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Blood. 2012 Mar 8;119(10):2314-24. doi: 10.1182/blood-2011-10-386235. Epub 2012 Jan 17.

Up-regulation of a HOXA-PBX3 homeobox-gene signature following down-regulation of miR-181 is associated with adverse prognosis in patients with cytogenetically abnormal AML.

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  • 1Section of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Medicine, University of Chicago, IL 60637, USA.

Abstract

Increased expression levels of miR-181 family members have been shown to be associated with favorable outcome in patients with cytogenetically normal acute myeloid leukemia. Here we show that increased expression of miR-181a and miR-181b is also significantly (P < .05; Cox regression) associated with favorable overall survival in cytogenetically abnormal AML (CA-AML) patients. We further show that up-regulation of a gene signature composed of 4 potential miR-181 targets (including HOXA7, HOXA9, HOXA11, and PBX3), associated with down-regulation of miR-181 family members, is an independent predictor of adverse overall survival on multivariable testing in analysis of 183 CA-AML patients. The independent prognostic impact of this 4-homeobox-gene signature was confirmed in a validation set of 271 CA-AML patients. Furthermore, our in vitro and in vivo studies indicated that ectopic expression of miR-181b significantly promoted apoptosis and inhibited viability/proliferation of leukemic cells and delayed leukemogenesis; such effects could be reversed by forced expression of PBX3. Thus, the up-regulation of the 4 homeobox genes resulting from the down-regulation of miR-181 family members probably contribute to the poor prognosis of patients with nonfavorable CA-AML. Restoring expression of miR-181b and/or targeting the HOXA/PBX3 pathways may provide new strategies to improve survival substantially.

PMID:
22251480
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3311258
Free PMC Article

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