NF1 Inactivation in Adult Acute Myelogenous Leukemia

Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.
Clinical Cancer Research (Impact Factor: 8.72). 08/2010; 16(16):4135-47. DOI: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-09-2639
Source: PubMed


This study was conducted to identify novel genes with importance to the biology of adult acute myelogenous leukemia (AML).
We analyzed DNA from highly purified AML blasts and paired buccal cells from 95 patients for recurrent genomic microdeletions using ultra-high density Affymetrix single nucleotide polymorphism 6.0 array-based genomic profiling.
Through fine mapping of microdeletions on 17q, we derived a minimal deleted region of approximately 0.9-Mb length that harbors 11 known genes; this region includes Neurofibromin 1 (NF1). Sequence analysis of all NF1 coding exons in the 11 AML cases with NF1 copy number changes identified acquired truncating frameshift mutations in two patients. These NF1 mutations were already present in the hematopoetic stem cell compartment. Subsequent expression analysis of NF1 mRNA in the entire AML cohort using fluorescence-activated cell sorting sorted blasts as a source of RNA identified six patients (one with a NF1 mutation) with absent NF1 expression. The NF1 null states were associated with increased Ras-bound GTP, and short hairpin RNA-mediated NF1 suppression in primary AML blasts with wild-type NF1 facilitated colony formation in methylcellulose. Primary AML blasts without functional NF1, unlike blasts with functional NF1, displayed sensitivity to rapamycin-induced apoptosis, thus identifying a dependence on mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling for survival. Finally, colony formation in methylcellulose ex vivo of NF1 null CD34+/CD38- cells sorted from AML bone marrow samples was inhibited by low-dose rapamycin.
NF1 null states are present in 7 of 95 (7%) of adult AML and delineate a disease subset that could be preferentially targeted by Ras or mammalian target of rapamycin-directed therapeutics.

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Available from: Judith E Karp, Nov 23, 2014
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    • "The Ras protein family is involved in signal transduction, and their activation leads to growth, differentiation and cellular survival. NF1 has been recently identified as important in the development of acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) [14], the same form of leukemia that is associated with exposure to benzene, an established human leukemogen. However, the association between Ras status and HQ toxicity has not been defined. "
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    ABSTRACT: Benzene is an established human leukemogen, with a ubiquitous environmental presence leading to significant population exposure. In a genome-wide functional screen in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, inactivation of IRA2, a yeast ortholog of the human tumor suppressor gene NF1 (Neurofibromin), enhanced sensitivity to hydroquinone, an important benzene metabolite. Increased Ras signaling is implicated as a causal factor in the increased pre-disposition to leukemia of individuals with mutations in NF1. Growth inhibition of yeast by hydroquinone was assessed in mutant strains exhibiting varying levels of Ras activity. Subsequently, effects of hydroquinone on both genotoxicity (measured by micronucleus formation) and proliferation of WT and Nf1 null murine hematopoietic precursors were assessed. Here we show that the Ras status of both yeast and mammalian cells modulates hydroquinone toxicity, indicating potential synergy between Ras signaling and benzene toxicity. Specifically, enhanced Ras signaling increases both hydroquinone-mediated growth inhibition in yeast and genotoxicity in mammalian hematopoetic precursors as measured by an in vitro erythroid micronucleus assay. Hydroquinone also increases proliferation of CFU-GM progenitor cells in mice with Nf1 null bone marrow relative to WT, the same cell type associated with benzene-associated leukemia. Together our findings show that hydroquinone toxicity is modulated by Ras signaling. Individuals with abnormal Ras signaling could be more vulnerable to developing myeloid diseases after exposure to benzene. We note that hydroquinone is used cosmetically as a skin-bleaching agent, including by individuals with cafe-au-lait spots (which may be present in individuals with neurofibromatosis who have a mutation in NF1), which could be unadvisable given our findings.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2014 · BMC Cancer
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    • "In subjects with NF1 mutations, the loss of the remaining NF1 allele is a frequent event in AML, as it is a gene subject to copy number alteration.17 The frequency of NF1 null AML is estimated to be 7%.13 Given the incidence of neurofibromatosis type 1 in the population, and that of AML, more studies are needed to establish a direct connection between the two. "
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    ABSTRACT: We report a case of a 65-year old patient affected by neurofibromatosis 1, documented by the presence of germ-line mutation on the NF1 gene, who developed various hyperproliferative malignant and benign diseases. He was brought to our attention for the diagnosis of acute myeloid leukemia revealed by major fatigue and dyspnea. The disease characteristics at diagnosis were hyperleukocytosis and complex karyotype with the inversion of the chromosome 16, classifying as a high-risk leukemia. The association between leukemia and neurofibromatosis 1 is controversial and needs to be further investigated. Nevertheless, such patients present a wide number of comorbidities that make therapeutic strategies most difficult.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2013 · Hematology Reports
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    • "Deletions or/and mutations affecting NF1 have been described as genetic aberrations responsible for NF1 inactivation in adult AML, although inactivation mutations of NF1 are rare events in de novo AML. Parkin et al. reported a detailed investigation in 95 AML patients and showed that 10 out of 95 (10.5%) had heterozygous deletions of the NF1 locus, a lower percentage than our study (13/55, 26.5%)[14]. Since we used the same technique reported by this group, these results would indicate that additional studies are required to determine the real prevalence of NF1 submicroscopic deletions in AML. "
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    ABSTRACT: Deregulated miRNA expression plays a crucial role in carcinogenesis. Recent studies show different mechanisms leading to miRNA deregulation in cancer; however, alterations affecting miRNAs by DNA copy number variations (CNV) remain poorly studied. Our integrative analysis including data from high resolution SNPs arrays, mRNA expression arrays, and miRNAs expression profiles in 16 myeloid cell lines highlights that CNV are alternative mechanisms to deregulate the expression of miRNAs in acute myeloid leukemia (AML), and represent a novel approach to identify novel candidate genes involved in AML. We found association between the expression levels of 19 miRNAs and CNVs affecting their loci. Functional analysis showed that NF1 is a direct target of miR-370, and that overexpression of miR-370 has similar effects that NF1 inactivation, increasing proliferation and colony formation in AML cells. Moreover, real time RT-PCR showed that NF1 downregulation is a recurrent event in AML (30.8%), and western blot analysis confirmed this result. MiR-370 overexpression and deletions affecting the NF1 locus were identified as alternative mechanisms to downregulate NF1. NF1 downregulation is a common event in AML, and both deletions in the NF1 locus and overexpression of miR-370 are alternative mechanisms to downregulate NF1 in this disease. Our results suggest a leukemogenic role of miR-370 through NF1 downregulation in AML cells. Since NF1 deficiency leads to RAS activation, patients with AML and overexpression of miR-370 may potentially benefit from additional treatment with either RAS or mTOR inhibitors.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2012 · PLoS ONE
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