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Blood. 2010 Mar 4;115(9):1768-78. doi: 10.1182/blood-2009-08-240101. Epub 2009 Dec 22.

Cell-cycle regulator E2F1 and microRNA-223 comprise an autoregulatory negative feedback loop in acute myeloid leukemia.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine IV-Oncology and Hematology, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Halle, Germany.


Transcription factor CCAAT enhancer binding protein alpha (C/EBPalpha) is essential for granulopoiesis and its function is deregulated in leukemia. Inhibition of E2F1, the master regulator of cell-cycle progression, by C/EBPalpha is pivotal for granulopoiesis. Recent studies show microRNA-223 (miR-223), a transcriptional target of C/EBPalpha, as a critical player during granulopoiesis. In this report, we demonstrate that during granulopoiesis microRNA-223 targets E2F1. E2F1 protein was up-regulated in miR-223 null mice. We show that miR-223 blocks cell-cycle progression in myeloid cells. miR-223 is down-regulated in different subtypes of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). We further show that E2F1 binds to the miR-223 promoter in AML blast cells and inhibits miR-223 transcription, suggesting that E2F1 is a transcriptional repressor of the miR-223 gene in AML. Our study supports a molecular network involving miR-223, C/EBPalpha, and E2F1 as major components of the granulocyte differentiation program, which is deregulated in AML.

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