Transcriptional deregulation of oncogenic myocyte enhancer factor 2C in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia

Stefan Nagel, Letizia Venturini, Corinna Meyer, Maren Kaufmann, Michaela Scherr, Hans G Drexler, Roderick A F Macleod
Leukemia & Lymphoma 2011, 52 (2): 290-7
Myocyte enhancer factor 2C (MEF2C) encodes a transcription factor which is ectopically expressed in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) cell lines, deregulated directly by ectopically expressed homeodomain protein NKX2-5 or by loss of promoter regions via del(5)(q14). Here, we analyzed the MEF2C 5'-region, thus identifying potential regulatory binding sites for GFI1B, basic helix-loop-helix proteins, STAT5, and HOXA9/HOXA10. Chromatin immunoprecipitation and overexpression analyses demonstrated direct activation by GFI1B and LYL1 and inhibition by STAT5. HOXA9/HOXA10 activated expression of NMYC which in turn mediated MEF2C repression, indicating an indirect mode of regulation via NMYC interactor (NMI) and STAT5. Lacking comma: Chromosomal deletion of the STAT5 binding site in LOUCY cells reduced protein levels of STAT5 in some MEF2C-positve T-ALL cell lines, and the presence of inhibitory IL7-JAK-STAT5 signaling highlighted the repressive impact of this factor in MEF2C regulation. Taken together, our results indicate that the expression of MEF2C in T-ALL cells is principally deregulated via activating leukemic transcription factors GFI1B or NKX2-5 and by escaping inhibitory developmental STAT5 signaling.

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