EVI1 is critical for the pathogenesis of a subset of MLL-AF9-rearranged AMLs

Eric Bindels, Marije Havermans, Sanne Lugthart, C Erpelinck, E Wocjtowicz, AV Krivtsov, E Rombouts, SA Armstrong, Erdogan Taskesen, Jurgen Haanstra, Berna Beverloo, H Dohner, WA Hudson, JH Kersey, Ruud Delwel, AR Kumar

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Abstract

The proto-oncogene EVI1 (ecotropic viral integration site-1), located on chromosome band 3q26, is aberrantly expressed in human acute myeloid leukemia (AML) with 3q26 rearrangements. In the current study, we showed, in a large AML cohort carrying 11q23 translocations, that similar to 43% of all mixed lineage leukemia (MLL)-rearranged leukemias are EVI1(pos). High EVI1 expression occurs in AMLs expressing the MLL-AF6, -AF9, -AF10, -ENL, or -ELL fusion genes. In addition, we present evidence that EVI1(pos) MLL-rearranged AMLs differ molecularly, morphologically, and immunophenotypically from EVI1(neg) MLL-rearranged leukemias. In mouse bone marrow cells transduced with MLL-AF9, we show that MLL-AF9 fusion protein maintains Evi1 expression on transformation of Evi1(pos) HSCs. MLL-AF9 does not activate Evi1 expression in MLL-AF9-transformed granulocyte macrophage progenitors (GMPs) that were initially Evi1(neg). Moreover, shRNA-mediated knockdown of Evi1 in an Evi1(pos) MLL-AF9 mouse model inhibits leukemia growth both in vitro and in vivo, suggesting that Evi1 provides a growth-promoting signal. Using the Evi1(pos) MLL-AF9 mouse leukemia model, we demonstrate increased sensitivity to chemotherapeutic agents on reduction of Evi1 expression. We conclude that EVI1 is a critical player in tumor growth in a subset of MLL-rearranged AMLs. (Blood. 2012; 119(24):5838-5849)
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)5838-5849
Number of pages12
JournalBlood
Volume119
Issue number24
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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