Effects of the NUP98-DDX10 oncogene on primary human CD34+ cells: role of a conserved helicase motif.
ABSTRACT: NUP98 gene rearrangements occur in acute myeloid leukemia and result in the expression of fusion proteins. One of the most frequent is NUP98-DDX10 that fuses a portion of NUP98 to a portion of DDX10, a putative DEAD-box RNA helicase. Here, we show that NUP98-DDX10 dramatically increases proliferation and self-renewal of primary human CD34+ cells, and disrupts their erythroid and myeloid differentiation. It localizes to their nuclei and extensively deregulates gene expression. Comparison to another leukemogenic NUP98 fusion, NUP98-HOXA9, reveals a number of genes deregulated by both oncoproteins, including HOX genes, COX-2, MYCN, ANGPT1, REN, HEY1, SOX4 and others. These genes may account for the similar leukemogenic properties of NUP98 fusion oncogenes. The YIHRAGRTAR sequence in the DDX10 portion of NUP98-DDX10 represents a major motif shared by DEAD-box RNA helicases that is required for ATP binding, RNA-binding and helicase functions. Mutating this motif diminished the in vitro transforming ability of NUP98-DDX10, indicating that it has a role in leukemogenesis. These data show for the first time the in vitro transforming ability of NUP98-DDX10 and show that it is partially dependent on one of the consensus helicase motifs of DDX10. They also point to common pathways that may underlie leukemogenesis by different NUP98 fusions.
Project description:NUP98 is a nucleoporin that plays complex roles in the nucleocytoplasmic trafficking of macromolecules. Rearrangements of the NUP98 gene in human leukemia result in the expression of numerous fusion oncoproteins whose effect on nucleocytoplasmic trafficking is poorly understood. The present study was undertaken to determine the effects of leukemogenic NUP98 fusion proteins on CRM1-mediated nuclear export. NUP98-HOXA9, a prototypic NUP98 fusion, inhibited the nuclear export of two known CRM1 substrates: mutated cytoplasmic nucleophosmin and HIV-1 Rev. In vitro binding assays revealed that NUP98-HOXA9 binds CRM1 through the FG repeat motif in a Ran-GTP-dependent manner similar to but stronger than the interaction between CRM1 and its export substrates. Two NUP98 fusions, NUP98-HOXA9 and NUP98-DDX10, whose fusion partners are structurally and functionally unrelated, interacted with endogenous CRM1 in myeloid cells as shown by co-immunoprecipitation. These leukemogenic NUP98 fusion proteins interacted with CRM1, Ran, and the nucleoporin NUP214 in a manner fundamentally different from that of wild-type NUP98. NUP98-HOXA9 and NUP98-DDX10 formed characteristic aggregates within the nuclei of a myeloid cell line and primary human CD34+ cells and caused aberrant localization of CRM1 to these aggregates. These NUP98 fusions caused nuclear accumulation of two transcription factors, NFAT and NFkappaB, that are regulated by CRM1-mediated export. The nuclear entrapment of NFAT and NFkappaB correlated with enhanced transcription from promoters responsive to these transcription factors. Taken together, the results suggest a new mechanism by which NUP98 fusions dysregulate transcription and cause leukemia, namely, inhibition of CRM1-mediated nuclear export with aberrant nuclear retention of transcriptional regulators.
Project description:Fusion proteins involving Nucleoporin 98 (NUP98) are recurrently found in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and are associated with poor prognosis. Lack of mechanistic insight into NUP98-fusion-dependent oncogenic transformation has so far precluded the development of rational targeted therapies. We reasoned that different NUP98-fusion proteins deregulate a common set of transcriptional targets that might be exploitable for therapy. To decipher transcriptional programs controlled by diverse NUP98-fusion proteins, we developed mouse models for regulatable expression of NUP98/NSD1, NUP98/JARID1A, and NUP98/DDX10. By integrating chromatin occupancy profiles of NUP98-fusion proteins with transcriptome profiling upon acute fusion protein inactivation in vivo, we defined the core set of direct transcriptional targets of NUP98-fusion proteins. Among those, CDK6 was highly expressed in murine and human AML samples. Loss of CDK6 severely attenuated NUP98-fusion-driven leukemogenesis, and NUP98-fusion AML was sensitive to pharmacologic CDK6 inhibition in vitro and in vivo. These findings identify CDK6 as a conserved, critical direct target of NUP98-fusion proteins, proposing CDK4/CDK6 inhibitors as a new rational treatment option for AML patients with NUP98-fusions.
Project description:DEAD-box RNA helicases play various, often critical, roles in all processes where RNAs are involved. Members of this family of proteins are linked to human disease, including cancer and viral infections. DEAD-box proteins contain two conserved domains that both contribute to RNA and ATP binding. Despite recent advances the molecular details of how these enzymes convert chemical energy into RNA remodeling is unknown. We present crystal structures of the isolated DEAD-domains of human DDX2A/eIF4A1, DDX2B/eIF4A2, DDX5, DDX10/DBP4, DDX18/myc-regulated DEAD-box protein, DDX20, DDX47, DDX52/ROK1, and DDX53/CAGE, and of the helicase domains of DDX25 and DDX41. Together with prior knowledge this enables a family-wide comparative structural analysis. We propose a general mechanism for opening of the RNA binding site. This analysis also provides insights into the diversity of DExD/H- proteins, with implications for understanding the functions of individual family members.
Project description:Chromosomal translocations involving the Nup98 gene are implicated in leukemias, especially acute myelogenous leukemia. These translocations generate chimeric fusion proteins, all of which have in common the N-terminal half of Nup98, which contains the nucleoporin FG/GLFG repeat motifs. The homeodomain group of Nup98 fusion proteins retain the C-terminus of a homeodomain transcription factor, including the homeobox responsible for DNA binding. Current models for Nup98 leukemogenesis invoke aberrant transcription resulting from recruitment of coregulators by the Nup98 repeat domain. Here we have investigated the behavior of Nup98-homeodomain fusion proteins throughout the cell cycle. At all stages, the fusion proteins exhibit a novel localization distinct from the component proteins or fragments. During interphase, there are dynamic interactions between the Nup98 fusions and endogenous Nup98 that lead to mislocalization of the intranuclear fraction of Nup98, but do not alter the level of Nup98 at the nuclear pore complex. During mitosis, no interaction between the fusion proteins and endogenous Nup98 is observed. However, the fusions are entirely concentrated at kinetochores and on chromosome arms, sites where the APC/C, a target of Nup98 regulation, is also found. Our observations suggest new possibilities for misregulation by which Nup98 translocations may contribute to cellular transformation and leukemogenesis.
Project description:The NUP98 and NUP214 nucleoporins (NUPs) are recurrently fused to heterologous proteins in leukemia. The resulting chimeric oncoproteins retain the phenylalanine-glycine (FG) repeat motifs of the NUP moiety that mediate interaction with the nuclear export receptor Crm1. NUP fusion leukemias are characterized by HOXA gene upregulation; however, their molecular pathogenesis remains poorly understood. To investigate the role of Crm1 in mediating the leukemogenic properties of NUP chimeric proteins, we took advantage of the Sequestosome-1 (SQSTM1)-NUP214 fusion. SQSTM1-NUP214 retains only a short C-terminal portion of NUP214 which contains FG motifs that mediate interaction with Crm1. We introduced point mutations targeting these FG motifs and found that the ability of the resulting SQSTM1-NUP214FGmut protein to interact with Crm1 was reduced by more than 50% compared with SQSTM1-NUP214. Mutation of FG motifs affected transforming potential: while SQSTM1-NUP214 impaired myeloid maturation and conferred robust colony formation to transduced hematopoietic progenitors in a serial replating assay, the effect of SQSTM1-NUP214FGmut was considerably diminished. Moreover, SQSTM1-NUP214 caused myeloid leukemia in all transplanted mice, whereas none of the SQSTM1-NUP214FGmut reconstituted mice developed leukemia. These oncogenic effects coincided with the ability of SQSTM1-NUP214 and SQSTM1-NUP214FGmut to upregulate the expression of Hoxa and Meis1 genes in hematopoietic progenitors. Indeed, chromatin immunoprecipitation assays demonstrated that impaired SQSTM1-NUP214 interaction with Crm1 correlated with impaired binding of the fusion protein to Hoxa and Meis1 genes. These findings highlight the importance of Crm1 in mediating the leukemogenic properties of SQSTM1-NUP214, and suggest a conserved role of Crm1 in recruiting oncoproteins to their effector genes.
Project description:The nucleoporin Nup98 is frequently rearranged to form leukemogenic Nup98-fusion proteins with various partners. However, their function remains largely elusive. Here, we show that Nup98-HoxA9, a fusion between Nup98 and the homeobox transcription factor HoxA9, forms nuclear aggregates that frequently associate with facultative heterochromatin. We demonstrate that stable expression of Nup98-HoxA9 in mouse embryonic stem cells selectively induces the expression of Hox cluster genes. Genome-wide binding site analysis revealed that Nup98-HoxA9 is preferentially targeted and accumulated at Hox cluster regions where the export factor Crm1 is originally prebound. In addition, leptomycin B, an inhibitor of Crm1, disassembled nuclear Nup98-HoxA9 dots, resulting in the loss of chromatin binding of Nup98-HoxA9 and Nup98-HoxA9-mediated activation of Hox genes. Collectively, our results indicate that highly selective targeting of Nup98-fusion proteins to Hox cluster regions via prebound Crm1 induces the formation of higher order chromatin structures that causes aberrant Hox gene regulation.
Project description:The chimeric oncoprotein NUP98-HOXA9 results from the t(7;11)(p15;p15) chromosomal translocation and is associated with acute myeloid leukemia. It causes aberrant gene regulation and leukemic transformation through mechanisms that are not fully understood. NUP98-HOXA9 consists of an N-terminal portion of the nucleoporin NUP98 that contains many FG repeats fused to the DNA-binding homeodomain of HOXA9. We used a Cytotrap yeast two-hybrid assay to identify proteins that interact with NUP98-HOXA9. We identified Dynein Light Chain 1 (DYNLT1), an integral 14 KDa protein subunit of the large microtubule-based cytoplasmic dynein complex, as an interaction partner of NUP98-HOXA9. Binding was confirmed by in vitro pull down and co-immunoprecipitation assays and the FG repeat region of NUP98-HOXA9 was shown to be essential for the interaction. RNAi-mediated knockdown of DYNLT1 resulted in reduction of the ability of NUP98-HOXA9 to activate transcription and also inhibited the ability of NUP98-HOXA9 to induce proliferation of primary human hematopoietic CD34+ cells. DYNLT1 also showed a strong interaction with wild-type NUP98 and other nucleoporins containing FG repeats. Immunofluorescence analysis showed that DYNLT1 localizes primarily to the nuclear periphery, where it co-localizes with the nuclear pore complex, and to the cytoplasm. Deletion studies showed that the interactions of the nucleoporins with DYNLT1 are dependent predominantly on the C-terminal half of the DYNLT1. These data show for the first time that DYNLT1 interacts with nucleoporins and plays a role in the dysregulation of gene expression and induction of hematopoietic cell proliferation by the leukemogenic nucleoporin fusion, NUP98-HOXA9.
Project description:The nucleoporin 98 gene (NUP98) is fused to a variety of partner genes in multiple hematopoietic malignancies. Here, we demonstrate that NUP98 fusion proteins, including NUP98-HOXA9 (NHA9), NUP98-HOXD13 (NHD13), NUP98-NSD1, NUP98-PHF23, and NUP98-TOP1 physically interact with mixed lineage leukemia 1 (MLL1) and the non-specific lethal (NSL) histone-modifying complexes. Chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing illustrates that NHA9 and MLL1 co-localize on chromatin and are found associated with Hox gene promoter regions. Furthermore, MLL1 is required for the proliferation of NHA9 cells in vitro and in vivo. Inactivation of MLL1 leads to decreased expression of genes bound by NHA9 and MLL1 and reverses a gene expression signature found in NUP98-rearranged human leukemias. Our data reveal a molecular dependency on MLL1 function in NUP98-fusion-driven leukemogenesis.
Project description:Chromosomal NUP98-PHF23 translocation is associated with an aggressive form of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and poor survival rate. Here, we report the molecular mechanisms by which NUP98-PHF23 recognizes the histone mark H3K4me3 and is inhibited by small molecule compounds, including disulfiram that directly targets the PHD finger of PHF23 (PHF23PHD). Our data support a critical role for the PHD fingers of NUP98-PHF23, and related NUP98-KDM5A and NUP98-BPTF fusions in driving leukemogenesis, and demonstrate that blocking this interaction in NUP98-PHF23 expressing AML cells leads to cell death through necrotic and late apoptosis pathways. An overlap of NUP98-KDM5A oncoprotein binding sites and H3K4me3-positive loci at the Hoxa/b gene clusters and Meis1 in ChIP-seq, together with NMR analysis of the H3K4me3-binding sites of the PHD fingers from PHF23, KDM5A and BPTF, suggests a common PHD finger-dependent mechanism that promotes leukemogenesis by this type of NUP98 fusions. Our findings highlight the direct correlation between the abilities of NUP98-PHD finger fusion chimeras to associate with H3K4me3-enriched chromatin and leukemic transformation.
Project description:RUNX1 is generally considered a tumor suppressor in myeloid neoplasms. Inactivating RUNX1 mutations have frequently been found in patients with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and cytogenetically normal acute myeloid leukemia (AML). However, no somatic RUNX1 alteration was found in AMLs with leukemogenic fusion proteins, such as core-binding factor (CBF) leukemia and MLL fusion leukemia, raising the possibility that RUNX1 could actually promote the growth of these leukemia cells. Using normal human cord blood cells and those expressing leukemogenic fusion proteins, we discovered a dual role of RUNX1 in myeloid leukemogenesis. RUNX1 overexpression inhibited the growth of normal cord blood cells by inducing myeloid differentiation, whereas a certain level of RUNX1 activity was required for the growth of AML1-ETO and MLL-AF9 cells. Using a mouse genetic model, we also showed that the combined loss of Runx1/Cbfb inhibited leukemia development induced by MLL-AF9. RUNX2 could compensate for the loss of RUNX1. The survival effect of RUNX1 was mediated by BCL2 in MLL fusion leukemia. Our study unveiled an unexpected prosurvival role for RUNX1 in myeloid leukemogenesis. Inhibiting RUNX1 activity rather than enhancing it could be a promising therapeutic strategy for AMLs with leukemogenic fusion proteins.