Gene Summary

Gene:MLLT10; MLLT10 histone lysine methyltransferase DOT1L cofactor
Aliases: AF10
Summary:This gene encodes a transcription factor and has been identified as a partner gene involved in several chromosomal rearrangements resulting in various leukemias. Multiple transcript variants encoding different isoforms have been found for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, Sep 2010]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:protein AF-10
Source:NCBIAccessed: 31 August, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 31 August 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 31 August, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (2)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: MLLT10 (cancer-related)

Zerkalenkova E, Lebedeva S, Kazakova A, et al.
Acute myeloid leukemia with t(10;11)(p11-12;q23.3): Results of Russian Pediatric AML registration study.
Int J Lab Hematol. 2019; 41(2):287-292 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Translocations involving the KMT2A gene (also known as MLL) are frequently diagnosed in pediatric acute leukemia cases with either lymphoblastic or myeloid origin. KMT2A is translocated to multiple partner genes, including MLLT10/AF10 localizing at chromosomal band 10p12. KMT2A-MLLT10 is one of the common chimeric genes diagnosed in acute leukemia with KMT2A rearrangement (8%), especially in acute myeloid leukemia (AML; 18%). MLLT10 is localized in very close proximity to two other KMT2A partner genes at 10p11-12-NEBL and ABI1, so they could not be distinguished by conventional cytogenetics.
METHODS: In this work, we present a cohort of 28 patients enrolled into Russian Pediatric AML registration study carrying rearrangements between chromosomal regions 11q23.3 and 10p11-12. G-banding, FISH, reverse transcription PCR, and long-distance inverse PCR were used to characterize the KMT2A gene rearrangements in these patients.
RESULTS: We demonstrate that 25 patients harbor the KMT2A-MLLT10 rearrangement, while three patients show the rare KMT2A rearrangements (2× KMT2A-NEBL; 1× KMT2A-ABI1).
CONCLUSIONS: Therefore, the combination of cytogenetic and molecular genetic methods is of high importance in diagnosing cases with t(10;11)(p11-12;q23.3).

Naesens L, Devos H, Nollet F, et al.
Mediastinal Myeloid Sarcoma with TP53 Mutation Preceding Acute Myeloid Leukemia with a PICALM-MLLT10 Fusion Gene.
Acta Haematol. 2018; 140(2):97-104 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Myeloid sarcoma (MS), previously known as granulocytic sarcoma or chloroma, is a rare neoplastic condition defined as a tumor mass consisting of myeloblasts or immature myeloid cells occurring at an extramedullary site. Clinical presentation is diverse and determined by a tumor mass effect or local organ dysfunction.
CASE REPORT: We report the case of a 25-year-old previously healthy male with rapidly progressive shortness of breath. A chest CT scan demonstrated a heterogenous anterosuperior mediastinal mass with pleural and pericardial invasion. A diagnosis of MS with both myeloid and lymphoid characteristics was made by pathologic, morphologic, and immunophenotypic investigation. Next generation analysis revealed a pathogenic TP53 mutation (c.1035_1036insCT, p.Glu346Leufs*25). After 4 cycles of chemotherapy only a partial metabolic response and tumor size reduction was obtained. A pretransplant bone marrow biopsy revealed the progression of disease to acute myeloid leukemia. Cytogenetic analysis demonstrated a t(10; 11)(p12;q21). Fluorescence in situ hybridization confirmed the presence of a PICALM-MLLT10 fusion gene.
CONCLUSION: MS with a mediastinal localization is rare and often misdiagnosed as malignant lymphoma. Acute leukemia harboring a PICALM-MLLT10 fusion gene is characterized by a mixed T cell and myeloid phenotype. The rearrangement is a rare recurrent translocation associated with specific clinical features, as illustrated in this case report.

Peterson JF, Baughn LB, Pearce KE, et al.
KMT2A (MLL) rearrangements observed in pediatric/young adult T-lymphoblastic leukemia/lymphoma: A 10-year review from a single cytogenetic laboratory.
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2018; 57(11):541-546 [PubMed] Related Publications
T-lymphoblastic leukemia/lymphoma (T-ALL/LBL) accounts for approximately 15% of pediatric and 25% of adult ALL. While the underlying frequency of KMT2A (MLL) gene rearrangements has been identified in approximately 4-8% of T-ALL/LBL cases, a paucity of literature is available to characterize further the KMT2A rearrangements in pediatric/young adult T-ALL/LBL. A 10-year retrospective review was performed to identify KMT2A rearrangements in specimens sent for T-ALL/LBL fluorescence in situ hybridization studies in patients under the age of 30 years. Of 806 T-ALL/LBL FISH studies performed on unique individuals, 27 (3.3%) harbored KMT2A rearrangements. Nineteen patients were male and eight were female (M:F ratio, 2.4:1) with ages ranging from 1 to 20 years (mean 12, median 12). Of the 27 cases, nine (33%) had KMT2A/MLLT1 fusions, eight (30%) had KMT2A/AFDN fusions, two (7%) had KMT2A/ELL fusions, and one (4%) had a KMT2A/MLLT10 fusion. In addition, five (19%) had KMT2A rearrangements with unidentified gene fusion partners and two (7%) had 3'KMT2A deletions. Our results indicate that MLLT1 and AFDN account for the majority (63%) of KMT2A gene partners in pediatric/young adult T-ALL/LBL, while no KMT2A/AFF1 or KMT2A/MLLT3 fusions were observed despite their common identification in B-ALL and acute myeloid leukemia, respectively. In addition to diagnostic and prognostic value, detecting specific KMT2A fusions may also be of clinical importance in the era of targeted therapies.

Jing X, Wu H, Cheng X, et al.
MLLT10 promotes tumor migration, invasion, and metastasis in human colorectal cancer.
Scand J Gastroenterol. 2018; 53(8):964-971 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: Colorectal cancer (CRC), one of the most aggressive gastrointestinal malignancies, is a frequently diagnosed life-threatening cancer worldwide. Most CRC patients have poor prognosis mainly because of frequent metastasis and recurrence. Thus, it is crucial to find out some new biomarkers and to show deeper insights into the mechanisms of CRC. MLLT10, Myeloid/lymphoid or mixed-lineage leukemia translocated to 10, also known as AF10, a recurrent MLL partner. In this study, we found that MLLT10 promotes CRC tumor invasion and metastasis both in vitro and in vivo.
METHODS: Here, the expression of MLLT10 was evaluated by immunohistochemistry. Then, the plasmid and lentivirus particles for MLLT10 overexpression or knockdown were designed and constructed into SW620 and HT29 cells. Finally, cell proliferation assay, cell adhesion assay, transwell migration, and invasion assay were used to detect the migration and invasion ability of MLLT10 in CRC cells. A tail vein injection assay was employed to evaluate the role of MLLT10 in tumor metastases.
RESULTS: MLLT10 expression was significantly higher in CRC tissues than in noncancerous tissues and was associated with some clinicopathological factors. In vitro, the overexpression of MLLT10 promoted CRC cell migration and invasion, while after MLLT10 was knocked down, the opposite results were observed. Furthermore, we used animal metastasis models to detect the function of MLLT10 in vivo, the results are same with the outcomes in vitro. In lung metastasis sites, the knockdown of MLLT10 in SW620 cells significantly inhibited Vimentin expression, whereas the E-Cadherin was increased.
CONCLUSIONS: These results indicate that MLLT10 regulates the metastasis of CRC cells via EMT.

Zhang H, Zhou B, Qin S, et al.
Structural and functional analysis of the DOT1L-AF10 complex reveals mechanistic insights into MLL-AF10-associated leukemogenesis.
Genes Dev. 2018; 32(5-6):341-346 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The mixed-lineage leukemia (MLL)-AF10 fusion oncoprotein recruits DOT1L to the homeobox A (

Taniguchi R, Muramatsu H, Okuno Y, et al.
Comprehensive genetic analysis of donor cell derived leukemia with KMT2A rearrangement.
Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2018; 65(2) [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Donor cell leukemia (DCL) occurs after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Several mechanisms, including occult leukemic/preleukemic subclones in the donor graft and germline predisposition to leukemia, are proposed to be associated with DCL's molecular pathogenesis. We report a comprehensive genetic analysis of a patient with KMT2A-rearranged DCL after allogeneic bone marrow transplantation for refractory cytopenia of childhood.
PROCEDURE: We performed a whole-exome sequencing of the recipient's peripheral blood before transplant and the donor's peripheral blood and the recipient's bone marrow at the time of DCL diagnosis. RNA sequencing was also performed to detect fusion genes in DCL blasts.
RESULTS: There were no germline mutations that were associated with a predisposition to leukemia in the recipient and donor. Furthermore, there were no detectable somatic alterations except KMT2A-MLLT10 and other related gene fusions in DCL. KMT2A-MLLT10 was not detectable in the donor's bone marrow.
CONCLUSION: We propose a novel pattern of the molecular pathogenesis of DCL solely involving a genetic mutation acquired after transplant with no identifiable genetic factor related to the donor and recipient.

Yang H, Cao T, Gao L, et al.
The incidence and distribution characteristics of MLL rearrangements in Chinese acute myeloid leukemia patients by multiplex nested RT-PCR.
Technol Health Care. 2017; 25(S1):259-265 [PubMed] Related Publications
Occurrence of MLL (Mixed Lineage Leukemia) gene rearrangements indicates poor prognosis in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients. This is the first study to report the positive rate and distribution characteristics of MLL rearrangements in AML patients in north China. We used multiplex nested real time PCR (RT-PCR) to screen for incidence of 11 MLL rearrangements in 433 AML patients. Eleven MLL rearrangements included (MLL-PTD, MLL-AF9, MLL-ELL, MLL-AF10, MLL-AF17, MLL-AF6, MLL-ENL, MLL-AF1Q, MLL-CBP, MLL-AF1P, MLL-AFX1). There were 68 AML patients with MLL rearrangements, and the positive rate was 15.7%. MLL-PTD (4.84%) was detected in 21 patients, MLL-AF9 in 15, (3.46%), MLL-ELL in 10 (2.31%), MLL-AF10 in 8 (1.85%), MLL-AF1Q in 2 (0.46%), 3 cases each of MLL-AF17, MLL-AF6, MLL-ENL (0.69% each), a and single case each of MLL-CBP, MLL-AF1P, and MLL-AFX1 (0.23% each). The highest rate of MLL rearrangements was found in 24 patients with M5 subtype AML, occurring in 24 cases (35.3%). MLL rearrangements occurred in 21 patients with M2 subtype AML (30.9%), and in 10 patients with M4 subtype AML (14.7%). Screening fusion genes by multiplex nested RT-PCR is a convenient, fast, economical, and accurate method for diagnosis and predicting prognosis of AML.

Okuda H, Stanojevic B, Kanai A, et al.
Cooperative gene activation by AF4 and DOT1L drives MLL-rearranged leukemia.
J Clin Invest. 2017; 127(5):1918-1931 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The eleven-nineteen leukemia (ENL) protein family, composed of ENL and AF9, is a common component of 3 transcriptional modulators: AF4-ENL-P-TEFb complex (AEP), DOT1L-AF10-ENL complex (referred to as the DOT1L complex) and polycomb-repressive complex 1 (PRC1). Each complex associates with chromatin via distinct mechanisms, conferring different transcriptional properties including activation, maintenance, and repression. The mixed-lineage leukemia (MLL) gene often fuses with ENL and AF10 family genes in leukemia. However, the functional interrelationship among those 3 complexes in leukemic transformation remains largely elusive. Here, we have shown that MLL-ENL and MLL-AF10 constitutively activate transcription by aberrantly inducing both AEP-dependent transcriptional activation and DOT1L-dependent transcriptional maintenance, mostly in the absence of PRC1, to fully transform hematopoietic progenitors. These results reveal a cooperative transcriptional activation mechanism of AEP and DOT1L and suggest a molecular rationale for the simultaneous inhibition of the MLL fusion-AF4 complex and DOT1L for more effective treatment of MLL-rearranged leukemia.

Barbutti I, Xavier-Ferrucio JM, Machado-Neto JA, et al.
CATS (FAM64A) abnormal expression reduces clonogenicity of hematopoietic cells.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(42):68385-68396 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The CATS (FAM64A) protein interacts with CALM (PICALM) and the leukemic fusion protein CALM/AF10. CATS is highly expressed in leukemia, lymphoma and tumor cell lines and its protein levels strongly correlates with cellular proliferation in both malignant and normal cells. In order to obtain further insight into CATS function we performed an extensive analysis of CATS expression during differentiation of leukemia cell lines. While CATS expression decreased during erythroid, megakaryocytic and monocytic differentiation, a markedly increase was observed in the ATRA induced granulocytic differentiation. Lentivirus mediated silencing of CATS in U937 cell line resulted in somewhat reduced proliferation, altered cell cycle progression and lower migratory ability in vitro; however was not sufficient to inhibit tumor growth in xenotransplant model. Of note, CATS knockdown resulted in reduced clonogenicity of CATS-silenced cells and reduced expression of the self-renewal gene, GLI-1. Moreover, retroviral mediated overexpression of the murine Cats in primary bone marrow cells lead to decreased colony formation. Although our in vitro data suggests that CATS play a role in cellular processes important for tumorigenesis, such as cell cycle control and clonogenicity, these effects were not observed in vivo.

Somers K, Chudakova DA, Middlemiss SM, et al.
CCI-007, a novel small molecule with cytotoxic activity against infant leukemia with MLL rearrangements.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(29):46067-46087 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
There is an urgent need for the development of less toxic, more selective and targeted therapies for infants with leukemia characterized by translocation of the mixed lineage leukemia (MLL) gene. In this study, we performed a cell-based small molecule library screen on an infant MLL-rearranged (MLL-r) cell line, PER-485, in order to identify selective inhibitors for MLL-r leukemia. After screening initial hits for a cytotoxic effect against a panel of 30 cell lines including MLL-r and MLL wild-type (MLL-wt) leukemia, solid tumours and control cells, small molecule CCI-007 was identified as a compound that selectively and significantly decreased the viability of a subset of MLL-r and related leukemia cell lines with CALM-AF10 and SET-NUP214 translocation. CCI-007 induced a rapid caspase-dependent apoptosis with mitochondrial depolarization within twenty-four hours of treatment. CCI-007 altered the characteristic MLL-r gene expression signature in sensitive cells with downregulation of the expression of HOXA9, MEIS1, CMYC and BCL2, important drivers in MLL-r leukemia, within a few hours of treatment. MLL-r leukemia cells that were resistant to the compound were characterised by significantly higher baseline gene expression levels of MEIS1 and BCL2 in comparison to CCI-007 sensitive MLL-r leukemia cells.In conclusion, we have identified CCI-007 as a novel small molecule that displays rapid toxicity towards a subset of MLL-r, CALM-AF10 and SET-NUP214 leukemia cell lines. Our findings suggest an important new avenue in the development of targeted therapies for these deadly diseases and indicate that different therapeutic strategies might be needed for different subtypes of MLL-r leukemia.

Ney Garcia DR, de Souza MT, de Figueiredo AF, et al.
Molecular characterization of KMT2A fusion partner genes in 13 cases of pediatric leukemia with complex or cryptic karyotypes.
Hematol Oncol. 2017; 35(4):760-768 [PubMed] Related Publications
In pediatric acute leukemias, reciprocal chromosomal translocations frequently cause gene fusions involving the lysine (K)-specific methyltransferase 2A gene (KMT2A, also known as MLL). Specific KMT2A fusion partners are associated with the disease phenotype (lymphoblastic vs. myeloid), and the type of KMT2A rearrangement also has prognostic implications. However, the KMT2A partner gene cannot always be identified by banding karyotyping. We sought to identify such partner genes in 13 cases of childhood leukemia with uninformative karyotypes by combining molecular techniques, including multicolor banding FISH, reverse-transcriptase PCR, and long-distance inverse PCR. Of the KMT2A fusion partner genes, MLLT3 was present in five patients, all with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, MLLT1 in two patients, and MLLT10, MLLT4, MLLT11, and AFF1 in one patient each. Reciprocal reading by long-distance inverse PCR also disclosed KMT2A fusions with PITPNA in one patient, with LOC100132273 in another patient, and with DNA sequences not compatible with any gene in three patients. The most common KMT2A breakpoint region was intron/exon 9 (3/8 patients), followed by intron/exon 11 and 10. Finally, multicolor banding revealed breakpoints in other chromosomes whose biological and prognostic implications remain to be determined. We conclude that the combination of molecular techniques used in this study can efficiently identify KMT2A fusion partners in complex pediatric acute leukemia karyotypes. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Juskevicius D, Lorber T, Gsponer J, et al.
Distinct genetic evolution patterns of relapsing diffuse large B-cell lymphoma revealed by genome-wide copy number aberration and targeted sequencing analysis.
Leukemia. 2016; 30(12):2385-2395 [PubMed] Related Publications
Recurrences of diffuse large B-cell lymphomas (DLBCL) result in significant morbidity and mortality, but their underlying genetic and biological mechanisms are unclear. Clonal relationship in DLBCL relapses so far is mostly addressed by the investigation of immunoglobulin (IG) rearrangements, therefore, lacking deeper insights into genome-wide lymphoma evolution. We studied mutations and copy number aberrations in 20 paired relapsing and 20 non-relapsing DLBCL cases aiming to test the clonal relationship between primaries and relapses to track tumors' genetic evolution and to investigate the genetic background of DLBCL recurrence. Three clonally unrelated DLBCL relapses were identified (15%). Also, two distinct patterns of genetic evolution in clonally related relapses were detected as follows: (1) early-divergent/branching evolution from a common progenitor in 6 patients (30%), and (2) late-divergent/linear progression of relapses in 11 patients (65%). Analysis of recurrent genetic events identified potential early drivers of lymphomagenesis (KMT2D, MYD88, CD79B and PIM1). The most frequent relapse-specific events were additional mutations in KMT2D and alterations of MEF2B. SOCS1 mutations were exclusive to non-relapsing DLBCL, whereas primaries of relapsing DLBCL more commonly displayed gains of 10p15.3-p12.1 containing the potential oncogenes PRKCQ, GATA3, MLLT10 and ABI1. Altogether, our study expands the knowledge on clonal relationship, genetic evolution and mutational basis of DLBCL relapses.

Chen S, Yang Z, Wilkinson AW, et al.
The PZP Domain of AF10 Senses Unmodified H3K27 to Regulate DOT1L-Mediated Methylation of H3K79.
Mol Cell. 2015; 60(2):319-27 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
AF10, a DOT1L cofactor, is required for H3K79 methylation and cooperates with DOT1L in leukemogenesis. However, the molecular mechanism by which AF10 regulates DOT1L-mediated H3K79 methylation is not clear. Here we report that AF10 contains a "reader" domain that couples unmodified H3K27 recognition to H3K79 methylation. An AF10 region consisting of a PHD finger-Zn knuckle-PHD finger (PZP) folds into a single module that recognizes amino acids 22-27 of H3, and this interaction is abrogated by H3K27 modification. Structural studies reveal that H3 binding triggers rearrangement of the PZP module to form an H3(22-27)-accommodating channel and that the unmodified H3K27 side chain is encased in a compact hydrogen-bond acceptor-lined cage. In cells, PZP recognition of H3 is required for H3K79 dimethylation, expression of DOT1L-target genes, and proliferation of DOT1L-addicted leukemic cells. Together, our results uncover a pivotal role for H3K27-via readout by the AF10 PZP domain-in regulating the cancer-associated enzyme DOT1L.

Marschalek R
MLL leukemia and future treatment strategies.
Arch Pharm (Weinheim). 2015; 348(4):221-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Chromosomal rearrangements of the MLL gene are associated with high-risk infant, pediatric, adult, and therapy-induced acute leukemias. So far, about 80 different direct MLL fusions and about 120 reciprocal MLL fusions have been characterized at the molecular level. The common theme in these leukemia-associated genetic rearrangements is the genetic disruption of the MLL gene. This leads to MLL-X fusion proteins that still bind to nuclear factors (e.g., MEN1, LEDGF), which in turn allow them to target promoters and cause ectopic gene transcription. In addition, the most frequent MLL fusions (MLL-AF4, MLL-AF9, MLL-AF10, and MLL-ENL) are all recruiting the wild-type AF4 multiprotein complex that contains the target proteins P-TEFb, BRD4, and DOT1L. Vice versa, reciprocal X-MLL fusions exhibit a PHD domain (H3K4me3 reader domain), sequester the histone acetyltransferases CREBBP and MOF1 and bear a histone methyltransferase domain at their very C-terminus (SET domain). Except for AF4-MLL, the functional consequences deriving from reciprocal fusion proteins are not very well understood. However, based on our knowledge about the above-mentioned MLL fusions, it is reasonable to inhibit their oncogenic activity in a targeted fashion. Recent efforts in developing such inhibitors and their mode of action will be critically discussed.

Othman MA, Vujić D, Zecević Z, et al.
A cryptic three-way translocation t(10;19;11)(p12.31;q13.31;q23.3) with a derivative Y-chromosome in an infant with acute myeloblastic leukemia (M5b).
Gene. 2015; 563(2):115-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a heterogeneous disease characterized by the malignant transformation of hematopoietic precursors to a pathogenic cell clone. Chromosomal band 11q23 harboring MLL (=mixed lineage leukemia) gene is known to be involved in rearrangements with variety of genes as activating partners of MLL in different AML subtypes. Overall, an unfavorable prognosis is associated with MLL abnormalities. Here we investigated an 11-month-old male presenting with hyperleukocytosis being diagnosed with AML subtype FAB-M5b. In banding cytogenetics a der(19)t(19;?)(q13.3;?) and del(Y)(q11.23) were found as sole aberrations. Molecular cytogenetics revealed that the MLL gene was disrupted and even partially lost due to a t(10;19;11)(p12.31;q13.31;q23.3), an MLL/MLLT10 fusion appeared, and the der(Y) was an asymmetric inverted duplication with breakpoints in Yp11.2 and Yq11.23. The patient got hematopoietic stem cell transplantation from his haploidentical mother. Still three months afterwards 15% of blasts were detected in bone marrow and later the patient was lost during follow-up. The present case highlights the necessity to exclude MLL rearrangements, even when there seems to be no actual hint from banding cytogenetics.

Bach C, Slany RK
DOTting the path to doom: how acceleration of histone methylation leads to leukemia.
Cancer Cell. 2014; 26(6):781-782 [PubMed] Related Publications
Epigenetic control mechanisms are central to normal and malignant hematopoiesis. In this issue of Cancer Cell, Deshpande and colleagues demonstrate that AF10, an interaction partner of the histone methyltransferase DOT1L, is essential for efficient H3K79 methylation, thus regulating HOX-gene transcription and transformation in myeloid leukemia.

Deshpande AJ, Deshpande A, Sinha AU, et al.
AF10 regulates progressive H3K79 methylation and HOX gene expression in diverse AML subtypes.
Cancer Cell. 2014; 26(6):896-908 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Homeotic (HOX) genes are dysregulated in multiple malignancies, including several AML subtypes. We demonstrate that H3K79 dimethylation (H3K79me2) is converted to monomethylation (H3K79me1) at HOX loci as hematopoietic cells mature, thus coinciding with a decrease in HOX gene expression. We show that H3K79 methyltransferase activity as well as H3K79me1-to-H3K79me2 conversion is regulated by the DOT1L cofactor AF10. AF10 inactivation reverses leukemia-associated epigenetic profiles, precludes abnormal HOXA gene expression, and impairs the transforming ability of MLL-AF9, MLL-AF6, and NUP98-NSD1 fusions-mechanistically distinct HOX-activating oncogenes. Furthermore, NUP98-NSD1-transformed cells are sensitive to small-molecule inhibition of DOT1L. Our findings demonstrate that pharmacological inhibition of the DOT1L/AF10 complex may provide therapeutic benefits in an array of malignancies with abnormal HOXA gene expression.

Othman MA, Melo JB, Carreira IM, et al.
MLLT10 and IL3 rearrangement together with a complex four-way translocation and trisomy 4 in a patient with early T-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia: A case report.
Oncol Rep. 2015; 33(2):625-30 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cytogenetic classification of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is primarily based on numerical and structural chromosomal abnormalities. In T-cell ALL (T-ALL), chromosomal rearrangements are identified in up to 70% of the patients while the remaining patients show a normal karyotype. In the present study, a 16-year-old male was diagnosed with T-precursor cell ALL and a normal karyotype after standard GTG-banding, was studied retrospectively (>10 years after diagnosis) in frame of a research project by molecular approaches. In addition to molecular cytogenetics, multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) and high resolution array-comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) were also applied. Thus, the following yet unrecognized balanced chromosomal aberrations were detected: der(3)t(3;5)(p23;q31.1), der(5)t(3;5)(p23;q35.3), der(5)t(5;10)(q31.1;p12.3) and der(10)t(5;10)(q35.3;p12.3). The oncogene MLLT10 was involved in this rearrangement as was the IL3 gene; in addition, trisomy 4 was present. All of these clonal aberrations were found in 40% of the cells. Even if this complex karyotype would have been identified at the time of diagnosis, most likely no other protocol of anticancer therapy (ALL-BFM 95) would have been applied. Three months after the end of a successful 2-year treatment, the patient suffered from isolated bone marrow relapse and died of sepsis during ALL-REZ-BFM protocol treatment.

Heath JL, Weiss JM, Lavau CP, Wechsler DS
Effects of iron depletion on CALM-AF10 leukemias.
Exp Hematol. 2014; 42(12):1022-1030.e1 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Iron, an essential nutrient for cellular growth and proliferation, enters cells via clathrin-mediated endocytosis. The clathrin assembly lymphoid myeloid (CALM) protein plays an essential role in the cellular import of iron by clathrin-mediated endocytosis. CALM-AF10 leukemias harbor a single copy of the normal CALM gene and therefore may be more sensitive to the growth-inhibitory effect of iron restriction compared with normal hematopoietic cells. We found that CALM heterozygous (CALM(HET)) murine fibroblasts exhibit signs of iron deficiency, with increased surface transferrin receptor levels and reduced growth rates. CALM(HET) hematopoietic cells are more sensitive in vitro to iron chelators than their wild type counterparts. Iron chelation also displayed toxicity toward cultured CALM(HET)CALM-AF10 leukemia cells, and this effect was additive to that of chemotherapy. In mice transplanted with CALM(HET)CALM-AF10 leukemia, we found that dietary iron restriction reduced tumor burden in the spleen. However, dietary iron restriction, used alone or in conjunction with chemotherapy, did not increase survival of mice with CALM(HET)CALM-AF10 leukemia. In summary, although CALM heterozygosity results in iron deficiency and increased sensitivity to iron chelation in vitro, our data in mice do not suggest that iron depletion strategies would be beneficial for the therapy of CALM-AF10 leukemia patients.

Conway AE, Haldeman JM, Wechsler DS, Lavau CP
A critical role for CRM1 in regulating HOXA gene transcription in CALM-AF10 leukemias.
Leukemia. 2015; 29(2):423-32 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The leukemogenic CALM-AF10 fusion protein is found in patients with immature acute myeloid and T-lymphoid malignancies. CALM-AF10 leukemias display abnormal H3K79 methylation and increased HOXA cluster gene transcription. Elevated expression of HOXA genes is critical for leukemia maintenance and progression; however, the precise mechanism by which CALM-AF10 alters HOXA gene expression is unclear. We previously determined that CALM contains a CRM1-dependent nuclear export signal (NES), which is both necessary and sufficient for CALM-AF10-mediated leukemogenesis. Here, we find that interaction of CALM-AF10 with the nuclear export receptor CRM1 is necessary for activating HOXA gene expression. We show that CRM1 localizes to HOXA loci where it recruits CALM-AF10, leading to transcriptional and epigenetic activation of HOXA genes. Genetic and pharmacological inhibition of the CALM-CRM1 interaction prevents CALM-AF10 enrichment at HOXA chromatin, resulting in immediate loss of transcription. These results provide a comprehensive mechanism by which the CALM-AF10 translocation activates the critical HOXA cluster genes. Furthermore, this report identifies a novel function of CRM1: the ability to bind chromatin and recruit the NES-containing CALM-AF10 transcription factor.

Egan KM, Baskin R, Nabors LB, et al.
Brain tumor risk according to germ-line variation in the MLLT10 locus.
Eur J Hum Genet. 2015; 23(1):132-4 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Genome-wide association studies have recently identified a cancer susceptibility locus at 10p12 mapping to MLLT10 associated with the onset of diverse tumors. We genotyped two tightly linked single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) at MLLT10 associated with meningioma (rs12770228) or ovarian cancer (rs1243180), and tested for associations among 295 meningioma cases, 606 glioma cases and 646 noncancer controls, all of European descent. The variant 'A' allele in MLLT10 rs12770228 was associated with an increased risk of meningioma (per allele odds ratio: 1.25; 95% confidence interval: 1.02, 1.53; P=0.031). Similar associations were observed for rs1243180. MLLT10 variants were unrelated to glioma. Functional investigation identified 22 candidate functional SNPs mapping to this region. The present study further validates 10p12 as a meningioma risk locus.

Ahlmann M, Meyer C, Marschalek R, et al.
Complex MLL rearrangement in non-infiltrated bone marrow in an infant with stage II precursor B-lymphoblastic lymphoma.
Eur J Haematol. 2014; 93(4):349-53 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Precursor B-lymphoblastic lymphoma cells are indistinguishable by morphology, and immune phenotype from lymphoblasts in acute leukemia which in infancy is associated with MLL rearrangements and a poor prognosis. The role of MLL gene deregulation in rare cases of isolated lymphoblastic lymphoma in infants is obscure. We report the case of a 10-month-old child who presented with a cutaneous nodule on the left foot. Histological diagnosis was precursor B-lymphoblastic lymphoma. The young age of the patient motivated us to investigate the presence of an MLL rearrangement.
METHODS: Cytogenetic analysis was performed by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), and the genomic fusion partner of MLL was identified by long-distance inverse (LDI-)PCR and confirmed by direct PCR.
RESULTS: Fluorescence in situ hybridization screening of paraffin-embedded formalin-fixed tissue indeed revealed the presence of an MLL rearrangement. The genomic fusion partner was identified as AF10 by DNA sequencing of the MLL breakpoint region. The MLL-AF10 fusion gene was further detected in cytologically normal pretreated bone marrow. Treatment was started with standard four-drug induction chemotherapy. Because of the unfavorable outcome associated with MLL rearrangements in infant leukemia, we intensified postremission treatment according to the Interfant-06 study protocol. The child is in continuous first remission 36 months after diagnosis.
CONCLUSION: This is the first report of submicroscopic bone marrow involvement in MLL-rearranged isolated cutaneous B-cell precursor lymphoma in an infant. To prospectively address the role of MLL rearrangements in extramedullary B-lymphoblastic malignancies in infants, we suggest to assess both tumors and non-infiltrated bone marrow for the presence of this genetic abnormality.

Atak ZK, Gianfelici V, Hulselmans G, et al.
Comprehensive analysis of transcriptome variation uncovers known and novel driver events in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
PLoS Genet. 2013; 9(12):e1003997 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
RNA-seq is a promising technology to re-sequence protein coding genes for the identification of single nucleotide variants (SNV), while simultaneously obtaining information on structural variations and gene expression perturbations. We asked whether RNA-seq is suitable for the detection of driver mutations in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL). These leukemias are caused by a combination of gene fusions, over-expression of transcription factors and cooperative point mutations in oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes. We analyzed 31 T-ALL patient samples and 18 T-ALL cell lines by high-coverage paired-end RNA-seq. First, we optimized the detection of SNVs in RNA-seq data by comparing the results with exome re-sequencing data. We identified known driver genes with recurrent protein altering variations, as well as several new candidates including H3F3A, PTK2B, and STAT5B. Next, we determined accurate gene expression levels from the RNA-seq data through normalizations and batch effect removal, and used these to classify patients into T-ALL subtypes. Finally, we detected gene fusions, of which several can explain the over-expression of key driver genes such as TLX1, PLAG1, LMO1, or NKX2-1; and others result in novel fusion transcripts encoding activated kinases (SSBP2-FER and TPM3-JAK2) or involving MLLT10. In conclusion, we present novel analysis pipelines for variant calling, variant filtering, and expression normalization on RNA-seq data, and successfully applied these for the detection of translocations, point mutations, INDELs, exon-skipping events, and expression perturbations in T-ALL.

Brandimarte L, Pierini V, Di Giacomo D, et al.
New MLLT10 gene recombinations in pediatric T-acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Blood. 2013; 121(25):5064-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
The MLLT10 gene, located at 10p13, is a known partner of MLL and PICALM in specific leukemic fusions generated from recurrent 11q23 and 11q14 chromosome translocations. Deep sequencing recently identified NAP1L1/12q21 as another MLLT10 partner in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL). In pediatric T-ALL, we have identified 2 RNA processing genes, that is, HNRNPH1/5q35 and DDX3X/Xp11.3 as new MLLT10 fusion partners. Gene expression profile signatures of the HNRNPH1- and DDX3X-MLLT10 fusions placed them in the HOXA subgroup. Remarkably, they were highly similar only to PICALM-MLLT10-positive cases. The present study showed MLLT10 promiscuity in pediatric T-ALL and identified a specific MLLT10 signature within the HOXA subgroup.

Meyer C, Hofmann J, Burmeister T, et al.
The MLL recombinome of acute leukemias in 2013.
Leukemia. 2013; 27(11):2165-76 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Chromosomal rearrangements of the human MLL (mixed lineage leukemia) gene are associated with high-risk infant, pediatric, adult and therapy-induced acute leukemias. We used long-distance inverse-polymerase chain reaction to characterize the chromosomal rearrangement of individual acute leukemia patients. We present data of the molecular characterization of 1590 MLL-rearranged biopsy samples obtained from acute leukemia patients. The precise localization of genomic breakpoints within the MLL gene and the involved translocation partner genes (TPGs) were determined and novel TPGs identified. All patients were classified according to their gender (852 females and 745 males), age at diagnosis (558 infant, 416 pediatric and 616 adult leukemia patients) and other clinical criteria. Combined data of our study and recently published data revealed a total of 121 different MLL rearrangements, of which 79 TPGs are now characterized at the molecular level. However, only seven rearrangements seem to be predominantly associated with illegitimate recombinations of the MLL gene (≈ 90%): AFF1/AF4, MLLT3/AF9, MLLT1/ENL, MLLT10/AF10, ELL, partial tandem duplications (MLL PTDs) and MLLT4/AF6, respectively. The MLL breakpoint distributions for all clinical relevant subtypes (gender, disease type, age at diagnosis, reciprocal, complex and therapy-induced translocations) are presented. Finally, we present the extending network of reciprocal MLL fusions deriving from complex rearrangements.

Conway AE, Scotland PB, Lavau CP, Wechsler DS
A CALM-derived nuclear export signal is essential for CALM-AF10-mediated leukemogenesis.
Blood. 2013; 121(23):4758-68 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The t(10;11) chromosomal translocation gives rise to the CALM-AF10 fusion gene and is found in patients with aggressive and difficult-to-treat hematopoietic malignancies. CALM-AF10-driven leukemias are characterized by HOXA gene up-regulation and a global reduction in H3K79 methylation. DOT1L, the H3K79 methyltransferase, interacts with the octapeptide/leucine zipper domain of AF10, and this region has been shown to be necessary and sufficient for CALM-AF10-mediated transformation. However, the precise role of CALM in leukemogenesis remains unclear. Here, we show that CALM contains a nuclear export signal (NES) that mediates cytoplasmic localization of CALM-AF10 and is necessary for CALM-AF10-dependent transformation. Fusions of the CALM NES (NES(CALM)-AF10) or NES motifs from heterologous proteins (ABL1, Rev, PKIA, APC) in-frame with AF10 are sufficient to immortalize murine hematopoietic progenitors in vitro. The CALM NES is essential for CALM-AF10-dependent Hoxa gene up-regulation and aberrant H3K79 methylation, possibly by mislocalization of DOT1L. Finally, we observed that CALM-AF10 leukemia cells are selectively sensitive to inhibition of nuclear export by Leptomycin B. These findings uncover a novel mechanism of leukemogenesis mediated by the nuclear export pathway and support further investigation of the utility of nuclear export inhibitors as therapeutic agents for patients with CALM-AF10 leukemias.

Chamorro-Garcia R, Cervera M, Arredondo JJ
AF10 plays a key role in the survival of uncommitted hematopoietic cells.
PLoS One. 2012; 7(12):e51626 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Hematopoiesis is a complex process regulated by both cell intrinsic and cell extrinsic factors. Alterations in the expression of critical genes during hematopoiesis can modify the balance between stem cell differentiation and proliferation, and may ultimately give rise to leukemia and other diseases. AF10 is a transcription factor that has been implicated in the development of leukemia following chromosomal rearrangements between the AF10 gene and one of at least two other genes, MLL and CALM. The link between AF10 and leukemia, together with the known interactions between AF10 and hematopoietic regulators, suggests that AF10 may be important in hematopoiesis and in leukemic transformation. Here we show that AF10 is important for proper hematopoietic differentiation. The induction of hematopoietic differentiation in both human hematopoietic cell lines and murine total bone marrow cells triggers a decrease of AF10 mRNA and protein levels, particularly in stem cells and multipotent progenitors. Gain- and loss-of-function studies demonstrate that over- or under-expression of AF10 leads to apoptotic cell death in stem cells and multipotent progenitors. We conclude that AF10 plays a key role in the maintenance of multipotent hematopoietic cells.

Liu F, Gao L, Jing Y, et al.
Detection and clinical significance of gene rearrangements in Chinese patients with adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Leuk Lymphoma. 2013; 54(7):1521-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
This study aimed to develop a novel multiplex reverse transcription-nested polymerase chain reaction (RT-nPCR) assay to accurately and effectively detect 10 common gene rearrangements in adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and to examine the clinicopathologic characteristics and other genetic aberrations of patients with ALL expressing different fusion genes. Our RT-nPCR assay had a positive detection rate of 35.15% (90/256) for the 10 fusion genes. BCR-ABL1, FUS-ERG, MLL-AF4, ETV6-RUNX1, E2A-PBX1, dupMLL, MLL-AF10, MLL-ENL, SET-NUP214 and SIL-TAL1 were detected in 36 (14.06%), 14 (5.47%), 14 (5.47%), four (1.56%), four (1.56%), five (1.95%), four (1.56%), two (0.78%), two (0.78%) and five patients (1.95%), respectively. The RT-nPCR results were further confirmed by split-out PCR, and cytogenetic and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) analysis revealed corresponding translocations and fusions in 63 and 74 cases, respectively. JAK2 and IKZF1 mutations were commonly detected in patients with BCR-ABL1 ALL, and HOX overexpression was highly correlated with MLL fusions and SET-NUP214. This study demonstrates that RT-nPCR is an effective method for identifying 10 gene rearrangements in adult ALL, and it could potentially be developed for diagnostic use and prognostic studies of ALL.

Novak RL, Harper DP, Caudell D, et al.
Gene expression profiling and candidate gene resequencing identifies pathways and mutations important for malignant transformation caused by leukemogenic fusion genes.
Exp Hematol. 2012; 40(12):1016-27 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
NUP98-HOXD13 (NHD13) and CALM-AF10 (CA10) are oncogenic fusion proteins produced by recurrent chromosomal translocations in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Transgenic mice that express these fusions develop AML with a long latency and incomplete penetrance, suggesting that collaborating genetic events are required for leukemic transformation. We employed genetic techniques to identify both preleukemic abnormalities in healthy transgenic mice as well as collaborating events leading to leukemic transformation. Candidate gene resequencing revealed that 6 of 27 (22%) CA10 AMLs spontaneously acquired a Ras pathway mutation and 8 of 27 (30%) acquired an Flt3 mutation. Two CA10 AMLs acquired an Flt3 internal-tandem duplication, demonstrating that these mutations can be acquired in murine as well as human AML. Gene expression profiles revealed a marked upregulation of Hox genes, particularly Hoxa5, Hoxa9, and Hoxa10 in both NHD13 and CA10 mice. Furthermore, mir196b, which is embedded within the Hoxa locus, was overexpressed in both CA10 and NHD13 samples. In contrast, the Hox cofactors Meis1 and Pbx3 were differentially expressed; Meis1 was increased in CA10 AMLs but not NHD13 AMLs, whereas Pbx3 was consistently increased in NHD13 but not CA10 AMLs. Silencing of Pbx3 in NHD13 cells led to decreased proliferation, increased apoptosis, and decreased colony formation in vitro, suggesting a previously unexpected role for Pbx3 in leukemic transformation.

Borel C, Dastugue N, Cances-Lauwers V, et al.
PICALM-MLLT10 acute myeloid leukemia: a French cohort of 18 patients.
Leuk Res. 2012; 36(11):1365-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
The PICALM-MLLT10 fusion gene, generated by the t(10;11)(p12-13;q14-21) translocation, is a rare but recurrent event in acute leukemias. In this study, we assessed the characteristics and outcome of 18 PICALM-MLLT10 AML patients. As compared with non PICALM-MLLT10 patients (n=72), PICALM-MLLT10 AML were characterized by more frequent extramedullary diseases, CD7 expression and higher platelet counts. Three out of four therapy-related PICALM-MLLT10 AMLs had been previously treated for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. The complete response rate was 71% after intensive chemotherapy. PICALM-MLLT10 patients had a shorter median overall survival than patients with favorable cytogenetics (12 months vs. not reached, p=0.07) but not significantly different from those of intermediate (26 months, p=0.32) or unfavorable cytogenetic groups (8 months, p=0.13). Long term responses were achieved in a subset of patients after allogeneic stem-cell transplantation but also after high-dose cytarabine.

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