Gene Summary

Gene:SPI1; Spi-1 proto-oncogene
Aliases: OF, PU.1, SFPI1, SPI-1, SPI-A
Summary:This gene encodes an ETS-domain transcription factor that activates gene expression during myeloid and B-lymphoid cell development. The nuclear protein binds to a purine-rich sequence known as the PU-box found near the promoters of target genes, and regulates their expression in coordination with other transcription factors and cofactors. The protein can also regulate alternative splicing of target genes. Multiple transcript variants encoding different isoforms have been found for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:transcription factor PU.1
Source:NCBIAccessed: 31 August, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (30)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 31 August 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

  • Trans-Activators
  • Chromosome 11
  • Acute Myeloid Leukaemia
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • DNA Methylation
  • Oncogene Fusion Proteins
  • RNA Interference
  • Cell Lineage
  • K562 Cells
  • Drug Resistance
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • p53 Protein
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells
  • Infant
  • Transcription Factors
  • FLI1
  • Leukemia, Promyelocytic, Acute
  • Transcriptome
  • Promoter Regions
  • Mutation
  • Gene Regulatory Networks
  • Epigenetics
  • Messenger RNA
  • fms-Like Tyrosine Kinase 3
  • Childhood Cancer
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Leukaemia
  • Hematopoiesis
  • Precursor T-Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma
  • Leukemic Gene Expression Regulation
  • ras Proteins
  • MicroRNAs
  • Adolescents
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Transcription Factor AP-1
  • Signal Transduction
  • Computational Biology
Tag cloud generated 31 August, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Latest Publications: SPI1 (cancer-related)

Bell CC, Fennell KA, Chan YC, et al.
Targeting enhancer switching overcomes non-genetic drug resistance in acute myeloid leukaemia.
Nat Commun. 2019; 10(1):2723 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Non-genetic drug resistance is increasingly recognised in various cancers. Molecular insights into this process are lacking and it is unknown whether stable non-genetic resistance can be overcome. Using single cell RNA-sequencing of paired drug naïve and resistant AML patient samples and cellular barcoding in a unique mouse model of non-genetic resistance, here we demonstrate that transcriptional plasticity drives stable epigenetic resistance. With a CRISPR-Cas9 screen we identify regulators of enhancer function as important modulators of the resistant cell state. We show that inhibition of Lsd1 (Kdm1a) is able to overcome stable epigenetic resistance by facilitating the binding of the pioneer factor, Pu.1 and cofactor, Irf8, to nucleate new enhancers that regulate the expression of key survival genes. This enhancer switching results in the re-distribution of transcriptional co-activators, including Brd4, and provides the opportunity to disable their activity and overcome epigenetic resistance. Together these findings highlight key principles to help counteract non-genetic drug resistance.

Kimura S
[Genetic and epigenetic landscape of pediatric T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia].
Rinsho Ketsueki. 2019; 60(5):459-467 [PubMed] Related Publications
Recent development of massive parallel-sequencing technology has revealed the genetic basis of pediatric T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL). However, epigenetic profiles of T-ALL, such as DNA methylation, have not been well characterized. To describe the epigenetic landscape of T-ALL, we investigated DNA methylation profiles of 79 cases with pediatric T-ALL by using the EPIC methylation array, which allowed us to perform more profound analyses, including the OpenSea region. Moreover, we conducted combined analyses of methylation data using our previous expression and mutation data. Based on DNA methylation profiles, pediatric T-ALL was clustered into four distinct subtypes, which exhibited remarkable association with genetic signatures and expression features, as well as profiles of normal T-cell development. Furthermore, our study revealed the importance of methylation status at binding sites of polycomb-repressive complex components and transcription factors, such as SPI1, in the classification of pediatric T-ALL based on DNA methylation status. These results might be helpful in the development of new therapeutic strategies for pediatric T-ALL.

Ye Z, Wang F, Yan F, et al.
Bioinformatic identification of candidate biomarkers and related transcription factors in nasopharyngeal carcinoma.
World J Surg Oncol. 2019; 17(1):60 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The incidence of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is rare, but a certain amount of mortality remains in NPC patients. Our study aimed to identify candidate genes as biomarkers for NPC screening, diagnosis, and therapy.
METHODS: We investigated two microarray profile datasets GSE64634 and GSE12452 to screen the potential differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in NPC. Gene ontology and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway enrichment analysis of the DEGs were also performed. A protein-protein interaction (PPI) network of DEGs was constructed by STRING and visualized by Cytoscape software. The associated transcriptional factor regulatory network of the DEGs was also constructed.
RESULTS: A total of 152 DEGs were identified from the GSE64634 and GSE12452 datasets, including 10 upregulated and 142 downregulated genes. Gene functional enrichment analysis indicated that these DEGs were enriched in the cilium movement, antimicrobial humoral response, O-glycan processing, mucosal immune response, carbohydrate transmembrane transporter activity, hormone biosynthetic process, neurotransmitter biosynthetic process, and drug metabolism-cytochrome P450 pathway. Five hub genes (DNALI1, RSPH4A, RSPH9, DNAI2, and ALDH3A1) and one significant module (score = 5.6) were obtained from the PPI network. Key transcriptional factors, such as SPI1, SIN3B, and GATA2, were identified with close interactions with these five hub DEGs from the gene-transcriptional factor network.
CONCLUSIONS: With the integrated bioinformatic analysis, numerous DEGs related to NPC were screened, and the hub DEGs we identified may be potential biomarkers for NPC.

Liang C, Ding M, Weng XQ, et al.
The combination of UCN-01 and ATRA triggers differentiation in ATRA resistant acute promyelocytic leukemia cell lines via RAF-1 independent activation of MEK/ERK.
Food Chem Toxicol. 2019; 126:303-312 [PubMed] Related Publications
With the introduction of arsenic trioxide and all-trans retinoic acid, the prognosis of acute promyelocytic leukemia has greatly improved. However, all-trans retinoic acid resistance is still unresolved in acute promyelocytic leukemia relapsed patients. In this study, the clinical achievable concentration of 7-hydroxystaurosporine synergized with all-trans retinoic acid to induce terminal differentiation in all-trans retinoic acid resistant acute promyelocytic leukemia cell lines. Though 7-hydroxystaurosporine is a PKC inhibitor, PKC might not be involved in the combination-induced differentiation since other PKC selective inhibitors, Gö 6976 and rottlerin failed to cooperate with all-trans retinoic acid to trigger differentiation. The combination significantly enhanced the protein level of CCAAT/enhancer binding protein β and/or PU.1 as well as activated MEK/ERK. U0126 (MEK specific inhibitor) not only suppressed the combination-induced differentiation but also restored the protein level of CCAAT/enhancer binding protein β and/or PU.1. However, RAF-1 inhibitor had no inhibitory effect on MEK activation and the combination-induced differentiation. Therefore, the combination overcame differentiation block via RAF-1 independent MEK/ERK modulation of the protein level of CCAAT/enhancer binding protein β and/or PU.1. These findings may provide a preclinical rationale for the potential role of this combination in the treatment of all-trans retinoic acid resistant acute promyelocytic leukemia patients.

Boasman K, Simmonds MJ, Graham C, et al.
Using PU.1 and Jun dimerization protein 2 transcription factor expression in myelodysplastic syndromes to predict treatment response and leukaemia transformation.
Ann Hematol. 2019; 98(6):1529-1531 [PubMed] Related Publications

He Y, Jiang Z, Chen C, Wang X
Classification of triple-negative breast cancers based on Immunogenomic profiling.
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2018; 37(1):327 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Abundant evidence shows that triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is heterogeneous, and many efforts have been devoted to identifying TNBC subtypes on the basis of genomic profiling. However, few studies have explored the classification of TNBC specifically based on immune signatures that may facilitate the optimal stratification of TNBC patients responsive to immunotherapy.
METHODS: Using four publicly available TNBC genomics datasets, we classified TNBC on the basis of the immunogenomic profiling of 29 immune signatures. Unsupervised and supervised machine learning methods were used to perform the classification.
RESULTS: We identified three TNBC subtypes that we named Immunity High (Immunity_H), Immunity Medium (Immunity_M), and Immunity Low (Immunity_L) and demonstrated that this classification was reliable and predictable by analyzing multiple different datasets. Immunity_H was characterized by greater immune cell infiltration and anti-tumor immune activities, as well as better survival prognosis compared to the other subtypes. Besides the immune signatures, some cancer-associated pathways were hyperactivated in Immunity_H, including apoptosis, calcium signaling, MAPK signaling, PI3K-Akt signaling, and RAS signaling. In contrast, Immunity_L presented depressed immune signatures and increased activation of cell cycle, Hippo signaling, DNA replication, mismatch repair, cell adhesion molecule binding, spliceosome, adherens junction function, pyrimidine metabolism, glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchor biosynthesis, and RNA polymerase pathways. Furthermore, we identified a gene co-expression subnetwork centered around five transcription factor (TF) genes (CORO1A, STAT4, BCL11B, ZNF831, and EOMES) specifically significant in the Immunity_H subtype and a subnetwork centered around two TF genes (IRF8 and SPI1) characteristic of the Immunity_L subtype.
CONCLUSIONS: The identification of TNBC subtypes based on immune signatures has potential clinical implications for TNBC treatment.

Zhu H, Zhang L, Wu Y, et al.
T-ALL leukemia stem cell 'stemness' is epigenetically controlled by the master regulator SPI1.
Elife. 2018; 7 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Leukemia stem cells (LSCs) are regarded as the origins and key therapeutic targets of leukemia, but limited knowledge is available on the key determinants of LSC 'stemness'. Using single-cell RNA-seq analysis, we identify a master regulator, SPI1, the LSC-specific expression of which determines the molecular signature and activity of LSCs in the murine

Schuetzmann D, Walter C, van Riel B, et al.
Temporal autoregulation during human PU.1 locus SubTAD formation.
Blood. 2018; 132(25):2643-2655 [PubMed] Related Publications
Epigenetic control of gene expression occurs within discrete spatial chromosomal units called topologically associating domains (TADs), but the exact spatial requirements of most genes are unknown; this is of particular interest for genes involved in cancer. We therefore applied high-resolution chromosomal conformation capture sequencing to map the three-dimensional (3D) organization of the human locus encoding the key myeloid transcription factor PU.1 in healthy monocytes and acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells. We identified a dynamic ∼75-kb unit (SubTAD) as the genomic region in which spatial interactions between PU.1 gene regulatory elements occur during myeloid differentiation and are interrupted in AML. Within this SubTAD, proper initiation of the spatial chromosomal interactions requires PU.1 autoregulation and recruitment of the chromatin-adaptor protein LDB1 (LIM domain-binding protein 1). However, once these spatial interactions have occurred, LDB1 stabilizes them independently of PU.1 autoregulation. Thus, our data support that PU.1 autoregulates its expression in a "hit-and-run" manner by initiating stable chromosomal loops that result in a transcriptionally active chromatin architecture.

Manso BA, Zhang H, Mikkelson MG, et al.
Bone marrow hematopoietic dysfunction in untreated chronic lymphocytic leukemia patients.
Leukemia. 2019; 33(3):638-652 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The consequences of immune dysfunction in B-chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) likely relate to the incidence of serious recurrent infections and second malignancies that plague CLL patients. The well-described immune abnormalities are not able to consistently explain these complications. Here, we report bone marrow (BM) hematopoietic dysfunction in early and late stage untreated CLL patients. Numbers of CD34

Takita J
[Genetic basis of pediatric T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia and its clinical impact].
Rinsho Ketsueki. 2018; 59(7):953-959 [PubMed] Related Publications
Despite an improvement in the prognosis of pediatric T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL), the outcome of patients with relapse or refractory T-ALL remains dismal. Activating mutations of the NOTCH pathway and the loss-of-function mutations of CDKN2A are frequent genetic alterations in T-ALL; however, these changes exert no prognostic impact. Furthermore, several gene fusions, including STIL-TAL1, were recently detected in T-ALL; however, other genetic events are necessary for the development of T-ALL. Recently, we detected novel recurrent SPI1 fusions in T-ALL by RNA sequencing using next-generation sequencing technology. Patients with SPI1 fusions revealed highly poor prognosis, suggesting that these fusions would be useful prognostic markers in T-ALL. Furthermore, the intensification of treatment of patients with SPI1 fusions may contribute to the improvement of the outcome of patients with T-ALL.

Kobayashi SS, Takei H
[Transcription factor-based therapies for acute myeloid leukemia].
Rinsho Ketsueki. 2018; 59(7):922-931 [PubMed] Related Publications
Transcription factors are proteins that bind specific DNA-regulatory sequences and regulate gene transcription. In a hematopoietic system, transcription factors, such as C/EBPα, PU.1, and RUNX1, regulate the expression of essential genes to maintain the homeostasis in the bone marrow. The dysfunction of transcription factors mediated by gene mutations, chromosomal aberration, or aberrant expression can lead to cancer, including acute myeloid leukemia. Previously, transcription factors were not considered as therapeutic targets; however, a better understanding of cancer pathology and mechanisms underlying transcriptional regulation has enabled us to develop therapeutic agents that target transcription factors. C/EBPα is one of the essential transcription factors responsible for granulocytic differentiation and maturation. CEBPA mutation and/or low C/EBPα expression contribute to the pathogenesis of acute myeloid leukemia. Several therapeutic agents have been developed to increase C/EBPα activity, including ICCB280, which is a small molecule we identified by high-throughput screening. We believe that the novel therapeutic approach of targeting transcription factors will benefit patients with acute myeloid leukemia in the near future.

Özdemir İ, Pınarlı FG, Pınarlı FA, et al.
Epigenetic silencing of the tumor suppressor genes SPI1, PRDX2, KLF4, DLEC1, and DAPK1 in childhood and adolescent lymphomas.
Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2018; 35(2):131-144 [PubMed] Related Publications
The aim of the study was to investigate the expression and methylation status of seven distinctive genes with tumor suppressing properties in childhood and adolescent lymphomas. A total of 96 patients with Hodgkin Lymphoma (HL, n = 41), Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL, n = 15), and reactive lymphoid hyperplasia (RLH, n = 40, as controls) are included in the research. The expression status of CDKN2A, SPI1, PRDX2, DLEC1, FOXO1, KLF4 and DAPK1 genes were measured with QPCR method after the RNA isolation from paraffin blocks of tumor tissue and cDNA conversion. DNA isolation was performed from samples with low gene expression followed by methylation PCR study specific to promoter regions of these genes. We found that SPI1, PRDX2, DLEC1, KLF4, and DAPK1 genes are significantly less expressed in patient than the control group (p = 0.0001). However, expression of CDKNA2 and FOXO1 genes in the patient and control groups were not statistically different. The methylation ratios of all genes excluding the CDKN2A and FOXO1 were significantly higher in the HL and NHL groups than the controls (p = 0.0001). We showed that SPI1, PRDX2, DLEC1, KLF4 and DAPK1 genes are epigenetically silenced via hypermethylation in the tumor tissues of children with HL and NHL. As CDKN2A gene was not expressed in both patient and control groups, we conclude that it is not specific to malignancy. As FOXO1 gene was similarly expressed in both groups, its relationship with malignancy could not be established. The epigenetically silenced genes may be candidates for biomarkers or therapeutic targets in childhood and adolescent lymphomas.

Takei H, Kobayashi SS
Targeting transcription factors in acute myeloid leukemia.
Int J Hematol. 2019; 109(1):28-34 [PubMed] Related Publications
Transcription factors recognize and bind to consensus sequence elements that are specific for each transcription factor, and the transcription factors then regulate downstream gene expression. In the bone marrow, transcription factors, such as C/EBPα, PU.1, and RUNX1, control essential genes to maintain the normal hematopoietic system. Dysregulation of transcription factors caused by gene mutations, chromosomal aberrations, or aberrant expression can lead to cancer, including acute myeloid leukemia. In the past, transcription factors were not considered "druggable" targets. However, a better understanding of the pathology of malignant tumors and mechanisms of transcriptional regulation has enabled us to develop novel therapeutic strategies that target transcription factors. In this review, we focus on transcription factors that play important roles in leukemogenesis and current efforts and prospects in the development of transcriptional therapy. We believe that such a therapeutic approach will benefit patients with cancers that involve acute myeloid leukemia in the near future.

He B, Wang X, Wei L, et al.
β-Cypermethrin and its metabolite 3-phenoxybenzoic acid induce cytotoxicity and block granulocytic cell differentiation in HL-60 cells.
Acta Biochim Biophys Sin (Shanghai). 2018; 50(8):740-747 [PubMed] Related Publications
The most widely used type II pyrethroid is β-cypermethrin (β-CYP), and 3-phenoxybenzoic acid (3-PBA) is one of its primary metabolites. Although CYP has been shown to pose toxic effects in some immune cells, as of now the immunotoxicity of CYP on immune progenitor cells has not been well studied. In this study, we evaluated the immunotoxicity of β-CYP and 3-PBA on the human promyelocytic leukemia cell line, HL-60. Both β-CYP and 3-PBA reduced cell viability. In addition, both β-CYP and 3-PBA stimulated the intrinsic apoptotic pathway in a dose- and time-dependent manner, while only β-CYP induced cell cycle arrest in G1 stage. Moreover, exposure to β-CYP and 3-PBA at 100 μM inhibited all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA)-induced mRNA expressions of the granulocytic differentiation-related genes, CD11b and CSF-3R. Furthermore, exposure to β-CYP and 3-PBA resulted in a downregulation of the granulocytic differentiation promoting transcriptional factors, PU.1 and C/EBPε. Furthermore, we found that β-CYP and 3-PBA exposure led to elevated levels of cellular reactive oxygen species (ROS), and that pretreatment with N-acetylcysteine (NAC) blocked the toxic effects caused by β-CYP and 3-PBA. The results obtained in the present study provide evidence showing the immunotoxic effects of β-CYP and 3-PBA on promyelocytic cells as well as its possible underlying mechanism.

Lu Y, Wang Q, Xue G, et al.
Th9 Cells Represent a Unique Subset of CD4
Cancer Cell. 2018; 33(6):1048-1060.e7 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The antitumor effector T helper 1 (Th1) and Th17 cells represent two T cell paradigms: short-lived cytolytic Th1 cells and "stem cell-like" memory Th17 cells. We report that Th9 cells represent a third paradigm-they are less-exhausted, fully cytolytic, and hyperproliferative. Only tumor-specific Th9 cells completely eradicated advanced tumors, maintained a mature effector cell signature with cytolytic activity as strong as Th1 cells, and persisted as long as Th17 cells in vivo. Th9 cells displayed a unique Pu.1-Traf6-NF-κB activation-driven hyperproliferative feature, suggesting a persistence mechanism rather than an antiapoptotic strategy. Th9 antitumor efficacy depended on interleukin-9 and upregulated expression of Eomes and Traf6. Thus, tumor-specific Th9 cells are a more effective CD4

Melo-Cardenas J, Xu Y, Wei J, et al.
USP22 deficiency leads to myeloid leukemia upon oncogenic Kras activation through a PU.1-dependent mechanism.
Blood. 2018; 132(4):423-434 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications

Nakayama R, Togashi Y, Baba S, et al.
Epithelioid cell histiocytoma with SQSTM1-ALK fusion: a case report.
Diagn Pathol. 2018; 13(1):28 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Epithelioid cell histiocytoma (ECH), which is also known as epithelioid benign fibrous histiocytoma, has been classified as a rare variant of fibrous histiocytoma (FH). However, the recent detection of ALK protein expression and/or ALK gene rearrangement in ECH suggests that it might be biologically different from conventional FH.
CASE PRESENTATION: A 27-year-old male presented with nodule on his left foot, which had been present for 5 years. A macroscopic examination revealed an exophytic, hyperkeratotic nodule on the dorsum of the left foot. Tumorectomy was performed, and a microscopic examination showed a subepidermal lesion composed of sheets of tumor cells with oval to round nuclei and ill-defined eosinophilic cytoplasm. The tumor cells were diffusely positive for factor XIIIa and ALK, but were negative for AE1/AE3 keratin, alpha-smooth muscle actin, CD30, CD34, CD68, PU.1, melan A, MITF, and S-100 protein. ALK immunostaining showed a diffuse cytoplasmic staining pattern. ALK fluorescence in situ hybridization demonstrated break-apart signals, which was suggestive of ALK rearrangement. A 5'-rapid amplification of cDNA ends assay detected SQSTM1-ALK fusion, in which exon 5 of the SQSTM1 gene was fused to exon 20 of the ALK gene. The patient was free from recurrence and distant metastasis at the 1-year of follow-up.
CONCLUSION: We were able to demonstrate the SQSTM1-ALK fusion gene in ECH. Practically, detecting immunopositivity for ALK and appropriate cell-lineage markers are the key to diagnosing ECH.

Jin J, Britschgi A, Schläfli AM, et al.
Low Autophagy (ATG) Gene Expression Is Associated with an Immature AML Blast Cell Phenotype and Can Be Restored during AML Differentiation Therapy.
Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2018; 2018:1482795 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Autophagy is an intracellular degradation system that ensures a dynamic recycling of a variety of building blocks required for self-renewal, homeostasis, and cell survival under stress. We used primary acute myeloid leukemia (AML) samples and human AML cell lines to investigate the regulatory mechanisms of autophagy and its role in AML differentiation. We found a significantly lower expression of key autophagy- (ATG-) related genes in primary AML as compared to healthy granulocytes, an increased autophagic activity during all-

Seki M, Takita J
[Recurrent SPI1 fusions in pediatric T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia: novel mutations with poor prognosis].
Rinsho Ketsueki. 2018; 59(4):439-447 [PubMed] Related Publications
The outcome of treatment-refractory and/or relapsed pediatric T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) is extremely poor, and the genetic basis of these cases remains poorly understood. Here, we report comprehensive profiling of 121 cases of pediatric T-ALL using RNA sequencing and/or targeted capture sequencing through which we identified new recurrent gene fusions involving SPI1 (STMN1-SPI1 and TCF7-SPI1). Cases positive for fusions involving SPI1 (encoding PU.1), which accounted for 3.9% (7/181) of the total examined pediatric T-ALL cases, had uniformly poor overall survival. These cases represent a subset of pediatric T-ALL distinguishable from the known T-ALL subsets in terms of expression of genes involved in T cell pre-commitment, establishment of T cell identity, and post-β-selection maturation with respect to mutational profile. PU.1 fusion proteins retained transcriptional activity and induced cell proliferation on constitutive expression in mouse stem/progenitor cells, resulting in a maturation block. Our findings highlight the unique role of SPI1 fusions in high-risk pediatric T-ALL.

Stavast CJ, Leenen PJM, Erkeland SJ
The interplay between critical transcription factors and microRNAs in the control of normal and malignant myelopoiesis.
Cancer Lett. 2018; 427:28-37 [PubMed] Related Publications
Myelopoiesis is a complex process driven by essential transcription factors, including C/EBPα, PU.1, RUNX1, KLF4 and IRF8. Together, these factors are critical for the control of myeloid progenitor cell expansion and lineage determination in the development of granulocytes and monocytes/macrophages. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are expressed in a cell type and lineage specific manner. There is increasing evidence that miRNAs fine-tune the expression of hematopoietic lineage-specific transcription factors and drive the lineage decisions of hematopoietic progenitor cells. In this review, we discuss recently discovered self-activating and feed-back mechanisms in which transcription factors and miRNAs interact during myeloid cell development. Furthermore, we delineate how some of these mechanisms are affected in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and how disrupted transcription factor-miRNA interplays contribute to leukemogenesis.

Lam CF, Yeung HT, Lam YM, Ng RK
Reactive oxygen species activate differentiation gene transcription of acute myeloid leukemia cells via the JNK/c-JUN signaling pathway.
Leuk Res. 2018; 68:112-119 [PubMed] Related Publications
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) and altered cellular redox status are associated with many malignancies. Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells are maintained at immature state by differentiation blockade, which involves deregulation of transcription factors in myeloid differentiation. AML cells can be induced to differentiate by phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate (PMA), which possesses pro-oxidative activity. However, the signaling events mediated by ROS in the activation of transcriptional program during AML differentiation has not been fully elucidated. Here, we investigated AML cell differentiation by treatment with PMA and ROS scavenger N-acetyl-l-cysteine (NAC). We observed elevation of intracellular ROS level in the PMA-treated AML cells, which correlated with differentiated cell morphology and increased CD11b

Cheng JX, Chen L, Li Y, et al.
RNA cytosine methylation and methyltransferases mediate chromatin organization and 5-azacytidine response and resistance in leukaemia.
Nat Commun. 2018; 9(1):1163 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The roles of RNA 5-methylcytosine (RNA:m

Zhu Y, Lu L, Qiao C, et al.
Targeting PFKFB3 sensitizes chronic myelogenous leukemia cells to tyrosine kinase inhibitor.
Oncogene. 2018; 37(21):2837-2849 [PubMed] Related Publications
Resistance to the BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) remains a challenge for curing the disease in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) patients as leukemia cells may survive through BCR-ABL kinase activity-independent signal pathways. To gain insight into BCR-ABL kinase activity-independent mechanisms, we performed an initial bioinformatics screen and followed by a quantitative PCR screen of genes that were elevated in CML samples. A total of 33 candidate genes were identified to be highly expressed in TKIs resistant patients. Among those genes, 6-phosphofructo-2-kinase/fructose-2,6-biphosphatase 3 (PFKFB3), controlling the limiting step of glycolysis, was found to be strongly associated with TKIs resistance. PFKFB3 knockdown or pharmacological inhibition of its kinase activity markedly enhanced the sensitivity of CML cells to TKIs. Furthermore, pharmacological inhibition of PFKFB3 inhibited CML cells growth and significantly prolonged the survival of both allograft and xenograft CML mice. ChIP-seq data analysis combined with subsequent knockdown experiment showed that the Ets transcription factor PU.1 regulated the elevated expression of PFKFB3 in TKIs-resistant CML cells. Therefore, our results showed that targeting PFKFB3 sensitizes CML cells to TKIs and PFKFB3 may be a potential BCR-ABL kinase activity-independent mechanism in CML.

Ji MM, Huang YH, Huang JY, et al.
Histone modifier gene mutations in peripheral T-cell lymphoma not otherwise specified.
Haematologica. 2018; 103(4):679-687 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Due to heterogeneous morphological and immunophenotypic features, approximately 50% of peripheral T-cell lymphomas are unclassifiable and categorized as peripheral T-cell lymphomas, not otherwise specified. These conditions have an aggressive course and poor clinical outcome. Identification of actionable biomarkers is urgently needed to develop better therapeutic strategies. Epigenetic alterations play a crucial role in tumor progression. Histone modifications, particularly methylation and acetylation, are generally involved in chromatin state regulation. Here we screened the core set of genes related to histone methylation (

Weng H, Huang H, Wu H, et al.
METTL14 Inhibits Hematopoietic Stem/Progenitor Differentiation and Promotes Leukemogenesis via mRNA m
Cell Stem Cell. 2018; 22(2):191-205.e9 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications

Gordiienko I, Shlapatska L, Kholodniuk VM, et al.
CD150 and CD180 are involved in regulation of transcription factors expression in chronic lymphocytic leukemia cells.
Exp Oncol. 2017; 39(4):291-298 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Sequential stages of B-cell development is stringently coordinated by transcription factors (TFs) network that include B-lineage commitment TFs (Ikaros, Runx1/Cbfb, E2A, and FOXO1), B-lineage maintenance TFs (EBF1 and PAX5) and stage specific set of TFs (IRF4, IRF8, BCL6, BLIMP1). Deregulation of TFs expression and activity is often occurs in malignant B cells. The aim of this study was to evaluate TFs expression in chronic lymphocytic leukemia cells taking into consideration CD150 cell surface expression. From other side we attempted to regulate TFs expression via CD150 and CD180 cell surface receptors.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Studies were performed on normal peripheral blood B-cell subpopulations and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) cells isolated from peripheral blood of 67 primary untreated patients with CLL. Evaluation of TFs expression was performed on mRNA level using qRT-PCR and on protein level by western blot analysis.
RESULTS: Median of PAX5 and EBF1 mRNA expression was higher in cell surface CD150 positive (csCD150
CONCLUSIONS: Analysis of TFs expression profile revealed upregulated SPIB mRNA level and downregulated PU.1 in CLL cells. CD150 and CD180 receptors may modulate transcriptional program in CLL cells by regulating the TFs expression levels.

Humblin E, Thibaudin M, Chalmin F, et al.
IRF8-dependent molecular complexes control the Th9 transcriptional program.
Nat Commun. 2017; 8(1):2085 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Interferon regulatory factors (IRF) have critical functions in lymphoid development and in immune response regulation. Although many studies have described the function of IRF4 in CD4

Antony-Debré I, Paul A, Leite J, et al.
Pharmacological inhibition of the transcription factor PU.1 in leukemia.
J Clin Invest. 2017; 127(12):4297-4313 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The transcription factor PU.1 is often impaired in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Here, we used AML cells that already had low PU.1 levels and further inhibited PU.1 using either RNA interference or, to our knowledge, first-in-class small-molecule inhibitors of PU.1 that we developed specifically to allosterically interfere with PU.1-chromatin binding through interaction with the DNA minor groove that flanks PU.1-binding motifs. These small molecules of the heterocyclic diamidine family disrupted the interaction of PU.1 with target gene promoters and led to downregulation of canonical PU.1 transcriptional targets. shRNA or small-molecule inhibition of PU.1 in AML cells from either PU.1lo mutant mice or human patients with AML-inhibited cell growth and clonogenicity and induced apoptosis. In murine and human AML (xeno)transplantation models, treatment with our PU.1 inhibitors decreased tumor burden and resulted in increased survival. Thus, our study provides proof of concept that PU.1 inhibition has potential as a therapeutic strategy for the treatment of AML and for the development of small-molecule inhibitors of PU.1.

Ramadan A, Griesenauer B, Adom D, et al.
Specifically differentiated T cell subset promotes tumor immunity over fatal immunity.
J Exp Med. 2017; 214(12):3577-3596 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Allogeneic immune cells, particularly T cells in donor grafts, recognize and eliminate leukemic cells via graft-versus-leukemia (GVL) reactivity, and transfer of these cells is often used for high-risk hematological malignancies, including acute myeloid leukemia. Unfortunately, these cells also attack host normal tissues through the often fatal graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). Full separation of GVL activity from GVHD has yet to be achieved. Here, we show that, in mice and humans, a population of interleukin-9 (IL-9)-producing T cells activated via the ST2-IL-33 pathway (T9

Boddu P, Benton CB, Wang W, et al.
Erythroleukemia-historical perspectives and recent advances in diagnosis and management.
Blood Rev. 2018; 32(2):96-105 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Acute erythroleukemia is a rare form of acute myeloid leukemia recognized by its distinct phenotypic attribute of erythroblastic proliferation. After a century of its descriptive history, many diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic implications relating to this unique leukemia subset remain uncertain. The rarity of the disease and the simultaneous involvement of its associated myeloid compartment have complicated in vitro studies of human erythroleukemia cell lines. Although murine and cell line erythroleukemia models have provided valuable insights into pathophysiology, translation of these concepts into treatment are not forthcoming. Integration of knowledge gained through a careful study of these models with more recent data emerging from molecular characterization will help elucidate key mechanistic pathways and provide a much needed framework that accounts for erythroid lineage-specific attributes. In this article, we discuss the evolving diagnostic concept of erythroleukemia, translational aspects of its pathophysiology, and promising therapeutic targets through an appraisal of the current literature.

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