Fetal origins of the TEL-AML1 fusion gene in identical twins with leukemia.
ABSTRACT: The TEL (ETV6)-AML1 (CBFA2) gene fusion is the most common reciprocal chromosomal rearrangement in childhood cancer occurring in approximately 25% of the most predominant subtype of leukemia- common acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The TEL-AML1 genomic sequence has been characterized in a pair of monozygotic twins diagnosed at ages 3 years, 6 months and 4 years, 10 months with common acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The twin leukemic DNA shared the same unique (or clonotypic) but nonconstitutive TEL-AML1 fusion sequence. The most plausible explanation for this finding is a single cell origin of the TEL-AML fusion in one fetus in utero, probably as a leukemia-initiating mutation, followed by intraplacental metastasis of clonal progeny to the other twin. Clonal identity is further supported by the finding that the leukemic cells in the two twins shared an identical rearranged IGH allele. These data have implications for the etiology and natural history of childhood leukemia.
Project description:The TEL/AML1 fusion gene results from the most frequent t(12;21)(p13;q22) translocation in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Its contribution to transformation is largely unknown, in particular with respect to survival and apoptosis. We therefore silenced TEL/AML1 expression in leukemic REH cells by RNA inhibition, which eventually led to programmed cell death. Microarray and 2D gel electrophoresis data demonstrated a differential regulation of heat-shock proteins (HSPs), among them HSP90, as well as of its client, survivin. Consistent with these findings, ectopic expression of TEL/AML1 in Ba/F3 cells increased protein levels of HSP90 and survivin and conferred resistance to apoptotic stimuli. Our data suggest that TEL/AML1 not only contributes to leukemogenesis by affecting an antiapoptotic network but also seems to be indispensable for maintaining the malignant phenotype. The functional relationship between TEL/AML1, HSP90, and survivin provides the rational for targeted therapy, be it the fusion gene or the latter 2 proteins.
Project description:There is increasing evidence that miRNA and transcription factors interact in an instructive fashion in normal and malignant hematopoiesis. We explored the impact of TEL-AML1 (ETV6-RUNX1), the most common fusion protein in childhood leukemia, on miRNA expression and the leukemic phenotype. Using RNA interference, miRNA expression arrays, and quantitative polymerase chain reaction, we identified miRNA-494 and miRNA-320a to be up-regulated upon TEL-AML1 silencing independently of TEL expression. Chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis identified miRNA-494 as a direct miRNA target of the fusion protein TEL-AML1. Using bioinformatic analysis as well as functional luciferase experiments, we demonstrate that survivin is a target of the 2 miRNAs. miRNA-494 and miRNA-320a were introduced to the cells by transfection and survivin expression determined by Western blot analysis. These miRNAs blocked survivin expression and resulted in apoptosis in a similar manner as TEL-AML1 silencing by itself; this silencing was also shown to be Dicer-dependent. miRNAs-494 and -320a are expressed at lower levels in TEL-AML1+ leukemias compared with immunophenotype-matched nonTEL-AML1 acute lymphoblastic leukemia subtypes, and within TEL-AML1+ leukemias their expression is correlated to survivin levels. In summary our data suggest that TEL-AML1 might exert its antiapoptotic action at least in part by suppressing miRNA-494 and miRNA-320a, lowering their expression causing enhanced survivin expression.
Project description:Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a clonal disease that evolves through the accrual of genetic rearrangements and/or mutations within the dominant clone. The TEL-AML1 (ETV6-RUNX1) fusion in precursor-B (pre-B) ALL is the most common genetic rearrangement in childhood cancer; however, the cellular origin and the molecular pathogenesis of TEL-AML1-induced leukemia have not been identified. To study the origin of TEL-AML1-induced ALL, we generated transgenic zebrafish expressing TEL-AML1 either ubiquitously or in lymphoid progenitors. TEL-AML1 expression in all lineages, but not lymphoid-restricted expression, led to progenitor cell expansion that evolved into oligoclonal B-lineage ALL in 3% of the transgenic zebrafish. This leukemia was transplantable to conditioned wild-type recipients. We demonstrate that TEL-AML1 induces a B cell differentiation arrest, and that leukemia development is associated with loss of TEL expression and elevated Bcl2/Bax ratio. The TEL-AML1 transgenic zebrafish models human pre-B ALL, identifies the molecular pathways associated with leukemia development, and serves as the foundation for subsequent genetic screens to identify modifiers and leukemia therapeutic targets.
Project description:Chromosomal rearrangements involving band 12p13 are found in a wide variety of human leukemias but are particularly common in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The genes involved in these rearrangements, however, have not been identified. We now report the cloning of a t(12;21) translocation breakpoint involving 12p13 and 21q22 in two cases of childhood pre-B acute lymphoblastic leukemia, in which t(12;21) rearrangements were not initially apparent. The consequence of the translocation is fusion of the helix-loop-helix domain of TEL, an ETS-like putative transcription factor, to the DNA-binding and transactivation domains of the transcription factor AML1. These data show that TEL, previously shown to be fused to the platelet-derived growth factor receptor beta in chronic myelomonocytic leukemia, can be implicated in the pathogenesis of leukemia through its fusion to either a receptor tyrosine kinase or a transcription factor. The TEL-AML1 fusion also indicates that translocations affecting the AML1 gene can be associated with lymphoid, as well as myeloid, malignancy.
Project description:The reciprocal translocation t(12;21)(p13;q22), the most common structural genomic alteration in B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in children, results in a chimeric transcription factor TEL-AML1 (ETV6-RUNX1). We identified directly and indirectly regulated target genes utilizing an inducible TEL-AML1 system derived from the murine pro B-cell line BA/F3 and a monoclonal antibody directed against TEL-AML1. By integration of promoter binding identified with chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP)-on-chip, gene expression and protein output through microarray technology and stable labelling of amino acids in cell culture, we identified 217 directly and 118 indirectly regulated targets of the TEL-AML1 fusion protein. Directly, but not indirectly, regulated promoters were enriched in AML1-binding sites. The majority of promoter regions were specific for the fusion protein and not bound by native AML1 or TEL. Comparison with gene expression profiles from TEL-AML1-positive patients identified 56 concordantly misregulated genes with negative effects on proliferation and cellular transport mechanisms and positive effects on cellular migration, and stress responses including immunological responses. In summary, this work for the first time gives a comprehensive insight into how TEL-AML1 expression may directly and indirectly contribute to alter cells to become prone for leukemic transformation.
Project description:Around 20-25% of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemias carry the TEL-AML1 (TA) fusion gene. It is a fusion of two central hematopoietic transcription factors, TEL (ETV6) and AML1 (RUNX1). Despite its prevalence, the exact genomic targets of TA have remained elusive. We evaluated gene loci and enhancers targeted by TA genome-wide in precursor B acute leukemia cells using global nuclear run-on sequencing (GRO-seq). Nascent RNA expression profiles were generated with GRO-seq after TEL-AML1 expression in the Nalm6 pre-B-ALL cell line in four different time points (0, 4, 12 and 24 h). TEL-AML1-mut and luciferase induction cell lines were used as controls. Two replicates were included for all six samples.
Project description:Chromosome translocation to generate the TEL-AML1 (also known as ETV6-RUNX1) chimeric fusion gene is a frequent and early or initiating event in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Our starting hypothesis was that the TEL-AML1 protein generates and maintains preleukemic clones and that conversion to overt disease requires secondary genetic changes, possibly in the context of abnormal immune responses. Here, we show that a murine B cell progenitor cell line expressing inducible TEL-AML1 proliferates at a slower rate than parent cells but is more resistant to further inhibition of proliferation by TGF-beta. This facilitates the competitive expansion of TEL-AML1-expressing cells in the presence of TGF-beta. Further analysis indicated that TEL-AML1 binds to a principal TGF-beta signaling target, Smad3, and compromises its ability to activate target promoters. In mice expressing a TEL-AML1 transgene, early, pre-pro-B cells were increased in number and also showed reduced sensitivity to TGF-beta-mediated inhibition of proliferation. Moreover, expression of TEL-AML1 in human cord blood progenitor cells led to the expansion of a candidate preleukemic stem cell population that had an early B lineage phenotype (CD34+CD38-CD19+) and a marked growth advantage in the presence of TGF-beta. Collectively, these data suggest a plausible mechanism by which dysregulated immune responses to infection might promote the malignant evolution of TEL-AML1-expressing preleukemic clones.
Project description:This study investigated the spectrum of chromosomal abnormalities in 325 leukemia patients and developed optimal profiles of leukemic fusion genes for multiplex RT-PCR. We prospectively analyzed blood and bone marrow specimens of patients with acute leukemia. Twenty types of chromosomal abnormalities were detected in 42% from all patients by commercially available multiplex RT-PCR for detecting 28 fusion genes and in 35% by cytogenetic analysis including FISH analysis. The most common cytogenetic aberrations in acute myeloid leukemia patients was PML/PARA, followed by AML1/MGT8 and MLL1, and in acute lymphoid leukemia patients was BCR/ABL, followed by TEL/AML1 and MLL1 gene rearrangement. Among the negative results for multiplex RT-PCR, clinically significant t(3;3)(q21;q26.2), t(8;14)(q24;q32) and i(17)(q10) were detected by conventional cytogenetics. The spectrum and frequency of chromosomal abnormalities in our leukemia patients are differed from previous studies, and may offer optimal profiles of leukemic fusion genes for the development of new molecular detection systems.
Project description:The timing and developmental sequence of events for BCR-ABL1(+) acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), usually associated with IKAROS (IKZF1) deletions, are unknown. We assessed the status of BCR-ABL1 and IKZF1 genes in 2 pairs of monozygotic twins, one pair concordant, the other discordant for Philadelphia chromosome positive (Ph(+)) ALL. The twin pair concordant for ALL shared identical BCR-ABL1 genomic sequence indicative of monoclonal, in utero origin. One twin had IKZF1 deletion and died after transplantation. The other twin had hyperdiploidy, no IKZF1 deletion, and is still in remission 8 years after transplantation. In the twin pair discordant for ALL, neonatal blood spots from both twins harbored the same clonotypic BCR-ABL1 sequence. Low level BCR-ABL1(+) cells were present in the healthy co-twin but lacked the IKZF1 deletion present in the other twin's leukemic cells. The twin with ALL relapsed and died after transplantation. The co-twin remains healthy and leukemia free. These data show that in childhood Ph(+) ALL, BCR-ABL1 gene fusion can be a prenatal and possibly initiating genetic event. In the absence of additional, secondary changes, the leukemic clone remains clinically silent. IKZF1 is a secondary and probable postnatal mutation in these cases, and as a recurrent but alternative copy number change is associated with poor prognosis.
Project description:The contribution of the most common reciprocal translocation in childhood B-cell precursor leukemia t(12;21)(p13;q22) to leukemia development is still under debate. Direct as well as secondary indirect effects of the TEL-AML1 fusion protein are commonly recorded by using cell lines and patient samples, often bearing the TEL-AML1 fusion protein for decades. To identify direct targets of the fusion protein a short-term induction of TEL-AML1 is needed. We here describe in detail the experimental procedure, quality controls and contents of the ChIP, mRNA expression and SILAC datasets associated with the study published by Linka and colleagues in the Blood Cancer Journal  utilizing a short term induction of TEL-AML1 in an inducible precursor B-cell line model.