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J Cell Biochem. 2012 Aug;113(8):2765-74. doi: 10.1002/jcb.24154.

Cytoplasmatic compartmentalization by Bcr-Abl promotes TET2 loss-of-function in chronic myeloid leukemia.

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Dipartimento di Ematologia e Scienze Oncologiche Lorenzo e Ariosto Seràgnoli, University of Bologna-Medical School, Bologna, Italy.


The loss-of-function of ten-eleven-translocation (TET) 2, a Fe(2+) -oxoglutarate-dependent dioxygenase catalyzing 5 methyl cytosine (5mC) conversion into 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC), contributes to the hematopoietic transformation in vivo. The aim of our study was to elucidate its role in the phenotype of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), a myeloproliferative disease caused by the Bcr-Abl rearranged gene. We first confirmed TET2 interaction with the Bcr-Abl protein predicted by a Fourier-based bioinformatic method. Such interaction led to TET2 cytoplasmatic compartmentalization in a complex tethered by the fusion protein tyrosine kinase (TK) and encompassing the Forkhead box O3a (FoxO3a) transcription factor. We then focused the impact of TET2 loss-of-function on epigenetic transcriptional regulation of Bcl2-interacting mediator (BIM), a pro-apoptotic protein transcriptionally regulated by FoxO3a. BIM downregulation is a critical component of CML progenitor extended survival and is also involved in the disease resistance to imatinib (IM). Here we reported that TET2 release from Bcr-Abl protein following TK inhibition in response to IM triggers a chain of events including TET2 nuclear translocation, re-activation of its enzymatic function at 5mC and recruitment at the BIM promoter followed by BIM transcriptional induction. 5hmC increment following TET2 re-activation was associated with the reduction of histone H3 tri-methylation at lysine 9 (H3K9me3), which may contribute with DNA de-methylation reported elsewhere to recast a permissive epigenetic "landscape" for FoxO3a transcriptional activity.

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