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Hoxa9 and Meis1 Cooperatively Induce Addiction to Syk Signaling by Suppressing miR-146a in Acute Myeloid Leukemia

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Mohr, S 
Doebele, C 
Comoglio, F 
Berg, T 
Beck, J 


The transcription factor Meis1 drives myeloid leukemogenesis in the context of Hox gene overexpression but is currently considered undruggable. We therefore investigated whether myeloid progenitor cells transformed by Hoxa9 and Meis1 become addicted to targetable signaling pathways. A comprehensive (phospho)proteomic analysis revealed that Meis1 increased Syk protein expression and activity. Syk upregulation occurs through a Meis1-dependent feedback loop. By dissecting this loop, we show that Syk is a direct target of miR-146a, whose expression is indirectly regulated by Meis1 through the transcription factor PU.1. In the context of Hoxa9 overexpression, Syk signaling induces Meis1, recapitulating several leukemogenic features of Hoxa9/Meis1-driven leukemia. Finally, Syk inhibition disrupts the identified regulatory loop, prolonging survival of mice with Hoxa9/Meis1-driven leukemia.



Hox genes, PU.1, Syk, leukemia, microRNA, signal transduction

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Cancer Cell

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Elsevier (Cell Press)
Medical Research Council (MC_PC_12009)
Wellcome Trust (100140/Z/12/Z)
Wellcome Trust (097922/Z/11/Z)
Wellcome Trust (104710/Z/14/Z)
Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research (13003)
Blood Cancer UK (07037)
Cancer Research UK (21762)
.O. and T. Berg (BE 4198/1-1 and BE 4198/2-1) are supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG). K.S. is supported by a Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Scholar Award and by the National Cancer Institute (R01 CA140292). F.C. is supported by an EMBO long-term fellowship (1305-2015 and Marie Curie ActionsLTFCOFUND2013/GA-2013-609409). F.K. was supported by grants from Deutsche Krebshilfe (grant 109420; Max-Eder program), fellowship 2010/04 by the European Hematology Association, and by the DFG (SFB 1074, project A5). A.R. was supported by the DFG (SFB 1074, project A5) and the gender equality program by the DFG (SFB 1074, project Z2), a fellowship from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and the Baustein Startförderung Program of the Medical Faculty, Ulm University. Work in the Department of Haematology in Cambridge is supported by Bloodwise (grant ref. 13003), the Wellcome Trust (grant ref. 104710/Z/14/Z), the Medical Research Council (MC_PC_12009), the Kay Kendall Leukemia Fund (KKL952), the Cambridge NIHR Biomedical Research Center (NF-BR-0412-10321), the Cambridge Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre itself receives funding from NIHR (NF-EC-0412-10442), the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of America (grant ref. 07037), and core support grants from the Wellcome Trust (100140/Z/12/Z and 097922/Z/11/Z) and MRC (MC_PC_12009).