Nucleophosmin (NPM1) is among the most frequently mutated genes in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). It is not known, however, how the resulting oncoprotein mutant NPM1 is leukemogenic. To reveal the cellular machinery in which NPM1 participates in myeloid cells, we analyzed the endogenous NPM1 protein interactome by mass spectrometry and discovered abundant amounts of the master transcription factor driver of monocyte lineage differentiation PU.1 (also known as SPI1). Mutant NPM1, which aberrantly accumulates in cytoplasm, dislocated PU.1 into cytoplasm with it. CEBPA and RUNX1, the master transcription factors that collaborate with PU.1 to activate granulomonocytic lineage fates, remained nuclear; but without PU.1, their coregulator interactions were toggled from coactivators to corepressors, repressing instead of activating more than 500 granulocyte and monocyte terminal differentiation genes. An inhibitor of nuclear export, selinexor, by locking mutant NPM1/PU.1 in the nucleus, activated terminal monocytic fates. Direct depletion of the corepressor DNA methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1) from the CEBPA/RUNX1 protein interactome using the clinical drug decitabine activated terminal granulocytic fates. Together, these noncytotoxic treatments extended survival by more than 160 days versus vehicle in a patient-derived xenotransplant model of NPM1/FLT3-mutated AML. In sum, mutant NPM1 represses monocyte and granulocyte terminal differentiation by disrupting PU.1/CEBPA/RUNX1 collaboration, a transforming action that can be reversed by pharmacodynamically directed dosing of clinical small molecules.
Xiaorong Gu, Quteba Ebrahem, Reda Z. Mahfouz, Metis Hasipek, Francis Enane, Tomas Radivoyevitch, Nicolas Rapin, Bartlomiej Przychodzen, Zhenbo Hu, Ramesh Balusu, Claudiu V. Cotta, David Wald, Christian Argueta, Yosef Landesman, Maria Paola Martelli, Brunangelo Falini, Hetty Carraway, Bo T. Porse, Jaroslaw Maciejewski, Babal K. Jha, Yogen Saunthararajah
Guidelines: The Editorial Board will only consider letters that we deem relevant and of interest to our readers. We will not post data that have not been subjected to peer review, nor will we post letters that are essentially a reiteration of another letter. We reserve the right to edit any letter for length, content, and clarity. Authors will be notified by e-mail if their letters were accepted. No appeals will be considered.
Specific requirements: All letters must be 400 words or fewer. You may enter the letter as plain text or HTML. The author's name and e-mail address are required, and will be posted with the letter. All possible conflicts of interest must be noted, even if they are not posted. If you wish to include a figure (keep in mind that non-peer-reviewed data will not be posted), please contact the editors directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.