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Br J Haematol. 2015 Dec;171(5):818-29. doi: 10.1111/bjh.13763. Epub 2015 Sep 25.

HMGA2 as a potential molecular target in KMT2A-AFF1-positive infant acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

Author information

1
Department of Paediatrics, Ehime University Graduate School of Medicine, Toon, Ehime, Japan.
2
Department of Paediatrics, University of Yamanashi, Chuo, Yamanashi, Japan.

Abstract

Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) in infants is an intractable cancer in childhood. Although recent intensive chemotherapy progress has considerably improved ALL treatment outcome, disease cure is often accompanied by undesirable long-term side effects, and efficient, less toxic molecular targeting therapies have been anticipated. In infant ALL cells with KMT2A (MLL) fusion, the microRNA let-7b (MIRLET7B) is significantly downregulated by DNA hypermethylation of its promoter region. We show here that the expression of HMGA2, one of the oncogenes repressed by MIRLET7B, is reversely upregulated in infant ALL leukaemic cells, particularly in KMT2A-AFF1 (MLL-AF4) positive ALL. In addition to the suppression of MIRLET7B, KMT2A fusion proteins positively regulate the expression of HMGA2. HMGA2 is one of the negative regulators of CDKN2A gene, which encodes the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p16(INK4A) . The HMGA2 inhibitor netropsin, when combined with demethylating agent 5-azacytidine, upregulated and sustained the expression of CDKN2A, which resulted in growth suppression of KMT2A-AFF1-expressing cell lines. This effect was more apparent compared to treatment with 5-azacytidine alone. These results indicate that the MIRLET7B-HMGA2-CDKN2A axis plays an important role in cell proliferation of leukaemic cells and could be a possible molecular target for the therapy of infant ALL with KMT2A-AFF1.

KEYWORDS:

HMGA2; KMT2A; infant leukaemia; lymphoid malignancies

PMID:
26403224
DOI:
10.1111/bjh.13763
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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