EVI1 promotes tumor growth via transcriptional repression of MS4A3.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:The transcription factor Ecotropic Virus Integration site 1 (EVI1) regulates cellular proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis, and its overexpression contributes to an aggressive course of disease in myeloid leukemias and other malignancies. Notwithstanding, knowledge about the target genes mediating its biological and pathological functions remains limited. We therefore aimed to identify and characterize novel EVI1 target genes in human myeloid cells. METHODS:U937T_EVI1, a human myeloid cell line expressing EVI1 in a tetracycline regulable manner, was subjected to gene expression profiling. qRT-PCR was used to confirm the regulation of membrane-spanning-4-domains subfamily-A member-3 (MS4A3) by EVI1. Reporter constructs containing various parts of the MS4A3 upstream region were employed in luciferase assays, and binding of EVI1 to the MS4A3 promoter was investigated by chromatin immunoprecipitation. U937 derivative cell lines experimentally expressing EVI1 and/or MS4A3 were generated by retroviral transduction, and tested for their tumorigenicity by subcutaneous injection into severe combined immunodeficient mice. RESULTS:Gene expression microarray analysis identified 27 unique genes that were up-regulated, and 29 unique genes that were down-regulated, in response to EVI1 induction in the human myeloid cell line U937T. The most strongly repressed gene was MS4A3, and its down-regulation by EVI1 was confirmed by qRT-PCR in additional, independent experimental model systems. MS4A3 mRNA levels were also negatively correlated with those of EVI1 in several published AML data sets. Reporter gene assays and chromatin immunoprecipitation showed that EVI1 regulated MS4A3 via direct binding to a promoter proximal region. Experimental re-expression of MS4A3 in an EVI1 overexpressing cell line counteracted the tumor promoting effect of EVI1 in a murine xenograft model by increasing the rate of apoptosis. CONCLUSIONS:Our data reveal MS4A3 as a novel direct target of EVI1 in human myeloid cells, and show that its repression plays a role in EVI1 mediated tumor aggressiveness.
Project description:Background: The transcription factor EVI1 regulates cellular proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis, and contributes to an aggressive course of disease in myeloid leukemias and other malignancies. Notwithstanding, knowledge about the target genes mediating its biological and pathological functions remains limited. We therefore aimed to identify and characterize novel EVI1 target genes in human myeloid cells. Methods: U937T_EVI1, a previously established human myeloid cell line expressing EVI1 in a tetracycline regulable manner, was subjected to genome wide gene expression microarray analysis. qRT-PCR was used to confirm the regulation of MS4A3 by EVI1. Reporter constructs containing various parts of the MS4A3 upstream region were employed in luciferase assays, and direct binding of EVI1 to the MS4A3 promoter was investigated by chromatin immunoprecipitation. U937 derivative cell lines experimentally expressing EVI1 and/or MS4A3 were generated by retroviral transduction, and tested for their tumorigenicity by subcutaneous injection into severe combined immunodeficient mice. Experimental results were tested for statistical significance using ANOVA and Student's t-test (two-tailed). Results: Gene expression microarray analysis identified 27 unique genes that were up-regulated and 29 that were down-regulated in response to EVI1 induction in the human myeloid cell line, U937. The most strongly repressed gene was membrane-spanning-4-domains subfamily-A member-3 (MS4A3), and its down-regulation by EVI1 was confirmed by qRT-PCR in additional, independent experimental model systems. Reporter gene assays and chromatin immunoprecipitation showed that EVI1 regulated MS4A3 via direct binding to a promoter proximal region. Experimental re-expression of MS4A3 in an EVI1 overexpressing cell line counteracted the tumor promoting effect of EVI1 in a murine xenograft model. Conclusions: Our data reveal MS4A3 as a novel direct target of EVI1 in human myeloid cells, and show that its repression plays a role in EVI1 mediated tumor aggressiveness. Time course of 2 biological replicates, plus 2 control samples; 20 arrays in total
Project description:Overexpression of ecotropic viral integration site 1 (EVI1) is associated with aggressive disease in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Despite of its clinical importance, little is known about the mechanism through which EVI1 confers resistance to antileukemic drugs. Here, we show that a human myeloid cell line constitutively overexpressing EVI1 after infection with a retroviral vector (U937_EVI1) was partially resistant to etoposide and daunorubicin as compared to empty vector infected control cells (U937_vec). Similarly, inducible expression of EVI1 in HL-60 cells decreased their sensitivity to daunorubicin. Gene expression microarray analyses of U937_EVI1 and U937_vec cells cultured in the absence or presence of etoposide showed that 77 and 419 genes were regulated by EVI1 and etoposide, respectively. Notably, mRNA levels of 26 of these genes were altered by both stimuli, indicating that EVI1 regulated genes were strongly enriched among etoposide regulated genes and vice versa. One of the genes that were induced by both EVI1 and etoposide was CDKN1A/p21/WAF, which in addition to its function as a cell cycle regulator plays an important role in conferring chemotherapy resistance in various tumor types. Indeed, overexpression of CDKN1A in U937 cells mimicked the phenotype of EVI1 overexpression, similarly conferring partial resistance to antileukemic drugs.
Project description:We studied the variations of mRNA amounts after Flag-EVI1 or Flag expression in HeLa cells. Despites EVI1 discovery in 1988, its recognized role as a dominant oncogene in myeloid leukemia and more recently in epithelial cancers, only a few target genes were known and it was not clear why EVI1 was involved in cancer progression. Here we obtained the genomic binding occupancy and expression data for EVI1 in human cells. We identified numerous EVI1 target cancer genes and genes controlling cell migration and adhesion. Moreover, we characterized a transcriptional cooperation between AP1 and EVI1 that regulated proliferation and adhesion through a feed-forward loop. Furthermore, this study provides human genome-wide mapping and downstream analyses for EVI1 that will be useful for the research community. 8 samples were collected. Each condition was done in 4 replicates, collected 24 hours after transfection (for mild expression of EVI1). Transfections with Flag-expressing vector were used as controls.
Project description:The product of the ecotropic virus integration site 1 (EVI1) gene, whose overexpression is associated with a poor prognosis in myeloid leukemias and some epithelial tumors, regulates gene transcription both through direct DNA binding and through modulation of the activity of other sequence specific transcription factors. Previous results from our laboratory have shown that EVI1 influenced transcription regulation in response to the myeloid differentiation inducing agent, all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA), in a dual manner: it enhanced ATRA induced transcription of the RAR? gene, but repressed the ATRA induction of the EVI1 gene itself. In the present study, we asked whether EVI1 would modulate the ATRA regulation of a larger number of genes, as well as biological responses to this agent, in human myeloid cells. U937 and HL-60 cells ectopically expressing EVI1 through retroviral transduction were subjected to microarray based gene expression analysis, and to assays measuring cellular proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis. These experiments showed that EVI1 modulated the ATRA response of several dozens of genes, and in fact reinforced it in the vast majority of cases. A particularly strong synergy between EVI1 and ATRA was observed for GDF15, which codes for a member of the TGF-? superfamily of cytokines. In line with the gene expression results, EVI1 enhanced cell cycle arrest, differentiation, and apoptosis in response to ATRA, and knockdown of GDF15 counteracted some of these effects. The potential clinical implications of these findings are discussed.
Project description:Ecotropic viral integration site 1 (EVI1) is an oncogenic dual domain zinc finger transcription factor that plays an essential role in the regulation of hematopoietic stem cell renewal, and its overexpression in myeloid leukemia and epithelial cancers is associated with poor patient survival. Despite the discovery of EVI1 in 1988 and its emerging role as a dominant oncogene in various types of cancer, few EVI1 target genes are known. This lack of knowledge has precluded a clear understanding of exactly how EVI1 contributes to cancer. Using a combination of ChIP-Seq and microarray studies in human ovarian carcinoma cells, we show that the two zinc finger domains of EVI1 bind to DNA independently and regulate different sets of target genes. Strikingly, an enriched fraction of EVI1 target genes are cancer genes or genes associated with cancer. We also show that more than 25% of EVI1-occupied genes contain linked EVI1 and activator protein (AP)1 DNA binding sites, and this finding provides evidence for a synergistic cooperative interaction between EVI1 and the AP1 family member FOS in the regulation of cell adhesion, proliferation, and colony formation. An increased number of dual EVI1/AP1 target genes are also differentially regulated in late-stage ovarian carcinomas, further confirming the importance of the functional cooperation between EVI1 and FOS. Collectively, our data indicate that EVI1 is a multipurpose transcription factor that synergizes with FOS in invasive tumors.
Project description:The ecotropic virus integration site 1 (EVI1) transcription factor is associated with human myeloid malignancy of poor prognosis and is overexpressed in 8-10% of adult AML and strikingly up to 27% of pediatric MLL-rearranged leukemias. For the first time, we report comprehensive genomewide EVI1 binding and whole transcriptome gene deregulation in leukemic cells using a combination of ChIP-Seq and RNA-Seq expression profiling. We found disruption of terminal myeloid differentiation and cell cycle regulation to be prominent in EVI-induced leukemogenesis. Specifically, we identified EVI1 directly binds to and downregulates the master myeloid differentiation gene Cebpe and several of its downstream gene targets critical for terminal myeloid differentiation. We also found EVI1 binds to and downregulates Serpinb2 as well as numerous genes involved in the Jak-Stat signaling pathway. Finally, we identified decreased expression of several ATP-dependent P2X purinoreceptors genes involved in apoptosis mechanisms. These findings provide a foundation for future study of potential therapeutic gene targets for EVI1-induced leukemia.
Project description:Ecotropic virus integration site 1 (EVI1), whose overexpression characterizes a particularly aggressive subtype of acute myeloid leukemia (AML), enhanced anti-leukemic activities of all-trans retinoic acid (atRA) in cell lines and patient samples. However, the drivers of leukemia formation, therapy resistance, and relapse are leukemic stem cells (LSCs), whose properties were hardly reflected in these experimental setups. The present study was designed to address the effects of, and interactions between, EVI1 and retinoids in AML LSCs. We report that Evi1 reduced the maturation of leukemic cells and promoted the abundance, quiescence, and activity of LSCs in an MLL-AF9-driven mouse model of AML. atRA further augmented these effects in an Evi1 dependent manner. EVI1 also strongly enhanced atRA regulated gene transcription in LSC enriched cells. One of their jointly regulated targets, Notch4, was an important mediator of their effects on leukemic stemness. In vitro exposure of leukemic cells to a pan-RAR antagonist caused effects opposite to those of atRA. In vivo antagonist treatment delayed leukemogenesis and reduced LSC abundance, quiescence, and activity in Evi1<sup>high</sup> AML. Key results were confirmed in human myeloid cell lines retaining some stem cell characteristics as well as in primary human AML samples. In summary, our study is the first to report the importance of EVI1 for key properties of AML LSCs. Furthermore, it shows that atRA enhances, and a pan-RAR antagonist counteracts, the effects of EVI1 on AML stemness, thus raising the possibility of using RAR antagonists in the therapy of EVI1<sup>high</sup> AML.
Project description:Aberrantly high expression of EVI1 in acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) is associated with poor prognosis. For targeted treatment of EVI1 overexpressing AML a more detailed understanding of aspects of spatiotemporal interaction dynamics of the EVI1 protein is important. EVI1 overexpressing SB1690CB AML cells were used for quantification and protein interaction studies of EVI1 and ?EVI1. Cells were cell cycle-synchronised by mimosine and nocodazole treatment and expression of EVI1 and related proteins assessed by western blot, immunoprecipitation and immunofluorescence. EVI1 protein levels oscillate through the cell cycle, and EVI1 is degraded partly by the proteasome complex. Both EVI1 and ?EVI1 interact with the co-repressor CtBP1 but dissociate from CtBP1 complexes during mitosis. Furthermore, a large fraction of EVI1, but not ?EVI1 or CtBP1, resides in the nuclear matrix. In conclusion, EVI1- protein levels and EVI1-CtBP1 interaction dynamics vary though the cell cycle and differ between EVI1 and ?EVI1. These data ad to the functional characterisation of the EVI1 protein in AML and will be important for the development of targeted therapeutic approaches for EVI1-driven AML.
Project description:DNA methylation patterns are frequently dysregulated in cancer, although little is known of the mechanisms through which specific gene sets become aberrantly methylated. The ecotropic viral integration site 1 (EVI1) locus encodes a DNA binding zinc-finger transcription factor that is aberrantly expressed in a subset of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients with poor outcome. We find that the promoter DNA methylation signature of EVI1 AML blast cells differs from those of normal CD34(+) bone marrow cells and other AMLs. This signature contained 294 differentially methylated genes, of which 238 (81%) were coordinately hypermethylated. An unbiased motif analysis revealed an overrepresentation of EVI1 binding sites among these aberrantly hypermethylated loci. EVI1 was capable of binding to these promoters in 2 different EVI1-expressing cell lines, whereas no binding was observed in an EVI1-negative cell line. Furthermore, EVI1 was observed to interact with DNA methyl transferases 3A and 3B. Among the EVI1 AML cases, 2 subgroups were recognized, of which 1 contained AMLs with many more methylated genes, which was associated with significantly higher levels of EVI1 than in the cases of the other subgroup. Our data point to a role for EVI1 in directing aberrant promoter DNA methylation patterning in EVI1 AMLs.
Project description:EVI1 (Ecotropic Viral Integration site I), which was originally identified as a myeloid transforming gene by means of retroviral insertional mutagenesis in mouse leukemia, encodes a nuclear DNA binding zinc finger protein. The presence of zinc fingers that are able to bind to specific sequences of DNA suggests that EVI1 is a transcriptional regulator; however, except a few, target genes of EVI1 are poorly functionally identified thus far. In this study we provide evidence that EVI1 directly induces the expression of Bcl-xL through the first set of zinc finger and thereby inhibits apoptosis. ChIP analysis showed that EVI1 binds to the Bcl-xL promoter in HT-29 cells, a colon carcinoma cell line, which expresses EVI1. The observation is also supported by the fact that EVI1 siRNA treated HT-29 cells, shows a down regulation of Bcl-xL expression and that over expression of EVI1 results in the induction of the Bcl-xL reporter construct. A set of EVI1 positive chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) samples also showed higher Bcl-xL expression with respect to EVI1 negative samples. Interestingly, co-expression of EVI1 with wild type, but not with dominant-negative form of PCAF, abolishes the effect of EVI1 on Bcl-xL, indicating that acetylation of EVI1 abrogates its ability not only to bind Bcl-xL promoter but also alleviate Bcl-xL activity. Finally we have shown that EVI1 expression regulates apoptosis in HT-29 cells, which is abrogated when HT-29 cells are transfected with EVI1 siRNA or PCAF. The result for the first time shows a direct pathway by which EVI1 can protect cells from apoptosis and also demonstrates that the pathway can be reversed when EVI1 is acetylated.