Double knockout of the two miR-15/16 loci in mouse resulted in the development of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). This result suggested that, at least, a fraction of human AMLs could be due to a similar mechanism. We analyzed the role of the two miR-15/16 clusters in 93 myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) patients divided in three subgroups: patients with MDS, patients with MDS before transforming into AML (MDS-T), and patients with AML evolving from MDS (MDS-AML). Then, we tested 139 AML cases and 14 different AML cell lines by assessing microRNA (miRNA) expression, target protein expression, genetic loss, and silencing. MDS-T and MDS-AML patients show a reduction of the expression of miR-15a/-15b/-16 compared to MDS patients. Each miRNA can significantly predict MDS and MDS-T groups. Then, 79% of primary AMLs show a reduced expression of miR-15a and/or miR-15b. The expression of miR-15a/-15b/-16 significantly stratified AML patients in two prognostic classes. Furthermore, 40% of AML cell lines showed a combined loss of the expression of miR-15a/-15b and overexpression of their direct/indirect targets. As potential mechanisms involved in the silencing of the two miR-15/16 loci, we identified a genetic loss of miR-15a and miR-15b and silencing of these two loci by methylation. We identified a potential driver oncogenic role in the loss of expression of both miR-15/16 clusters in the progression of MDS into AML and in AML pathogenesis. The stratification of AML patients, based on miR-15/16 expression, can lead to targeted and combination therapies for the treatment of this incurable disease.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|Publication status||Published - Jun 2 2020|
- acute myeloid leukemia
- miR-15/16 cluster
- myelodysplastic syndromes
ASJC Scopus subject areas