[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: RNA-binding proteins of the Musashi (Msi) family are expressed in stem cell compartments and in aggressive tumors, but they have not yet been widely explored in the blood. Here we demonstrate that Msi2 is the predominant form expressed in hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), and its knockdown leads to reduced engraftment and depletion of HSCs in vivo. Overexpression of human MSI2 in a mouse model increases HSC cell cycle progression and cooperates with the chronic myeloid leukemia-associated BCR-ABL1 oncoprotein to induce an aggressive leukemia. MSI2 is overexpressed in human myeloid leukemia cell lines, and its depletion leads to decreased proliferation and increased apoptosis. Expression levels in human myeloid leukemia directly correlate with decreased survival in patients with the disease, thereby defining MSI2 expression as a new prognostic marker and as a new target for therapy in acute myeloid leukemia (AML).
Nature medicine 08/2010; 16(8):903-8. · 27.14 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human cancers, including acute myeloid leukemia (AML), commonly display constitutive phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) AKT signaling. However, the exact role of AKT activation in leukemia and its effects on hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are poorly understood. Several members of the PI3K pathway, phosphatase and tensin homolog (Pten), the forkhead box, subgroup O (FOXO) transcription factors, and TSC1, have demonstrated functions in normal and leukemic stem cells but are rarely mutated in leukemia. We developed an activated allele of AKT1 that models increased signaling in normal and leukemic stem cells. In our murine bone marrow transplantation model using a myristoylated AKT1 (myr-AKT), recipients develop myeloproliferative disease, T-cell lymphoma, or AML. Analysis of the HSCs in myr-AKT mice reveals transient expansion and increased cycling, associated with impaired engraftment. myr-AKT-expressing bone marrow cells are unable to form cobblestones in long-term cocultures. Rapamycin, an inhibitor of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) rescues cobblestone formation in myr-AKT-expressing bone marrow cells and increases the survival of myr-AKT mice. This study demonstrates that enhanced AKT activation is an important mechanism of transformation in AML and that HSCs are highly sensitive to excess AKT/mTOR signaling.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report that TG101348, a selective small-molecule inhibitor of JAK2 with an in vitro IC50 of approximately 3 nM, shows therapeutic efficacy in a murine model of myeloproliferative disease induced by the JAK2V617F mutation. In treated animals, there was a statistically significant reduction in hematocrit and leukocyte count, a dose-dependent reduction/elimination of extramedullary hematopoiesis, and, at least in some instances, evidence for attenuation of myelofibrosis. There were no apparent toxicities and no effect on T cell number. In vivo responses were correlated with surrogate endpoints, including reduction/elimination of JAK2V617F disease burden assessed by quantitative genomic PCR, suppression of endogenous erythroid colony formation, and in vivo inhibition of JAK-STAT signal transduction as assessed by flow cytometric measurement of phosphorylated Stat5.
Cancer cell 05/2008; 13(4):311-20. · 25.29 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The JAK2V617F allele has recently been identified in patients with polycythemia vera (PV), essential thrombocytosis (ET), and myelofibrosis with myeloid metaplasia (MF). Subsequent analysis has shown that constitutive activation of the JAK-STAT signal transduction pathway is an important pathogenetic event in these patients, and that enzymatic inhibition of JAK2V617F may be of therapeutic benefit in this context. However, a significant proportion of patients with ET or MF are JAK2V617F-negative. We hypothesized that activation of the JAK-STAT pathway might also occur as a consequence of activating mutations in certain hematopoietic-specific cytokine receptors, including the erythropoietin receptor (EPOR), the thrombopoietin receptor (MPL), or the granulocyte-colony stimulating factor receptor (GCSFR).
DNA sequence analysis of the exons encoding the transmembrane and juxtamembrane domains of EPOR, MPL, and GCSFR, and comparison with germline DNA derived from buccal swabs, identified a somatic activating mutation in the transmembrane domain of MPL (W515L) in 9% (4/45) of JAKV617F-negative MF. Expression of MPLW515L in 32D, UT7, or Ba/F3 cells conferred cytokine-independent growth and thrombopoietin hypersensitivity, and resulted in constitutive phosphorylation of JAK2, STAT3, STAT5, AKT, and ERK. Furthermore, a small molecule JAK kinase inhibitor inhibited MPLW515L-mediated proliferation and JAK-STAT signaling in vitro. In a murine bone marrow transplant assay, expression of MPLW515L, but not wild-type MPL, resulted in a fully penetrant myeloproliferative disorder characterized by marked thrombocytosis (Plt count 1.9-4.0 x 10(12)/L), marked splenomegaly due to extramedullary hematopoiesis, and increased reticulin fibrosis.
Activation of JAK-STAT signaling via MPLW515L is an important pathogenetic event in patients with JAK2V617F-negative MF. The bone marrow transplant model of MPLW515L-mediated myeloproliferative disorders (MPD) exhibits certain features of human MF, including extramedullary hematopoiesis, splenomegaly, and megakaryocytic proliferation. Further analysis of positive and negative regulators of the JAK-STAT pathway is warranted in JAK2V617F-negative MPD.
PLoS Medicine 08/2006; 3(7):e270. · 15.25 Impact Factor