The most frequent chromosomal translocations in pediatric acute myeloid leukemia affect the 11q23 locus and give rise to mixed lineage leukemia (MLL) fusion genes, MLL-AF9 being the most prevalent. The MLL-AF9 fusion gene has been shown to induce leukemia in both mouse and human models. In this study, we demonstrate that leukemogenic activity of MLL-AF9 requires RUVBL2 (RuvB-like 2), an AAA+ ATPase family member that functions in a wide range of cellular processes, including chromatin remodeling and transcriptional regulation. Expression of RUVBL2 was dependent on MLL-AF9, as it increased upon immortalization of human cord blood-derived hematopoietic progenitor cells with the fusion gene and decreased following loss of fusion gene expression in conditionally immortalized mouse cells. Short hairpin RNA-mediated silencing experiments demonstrated that both the immortalized human cells and the MLL-AF9-expressing human leukemia cell line THP-1 required RUVBL2 expression for proliferation and survival. Furthermore, inhibition of RUVBL2 expression in THP-1 cells led to reduced telomerase activity and clonogenic potential. These data were confirmed with a dominant-negative Walker B-mutated RUVBL2 construct. Taken together, these data suggest the possibility of targeting RUVBL2 as a potential therapeutic strategy for MLL-AF9-associated leukemia.
- LEUKEMIA STEM-CELLS
- HUMAN HEPATOCELLULAR-CARCINOMA
- ACUTE MYELOID-LEUKEMIA
- FUSION PROTEINS