Dysregulation of miR-138-5p/RPS6KA1-AP2M1 Is Associated With Poor Prognosis in AML
ABSTRACT: Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a malignant disease of hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells, and most AML patients are in a severe state. Internal tandem duplication mutations in FLT3 gene (FLT3-ITD) detected in AML stem cells account for 20–30 percent of AML patients. In this study, we attempted to study the impact of the interaction of FLT3-ITD mutation and the CXCL12/CXCR4 axis in AML, and the possible mechanisms caused by the impact by bioinformatics. Gene set variation analysis (GSVA) revealed that the PI3K-Akt-mTOR pathway positively correlated with the status of FLT3-ITD mutation. Multiple survival analyses were performed on TCGA-AML to screen the prognostic-related genes, and RPS6KA1 and AP2M1 are powerful prognostic candidates for overall survival in AML. WGCNA, KEGG/GO analysis, and the functional roles of RPS6KA1 and AP2M1 in AML were clarified by correlation analysis. We found that the expression levels of RPS6KA1 and AP2M1 were significantly associated with chemoresistance of AML, and the CXCL12/CXCR4 axis would regulate RPS6KA1/AP2M1 expression. Besides, miR-138-5p, regulated by the CXCL12/CXCR4 axis, was the common miRNA target of RPS6KA1 and AP2M1. Taken together, the interaction of FLT3-ITD mutation and the CXCL12/CXCR4 axis activated the PI3K-Akt-mTOR pathway, and the increased expression of RPS6KA1 and AP2M1 caused by hsa-miR-138-5p downregulation regulates the multi-resistance gene expression leading to drug indications.
Project description:Chemokine ligand 12(CXCL12) mediates signaling through chemokine receptor 4(CXCR4), which is essential for the homing and maintenance of Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) in the bone marrow. FLT3-ITD mutations enhance cell migration toward CXCL12, providing a drug resistance mechanism underlying the poor effects of FLT3-ITD antagonists. However, the mechanism by which FLT3-ITD mutations regulate the CXCL12/CXCR4 axis remains unclear. We analyzed the relationship between CXCR4 expression and the FLT3-ITD mutation in 466 patients with de novo AML to clarify the effect of FLT3-ITD mutations on CXCR4 expression in patients with AML. Our results indicated a positive correlation between the FLT3-ITD mutant-type allelic ratio (FLT3-ITD MR) and the relative fluorescence intensity (RFI) of CXCR4 expression in patients with AML (r?=?0.588, P???0.0001). Moreover, the levels of phospho(p)-STAT5, Pim-1 and CXCR4 proteins were positively correlated with the FLT3-ITD MR, and the mRNA levels of CXCR4 and Pim-1 which has been revealed as one of the first known target genes of STAT5, were upregulated with an increasing FLT3-ITD MR(P?<?0.05). Therefore, FLT3-ITD mutations upregulate the expression of CXCR4 in patients with AML, and the downstream signaling intermediates STAT5 and Pim-1 are also involved in this phenomenon and subsequently contribute to chemotherapy resistance and disease relapse in patients with AML. However, the mechanism must be confirmed in further experiments. The combination of CXCR4 antagonists and FLT3 inhibitors may improve the sensitivity of AML cells to chemotherapy and overcome drug resistance.
Project description:Given the proven importance of the CXCL12/CXCR4 axis in the stroma-acute myeloid leukemia (AML) interactions and the rapid emergence of resistance to FLT3 inhibitors, we investigated the efficacy and safety of a novel CXCR4 inhibitor, LY2510924, in combination with FLT3 inhibitors in preclinical models of AML with FLT3-ITD mutations (FLT3-ITD-AML). Quizartinib, a potent FLT3 inhibitor, induced apoptosis in FLT3-ITD-AML, while LY2510924 blocked surface CXCR4 without inducing apoptosis. LY2510924 significantly reversed stroma-mediated resistance against quizartinib mainly through the MAPK pathway. In mice with established FLT3-ITD-AML, LY2510924 induced durable mobilization and differentiation of leukemia cells, resulting in enhanced anti-leukemia effects when combined with quizartinib, whereas transient effects were seen on non-leukemic blood cells in immune-competent mice. Sequencing of the transcriptome of the leukemic cells surviving in vivo treatment with quizartinib and LY2510924 revealed that genes related to TGF-b signaling may confer resistance against the drug combination. In co-culture experiments of FLT3-ITD-AML and stromal cells, both silencing of TGF-b in stromal cells or TGF-b-receptor kinase inhibitor enhanced apoptosis by combined treatment. Disruption of the CXCL12/CXCR4 axis in FLT3-ITD-AML by LY2510924 and its negligible effects on normal immunocytes could safely enhance the potency of quizartinib, which may be further improved by blockade of TGF-b signaling.
Project description:Internal tandem duplication mutations in the Flt3 gene (ITD-FLT3) enhance cell migration toward the chemokine Cxcl12, which is highly expressed in the therapy-protective bone marrow niche, providing a potential mechanism underlying the poor prognosis of ITD-FLT3(+) acute myeloid leukemia. We aimed to investigate the mechanisms linking ITD-FLT3 to increased cell migration toward Cxcl12. Classification of the expression of Cxcl12-regulated genes in ITD-FLT3(+) cells demonstrated that the enhanced migration of ITD-FLT3(+) cells toward Cxcl12 was associated with the differential expression of genes downstream of Cxcl12/Cxcr4, which are functionally distinct from those expressed in ITD-FLT3(-) cells but are independent of the Cxcr4 expression levels. Among these differentially regulated genes, the expression of Rock1 in the ITD-FLT3(+) cells that migrated toward Cxcl12 was significantly higher than in ITD-FLT3(-) cells that migrated toward Cxcl12. In ITD-FLT3(-) cells, Rock1 expression and Mypt1 phosphorylation were transiently up-regulated but were subsequently down-regulated by Cxcl12. In contrast, the presence of ITD-FLT3 blocked the Cxcl12-induced down-regulation of Rock1 and early Mypt1 dephosphorylation. Likewise, the FLT3 ligand counteracted the Cxcl12-induced down-regulation of Rock1 in ITD-FLT3(-) cells, which coincided with enhanced cell migration toward Cxcl12. Rock1 antagonists or Rock1 shRNA abolished the enhanced migration of ITD-FLT3(+) cells toward Cxcl12. Our findings demonstrate that ITD-FLT3 increases cell migration toward Cxcl12 by antagonizing the down-regulation of Rock1 expression. These findings suggest that the aberrant modulation of Rock1 expression and activity induced by ITD-FLT3 may enhance acute myeloid leukemia cell chemotaxis to the therapy-protective bone marrow niche, where Cxcl12 is abundantly expressed.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Accumulating studies have been made to understand the association between <i>CXC</i> chemokine ligand-12 (<i>CXCL12</i>)/<i>CXC</i> chemokine receptor 4 (<i>CXCR4</i>) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML). However, large-scale data analysis of potential relationship between <i>CXCL12</i> and AML remains insufficient.<h4>Methods</h4>We collected abundant <i>CXCL12</i> expression data and AML samples from several publicly available datasets. The CIBERSORT algorithm was used to quantify immune cell fractions and the online website of STRING was utilized for gene ontology (GO) enrichment and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) analysis. The statistical analysis and graphical work were mainly performed via the R software.<h4>Results</h4><i>CXCL12</i> expression was extremely down-regulated in AML. Clinically, low <i>CXCL12</i> expression was correlated with higher white blood cells (WBCs) (<i>P</i> < 0.0001), more blasts in bone marrow (BM) (<i>P</i> < 0.001) and peripheral blood (PB) (<i>P</i> < 0.0001), <i>FLT3</i>-internal tandem duplications (<i>FLT3</i>-ITD) (<i>P</i> = 0.010) and <i>NPM1</i> mutations (<i>P</i> = 0.015). More importantly, reduced <i>CXCL12</i> expression predicted worse overall survival (OS) and event-free survival (EFS) in all AML, non-M3-AML, and cytogenetically normal (CN)-AML patients in three independent cohorts. As for immune cell infiltration, high <i>CXCL12</i> expressed groups tended to harbor more memory B cells and plasma cells infiltration while low <i>CXCL12</i> expressed groups exhibited more eosinophils infiltration. GO enrichment and KEGG pathways analysis revealed the potential biological progress the gene participating in.<h4>Conclusions</h4><i>CXCL12</i> is significantly down-regulated in AML and low <i>CXCL12</i> expression is an independent and poor predictor of AML prognosis. <i>CXCL12</i> expression level correlates with clinical and immune characteristics of AML, which could provide potential assistance for treatment. Prospective studies are needed to further validate the impact of <i>CXCL12</i> expression before routine clinical application in AML.
Project description:Internal tandem duplication of Fms-like tyrosine kinase 3 (FLT3/ITD) occurs in about 30% of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and is associated with poor response to conventional treatment and adverse outcome. Here, we reported that human FLT3/ITD expression led to axis duplication and dorsalization in about 50% of zebrafish embryos. The morphologic phenotype was accompanied by ectopic expression of a morphogen follistatin (fst) during early embryonic development. Increase in fst expression also occurred in adult FLT3/ITD-transgenic zebrafish, Flt3/ITD knock-in mice, and human FLT3/ITD AML cells. Overexpression of human FST317 and FST344 isoforms enhanced clonogenicity and leukemia engraftment in xenotransplantation model via RET, IL2RA, and CCL5 upregulation. Specific targeting of FST by shRNA, CRISPR/Cas9, or antisense oligo inhibited leukemic growth in vitro and in vivo. Importantly, serum FST positively correlated with leukemia engraftment in FLT3/ITD AML patient-derived xenograft mice and leukemia blast percentage in primary AML patients. In FLT3/ITD AML patients treated with FLT3 inhibitor quizartinib, serum FST levels correlated with clinical response. These observations supported FST as a novel therapeutic target and biomarker in FLT3/ITD AML.
Project description:FLT3-ITD tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) show limited clinical activity in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) due to emerging resistance. TKI resistance is mediated by secondary FLT3-ITD mutations only in a minority of cases. We hypothesize that the cytokine CCL5 protects AML cells from TKI-mediated cell death and contributes to treatment resistance. We generated PKC412- and sorafenib-resistant MOLM-13 cell lines as an in vitro model to study TKI resistance in AML. Increased CCL5 levels were detected in supernatants from PKC412-resistant cell lines compared to TKI-sensitive cells. Moreover, CCL5 treatment of TKI-sensitive cells induced resistance to PKC412. In resistant cell lines with high CCL5 release, we observed a significant downregulation of the CCL5-receptor CCR5 and CXCR4. In these cell lines, TKI resistance could be partly overcome by addition of the CXCR4-receptor antagonist plerixafor. Microarray and intracellular flow cytometry analyses revealed increased p-Akt or p-Stat5 levels in PKC412-resistant cell lines releasing high amounts of CCL5. Treatment with the CXCR4 antagonist plerixafor, ?CCL5, or CCR5-targeting siRNA led to a decrease of p-Akt-positive cells. Transient transfection of sensitive MOLM-13 cells with a CCL5-encoding vector mediated resistance against PKC412 and led to an increase in p-Akt-positive and p-Stat5-positive cells. Isolated AML blasts from patients treated with PKC412 revealed that CCL5 transcript levels increase significantly at relapse. Taken together, our findings indicate that CCL5 mediates resistance to FLT3-TKIs in FLT3-ITD-mutated AML and could possibly serve as a biomarker to predict drug resistance.
Project description:FLT3-ITD and FLT3-TKD are the most frequent tyrosine kinase mutations in acute myeloid leukemia (AML), with the former conferring a poor prognosis. We have recently revealed that FLT3-ITD confers resistance to the PI3K/AKT pathway inhibitors by protecting the mTORC1/4EBP1/Mcl-1 pathway through Pim kinases induced by STAT5 activation in AML. The proteasome inhibitor bortezomib has recently been reported as a promising agent for treatment of AML. Here, we show that the proteasome inhibitor bortezomib as well as carfilzomib induces apoptosis through the intrinsic pathway more conspicuously in cells transformed by FLT3-TKD than FLT3-ITD. Mechanistically, bortezomib upregulated the stress-regulated protein REDD1 and induced downregulation of the mTORC1 pathway more distinctively in cells transformed by FLT3-TKD than FLT-ITD, while overexpression of Pim-1 partly prevented this downregulation and apoptosis in FLT3-TKD-transformed cells. Genetic enhancement of the REDD1 induction or pharmacological inhibition of STAT5, Pim kinases, mTORC1, or S6K by specific inhibitors, such as pimozide, AZD1208, PIM447, rapamycin, and PF-4708671, accelerated the downregulation of mTORC1/Mcl-1 pathway to enhance bortezomib-induced apoptosis in FLT3-ITD-expressing cells, including primary AML cells, while overexpression of Mcl-1 prevented induction of apoptosis. Thus, FLT3-ITD confers a resistance to the proteasome inhibitors on AML cells by protecting the mTORC1/Mcl-1 pathway through the STAT5/Pim axis, and inhibition of these signaling events remarkably enhances the therapeutic efficacy.
Project description:Fms-like tyrosine kinase-3 (FLT3) inhibitors have been used to overcome the dismal prognosis of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) with FLT3 mutations. Clinical results with FLT3 inhibitor monotherapy have shown that bone marrow responses are commonly less pronounced than peripheral blood responses. We investigated the role of p53 in bone marrow stromal cells in stromal cell-mediated resistance to FLT3 inhibition in FLT3 mutant AML. While the FLT3 inhibitor FI-700 induced apoptosis in FLT3 mutant AML cells, apoptosis induction was diminished under stromal coculture conditions. Protection appeared to be mediated, in part, by CXCL12 (SDF-1)/CXCR4 signaling. The protective effect of stromal cells was significantly reduced by pre-exposure to the HDM2 inhibitor Nutlin-3a. p53 activation by Nutlin-3a was not cytotoxic to stromal cells, but reduced CXCL12 mRNA levels and secretion of CXCL12 partially through p53-mediated HIF-1? down-regulation. Results show that p53 activation in stroma cells blunts stroma cell-mediated resistance to FLT3 inhibition, in part through down-regulation of CXCL12. This is the first report of Nutlin effect on the bone marrow environment. We suggest that combinations of HDM2 antagonists and FLT3 inhibitors may be effective in clinical trials targeting mutant FLT3 leukemias.
Project description:We recently identified the CDC25A phosphatase as a key actor in proliferation and differentiation in acute myeloid leukemia expressing the FLT3-ITD mutation. In this paper we demonstrate that CDC25A level is controlled by a complex STAT5/miR-16 transcription and translation pathway working downstream of this receptor. First, we established by CHIP analysis that STAT5 is directly involved in FLT3-ITD-dependent CDC25A gene transcription. In addition, we determined that miR-16 expression is repressed by FLT3-ITD activity, and that STAT5 participates in this repression. In accordance with these results, miR-16 expression was significantly reduced in a panel of AML primary samples carrying the FLT3-ITD mutation when compared with FLT3wt cells. The expression of a miR-16 mimic reduced CDC25A protein and mRNA levels, and RNA interference-mediated down modulation of miR-16 restored CDC25A expression in response to FLT3-ITD inhibition. Finally, decreasing miR-16 expression partially restored the proliferation of cells treated with the FLT3 inhibitor AC220, while the expression of miR-16 mimic stopped this proliferation and induced monocytic differentiation of AML cells. In summary, we identified a FLT3-ITD/STAT5/miR-16/CDC25A axis essential for AML cell proliferation and differentiation.
Project description:Internal tandem duplication (ITD) mutations in the Fms-related tyrosine kinase 3 (FLT3) gene (FLT3-ITD) are associated with poor prognosis in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Due to the development of drug resistance, few FLT3-ITD inhibitors are effective against FLT3-ITD+ AML. In this study, we show that FLT3-ITD activates a novel pathway involving p21Cdkn1a (p21) and pre-B cell leukemia transcription factor 1 (Pbx1) that attenuates FLT3-ITD cell proliferation and is involved in the development of drug resistance. FLT3-ITD up-regulated p21 expression in both mouse bone marrow c-kit+-Sca-1+-Lin- (KSL) cells and Ba/F3 cells. The loss of p21 expression enhanced growth factor-independent proliferation and sensitivity to cytarabine as a consequence of concomitantly enriching the S+G2/M phase population and significantly increasing the expression of Pbx1, but not Evi-1, in FLT3-ITD+ cells. This enhanced cell proliferation following the loss of p21 was partially abrogated when Pbx1 expression was silenced in FLT3-ITD+ primary bone marrow colony-forming cells and Ba/F3 cells. When FLT3-ITD was antagonized with AC220, a selective inhibitor of FLT3-ITD, p21 expression was decreased coincident with Pbx1 mRNA up-regulation and a rapid decline in the number of viable FLT3-ITD+ Ba/F3 cells; however, the cells eventually became refractory to AC220. Overexpressing p21 in FLT3-ITD+ Ba/F3 cells delayed the emergence of cells that were refractory to AC220, whereas p21 silencing accelerated their development. These data indicate that FLT3-ITD is capable of inhibiting FLT3-ITD+ cell proliferation through the p21/Pbx1 axis and that treatments that antagonize FLT3-ITD contribute to the subsequent development of cells that are refractory to a FLT3-ITD inhibitor by disrupting p21 expression.