Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) cells from clinically aggressive cases have a greater capacity to respond to external microenvironmental stimuli, including those transduced through Toll-like-receptor-9 (TLR9). Concomitant microRNA and gene expression profiling in purified CLL cells (n17) expressing either unmutated (UM) or mutated (M) IGHV genes selected microRNAs from the miR-1792 family as significantly upregulated and in part responsible for modifications in the gene expression profile of UM CLL cells stimulated with the TLR9 agonist CpG. Notably, the stable and sustained upregulation of miR-1792 microRNAs by CpG was preceded by a transient induction of the proto-oncogene MYC. The enforced expression of miR-17, a major member from this family, reduced the expression of the tumor suppressor genes E2F5, TP53INP1, TRIM8 and ZBTB4, and protected cells from serum-free-induced apoptosis (P0.05). Consistently, transfection with miR-1792 family antagomiRs reduced Bromo-deoxy-uridine incorporation in CpG-stimulated UM CLL cells. Finally, miR-17 expression levels, evaluated in 83 CLL samples, were significantly higher in UM (P0.03) and ZAP-70 high (P0.02) cases. Altogether, these data reveal a role for microRNAs of the miR-1792 family in regulating pro-survival and growth-promoting responses of CLL cells to TLR9 triggering. Overall, targeting of this pathway may represent a novel therapeutic option for management of aggressive CLL.
- chronic lymphocytic leukemia
- Toll-like receptor
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine