NUP98-HOXD13 transgenic mice develop a highly penetrant, severe myelodysplastic syndrome that progresses to acute leukemia.
ABSTRACT: The myelodysplastic syndromes (MDSs) are a group of clonal hematopoietic stem-cell disorders characterized by ineffective hematopoiesis and dysplasia. A wide spectrum of genetic aberrations has been associated with MDS, including chromosomal translocations involving the NUP98 gene. Using a NUP98-HOXD13 fusion gene, we have developed a mouse model that faithfully recapitulates all of the key features of MDS, including peripheral blood cytopenias, bone marrow dysplasia, and apoptosis, and transformation to acute leukemia. The MDS that develops in NUP98-HOXD13 transgenic mice is uniformly fatal. Within 14 months, all of the mice died of either leukemic transformation or severe anemia and leucopenia as a result of progressive MDS. The NUP98-HOXD13 fusion gene inhibits megakaryocytic differentiation and increases apoptosis in the bone marrow, suggesting a mechanism leading to ineffective hematopoiesis in the presence of a hypercellular bone marrow. These mice provide an accurate preclinical model that can be used for the evaluation of MDS therapy and biology.
Project description:The nucleoporin gene NUP98 is fused to several genes including HOXD13 in patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), acute myeloid leukemia, and chronic myeloid leukemia, blast crisis. Genetically engineered mice that express a NUP98-HOXD13 (NHD13) transgene (Tg) display the phenotypic features of MDS, including cytopenias, bone marrow dysplasia, and transformation to acute leukemia. Here we show that short-term treatment with the p53 inhibitor Pifithrin-? partially and transiently rescued the myeloid and lymphoid abnormalities found in NHD13(+) Tg mice, with no improvement in the anemia, while the genetic deletion of 2 alleles of p53 rescued both the myeloid progenitor cell and long-term hematopoietic stem cell compartments. Nonetheless, loss of one or both alleles of p53 did not rescue the MDS phenotype, but instead exacerbated the MDS phenotype and accelerated the development of acute myeloid leukemia. Our studies suggest that while targeting p53 may transiently improve hematopoiesis in MDS, over the long-term, it has detrimental effects, raising caution about abrogating its function to treat the cytopenias that accompany this disease.
Project description:The myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are characterized by ineffective hematopoiesis, dysplasia, and transformation to acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Although it has been suggested that additional mutations lead to progression of MDS to AML, the causative agent(s) for such mutations remains unclear. Oxidative stress is a potential cause, therefore, we evaluated levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in NUP98-HOXD13 (NHD13) transgenic mice, a murine model for MDS. Increased levels of ROS were detected in bone marrow nucleated cells (BMNC) that express CD71, a marker for cell proliferation, as well as immature, lineage negative bone marrow nucleated cells from NHD13 mice. In addition to the increase in ROS, increased DNA double strand breaks and activation of a G2/M phase cell cycle checkpoint were noted in NHD13 BMNC. Finally, using an in vivo assay for mutation frequency, we detected an increased mutation frequency in NHD13 BMNC. These results suggest that oxidative stress may contribute to disease progression of MDS to AML through ineffective repair of DNA damage and acquisition of oncogenic mutations.
Project description:The myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) comprise a group of premalignant hematologic disorders characterized by ineffective hematopoiesis, dysplasia, and transformation to acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Although it is well established that many malignancies can be transplanted, there is little evidence to demonstrate that a premalignant disease entity, such as MDS or colonic polyps, can be transplanted and subsequently undergo malignant transformation in vivo. Using mice that express a NUP98-HOXD13 (NHD13) transgene in hematopoietic tissues, we show that a MDS can be transplanted to WT recipients. Recipients of the MDS bone marrow displayed all of the critical features of MDS, including peripheral blood cytopenias, dysplasia, and transformation to AML. Even when transplanted with a 10-fold excess of WT cells, the NHD13 cells outcompeted the WT cells over a 38-week period. Limiting-dilution experiments demonstrated that the frequency of the cell that could transmit the disease was approximately 1/6,000-1/16,000 and that the MDS was also transferable to secondary recipients as a premalignant condition. Transformation to AML in primary transplant recipients was generally delayed (46-49 weeks after transplant); however, 6 of 10 secondary transplant recipients developed AML. These findings demonstrate that MDS originates in a transplantable, premalignant, long-term repopulating, MDS-initiating cell.
Project description:The Nup98-HoxD13 (NHD13) fusion gene was identified in a patient with therapy-related myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). When transgenically expressed in hematopoietic cells, mice faithfully recapitulate human disease with serial progression from peripheral blood (PB) cytopenias and increased bone marrow (BM) blasts to acute leukemia. It is well accepted that genomic instability in dysplastic hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HSPC) drives the evolution of MDS to acute leukemia. Findings here demonstrate that reticulocytes, myeloid and lymphoid PB cells of NHD13 mice, display an increase in the age-associated loss of glycosylphosphatidylinositol-linked surface proteins versus wild type controls. These data correlate with a progressive increase in the DNA damage response as measured by γ-H2AX activity, accumulating BM blasts as the disease progresses and finally development of acute leukemia. These findings clearly demonstrate a state of progressive genomic instability that increases the likelihood of a "second hit" or complimentary mutation later in the disease to trigger development of acute leukemia and underscores the mechanistic nature of how the NUP98-HoxD13 transgene induces progression of MDS to acute leukemia. Additionally, these data support the use of the PIG-A assay as an efficient, real-time surrogate marker of the genomic instability that occurs in the MDS HSPCs. Key Point The PIG-A assay is a sensitive, nonlethal method for the serial assessment of genomic instability in mouse models of MDS.
Project description:Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are clonal malignant hematopoietic disorders in the elderly characterized by ineffective hematopoiesis. This is accompanied by an altered bone microenvironment, which contributes to MDS progression and higher bone fragility. The underlying mechanisms remain largely unexplored. Here, we show that myelodysplastic NUP98?HOXD13 (NHD13) transgenic mice display an abnormally high number of osteoblasts, yet a higher fraction of nonmineralized bone, indicating delayed bone mineralization. This was accompanied by high fibroblast growth factor-23 (FGF-23) serum levels, a phosphaturic hormone that inhibits bone mineralization and erythropoiesis. While Fgf23 mRNA expression was low in bone, brain, and kidney of NHD13 mice, its expression was increased in erythroid precursors. Coculturing these precursors with WT osteoblasts induced osteoblast marker gene expression, which was inhibited by blocking FGF-23. Finally, antibody-based neutralization of FGF-23 in myelodysplastic NHD13 mice improved bone mineralization and bone microarchitecture, and it ameliorated anemia. Importantly, higher serum levels of FGF?23 and an elevated amount of nonmineralized bone in patients with MDS validated the findings. C?terminal FGF?23 correlated negatively with hemoglobin levels and positively with the amount of nonmineralized bone. Thus, our study identifies FGF-23 as a link between altered bone structure and ineffective erythropoiesis in MDS with the prospects of a targeted therapeutic intervention.
Project description:Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are characterized by ineffective hematopoiesis that leads to peripheral cytopenias. We observed that SMAD7, a negative regulator of transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-?) receptor-I kinase, is markedly reduced in MDS and leads to ineffective hematopoiesis by overactivation of TGF-? signaling. To determine the cause of SMAD7 reduction in MDS, we analyzed the 3'UTR of the gene and determined that it contains a highly conserved putative binding site for microRNA-21. We observed significantly elevated levels of miR-21 in MDS marrow samples when compared with age-matched controls. miR-21 was shown to directly bind to the 3'UTR of SMAD7 and reduce its expression in hematopoietic cells. Next, we tested the role of miR-21 in regulating TGF-? signaling in a TGF-?-overexpressing transgenic mouse model that develops progressive anemia and dysplasia and thus serves as a model of human bone marrow failure. Treatment with a chemically modified miR-21 inhibitor led to significant increases in hematocrit and led to an increase in SMAD7 expression in vivo. Inhibition of miR-21 also led to an increase in erythroid colony formation from primary MDS bone marrow progenitors, demonstrating its ability in stimulating hematopoiesis in vitro. Taken together, these studies demonstrate the role of miR-21 in regulating overactivated TGF-? signaling in MDS.
Project description:Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are age-dependent stem cell malignancies that share biological features of activated adaptive immune response and ineffective hematopoiesis. Here we report that myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC), which are classically linked to immunosuppression, inflammation, and cancer, were markedly expanded in the bone marrow of MDS patients and played a pathogenetic role in the development of ineffective hematopoiesis. These clonally distinct MDSC overproduce hematopoietic suppressive cytokines and function as potent apoptotic effectors targeting autologous hematopoietic progenitors. Using multiple transfected cell models, we found that MDSC expansion is driven by the interaction of the proinflammatory molecule S100A9 with CD33. These 2 proteins formed a functional ligand/receptor pair that recruited components to CD33’s immunoreceptor tyrosine-based inhibition motif (ITIM), inducing secretion of the suppressive cytokines IL-10 and TGF-? by immature myeloid cells. S100A9 transgenic mice displayed bone marrow accumulation of MDSC accompanied by development of progressive multilineage cytopenias and cytological dysplasia. Importantly, early forced maturation of MDSC by either all-trans-retinoic acid treatment or active immunoreceptor tyrosine-based activation motif–bearing (ITAM-bearing) adapter protein (DAP12) interruption of CD33 signaling rescued the hematologic phenotype. These findings indicate that primary bone marrow expansion of MDSC driven by the S100A9/CD33 pathway perturbs hematopoiesis and contributes to the development of MDS.
Project description:The t(2;11)(q31;p15) chromosomal translocation results in a fusion between the NUP98 and HOXD13 genes and has been observed in patients with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) or acute myelogenous leukemia. We previously showed that expression of the NUP98-HOXD13 (NHD13) fusion gene in transgenic mice results in an invariably fatal MDS; approximately one third of mice die due to complications of severe pancytopenia, and about two thirds progress to a fatal acute leukemia. In the present study, we used retroviral insertional mutagenesis to identify genes that might collaborate with NHD13 as the MDS transformed to an acute leukemia. Newborn NHD13 transgenic mice and littermate controls were infected with the MOL4070LTR retrovirus. The onset of leukemia was accelerated, suggesting a synergistic effect between the NHD13 transgene and the genes neighboring retroviral insertion events. We identified numerous common insertion sites located near protein-coding genes and confirmed dysregulation of a subset of these by expression analyses. Among these genes were Meis1, a known collaborator of HOX and NUP98-HOX fusion genes, and Mn1, a transcriptional coactivator involved in human leukemia through fusion with the TEL gene. Other putative collaborators included Gata2, Erg, and Epor. Of note, we identified a common insertion site that was >100 kb from the nearest coding gene, but within 20 kb of the miR29a/miR29b1 microRNA locus. Both of these miRNA were up-regulated, demonstrating that retroviral insertional mutagenesis can target miRNA loci as well as protein-coding loci. Our data provide new insights into NHD13-mediated leukemogenesis as well as retroviral insertional mutagenesis mechanisms.
Project description:The myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) is a clonal hematologic disorder that frequently evolves to acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Its pathogenesis remains unclear, but mutations in epigenetic modifiers are common and the disease often responds to DNA methylation inhibitors. We analyzed DNA methylation in the bone marrow and spleen in two mouse models of MDS/AML, the NUP98-HOXD13 (NHD13) mouse and the RUNX1 mutant mouse model. Methylation array analysis showed an average of 512/3445 (14.9%) genes hypermethylated in NHD13 MDS, and 331 (9.6%) genes hypermethylated in RUNX1 MDS. Thirty-two percent of genes in common between the two models (2/3 NHD13 mice and 2/3 RUNX1 mice) were also hypermethylated in at least two of 19 human MDS samples. Detailed analysis of 41 genes in mice showed progressive drift in DNA methylation from young to old normal bone marrow and spleen; to MDS, where we detected accelerated age-related methylation; and finally to AML, which markedly extends DNA methylation abnormalities. Most of these genes showed similar patterns in human MDS and AML. Repeat element hypomethylation was rare in MDS but marked the transition to AML in some cases. Our data show consistency in patterns of aberrant DNA methylation in human and mouse MDS and suggest that epigenetically, MDS displays an accelerated aging phenotype.