Histone deacetylases mediate the silencing of miR-15a, miR-16, and miR-29b in chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
ABSTRACT: Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) demonstrates a global down-regulation of miR-15a and miR-16 and a selective silencing of the related miR-29b in aggressive disease. Deletions in chromosome 13 [del(13q14)] partially account for the loss of expression of miR-15a and miR-16, but the mechanisms by which miR-29b becomes silenced is unknown. In the present study, we show that the histone deacetylases (HDACs) are overexpressed in CLL and mediate the epigenetic silencing of miR-15a, miR-16, and miR-29b. HDAC inhibition triggered the accumulation of the transcriptionally activating chromatin modification H3K4me2 and restored the expression of miR-15a, miR-16, and miR-29b in approximately 35% of samples. Ectopic expression of miR-15a and miR-16 and HDAC inhibition-induced expression of miR-15a, miR-16, or miR-29b in primary CLL cells was associated with declines in the levels of Mcl-1, but not Bcl-2, mitochondrial dysfunction, and induction of cell death. Therefore, our results show that HDACs aberrantly silence the expression of the critical tumor suppressors miR-15a, miR-16, and miR-29b in CLL. Deacetylase inhibition may be a therapeutic strategy that restores the expression of these miRs to antagonize Mcl-1, an important survival protein in these cells. Consequently, CLL patients who exhibit such epigenetic silencing may benefit from HDAC inhibitor-based therapy.
Project description:Our recent study demonstrated miR-15a/16-1 downregulation in mantle cell lymphoma (MCL). Here, we investigated mechanisms of miR-15a/16-1 transcriptional repression and its epigenetic regulation by c-Myc and histone deacetylase (HDAC) in MCL. c-Myc expression was detected in MCL cell lines and in the primary MCL samples, and pri-miR-15a/16-1 mRNAs were significantly upregulated in Mino and Jeko-1 cells with c-Myc knockdown by small interfering RNAs (siRNAs). Our co-immunoprecipitation analysis showed that c-Myc interacted with HDAC3. Moreover, using chromatin immunoprecipitation, we demonstrated that both c-Myc and HDAC3 co-localized to the two promoters of the miR-15a/16-1 cluster gene, DLEU2, and inhibition of HDAC3 increased histone acetylation of the DLEU2 promoters. Luciferase reporter assay confirmed the dependence of Myc-mediated DLEU2 transcriptional repression on HDAC3. Treatment with the pan-HDAC inhibitor, suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid and HDAC3 siRNA resulted in increased miR-15a/16-1 expression. The regulatory mechanism of miR-15a/16-1 was further demonstrated in Burkitt lymphoma and Myc overexpressing cell lines. These findings highlight the role of HDAC3 in Myc-induced miR-15a/16-1 changes and reveal novel mechanisms for c-Myc-driven microRNA suppression and malignant transformation in aggressive B-cell malignancies.
Project description:Genetic lesions and other regulatory events lead to silencing of the 13q14 locus in a majority of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients. This locus encodes a pair of critical proapoptotic microRNAs, miR-15a/16-1. Decreased levels of miR-15a/16-1 are critical for the increased survival exhibited by CLL cells. Similarly, in a de novo murine model of CLL, the NZB strain, germline-encoded regulation of the syntenic region resulted in decreased miR-15a/16-1. In this paper, we have identified additional molecular mechanisms regulating miR-15a/16-1 levels and have shown that the transcription factor BSAP (B-cell-specific activator protein) directly interacts with Dleu2, the host gene containing the miR-15a/16-1 loci, and by negative regulation of the Dleu2 promoter, results in repression of miR-15a/16-1 expression. CLL patient B-cell expression levels of BSAP were increased compared with control sources of B cells. With the use of small interfering RNA-mediated repression, the levels of BSAP were decreased in vitro in the NZB-derived malignant B-1 cell line, LNC, and in ex vivo CLL patient peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). BSAP knockdown led to an increase in the expression of miR-15a/16-1 and an increase in apoptosis, and a cell cycle arrest in both the cell line and patient PBMCs. Moreover, using Dleu2 promoter analysis by chromatin immunoprecipitation assay, we have shown that BSAP directly interacts with the Dleu2 promoter. Derepression of the Dleu2 promoter via inhibition of histone deacetylation combined with BSAP knockdown increased miR-15a/16-1 expression, and also increased malignant B-cell death. In summary, therapy targeting enhanced host gene Dleu2 transcription may augment CLL therapy.
Project description:The miR-29 family is involved in fibrosis in multiple organs, including the intestine where miR-29b facilitates TGF-?-mediated up-regulation of collagen in mucosal fibroblasts from Crohn's disease (CD) patients. Myeloid cell leukemia-1 (MCL-1), a member of the B-cell CLL/Lymphoma 2 (BCL-2) apoptosis family, is involved in liver fibrosis and is targeted by miR-29b via its 3'-UTR in cultured cell lines. We investigate the role of MCL-1 and miR-29b in primary intestinal fibroblasts and tissue from stricturing CD patients. Transfection of CD intestinal fibroblasts with pre-miR-29b resulted in a significant increase in the mRNA expression of MCL-1 isoforms [MCL-1Long (L)/Extra Short (ES) and MCL-1Short (S)], although MCL-1S was expressed at significantly lower levels. Western blotting predominantly detected the anti-apoptotic MCL-1L isoform, and immunofluorescence showed that staining was localised in discrete nuclear foci. Transfection with pre-miR-29b or anti-miR-29b resulted in a significant increase or decrease, respectively, in MCL-1L foci. CD fibroblasts treated with IL-6 and IL-8, inflammatory cytokines upstream of MCL-1, increased the total mass of MCL-1L-positive foci. Furthermore, transfection of intestinal fibroblasts with pre-miR-29b resulted in an increase in mRNA and protein levels of IL-6 and IL-8. Finally, immunohistochemistry showed reduced MCL-1 protein expression in fibrotic CD samples compared to non-stricturing controls. Together, our findings suggest that induction of MCL-1 by IL-6/IL-8 may surmount any direct down-regulation by miR-29b via its 3'-UTR. We propose that an anti-fibrotic miR-29b/IL-6 IL-8/MCL-1L axis may influence intestinal fibrosis in CD. In the future, therapeutic modulation of this pathway might contribute to the management of fibrosis in CD.
Project description:Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients with deletion of chromosome 17p, where the p53 gene is located, often develop more aggressive disease with poor clinical outcomes. To investigate the underlying mechanisms for the highly malignant phenotype of 17p- CLL and to facilitate in vivo evaluation of potential drugs against CLL with p53 deletion, we have generated a mouse model with TCL1-Tg:p53(-/-) genotype. These mice develop B-cell leukemia at an early age with an early appearance of CD5+ / IgM+ B cells in the peritoneal cavity and spleen, and exhibit an aggressive path of disease development and drug resistance phenotype similar to human CLL with 17p deletion. The TCL1-Tg:p53(-/-) leukemia cells exhibit higher survival capacity and are more drug resistant than the leukemia cells from TCL1-Tg:p53wt mice. Analysis of microRNA expression reveals that p53 deletion resulted in a decrease of miR-15a and miR-16-1, leading to an elevated expression of Mcl-1. Primary leukemia cells from CLL patients with 17p deletion also show a decrease in miR-15a/miR-16-1 and an increase in Mcl-1. Our study suggests that the p53/miR15a/16-1/Mcl-1 axis may be an important pathway that regulates Mcl-1 expression and contributes to drug resistance and aggressive phenotype in CLL cells with loss of p53.
Project description:Deregulation of the miR-15a/16-1 cluster has a key role in the pathogenesis of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), a clinically heterogeneous disease with indolent and aggressive forms. The miR-15a/16-1 locus is located at 13q14, the most frequently deleted region in CLL. Starting from functional investigations of a rare SNP upstream the miR cluster, we identified a novel allele-specific mechanism that exploits a cryptic activator region to recruit the RNA polymerase III for miR-15a/16-1 transcription. This regulation of the miR-15a/16- locus is independent of the DLEU2 host gene, which is often transcribed monoallellically by RPII. We found that normally one allele of miR-15a/16-1 is transcribed by RNAPII, the other one by RNAPIII. In our subset of CLL patients harboring 13q14 deletions, exclusive RNA polymerase III (RPIII)-driven transcription of the miR-15a/16-1 was the consequence of loss of the RPII-regulated allele and correlated with high expression of the poor prognostic marker ZAP70 (P=0.019). Thus, our findings point to a novel biological process, characterized by double allele-specific transcriptional regulation of the miR-15a/16-1 locus by alternative mechanisms. Differential usage of these mechanisms may distinguish at onset aggressive from indolent forms of CLL. This provides a basis for the clinical heterogeneity of the CLL patients carrying 13q14 deletions.
Project description:MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short noncoding RNAs regulating gene expression that play roles in human diseases, including cancer. Each miRNA is predicted to regulate hundreds of transcripts, but only few have experimental validation. In chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), the most common adult human leukemia, miR-15a and miR-16-1 are lost or down-regulated in the majority of cases. After our previous work indicating a tumor suppressor function of miR-15a/16-1 by targeting the BCL2 oncogene, here, we produced a high-throughput profiling of genes modulated by miR-15a/16-1 in a leukemic cell line model (MEG-01) and in primary CLL samples. By combining experimental and bioinformatics data, we identified a miR-15a/16-1-gene signature in leukemic cells. Among the components of the miR-15a/16-1 signature, we observed a statistically significant enrichment in AU-rich elements (AREs). By examining the Gene Ontology (GO) database, a significant enrichment in cancer genes (such as MCL1, BCL2, ETS1, or JUN) that directly or indirectly affect apoptosis and cell cycle was found.
Project description:New Zealand Black (NZB) mice, a de novo model of CLL, share multiple characteristics with CLL patients, including decreased expression of miR-15a/16-1. We previously discovered a point mutation and deletion in the 3' flanking region of mir-16-1 of NZB and a similar mutation has been found in a small number of CLL patients. However, it was unknown whether the mutation is the cause for the reduced miR-15a/16-1 expression and CLL development. Using PCR and in vitro microRNA processing assays, we found that the NZB sequence alterations in the mir-15a/16-1 loci result in deficient processing of the precursor forms of miR-15a/16-1, in particular, we observe impaired conversion of pri-miR-15a/16-1 to pre-miR-15a/16-1. The in vitro data was further supported by derivation of congenic strains with replaced mir-15a/16-1 loci at one or both alleles: NZB congenic mice (NmiR+/-) and DBA congenic mice (DmiR-/-). The level of miR-15a/16-1 reflected the configuration of the mir-15a/16-1 loci with DBA congenic mice (DmiR-/-) showing reduced miR-15a levels compared to homozygous wild-type allele, while the NZB congenic mice (NmiR+/-) showed an increase in miR-15a levels relative to homozygous mutant allele. Similar to Monoclonal B-cell Lymphocytosis (MBL), the precursor stage of the human disease, an overall expansion of the B-1 population was observed in DBA congenic mice (DmiR-/-) relative to wild-type (DmiR+/+). These studies support our hypothesis that the mutations in the mir-15a/16-1 loci are responsible for decreased expression of this regulatory microRNA leading to B-1 expansion and CLL development.
Project description:Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is the most common human leukemia and is characterized by predominantly nondividing malignant B cells overexpressing the antiapoptotic B cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl2) protein. miR-15a and miR-16-1 are deleted or down-regulated in the majority of CLLs. Here, we demonstrate that miR-15a and miR-16-1 expression is inversely correlated to Bcl2 expression in CLL and that both microRNAs negatively regulate Bcl2 at a posttranscriptional level. BCL2 repression by these microRNAs induces apoptopsis in a leukemic cell line model. Therefore, miR-15 and miR-16 are natural antisense Bcl2 interactors that could be used for therapy of Bcl2-overexpressing tumors.
Project description:Histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors either alone or in combination with hypomethylating agents have limited clinical effect in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Previously, we demonstrated that AML patients with higher miR (microRNA)-29b expression had better response to the hypomethylating agent decitabine. Therefore, an increase in miR-29b expression preceding decitabine treatment may provide a therapeutic advantage. We previously showed that miR-29b expression is suppressed by a repressor complex that includes HDACs. Thus, HDAC inhibition may increase miR-29b expression. We hypothesized that priming AML cells with the novel HDAC inhibitor (HDACI) AR-42 would result in increased response to decitabine treatment via upregulation of miR-29b. Here, we show that AR-42 is a potent HDACI in AML, increasing miR-29b levels and leading to downregulation of known miR-29b targets (that is, SP1, DNMT1, DNMT3A and DNMT3B). We then demonstrated that the sequential administration of AR-42 followed by decitabine resulted in a stronger anti-leukemic activity in vitro and in vivo than decitabine followed by AR-42 or either drug alone. These preclinical results with AR-42 priming before decitabine administration represent a promising, novel treatment approach and a paradigm shift with regard to the combination of epigenetic-targeting compounds in AML, where decitabine has been traditionally given before HDACIs.
Project description:In both human chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and the New Zealand Black (NZB) murine model of CLL, decreased levels of microRNAs miR-15a/16 play an important role in the disease. Here we investigate the effects of this microRNA on early steps of B cell development and the capacity of miR-15a-deficient hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) and B1 progenitor cells (B1P) to reproduce CLL-like phenotype both in vitro and in vivo. Our results demonstrate that both miR-15a deficient HSC and B1P cells are capable of repopulating irradiated recipients and produce higher numbers of B1 cells than sources with normal miR-15a/16 levels. Furthermore, induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells derived for the first time from NZB mice, provided insights into the B cell differentiation roadblock inherent in this strain. In addition, exogenously delivered miR-15a into the NZB derived B cell line provided valuable clues into novel targets such as Mmp10 and Mt2. Our data supports the hypothesis that miR-15a/16 deficient stem cells and B1Ps experience a maturation blockage, which contributes to B1 cells bias in development. This work will help understand the role of miR-15a in early events of CLL and points to B1P cells as potential cells of origin for this incurable disease.