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Haematologica. 2013 Jun;98(6):913-7. doi: 10.3324/haematol.2012.073015. Epub 2012 Oct 12.

A polymorphism in the 3'-untranslated region of the NPM1 gene causes illegitimate regulation by microRNA-337-5p and correlates with adverse outcome in acute myeloid leukemia.

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Department of Anatomical and Cellular Pathology, Prince of Wales Hospital, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.


Nucleophosmin, encoded by NPM1, is a haploinsufficient suppressor in hematologic malignancies. NPM1 mutations are mostly found in acute myeloid leukemia patients with normal karyotype and associated with favorable prognosis. A polymorphic nucleotide T deletion with unknown significance is present in the NPM1 3'-untranslated region. Here, we showed that the homozygous nucleotide T deletion was associated with adverse outcomes and could independently predict shortened survival in patients with de novo acute myeloid leukemia. Mechanistically, we demonstrated that the nucleotide T deletion created an illegitimate binding NPM1 for miR-337-5p, which was widely expressed in different acute myeloid leukemia subtypes and inhibited NPM1 expression. Accordingly, NPM1 levels were found to be significantly reduced and correlated with miR-337-5p levels in patients carrying a homozygous nucleotide T-deletion genotype. Together, our findings uncover a microRNA-mediated control of NPM1 expression that contributes to disease heterogeneity and suggest additional prognostic values of NPM1 in acute myeloid leukemia.

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