Nucleophosmin (NPM1) is the most commonly mutated gene in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) resulting in aberrant cytoplasmic translocation of the encoded nucleolar protein (NPM1c+). NPM1c+ maintains a unique leukemic gene expression program, characterized by activation of HOXA/B clusters and MEIS1 oncogene to facilitate leukemogenesis. However, the mechanisms by which NPM1c+ controls such gene expression patterns to promote leukemogenesis remain largely unknown. Here, we show that the activation of HOXBLINC, a HOXB locus-associated long non-coding RNA (lncRNA), is a critical downstream mediator of NPM1c+-associated leukemic transcription program and leukemogenesis. HOXBLINC loss attenuates NPM1c+-driven leukemogenesis by rectifying the signature of NPM1c+ leukemic transcription programs. Furthermore, overexpression of HoxBlinc (HoxBlincTg) in mice enhances HSC self-renewal and expands myelopoiesis, leading to the development of AML-like disease, reminiscent of the phenotypes seen in the Npm1 mutant knock-in (Npm1c/+) mice. HoxBlincTg and Npm1c/+ HSPCs share significantly overlapped transcriptome and chromatin structure. Mechanistically, HoxBlinc binds to the promoter regions of NPM1c+ signature genes to control their activation in HoxBlincTg HSPCs, via MLL1 recruitment and promoter H3K4me3 modification. Our study reveals that HOXBLINC lncRNA activation plays an essential oncogenic role in NPM1c+ leukemia. HOXBLINC and its partner MLL1 are potential therapeutic targets for NPM1c+ AML.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)