Two isoforms of HOXA9 function differently but work synergistically in human MLL-rearranged leukemia

Miao He, Ping Chen, Stephen Arnovitz, Yuanyuan Li, Hao Huang, Mary Beth Neilly, Minjie Wei, Janet D. Rowley, Jianjun Chen, Zejuan Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

HOXA9 plays a critical role in both normal hematopoiesis and leukemogenesis, particularly in the development and maintenance of mixed lineage leukemia (MLL)-rearranged leukemia. Through reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis of HOXA9 transcripts in human leukemia and normal bone marrow samples, we identified a truncated isoform of HOXA9, namely HOXA9T, and found that both HOXA9T and canonical HOXA9 were highly expressed in leukemia cell lines bearing MLL rearrangements, relative to human normal bone marrow cells or other subtypes of leukemia cells. A frameshift in HOXA9T in exon I causes a premature stop codon upstream of the PBX-binding domain and the homeodomain, which leads to the generation of a non-homeodomain-containing protein. Unlike the canonical HOXA9, HOXA9T alone cannot transform normal bone marrow progenitor cells. Moreover, HOXA9T cannot cooperate with MEIS1 to transform cells, despite the presence of a MEIS1-binding domain. Remarkably, although the truncated isoforms of many proteins function as dominant-negative competitors or inhibitors of their full-length counterparts, this is not the case for HOXA9T; instead, HOXA9T synergized with HOXA9 in transforming mouse normal bone marrow progenitor cells through promoting self-renewal and proliferation of the cells. Collectively, our data indicate that both truncated and full-length forms of HOXA9 are highly expressed in human MLL-rearranged leukemia, and the truncated isoform of HOXA9 might also play an oncogenic role by cooperating with canonical HOXA9 in cell transformation and leukemogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)102-106
Number of pages5
JournalBlood Cells, Molecules, and Diseases
Volume49
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 15 2012

Keywords

  • Isoforms
  • Leukemia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology

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