The miR-17?92 cluster contributes to MLL leukemia through the repression of MEIS1 competitor PKNOX1.
ABSTRACT: Mixed lineage leukemias have a relatively poor prognosis and arise as a result of translocations between the MLL(KMT2A) gene and one of multiple partner genes. Downstream targets of MLL are aberrantly upregulated and include the developmentally important HOX genes and MEIS1, as well as multiple microRNAs (miRNAs), including the miR-17?92 cluster. Here we examined the contribution of specific miRNAs to MLL leukemias through knockdown studies utilizing custom anti-microRNA oligonucleotides. Combinatorial treatment against miR-17-5p and miR-19a-3p of the miR-17?92 cluster dramatically reduces colony forming ability of MLL-fusion containing cell lines relative to non-MLL acute myeloid leukemia (AML) controls. To determine the mechanism by which these miRNAs contribute to leukemia, we validated PKNOX1 as a target of both miR-17-5p and miR-19a-3p. MEIS1 and PKNOX1 are TALE domain proteins that participate in ternary complexes with HOX and PBX partners. Here we establish the competitive relationship between PKNOX1 and MEIS1 in PBX-containing complex formation and determine the antagonistic role of PKNOX1 to leukemia in a murine MLL-AF9 model. These data implicate the miR-17?92 cluster as part of a regulatory mechanism necessary to maintain MEIS1/HOXA9 -mediated transformation in MLL leukemia, indicating that targeting multiple non-homologous miRNAs may be utilized as a novel therapeutic regimen.
Project description:Expression of microRNAs (miRNAs) is under stringent regulation at both transcriptional and posttranscriptional levels. Disturbance at either level could cause dysregulation of miRNAs. Here, we show that MLL fusion proteins negatively regulate production of miR-150, an miRNA widely repressed in acute leukemia, by blocking miR-150 precursors from being processed to mature miRNAs through MYC/LIN28 functional axis. Forced expression of miR-150 dramatically inhibited leukemic cell growth and delayed MLL-fusion-mediated leukemogenesis, likely through targeting FLT3 and MYB and thereby interfering with the HOXA9/MEIS1/FLT3/MYB signaling network, which in turn caused downregulation of MYC/LIN28. Collectively, we revealed a MLL-fusion/MYC/LIN28?miR-150?FLT3/MYB/HOXA9/MEIS1 signaling circuit underlying the pathogenesis of leukemia, where miR-150 functions as a pivotal gatekeeper and its repression is required for leukemogenesis.
Project description:Congenital cardiac malformations are one of the most common birth defects and most are believed to be multigenic/multifactorial in nature. Recently mice lacking Pre-B cell leukemia transcription homeobox (PBX) genes were created and found to have a range of ventricular outflow tract (OFT) malformations. Therefore, we screened 95 patients with congenital heart defects, including OFT malformations, for variants in genes encoding PBX proteins, as well as interacting proteins. The coding exons of PBX1-4, PKNOX1, PKNOX2, MEIS1-3, and PBXIP1 were amplified by polymerase chain reaction and the products analyzed on a lightscanner. Samples with abnormal melting profiles were analyzed by DNA sequencing. Seven non-synonymous variants (6 novel and 1 SNP) were identified in 5 proteins (Pbx3, Pbx4, Meis1, Meis3 and Pknox1). One Pbx3 variant, p.A136V, is located in a highly conserved polyalanine tract and predicted to be deleterious. This variant was present in 5.2% of heart defect patients compared with 1.3% of 380 race- and ethnicity-matched controls (P<0.05). None of the other variants were predicted to be damaging. In conclusion, our results support the Pbx3 Ala136Val variant as a modifier or risk allele for congenital heart defects and implicate PBX-related genes as candidates for CHD, especially those affecting the cardiac outflow tract.
Project description:MicroRNA (miRNA)-17-92 cluster (miR-17-92), containing seven individual miRNAs, is frequently amplified and overexpressed in lymphomas and various solid tumors. We have found that it is also frequently amplified and the miRNAs are aberrantly overexpressed in mixed lineage leukemia (MLL)-rearranged acute leukemias. Furthermore, we show that MLL fusions exhibit a much stronger direct binding to the locus of this miRNA cluster than does wild-type MLL; these changes are associated with elevated levels of histone H3 acetylation and H3K4 trimethylation and an up-regulation of these miRNAs. We further observe that forced expression of this miRNA cluster increases proliferation and inhibits apoptosis of human cells. More importantly, we show that this miRNA cluster can significantly increase colony-forming capacity of normal mouse bone marrow progenitor cells alone and, particularly, in cooperation with MLL fusions. Finally, through combinatorial analysis of miRNA and mRNA arrays of mouse bone marrow progenitor cells transfected with this miRNA cluster and/or MLL fusion gene, we identified 363 potential miR-17-92 target genes that exhibited a significant inverse correlation of expression with the miRNAs. Remarkably, these potential target genes are significantly enriched (P < 0.01; >2-fold) in cell differentiation, hematopoiesis, cell cycle, and apoptosis. Taken together, our studies suggest that overexpression of miR-17-92 cluster in MLL-rearranged leukemias is likely attributed to both DNA copy number amplification and direct up-regulation by MLL fusions, and that the miRNAs in this cluster may play an essential role in the development of MLL-associated leukemias through inhibiting cell differentiation and apoptosis, while promoting cell proliferation, by regulating relevant target genes.
Project description:Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a heterogeneous group of hematopoietic malignancies with variable response to treatment. AMLs bearing MLL (mixed lineage leukemia) rearrangements are associated with intermediate or poor survival. MicroRNAs (miRNAs), a class of small noncoding RNAs, have been postulated to be important gene expression regulators virtually in all biological processes, including leukemogenesis. Through a large-scale, genome-wide miRNA expression profiling assay of 85 human AML and 15 normal control samples, we show that among 48 miRNAs that are significantly differentially expressed between MLL- and non-MLL-rearranged AML samples, only one (miR-495) is expressed at a lower level in MLL-rearranged AML than in non-MLL-rearranged AML; meanwhile, miR-495 is also significantly down-regulated in MLL-rearranged AML samples compared with normal control samples. Through in vitro colony-forming/replating assays and in vivo bone marrow transplantation studies, we show that forced expression of miR-495 significantly inhibits MLL-fusion-mediated cell transformation in vitro and leukemogenesis in vivo. In human leukemic cells carrying MLL rearrangements, ectopic expression of miR-495 greatly inhibits cell viability and increases cell apoptosis. Furthermore, our studies demonstrate that PBX3 and MEIS1 are two direct target genes of miR-495, and forced expression of either of them can reverse the effects of miR-495 overexpression on inhibiting cell viability and promoting apoptosis of human MLL-rearranged leukemic cells. Thus, our data indicate that miR-495 likely functions as a tumor suppressor in AML with MLL rearrangements by targeting essential leukemia-related genes.
Project description:Adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) mutation is the most common genetic change in sporadic colorectal cancer (CRC). Although deregulations of miRNAs have been frequently reported in this malignancy, APC-regulated miRNAs have not been extensively documented. Here, by using an APC-inducible cell line and array analysis, we identified a total of 26 deregulated miRNAs. Among them, members of miR-17-92 cluster were dramatically inhibited by APC and induced by enforced expression of ?-catenin. Furthermore, we demonstrate that activated ?-catenin resulted from APC loss binds to and activates the miR-17-92 promoter. Notably, enforced expression of miR-19a overrides APC tumor suppressor activity, and knockdown of miR-19a in cancer cells with compromised APC function reduced their aggressive features in vitro. Finally, we observed that expression of miR-19a significantly correlates with ?-catenin levels in colorectal cancer specimens, and it is associated to the aggressive stage of tumor progression. Thus, our study reveals that miR-17-92 cluster is directly regulated by APC/?-catenin pathway and could be a potential therapeutic target in colon cancers with aberrant APC/?-catenin signaling.
Project description:The microRNAs 19a and 19b, hereafter collectively referred to as miR-19a/b, were recognised to be the most important miRNAs in the oncomiRs-miR-17-92 cluster. However, the exact roles of miR-19a/b in cancers have not been elucidated. In the present study, miR-19a/b was found to be over-expressed in gastric cancer tissues and significantly associated with the patients' metastasis of gastric cancer. Using gain or loss-of-function in in vitro and in vivo experiments, a pro-metastatic function of miR-19a/b was observed in gastric cancer. Furthermore, reporter gene assay and western blot showed that MXD1 is a direct target of miR-19a/b. Functional assays showed that not only MXD1 had an opposite effect to miR-19a/b in the regulation of gastric cancer cells, but also overexpression of MXD1 reduced both miR-19a/b and c-Myc levels, indicating a potential positive feedback loop among miR-19a/b, MXD1 and c-Myc. In conclusion, miR-17-92 cluster members miR-19a/b facilitated gastric cancer cell migration, invasion and metastasis through targeting the antagonist of c-Myc -- MXD1, implicating a novel mechanism for the malignant phenotypes of gastric cancer.
Project description:Meis1 and Hoxa9 expression is upregulated by retroviral integration in murine myeloid leukemias and in human leukemias carrying MLL translocations. Both genes also cooperate to induce leukemia in a mouse leukemia acceleration assay, which can be explained, in part, by their physical interaction with each other as well as the PBX family of homeodomain proteins. Here we show that Meis1-deficient embryos have partially duplicated retinas and smaller lenses than normal. They also fail to produce megakaryocytes, display extensive hemorrhaging, and die by embryonic day 14.5. In addition, Meis1-deficient embryos lack well-formed capillaries, although larger blood vessels are normal. Definitive myeloerythroid lineages are present in the mutant embryos, but the total numbers of colony-forming cells are dramatically reduced. Mutant fetal liver cells also fail to radioprotect lethally irradiated animals and they compete poorly in repopulation assays even though they can repopulate all hematopoietic lineages. These and other studies showing that Meis1 is expressed at high levels in hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) suggest that Meis1 may also be required for the proliferation/self-renewal of the HSC.
Project description:The precise control of miR-17?92 microRNA (miRNA) is essential for normal development, and overexpression of certain miRNAs from this cluster is oncogenic. Here, we find that the relative expression of the six miRNAs processed from the primary (pri-miR-17?92) transcript is dynamically regulated during embryonic stem cell (ESC) differentiation. Pri-miR-17?92 is processed to a biogenesis intermediate, termed "progenitor-miRNA" (pro-miRNA). Pro-miRNA is an efficient substrate for Microprocessor and is required to selectively license production of pre-miR-17, pre-miR-18a, pre-miR-19a, pre-miR-20a, and pre-miR-19b from this cluster. Two complementary cis-regulatory repression domains within pri-miR-17?92 are required for the blockade of miRNA processing through the formation of an autoinhibitory RNA conformation. The endonuclease CPSF3 (CPSF73) and the spliceosome-associated ISY1 are responsible for pro-miRNA biogenesis and expression of all miRNAs within the cluster except miR-92. Thus, developmentally regulated pro-miRNA processing is a key step controlling miRNA expression and explains the posttranscriptional control of miR-17?92 expression in development.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Lung cancer is one of the most malignant cancers threatening human health. The miR-17-92 gene cluster is a highly conserved oncogene cluster encoding 6 miRNAs: miR-17, miR-18a, miR-19a, miR-19b-1, miR-20a and miR-92a. This study explored whether these miRNAs can be used as diagnostic markers for non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). METHODS:Serum samples were collected from healthy subjects (n = 23) and NSCLC patients at various stages (n = 74). Serum RNA was extracted by the TRIzol-glycogen method, and cDNA libraries were constructed by reverse transcription. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) was utilized to detect the expression levels of the 6 miRNAs. RESULTS:The expression levels of the 6 miRNAs varied in different stages of NSCLC. Thus, 2 receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves, that is, normal subjects and stage I-III patients and normal subjects and stage IV patients, of each miRNA were established to determine the interval of normal ?Ct values. The 2 areas under the curve (AUCs) of each miRNA were investigated (miR-17: 0.8097 and 1.000; miR-18a: 0.7388 and 0.9907; miR-19a/19b: 0.8451 and 0.5104; miR-20a: 0.8975 and 1.000; miR-92a: 0.8097 and 0.8342). In addition, a high positive correlation was discovered between miR-17 and miR-20a expression. Combining these 2 miRNAs can improve the screening effect of NSCLC. CONCLUSION:The miR-17-92 gene cluster can likely serve as a diagnostic marker in NSCLC.
Project description:Aberrant activation of the HOX, MEIS, and PBX homeodomain protein families is associated with leukemias, and retrovirally driven coexpression of HOXA9 and MEIS1 is sufficient to induce myeloid leukemia in mice. Previous studies have demonstrated that HOX-9 and HOX-10 paralog proteins are unique among HOX homeodomain proteins in their capacity to form in vitro cooperative DNA binding complexes with either the PBX or MEIS protein. Furthermore, PBX and MEIS proteins have been shown to form in vivo heterodimeric DNA binding complexes with each other. We now show that in vitro DNA site selection for MEIS1 in the presence of HOXA9 and PBX yields a consensus PBX-HOXA9 site. MEIS1 enhances in vitro HOXA9-PBX protein complex formation in the absence of DNA and forms a trimeric electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA) complex with these proteins on an oligonucleotide containing a PBX-HOXA9 site. Myeloid cell nuclear extracts produce EMSA complexes which appear to contain HOXA9, PBX2, and MEIS1, while immunoprecipitation of HOXA9 from these extracts results in coprecipitation of PBX2 and MEIS1. In myeloid cells, HOXA9, MEIS1, and PBX2 are all strongly expressed in the nucleus, where a portion of their signals are colocalized within nuclear speckles. However, cotransfection of HOXA9 and PBX2 with or without MEIS1 minimally influences transcription of a reporter gene containing multiple PBX-HOXA9 binding sites. Taken together, these data suggest that in myeloid leukemia cells MEIS1 forms trimeric complexes with PBX and HOXA9, which in turn can bind to consensus PBX-HOXA9 DNA targets.