Characterization of the putative CALM/AF10 collaborator Meis1 in leukemia development

Characterization of the putative CALM/AF10 collaborator Meis1 in leukemia development

Beschreibung

vor 8 Jahren
Chromosomal translocations are common in human leukemias. Detailed studies of chromosomal translocation have been useful in understanding the pathogenesis and identifying therapeutic targets in hematologic malignancies. Some translocations result in the formation of fusion genes. These fusion proteins play an important role in leukemogenesis. The t(10;11)(p12;q14) translocation is rare but recurring and results in the formation of the CALM/AF10 fusion protein. Patients with this translocation have a bad prognosis.
To understand how CALM/AF10 leads to leukemia, various mouse models have been established. In a murine bone marrow retroviral transduction and transplantation model Deshpande et al. (2006) showed that mice expressing CALM/AF10 in their bone marrow cells developed an acute myeloid leukemia with a penetrance of 100% and a short latency period of 110 days. Using a transgenic mouse model, in which CALM/AF10 was under the control of Vav promoter, Peter Aplan and colleagues demonstrated that only 40% to 50% of mice developed leukemia after a long latency of 10 to 12 months. Two classical transgenic CALM/AF10 models were established in our group using the immunoglobulin heavy chain enhancer/promoter (IgH-CALM/AF10) and proximal murine LcK promoter (pLck-CALM/AF10) to drive CALM/AF10 expression. These transgenic mice did not show any leukemic phenotype even after an observation period of 15 months. Taken together these studies strongly suggest that additional collaborating factors are required for the CALM/AF10 fusion gene to induce leukemia.
Meis1, a Hox cofactor, is known to collaborate with several Hox genes and Hox fusion genes such as HOXA9 and NUP98-HOXD13. In these studies, Meis1 played a critical role in accelerating the development of leukemia. It could also be shown that MEIS1 is highly expressed in CALM/AF10 positive human leukemia cells. Therefore, I sought to determine whether the homeobox gene Meis1 collaborates with CALM/AF10 in inducing leukemia.
In order to achieve this goal, lethally irradiated non-transgenic mice were transplanted with IgH-CALM/AF10 transgenic bone marrow cells transduced with a Meis1 expressing retrovirus. The transplanted mice developed an acute leukemia with a penetrance of 100% and a median latency period of 187 days. The leukemia showed predominantly myeloid features such as the presence of myeloid marker positive cells. The myeloid blast cells infiltrated in multiple hematopoietic as well as non-hematopoietic organs. The leukemic cells were also positive for the B-cell marker B220. Cells that were positive for both lymphoid and myeloid markers, a characteristic feature of CALM/AF10-induced leukemia, were also detected in all the mice. The leukemic cells had clonal DJH rearrangements. Overall, these data suggest that the transformed cell might be an early progenitor cell capable of lymphoid as well as myeloid differentiation or that the leukemia was initiated by a B220+ IgH DJ rearranged cell with blocked lymphoid differentiation, which started a default myeloid differentiation program. By performing serial secondary and tertiary transplantations the leukemic nature of the disease could be confirmed. Colony forming cell assays showed that CALM/AF10 in collaboration with Meis1 failed to induce the transformation of hematopoietic progenitors in vitro. This could either be due to the lack of required growth factors and conditions necessary for the proliferation of the transformable cell or lack of additional events essential for progression towards leukemia development.
In conclusion, I have demonstrated that Meis1 collaborates with CALM/AF10 in inducing acute myeloid leukemia. Additional, detailed analyses of the leukemia initiating cell in these models would help to better understand the pathogenesis of CALM/AF10-induced leukemia.

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