Project description:Many leukemias result from chromosomal rearrangements. The t(8;21) chromosomal translocation produces AML1-ETO, an oncogenic fusion protein that compromises the function of AML1, a transcription factor critical for myeloid cell differentiation. Because of the pressing need for new therapies in the treatment of acute myleoid leukemia, we investigated the genome-wide occupancy of AML1-ETO in leukemic cells to discover novel regulatory mechanisms involving AML-ETO bound genes.We report the co-localization of AML1-ETO with the N-CoR co-repressor to be primarily on genomic regions distal to transcriptional start sites (TSSs). These regions exhibit over-representation of the motif for PU.1, a key hematopoietic regulator and member of the ETS family of transcription factors. A significant discovery of our study is that genes co-occupied by AML1-ETO and N-CoR (e.g., TYROBP and LAPTM5) are associated with the leukemic phenotype, as determined by analyses of gene ontology and by the observation that these genes are predominantly up-regulated upon AML1-ETO depletion. In contrast, the AML1-ETO/p300 gene network is less responsive to AML1-ETO depletion and less associated with the differentiation block characteristic of leukemic cells. Furthermore, a substantial fraction of AML1-ETO/p300 co-localization occurs near TSSs in promoter regions associated with transcriptionally active loci.Our findings establish a novel and dominant t(8;21) AML leukemia signature characterized by occupancy of AML1-ETO/N-CoR at promoter-distal genomic regions enriched in motifs for myeloid differentiation factors, thus providing mechanistic insight into the leukemic phenotype.
Project description:The presence of AML1-ETO (RUNX1-CBF2T1), a fusion oncoprotein resulting from a t(8;21) chromosomal translocation, has been implicated as a necessary but insufficient event in the development of a subset of acute myeloid leukemias (AML). While AML1-ETO prolongs survival and inhibits differentiation of hematopoietic stem cells (HSC), other contributory events are needed for cell proliferation and leukemogenesis. We have postulated that specific tumor suppressor genes keep the leukemic potential of AML1-ETO in check. In studying del(9q), one of the most common concomitant chromosomal abnormalities with t(8;21), we identified the loss of an apparent tumor suppressor, TLE4, that appears to cooperate with AML1-ETO to confer a leukemic phenotype. This study sought to identify the molecular basis of this cooperation. We show that the loss of TLE4 confers proliferative advantage to leukemic cells, simultaneous with an upregulation of a pro- inflammatory signature mediated through aberrant increases in Wnt signaling activity. We further demonstrate that inhibition of cyclooxygenase (COX) activity partly reverses the pro-leukemic phenotype due to TLE4 knockdown, pointing towards a novel therapeutic approach for myeloid leukemia.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) with the t(8;21)(q22;q22) chromosomal translocation is among the most common subtypes of AML and produces the AML1-ETO (RUNX1-ETO, RUNX1-RUNX1T1) oncogenic fusion gene. AML1-ETO functions as an aberrant transcription factor which plays a key role in blocking normal hematopoiesis. Thus, the expression of AML1-ETO is critical to t(8;21) AML leukemogenesis and maintenance. Post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression is often mediated through interactions between trans-factors and cis-elements within transcript 3'-untranslated regions (UTR). AML1-ETO uses the 3'UTR of the ETO gene, which is not normally expressed in hematopoietic cells. Therefore, the mechanisms regulating AML1-ETO expression via the 3'UTR are attractive therapeutic targets.<h4>Methods</h4>We used RNA-sequencing of t(8;21) patients and cell lines to examine the 3'UTR isoforms used by AML1-ETO transcripts. Using luciferase assay approaches, we test the relative contribution of 3'UTR cis elements to AML1-ETO expression. We further use let-7b microRNA mimics and anti-let-7b sponges for functional studies of t(8;21) AML cell lines.<h4>Results</h4>In this study, we examine the regulation of AML1-ETO via the 3'UTR. We demonstrate that AML1-ETO transcripts primarily use a 3.7 kb isoform of the ETO 3'UTR in both t(8;21) patients and cell lines. We identify a negative regulatory element within the AML1-ETO 3'UTR. We further demonstrate that the let-7b microRNA directly represses AML1-ETO through this site. Finally, we find that let-7b inhibits the proliferation of t(8;21) AML cell lines, rescues expression of AML1-ETO target genes, and promotes differentiation.<h4>Conclusions</h4>AML1-ETO is post-transcriptionally regulated by let-7b, which contributes to the leukemic phenotype of t(8;21) AML and may be important for t(8;21) leukemogenesis and maintenance.
Project description:AML1-ETO, the most common fusion oncoprotein by t (8;21) in acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), enhances hematopoietic self-renewal and leukemogenesis. However, currently no specific therapies have been reported for t (8;21) AML patients as AML1-ETO is still intractable as a pharmacological target. For this purpose, leukaemia cells and AML1-ETO-induced murine leukaemia model were used to investigate the degradation of AML1-ETO by melatonin (MLT), synthesized and secreted by the pineal gland. MLT remarkedly decreased AML1-ETO protein in leukemic cells. Meanwhile, MLT induced apoptosis, decreased proliferation and reduced colony formation. Furthermore, MLT reduced the expansion of human leukemic cells and extended the overall survival in U937T-AML1-ETO-xenografted NSG mice. Most importantly, MLT reduced the infiltration of leukaemia blasts, decreased the frequency of leukaemia stem cells (LSCs) and prolonged the overall survival in AML1-ETO-induced murine leukaemia. Mechanistically, MLT increased the expression of miR-193a, which inhibited AML1-ETO expression via targeting its putative binding sites. Furthermore, MLT decreased the expression of β-catenin, which is required for the self-renewal of LSC and is the downstream of AML1-ETO. Thus, MLT presents anti-self-renewal of LSC through miR-193a-AML1-ETO-β-catenin axis. In conclusion, MLT might be a potential treatment for t (8;21) leukaemia by targeting AML1-ETO oncoprotein.
Project description:The AML1-ETO fusion protein, generated by the t(8;21) chromosomal translocation, is causally involved in nearly 20% of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cases. In leukemic cells, AML1-ETO resides in and functions through a stable protein complex, AML1-ETO-containing transcription factor complex (AETFC), that contains multiple transcription (co)factors. Among these AETFC components, HEB and E2A, two members of the ubiquitously expressed E proteins, directly interact with AML1-ETO, confer new DNA-binding capacity to AETFC, and are essential for leukemogenesis. However, the third E protein, E2-2, is specifically silenced in AML1-ETO-expressing leukemic cells, suggesting E2-2 as a negative factor of leukemogenesis. Indeed, ectopic expression of E2-2 selectively inhibits the growth of AML1-ETO-expressing leukemic cells, and this inhibition requires the bHLH DNA-binding domain. RNA-seq and ChIP-seq analyses reveal that, despite some overlap, the three E proteins differentially regulate many target genes. In particular, studies show that E2-2 both redistributes AETFC to, and activates, some genes associated with dendritic cell differentiation and represses MYC target genes. In AML patients, the expression of E2-2 is relatively lower in the t(8;21) subtype, and an E2-2 target gene, THPO, is identified as a potential predictor of relapse. In a mouse model of human t(8;21) leukemia, E2-2 suppression accelerates leukemogenesis. Taken together, these results reveal that, in contrast to HEB and E2A, which facilitate AML1-ETO-mediated leukemogenesis, E2-2 compromises the function of AETFC and negatively regulates leukemogenesis. The three E proteins thus define a heterogeneity of AETFC, which improves our understanding of the precise mechanism of leukemogenesis and assists development of diagnostic/therapeutic strategies.
Project description:DNA methylation patterns are frequently deregulated in t(8;21) acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), but little is known of the mechanisms by which specific gene sets become aberrantly methylated. Here, we found that the promoter DNA methylation signature of t(8;21)+ AML blasts differs from that of t(8;21)- AMLs. This study demonstrated that a novel hypermethylated zinc finger-containing protein, THAP10, is a target gene and can be epigenetically suppressed by AML1-ETO at the transcriptional level in t(8;21) AML. Our findings also show that THAP10 is a bona fide target of miR-383 that can be epigenetically activated by the AML1-ETO recruiting co-activator p300. In this study, we demonstrated that epigenetic suppression of THAP10 is the mechanistic link between AML1-ETO fusion proteins and tyrosine kinase cascades. In addition, we showed that THAP10 is a nuclear protein that inhibits myeloid proliferation and promotes differentiation both in vitro and in vivo Altogether, our results revealed an unexpected and important epigenetic mini-circuit of AML1-ETO/THAP10/miR-383 in t(8;21) AML, in which epigenetic suppression of THAP10 predicts a poor clinical outcome and represents a novel therapeutic target.
Project description:The t(8;21) translocation between two genes known as AML1 and ETO is seen in approximately 12-15% of all acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and is the second-most-frequently observed nonrandom genetic alteration associated with AML. AML1 up-regulates a number of target genes critical to normal hematopoiesis, whereas the AML1/ETO fusion interferes with this trans-activation. We discovered that the fusion partner ETO binds to the human homolog of the murine nuclear receptor corepressor (N-CoR). The interaction is mediated by two unusual zinc finger motifs present at the carboxyl terminus of ETO. Human N-CoR (HuN-CoR), which we cloned and sequenced in its entirety, encodes a 2,440-amino acid polypeptide and has a central domain that binds ETO. N-CoR, mammalian Sin3 (mSin3A and B), and histone deacetylase 1 (HDAC1) form a complex that alters chromatin structure and mediates transcriptional repression by nuclear receptors and by a number of oncoregulatory proteins. We found that ETO, through its interaction with the N-CoR/mSin3/HDAC1 complex, is also a potent repressor of transcription. This observation provides a mechanism for how the AML1/ETO fusion may inhibit expression of AML1-responsive target genes and disturb normal hematopoiesis.
Project description:AML1-ETO is generated from t(8;21)(q22;q22), which is a common form of chromosomal translocation associated with development of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Although full-length AML1-ETO alone fails to promote leukemia because of its detrimental effects on cell proliferation, an alternatively spliced isoform, AML1-ETO9a, without its C-terminal NHR3/NHR4 domains, strongly induces leukemia. However, full-length AML1-ETO is a major form of fusion product in many t(8;21) AML patients, suggesting additional molecular mechanisms of t(8;21)-related leukemogenesis. Here, we report that disruption of the zinc-chelating structure in the NHR4 domain of AML1-ETO by replacing only one critical amino acid leads to rapid onset of leukemia, demonstrating that the NHR4 domain with the intact structure generates inhibitory effects on leukemogenesis. Furthermore, we identified SON, a DNA/RNA-binding domain containing protein, as a novel NHR4-interacting protein. Knock-down of SON by siRNA resulted in significant growth arrest, and disruption of the interaction between AML1-ETO and endogenous SON rescued cells from AML1-ETO-induced growth arrest, suggesting that SON is an indispensable factor for cell growth, and AML1-ETO binding to SON may trigger signals inhibiting leukemogenesis. In t(8;21) AML patient-derived primary leukemic cells and cell lines, abnormal cytoplasmic localization of SON was detected, which may keep cells proliferating in the presence of full-length AML1-ETO. These results uncovered the crucial role of the NHR4 domain in determination of cellular fate during AML1-ETO-associated leukemogenesis.
Project description:Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is characterized by an aggressive clinical course and frequent cytogenetic abnormalities that include specific chromosomal translocations. The 8;21 chromosomal rearrangement disrupts the key hematopoietic RUNX1 transcription factor, and contributes to leukemia through recruitment of co-repressor complexes to RUNX1 target genes, altered subnuclear localization, and deregulation of the myeloid gene regulatory program. However, a role of non-coding microRNAs (miRs) in t(8;21)-mediated leukemogenesis is minimally understood. We present evidence of an interplay between the tumor suppressor miR-29b-1 and the AML1-ETO (also designated RUNX1-RUNX1T1) oncogene that is encoded by the t(8;21). We find that AML1-ETO and corepressor NCoR co-occupy the miR-29a/b-1 locus and downregulate its expression in leukemia cells. Conversely, re-introduction of miR-29b-1 in leukemia cells expressing AML1-ETO causes significant downregulation at the protein level through direct targeting of the 3' untranslated region of the chimeric transcript. Restoration of miR-29b-1 expression in leukemia cells results in decreased cell growth and increased apoptosis. The AML1-ETO-dependent differentiation block and transcriptional program are partially reversed by miR-29b-1. Our findings establish a novel regulatory circuit between the tumor-suppressive miR-29b-1 and the oncogenic AML1-ETO that controls the leukemic phenotype in t(8;21)-carrying acute myeloid leukemia.
Project description:The t(8;21)(q22;q22) translocation, present in approximately 5% of adult acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cases, produces the AML1/ETO (AE) fusion protein. Dysregulation of the Pit/Oct/Unc (POU) domain-containing transcription factor POU4F1 is a recurring abnormality in t(8;21) AML. In this study, we showed that POU4F1 overexpression is highly correlated with, but not caused by, AE. We observed that AE markedly increases the self-renewal capacity of myeloid progenitors from murine bone marrow or fetal liver and drives the expansion of these cells in liquid culture. POU4F1 is neither necessary nor sufficient for these AE-dependent properties, suggesting that it contributes to leukemia through novel mechanisms. To identify targets of POU4F1, we performed gene expression profiling in primary mouse cells with genetically defined levels of POU4F1 and identified 140 differentially expressed genes. This expression signature was significantly enriched in human t(8;21) AML samples and was sufficient to cluster t(8;21) AML samples in an unsupervised hierarchical analysis. Among the most highly differentially expressed genes, half are known AML1/ETO targets, implying that the unique transcriptional signature of t(8;21) AML is, in part, attributable to POU4F1 and not AML1/ETO itself. These genes provide novel candidates for understanding the biology and developing therapeutic approaches for t(8;21) AML.