Aberrant recruitment of histone deacetylases (HDACs) by the oncogenic fusion protein PML-RAR is involved in the pathogenesis of acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL). PML-RAR, however, is not sufficient to induce disease in mice but requires additional oncogenic lesions during the preleukemic phase. Here, we show that knock-down of Hdac1 and Hdac2 dramatically accelerates leukemogenesis in transgenic preleukemic mice. These events are not restricted to APL because lymphomagenesis driven by deletion of p53 or, to a lesser extent, by c-myc overexpression, was also accelerated by Hdac1 knock-down. In the preleukemic phase of APL, Hdac1 counteracts the activity of PML-RAR in (1) blocking differentiation; (2) impairing genomic stability; and (3) increasing self-renewal in hematopoietic progenitors, as all of these events are affected by the reduction in Hdac1 levels. This led to an expansion of a subpopulation of PML-RAR-expressing cells that is the major source of leukemic stem cells in the full leukemic stage. Remarkably, short-term treatment of preleukemic mice with an HDAC inhibitor accelerated leukemogenesis. In contrast, knock-down of Hdac1 in APL mice led to enhanced survival duration of the leukemic animals. Thus, Hdac1 has a dual role in tumorigenesis: oncosuppressive in the early stages, and oncogenic in established tumor cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology