-p30 results in recruitment of E2F1 in the PIN1 promoter. We show that the inhibition of PIN1 leads to myeloid differentiation in primary AML blasts with C/EBPalpha mutations. Overexpression of PIN1 in myeloid cells leads to block of granulocyte differentiation. We also show that PIN1 increases the stability of the c-Jun protein by inhibiting c-Jun ubiquitination, and c-Jun blocks granulocyte differentiation mediated by C/EBPalpha. Our data suggest that the inhibition of PIN1 could be a potential strategy of treating AML patients with C/EBPalpha mutation.
Leukemia: official journal of the Leukemia Society of America, Leukemia Research Fund, U.K 04/2010; 24(5):914-23. · 8.30 Impact Factor