NUP98 gene fusions and hematopoietic malignancies: common themes and new biologic insights.
ABSTRACT: Structural chromosomal rearrangements of the Nucleoporin 98 gene (NUP98), primarily balanced translocations and inversions, are associated with a wide array of hematopoietic malignancies. NUP98 is known to be fused to at least 28 different partner genes in patients with hematopoietic malignancies, including acute myeloid leukemia, chronic myeloid leukemia in blast crisis, myelodysplastic syndrome, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and bilineage/biphenotypic leukemia. NUP98 gene fusions typically encode a fusion protein that retains the amino terminus of NUP98; in this context, it is important to note that several recent studies have demonstrated that the amino-terminal portion of NUP98 exhibits transcription activation potential. Approximately half of the NUP98 fusion partners encode homeodomain proteins, and at least 5 NUP98 fusions involve known histone-modifying genes. Several of the NUP98 fusions, including NUP98-homeobox (HOX)A9, NUP98-HOXD13, and NUP98-JARID1A, have been used to generate animal models of both lymphoid and myeloid malignancy; these models typically up-regulate HOXA cluster genes, including HOXA5, HOXA7, HOXA9, and HOXA10. In addition, several of the NUP98 fusion proteins have been shown to inhibit differentiation of hematopoietic precursors and to increase self-renewal of hematopoietic stem or progenitor cells, providing a potential mechanism for malignant transformation.
Project description:Chromosomal translocations involving the nucleoporin NUP98 have been described in several hematopoietic malignancies, in particular acute myeloid leukemia (AML). In the resulting chimeric proteins, Nup98's N-terminal region is fused to the C-terminal region of about 30 different partners, including homeodomain (HD) transcription factors. While transcriptional targets of distinct Nup98 chimeras related to immortalization are relatively well described, little is known about other potential cellular effects of these fusion proteins. By comparing the sub-nuclear localization of a large number of Nup98 fusions with HD and non-HD partners throughout the cell cycle we found that while all Nup98 chimeras were nuclear during interphase, only Nup98-HD fusion proteins exhibited a characteristic speckled appearance. During mitosis, only Nup98-HD fusions were concentrated on chromosomes. Despite the difference in localization, all tested Nup98 chimera provoked morphological alterations in the nuclear envelope (NE), in particular affecting the nuclear lamina and the lamina-associated polypeptide 2? (LAP2?). Importantly, such aberrations were not only observed in transiently transfected HeLa cells but also in mouse bone marrow cells immortalized by Nup98 fusions and in cells derived from leukemia patients harboring Nup98 fusions. Our findings unravel Nup98 fusion-associated NE alterations that may contribute to leukemogenesis.
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:BACKGROUND: The nucleoporin gene NUP98 is rearranged in more than 27 chromosomal abnormalities observed in childhood and adult, de novo and therapy-related acute leukemias of myeloid and T-lymphoid origins, resulting in the creation of fusion genes and the expression of chimeric proteins. We report here the functional analysis of the NUP98-coiled-coil domain-containing protein 28A (NUP98-CCDC28A) fusion protein, expressed as the consequence of a recurrent t(6;11)(q24.1;p15.5) translocation. DESIGN AND METHODS: To gain insight into the function of the native CCDC28A gene, we collected information on any differential expression of CCDC28A among normal hematologic cell types and within subgroups of acute leukemia. To assess the in vivo effects of the NUP98-CCDC28A fusion, NUP98-CCDC28A or full length CCDC28A were retrovirally transduced into primary murine bone marrow cells and transduced cells were next transplanted into sub-lethally irradiated recipient mice. RESULTS: Our in silico analyses supported a contribution of CCDC28A to discrete stages of murine hematopoietic development. They also suggested selective enrichment of CCDC28A in the French-American-British M6 class of human acute leukemia. Primary murine hematopoietic progenitor cells transduced with NUP98-CCDC28A generated a fully penetrant and transplantable myeloproliferative neoplasm-like myeloid leukemia and induced selective expansion of granulocyte/macrophage progenitors in the bone marrow of transplanted recipients, showing that NUP98-CCDC28A promotes the proliferative capacity and self-renewal potential of myeloid progenitors. In addition, the transformation mediated by NUP98-CCDC28A was not associated with deregulation of the Hoxa-Meis1 pathway, a feature shared by a diverse set of NUP98 fusions. CONCLUSIONS: Our results demonstrate that the recurrent NUP98-CCDC28A is an oncogene that induces a rapid and transplantable myeloid neoplasm in recipient mice. They also provide additional evidence for an alternative leukemogenic mechanism for NUP98 oncogenes.
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:In this report, we show that expression of a NUP98-PHF23 (NP23) fusion, associated with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in humans, leads to myeloid, erythroid, T-cell, and B-cell leukemia in mice. The leukemic and preleukemic tissues display a stem cell-like expression signature, including Hoxa, Hoxb, and Meis1 genes. The PHF23 plant homeodomain (PHD) motif is known to bind to H3K4me3 residues, and chromatin immunoprecipitation experiments demonstrated that the NP23 protein binds to chromatin at a specific subset of H3K4me3 sites, including at Hoxa, Hoxb, and Meis1. Treatment of NP23 cells with disulfiram, which inhibits the binding of PHD motifs to H3K4me3, rapidly and selectively killed NP23-expressing myeloblasts; cell death was preceded by decreased expression of Hoxa, Hoxb, and Meis1. Furthermore, AML driven by a related fusion gene, NUP98-JARID1A (NJL), was also sensitive to disulfiram. Thus, the NP23 mouse provides a platform to evaluate compounds that disrupt binding of oncogenic PHD proteins to H3K4me3.
Project description:Acute erythroid leukemia (AEL) is a rare subtype of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) primarily affecting older adults and was previously classified into erythroid/myeloid and pure erythroid subtypes. In this pediatric AEL study, we evaluated morphologic, immunophenotypic, cytogenetic, molecular, and clinical data of 24 (1.2%) cases from all cases undergoing central pathology review in Children's Oncology Group trials AAML0531 and AAML1031. Of 24 cases, 5 had a pure erythroid phenotype, and 19 had an erythroid/myeloid phenotype. NUP98 fusions were highly enriched in patients with AEL, occurring in 7 of 22 cases for which molecular data were available (31.8% vs 6.7% in other AML subtypes). Of 5 cases of pure erythroid leukemias (PELs), 3 had NUP98 fusions, and 4 had complex karyotypes. Erythroid/myeloid leukemias were reclassified by using the 2017 World Health Organization hematopathology classification as: myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) with excess blasts-1 (n = 3), MDS with excess blasts-2 (n = 7), AML (nonerythroid, n = 5), and unknown MDS/AML (n = 4); the 5 cases of nonerythroid AML included 1 with an NUP98-NSD1 fusion, 2 with myelodysplasia-related changes, and 1 with a complex karyotype. Three cases of MDS with excess blasts-2 also had NUP98 rearrangements. WT1 mutations were present in 5 of 14 cases, all erythroid/myeloid leukemia. Outcomes assessment revealed statistically poorer overall survival (5-year, 20% ± 36% vs 66% ± 23%; P = .004) and event-free survival (5-year, 20% ± 36% vs 46% ± 23%; P = .019) for those with PEL than those with erythroid/myeloid leukemia. Our study supports that AEL is a morphologically and genetically heterogeneous entity that is enriched in NUP98 fusions, with the pure erythroid subtype associated with particularly adverse outcomes.
Project description: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: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:Recent studies have shown that a subset of nucleoporins (Nups) can detach from the nuclear pore complex and move into the nuclear interior to regulate transcription. One such dynamic Nup, called Nup98, has been implicated in gene activation in healthy cells and has been shown to drive leukemogenesis when mutated in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Here we show that in hematopoietic cells, Nup98 binds predominantly to transcription start sites to recruit the Wdr82-Set1A/COMPASS (complex of proteins associated with Set1) complex, which is required for deposition of the histone 3 Lys4 trimethyl (H3K4me3)-activating mark. Depletion of Nup98 or Wdr82 abolishes Set1A recruitment to chromatin and subsequently ablates H3K4me3 at adjacent promoters. Furthermore, expression of a Nup98 fusion protein implicated in aggressive AML causes mislocalization of H3K4me3 at abnormal regions and up-regulation of associated genes. Our findings establish a function of Nup98 in hematopoietic gene activation and provide mechanistic insight into which Nup98 leukemic fusion proteins promote AML.