Project description:Mutation or epigenetic silencing of the transcription factor C/EBPa is observed in ~10% of patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). In both cases, a common global gene expression profile is observed, but down-stream targets relevant for leukemogenesis are not known. Here we identify Sox4 as a direct target of C/EBPa whereby its expression is inversely correlated with C/EBPa activity. Downregulation of Sox4 abrogated increased self-renewal of leukemic cells and restored their differentiation. Gene expression profiles of leukemia initiating cells (LICs) from both Sox4 overexpression and murine mutant C/EBPa AML models clustered together, but differed from other types of AML. Our data demonstrate that Sox4 overexpression resulting from C/EBPa inactivation contributes to the development of leukemias with a distinct LIC phenotype. A ChIP-seq sample of C/EBPa in Macrophages is used in this study
Project description:Cooperation of multiple mutations is thought to be required for cancer development. In previous studies, murine myeloid leukemias induced by transducing wild-type bone marrow progenitors with a SRY sex determining region Y-box 4 (Sox4)-expressing retrovirus frequently carried proviral insertions at Sfpi1, decreasing its mRNA levels, suggesting that reduced Sfpi1 expression cooperates with Sox4 in myeloid leukemia induction. In support of this hypothesis, we show here that mice receiving Sox4 virus-infected Sfpi1(ko/+) bone marrow progenitors developed myeloid leukemia with increased penetrance and shortened latency. Interestingly, Sox4 expression further decreased Sfpi1 transcription. Ectopic SOX4 expression reduced endogenous PU.1 mRNA levels in HL60 promyelocytes, and decreased Sfpi1 mRNA levels were also observed in the spleens of leukemic and preleukemic mice receiving Sox4 virus-infected wild-type bone marrow cells. In addition, Sox4 protein bound to a critical upstream regulatory element of Sfpi1 in ChIP assays. Such cooperation probably occurs in de novo human acute myeloid leukemias, as an analysis of 285 acute myeloid leukemia patient samples found a significant negative correlation between SOX4 and PU.1 expression. Our results establish a novel cooperation between Sox4 and reduced Sfpi1 expression in myeloid leukemia development and suggest that SOX4 could be an important new therapeutic target in human acute myeloid leukemia.
Project description:Mutation or epigenetic silencing of the transcription factor C/EBP? is observed in ?10% of patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). In both cases, a common global gene expression profile is observed, but downstream targets relevant for leukemogenesis are not known. Here, we identify Sox4 as a direct target of C/EBP? whereby its expression is inversely correlated with C/EBP? activity. Downregulation of Sox4 abrogated increased self-renewal of leukemic cells and restored their differentiation. Gene expression profiles of leukemia-initiating cells (LICs) from both Sox4 overexpression and murine C/EBP? mutant AML models clustered together but differed from other types of AML. Our data demonstrate that Sox4 overexpression resulting from C/EBP? inactivation contributes to the development of leukemia with a distinct LIC phenotype.
Project description:The cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) is a nuclear transcription factor that is critical for normal and neoplastic hematopoiesis. Previous studies have demonstrated that CREB is a proto-oncogene whose overexpression promotes cellular proliferation in hematopoietic cells. Transgenic mice that overexpress CREB in myeloid cells develop a myeloproliferative disease with splenomegaly and aberrant myelopoiesis. However, CREB overexpressing mice do not spontaneously develop acute myeloid leukemia. In this study, we used retroviral insertional mutagenesis to identify genes that accelerate leukemia in CREB transgenic mice. Our mutagenesis screen identified several integration sites, including oncogenes Gfi1, Myb, and Ras. The Sox4 transcription factor was identified by our screen as a gene that cooperates with CREB in myeloid leukemogenesis. We show that the transduction of CREB transgenic mouse bone marrow cells with a Sox4 retrovirus increases survival and self-renewal of cells in vitro. Furthermore, leukemic blasts from the majority of acute myeloid leukemia patients have higher CREB, phosphorylated CREB, and Sox 4 protein expression. Sox4 transduction of mouse bone marrow cells results in increased expression of CREB target genes. We also demonstrate that CREB is a direct target of Sox4 by chromatin immunoprecipitation assays. These results indicate that Sox4 and CREB cooperate and contribute to increased proliferation of hematopoietic progenitor cells.
Project description:The SOX4 transcription factor is a key regulator of embryonic development, cell-fate decision, cellular differentiation and oncogenesis. Abnormal expression of SOX4 is related to malignant tumor transformation and cancer metastasis. However, no reports are available regarding the clinical significance of SOX4 in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and the role of SOX4 in leukemogenesis. In the current study, we found that AML patients with low bone marrow (BM) SOX4 expression had higher remission rates and longer overall survival than those with high SOX4 expression, regardless of age, white blood cell count at diagnosis, karyotype profile and NPM1/FLT3-ITD status. To elucidate the role of SOX4 in leukemogenesis, we generated a transgenic zebrafish model that overexpressed human SOX4 in the myeloid lineage Tg(spi1-SOX4-EGFP). These transgenic zebrafish showed, at 5 months of age, increased myelopoiesis with dedifferentiation in kidney marrow. At 9 months of age, their kidney structure was significantly effaced and distorted by increased infiltration of myeloid progenitor cells. These results suggest that SOX4 is not only an independent prognostic factor of AML, but also an important molecular factor in leukemogenesis.
Project description:Mutations in acute myeloid leukemia (AML)-associated oncogenes often arise in hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and promote acquisition of leukemia stem cell (LSC) phenotypes. However, as LSCs often share features of lineage-restricted progenitors, the relative contribution of differentiation status to LSC transformation is unclear. Using murine MLL-AF9 and MOZ-TIF2 AML models, we show that myeloid differentiation to granulocyte macrophage progenitors (GMPs) is critical for LSC generation. Disrupting GMP formation by deleting the lineage-restricted transcription factor C/EBPa blocked normal granulocyte formation and prevented initiation of AML. However, restoring myeloid differentiation in C/EBPa mutants with inflammatory cytokines reestablished AML transformation capacity. Genomic analyses of GMPs, including gene expression and H3K79me2 profiling in conjunction with ATAC-seq, revealed a permissive genomic environment for activation of a minimal transcription program shared by GMPs and LSCs. Together, these findings show that myeloid differentiation is a prerequisite for LSC formation and AML development, providing insights for therapeutic development.
Project description:Multiple cooperating mutations that deregulate different signaling pathways are required to induce cancer. Identifying these cooperating mutations is a prerequisite for developing better combinatorial therapies for treating cancer. Here we show that cooperating cancer mutations can be identified through oncogenic-retrovirus-induced insertional mutagenesis. Among 13 myeloid leukemias induced by transplanting into mice bone marrow cells infected in vitro with a replication-defective retrovirus carrying the Sox4 oncogene, 9 contained insertional mutations at known or suspected cancer genes. This likely occurred because rare bone marrow cells, in which the oncogenic retrovirus happened to integrate and in which it mutated a cooperating cancer gene, were selected because the host harbored a cooperating cancer mutation. Cooperativity between Sox4 and another gene, Mef2c, was subsequently confirmed in transplantation studies, in which deregulated Mef2c expression was shown to accelerate the myeloid leukemia induced by Sox4. Insertional mutagenesis of cooperating cancer genes by a defective oncogenic retrovirus provides a new method for identifying cooperating cancer genes and could aid in the development of better therapies for treating cancer.
Project description:Acute promyelocytic leukemia is characterized by a chromosomal translocation involving the retinoic acid receptor alpha gene. To identify co-operating pathways to leukemogenesis, we crossed MRP8-PML/RARA transgenic mice with BXH-2 mice which harbor an endogenous murine leukemia virus that causes acute myeloid leukemia. Approximately half of the leukemias that arose in this cross showed features of acute promyelocytic leukemia. We identified 22 proviral insertion sites in acute promyelocytic-like leukemias and focused our analysis on insertion at Sox4, a HMG box transcription factor. Using a transplant model, co-operation between PML-RAR? and Sox4 was confirmed with increased penetrance and reduced latency of disease. Interestingly, karyotypic analysis revealed cytogenetic changes suggesting that the factors combined to initiate but not complete leukemic transformation. The cooperation between these transcription factors is consistent with the paradigm of multiple routes to the disease and reinforces the concept that transcription factor networks are important therapeutic targets in myeloid leukemias.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) play a variety of cellular roles, including regulation of transcription and translation, leading to alterations in gene expression. Some lncRNAs modulate the expression of chromosomally adjacent genes. Here, we assess the roles of the lncRNA CASC15 in regulation of a chromosomally nearby gene, SOX4, and its function in RUNX1/AML translocated leukemia. RESULTS:CASC15 is a conserved lncRNA that was upregulated in pediatric B-acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) with t (12; 21) as well as pediatric acute myeloid leukemia (AML) with t (8; 21), both of which are associated with relatively better prognosis. Enforced expression of CASC15 led to a myeloid bias in development, and overall, decreased engraftment and colony formation. At the cellular level, CASC15 regulated cellular survival, proliferation, and the expression of its chromosomally adjacent gene, SOX4. Differentially regulated genes following CASC15 knockdown were enriched for predicted transcriptional targets of the Yin and Yang-1 (YY1) transcription factor. Interestingly, we found that CASC15 enhances YY1-mediated regulation of the SOX4 promoter. CONCLUSIONS:Our findings represent the first characterization of this CASC15 in RUNX1-translocated leukemia, and point towards a mechanistic basis for its action.