Gene Summary

Gene:RUNX1; runt related transcription factor 1
Aliases: AML1, CBFA2, EVI-1, AMLCR1, PEBP2aB, CBF2alpha, AML1-EVI-1, PEBP2alpha
Summary:Core binding factor (CBF) is a heterodimeric transcription factor that binds to the core element of many enhancers and promoters. The protein encoded by this gene represents the alpha subunit of CBF and is thought to be involved in the development of normal hematopoiesis. Chromosomal translocations involving this gene are well-documented and have been associated with several types of leukemia. Three transcript variants encoding different isoforms have been found for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:runt-related transcription factor 1
Source:NCBIAccessed: 13 March, 2017


What does this gene/protein do?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1992-2017)
Graph generated 13 March 2017 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

Tag cloud generated 13 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (6)

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

Entity Topic PubMed Papers
Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL), childt(12;21) in Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia
The t(12;21)(p13;q22), RUNX1-ETV6 (TEL-AML1) translocation, is observed in approximately 20-25% of childhood B-lineage acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) cases in both Asian and Caucasian populations (Kobayashi et al, 1997). It is the most frequent known genetic abnormality in childhood B-cell ALL.
View Publications246
Acute Lymphocytic Leukaemia (ALL)t(12;21) in Adult Lyphocytic Leukaemia
The t(12;21)(p13;q22), RUNX1-ETV6 (TEL-AML1) translocation, is observed in aproximately 3% of adult acute lymphoblastic leukaemias (ALL) while it occurs in about a quarter of childhood B-cell ALL cases (Aguiar et al, 1996 and Kwong et al 1999).
View Publications38
Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML) t(8;21)(q22;q22) in Acute Myeloid Leukemia
The t(8;21) translocation is the most frequent cytogenetic abnormality in acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). The translocation fuses the RUNX1 (CBFA2, AML1) gene on chromosome 21q to the RUNX1T1 (CBFA2T1, ETO) gene on chromosome 8q. The resulting fusion gene AML1-ETO occurs more frequently, though not exclusively, in the AML-M2 sub-type. In a series of 64 AML cases Andrieu et al (1996) detected the fusion in 3% (1/32) of M1 patients compared to 8/32 (25%) with M2. It is detected in approximately 20% of adult and 40% of paediatric patients with AML-M2.
Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML)t(3;21)(q26;q22) in Secondary Leukaemia / MDS
Rubin et al (1990) reported a recurring chromosomal abnormality of t(3;21)(q26;q22)in therapy-related myelodysplastic syndrome and acute myeloid leukemia
Leukaemiat(3;12)(p13;q22) in Leukaemia

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

Latest Publications: RUNX1 (cancer-related)

Ittel A, Zattara H, Chaix C, et al.
Molecular combing: A new tool in diagnosing leukemia.
Cancer Biomark. 2016; 17(4):405-409 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: According to the World Health Organization (WHO), recurrent cytogenetic abnormalities define many specific groups of hematopoietic tumors of acute myeloid and lymphoblastic leukemia, and these abnormalities are often strongly associated with prognosis and sometimes require specific treatments. These rearrangements are commonly detected by conventional and molecular cytogenetic techniques.
OBJECTIVE: Using an alternative method, we sought to highlight the presence of chromosomal rearrangements.
METHODS: We applied molecular combing to detect and directly visualize gene fusions associated with balanced translocations found in acute leukemia.
RESULTS: In patients harboring t(12;21)(p13;q22), we demonstrated the presence of the fusion using specific probes covering the ETV6 and RUNX1 genes, with a positive result occurring due to the hybridization of the two probes to the same DNA fiber. Thanks to molecular combing, we also showed the presence of different breakpoints using these same probes.
CONCLUSIONS: Using several probes that are specific to the most common genes involved in acute leukemia, molecular combing could be an interesting additional tool in acute leukemia diagnosis.

Kjeldsen E
Characterization of a novel acquired der(1)del(1)(p13p31)t(1;15)(q42;q15) in a high risk t(12;21)-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Gene. 2016; 595(1):39-48 [PubMed] Related Publications
The t(12;21)(p13;q22) with ETV6-RUNX1 fusion occurs in 25% of cases of B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (BCP-ALL); and is generally associated with favorable prognosis. However, 15-20% of the t(12;21)-positive cases are associated with high-risk disease due to for example slow early responses to therapy. It is well-known that development of overt leukemia in t(12;21)-positive ALL requires secondary chromosomal aberrations although the full spectrum of these cytogenetic alterations is yet unsettled, and also, how they may be associated with disease outcome. This report describes the case of an adolescent male with t(12;21)-positive ALL who displayed a G-banded karyotype initially interpreted as del(1)(p22p13) and del(15)(q15). The patient was treated according to NOPHO standard risk protocol at diagnosis, but had minimal residual disease (MRD) at 6,4% on day 29 as determined by flow cytometric immunophenotyping. Because of MRD level>0.1% he was then assigned as a high risk patient and received intensified chemotherapy accordingly. Further molecular cytogenetic studies and oligo-based aCGH (oaCGH) analysis characterized the acquired complex structural rearrangements on chromosomes 1 and 15, which can be described as der(1)del(1)(p13.1p31.1)t(1;15)(q42;q15) with concurrent deletions at 1q31.2-q31.3, 1q42.12-q43, and 15q15.1-q15.3. The unbalanced complex rearrangements have not been described previously. Extended locus-specific FISH analyses showed that the three deletions were on the same chromosome 1 homologue that was involved in the t(1;15), and that the deletion on chromosome 15 also was on the same chromosome 15 homologue as involved in the t(1;15). Together these findings show the great importance of the combined usage of molecular cytogenetic analyses and oaCGH analysis to enhance characterization of apparently simple G-banded karyotypes, and to provide a more complete spectrum of secondary chromosomal aberrations in high risk t(12;21)-positive BCP-ALLs.

Akhter A, Mughal MK, Elyamany G, et al.
Multiplexed automated digital quantification of fusion transcripts: comparative study with fluorescent in-situ hybridization (FISH) technique in acute leukemia patients.
Diagn Pathol. 2016; 11(1):89 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The World Health Organization (WHO) classification system defines recurrent chromosomal translocations as the sole diagnostic and prognostic criteria for acute leukemia (AL). These fusion transcripts are pivotal in the pathogenesis of AL. Clinical laboratories universally employ conventional karyotype/FISH to detect these chromosomal translocations, which is complex, labour intensive and lacks multiplexing capacity. Hence, it is imperative to explore and evaluate some newer automated, cost-efficient multiplexed technologies to accommodate the expanding genetic landscape in AL.
METHODS: "nCounter® Leukemia fusion gene expression assay" by NanoString was employed to detect various fusion transcripts in a large set samples (n = 94) utilizing RNA from formalin fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) diagnostic bone marrow biopsy specimens. This series included AL patients with various recurrent translocations (n = 49), normal karyotype (n = 19), or complex karyotype (n = 21), as well as normal bone marrow samples (n = 5). Fusion gene expression data were compared with results obtained by conventional karyotype and FISH technology to determine sensitivity/specificity, as well as positive /negative predictive values.
RESULTS: Junction probes for PML/RARA; RUNX1-RUNX1T1; BCR/ABL1 showed 100 % sensitivity/specificity. A high degree of correlation was noted for MLL/AF4 (85 sensitivity/100 specificity) and TCF3-PBX1 (75 % sensitivity/100 % specificity) probes. CBFB-MYH11 fusion probes showed moderate sensitivity (57 %) but high specificity (100 %). ETV6/RUNX1 displayed discordance between fusion transcript assay and FISH results as well as rare non-specific binding in AL samples with normal or complex cytogenetics.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study presents preliminary data with high correlation between fusion transcript detection by a throughput automated multiplexed platform, compared to conventional karyotype/FISH technique for detection of chromosomal translocations in AL patients. Our preliminary observations, mandates further vast validation studies to explore automated molecular platforms in diagnostic pathology.

Voora D, Rao AK, Jalagadugula GS, et al.
Systems Pharmacogenomics Finds RUNX1 Is an Aspirin-Responsive Transcription Factor Linked to Cardiovascular Disease and Colon Cancer.
EBioMedicine. 2016; 11:157-164 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Aspirin prevents cardiovascular disease and colon cancer; however aspirin's inhibition of platelet COX-1 only partially explains its diverse effects. We previously identified an aspirin response signature (ARS) in blood consisting of 62 co-expressed transcripts that correlated with aspirin's effects on platelets and myocardial infarction (MI). Here we report that 60% of ARS transcripts are regulated by RUNX1 - a hematopoietic transcription factor - and 48% of ARS gene promoters contain a RUNX1 binding site. Megakaryocytic cells exposed to aspirin and its metabolite (salicylic acid, a weak COX-1 inhibitor) showed up regulation in the RUNX1 P1 isoform and MYL9, which is transcriptionally regulated by RUNX1. In human subjects, RUNX1 P1 expression in blood and RUNX1-regulated platelet proteins, including MYL9, were aspirin-responsive and associated with platelet function. In cardiovascular disease patients RUNX1 P1 expression was associated with death or MI. RUNX1 acts as a tumor suppressor gene in gastrointestinal malignancies. We show that RUNX1 P1 expression is associated with colon cancer free survival suggesting a role for RUNX1 in aspirin's protective effect in colon cancer. Our studies reveal an effect of aspirin on RUNX1 and gene expression that may additionally explain aspirin's effects in cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Imai Y, Maru Y, Tanaka J
Action mechanisms of histone deacetylase inhibitors in the treatment of hematological malignancies.
Cancer Sci. 2016; 107(11):1543-1549 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Histone deacetylases (HDACs) critically regulate gene expression by determining the acetylation status of histones. Studies have increasingly focused on the activities of HDACs, especially involving non-histone proteins, and their various biological effects. Aberrant HDAC expression observed in several kinds of human tumors makes HDACs potential targets for cancer treatment. Several preclinical studies have suggested that HDAC inhibitors show some efficacy in the treatment of acute myelogenous leukemia with AML1-ETO, which mediates transcriptional repression through its interaction with a complex including HDAC1. Recurrent mutations in epigenetic regulators are found in T-cell lymphomas (TCLs), and HDAC inhibitors and hypomethylating agents were shown to act cooperatively in the treatment of TCLs. Preclinical modeling has suggested that persistent activation of the signal transducer and activator of transcription signaling pathway could serve as a useful biomarker of resistance to HDAC inhibitor in patients with cutaneous TCL. Panobinostat, a pan-HDAC inhibitor, in combination with bortezomib and dexamethasone, has achieved longer progression-free survival in patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma (MM) than the placebo in combination with bortezomib and dexamethasone. Panobinostat inhibited MM cell growth by degrading protein phosphatase 3 catalytic subunit α (PPP3CA), a catalytic subunit of calcineurin. This degradation was suggested to be mediated by the blockade of the chaperone function of heat shock protein 90 due to HDAC6 inhibition. Aberrant PPP3CA expression in advanced MM indicated a possible correlation between high PPP3CA expression and the pathogenesis of MM. Furthermore, PPP3CA was suggested as a common target of panobinostat and bortezomib.

Hu D, Zhou W, Wang F, et al.
Development of a NanoString assay to detect leukemogenic fusion transcripts in acute myeloid leukemia.
Int J Lab Hematol. 2016; 38(6):663-673 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Detection of leukemogenic fusion transcripts in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is critical for AML diagnosis. NanoString nCounter system is a novel probe-based gene expression platform capable of measuring up to 800 targets with advantages of reproducibility, accuracy, and sample type flexibility. To study the potential application of NanoString in leukemia at clinic, we used this technology to detect AML leukemogenic fusion transcripts and compared the performances with clinical molecular assays.
METHODS: We developed a NanoString assay to detect seven leukemogenic fusion transcripts, namely RUNX1-RUNX1T1 (e5e12), PML-RARA (bcr1, bcr2, and bcr3), and CBFB-MYH11 (e5e12, e5e8, and e5e7). We set up the cut-off value for each fusion transcript and tested 42 de novo AML samples. We compared the results with reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and TaqMan reverse quantitative-polymerase chain reaction (RQ-PCR), the molecular methods standardly used at clinic.
RESULTS: We demonstrated that the NanoString and RT-PCR results correlate well (P < 0.0001) and are highly concordant (95.2%). Using TaqMan RQ-PCR as a validation method and gold standard, we demonstrated superior accuracy and sensitivity of NanoString compared to RT-PCR and comparable specificity. Furthermore, we showed that NanoString is not as sensitive as TaqMan RQ-PCR in detecting very low level of fusion transcripts.
CONCLUSIONS: NanoString can serve as a reliable and alternative molecular method to multiplexed RT-PCR for diagnosis of de novo AML with the perspective of screening/quantitation of a large number of leukemogenic fusion transcripts and prognostic genes. However, NanoString may not be an alternative method for monitoring minimal residual disease in AML.

Illendula A, Gilmour J, Grembecka J, et al.
Small Molecule Inhibitor of CBFβ-RUNX Binding for RUNX Transcription Factor Driven Cancers.
EBioMedicine. 2016; 8:117-31 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Transcription factors have traditionally been viewed with skepticism as viable drug targets, but they offer the potential for completely novel mechanisms of action that could more effectively address the stem cell like properties, such as self-renewal and chemo-resistance, that lead to the failure of traditional chemotherapy approaches. Core binding factor is a heterodimeric transcription factor comprised of one of 3 RUNX proteins (RUNX1-3) and a CBFβ binding partner. CBFβ enhances DNA binding of RUNX subunits by relieving auto-inhibition. Both RUNX1 and CBFβ are frequently mutated in human leukemia. More recently, RUNX proteins have been shown to be key players in epithelial cancers, suggesting the targeting of this pathway could have broad utility. In order to test this, we developed small molecules which bind to CBFβ and inhibit its binding to RUNX. Treatment with these inhibitors reduces binding of RUNX1 to target genes, alters the expression of RUNX1 target genes, and impacts cell survival and differentiation. These inhibitors show efficacy against leukemia cells as well as basal-like (triple-negative) breast cancer cells. These inhibitors provide effective tools to probe the utility of targeting RUNX transcription factor function in other cancers.

Wu AY, Yang HC, Lin CM, et al.
The Transcriptome Study of Subtype M2 Acute Myeloblastic Leukemia.
Cell Biochem Biophys. 2015; 72(3):653-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
Our objective is to explore the tumor-specific mutated genes by transcriptome sequencing of patients with acute myeloblastic leukemia. 96 patients with subtype M2 acute myeloid leukemia (AML), admitted during January 2007 to January 2012, were selected. Bone marrow and peripheral blood samples from the patients after the first visit and the patients who were improved or alleviated, were subjected to high-throughput sequencing to compare the gene expression. The single nucleotide mutation related to subtype M2 AML was detected. Meanwhile, real-time fluorescent quantitation RT-PCR was used to detect the AML1/ETO fusion gene and its correlation with prognosis after treatment. Among 96 patients, AML1-ETO fusion gene was positive in 52 cases, the positive rate was 54.17 %. The complete relief (CR) rate of AML1-ETO fusion gene positive patients was 84.62 %, and the CR rate of AML1/ETO fusion gene negative patients was 77.27 %; the CR rate of AML1-ETO positive patients was higher than that of patients without the fusion gene, however there was no statistical difference. In the analysis of recurrent gene mutation in AML-M2 patients, IDH2, ASXL1, TET2, JAK1 and JAK2 gene expressions were not significantly different before treatment and after CR, however, IDHI, JAK3, ABL1 and BCR gene expressions were significantly different. In the study of transcriptome in AML-M2 patients, high-throughput sequencing could effectively detect the difference of the gene expression before treatment and after CR. Furthermore, positive expression of AML1-ETO fusion gene had effect on the prognosis of patients.

Qin YZ, Wang Y, Zhu HH, et al.
Low WT1 transcript levels at diagnosis predicted poor outcomes of acute myeloid leukemia patients with t(8;21) who received chemotherapy or allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.
Chin J Cancer. 2016; 35:46 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) with t(8;21) is a heterogeneous disease. Identifying AML patients with t(8;21) who have a poor prognosis despite achieving remission is important for determining the best subsequent therapy. This study aimed to evaluate the impact of Wilm tumor gene-1 (WT1) transcript levels and cellular homolog of the viral oncogene v-KIT receptor tyrosine kinase (C-KIT) mutations at diagnosis, and RUNX1-RUNX1T1 transcript levels after the second consolidation chemotherapy cycle on outcomes.
METHODS: Eighty-eight AML patients with t(8;21) who received chemotherapy only or allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT) were included. Patients who achieved remission, received two or more cycles of consolidation chemotherapy, and had a positive measureable residual disease (MRD) test result (defined as <3-log reduction in RUNX1-RUNX1T1 transcript levels compared to baseline) after 2-8 cycles of consolidation chemotherapy were recommended to receive allo-HSCT. Patients who had a negative MRD test result were recommended to receive further chemotherapy up to only 8 cycles. WT1 transcript levels and C-KIT mutations at diagnosis, and RUNX1-RUNX1T1 transcript levels after the second consolidation chemotherapy cycle were tested.
RESULTS: Patients who had a C-KIT mutation had significantly lower WT1 transcript levels than patients who did not have a C-KIT mutation (6.7% ± 10.6% vs. 19.5% ± 19.9%, P < 0.001). Low WT1 transcript levels (≤5.0%) but not C-KIT mutation at diagnosis, a positive MRD test result after the second cycle of consolidation chemotherapy, and receiving only chemotherapy were independently associated with high cumulative incidence of relapse in all patients (hazard ratio [HR] = 3.53, 2.30, and 11.49; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.64-7.62, 1.82-7.56, and 4.43-29.82; P = 0.002, 0.034, and <0.001, respectively); these conditions were also independently associated with low leukemia-free survival (HR = 3.71, 2.33, and 5.85; 95% CI 1.82-7.56, 1.17-4.64, and 2.75-12.44; P < 0.001, 0.016, and <0.001, respectively) and overall survival (HR = 3.50, 2.32, and 4.34; 95% CI 1.56-7.82, 1.09-4.97, and 1.98-9.53; P = 0.002, 0.030, and <0.001, respectively) in all patients.
CONCLUSIONS: Testing for WT1 transcript levels at diagnosis in patients with AML and t(8;21) may predict outcomes in those who achieve remission. A randomized study is warranted to determine whether allo-HSCT can improve prognosis in these patients.

Latger-Cannard V, Philippe C, Bouquet A, et al.
Haematological spectrum and genotype-phenotype correlations in nine unrelated families with RUNX1 mutations from the French network on inherited platelet disorders.
Orphanet J Rare Dis. 2016; 11:49 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Less than 50 patients with FPD/AML (OMIM 601309) have been reported as of today and there may an underestimation. The purpose of this study was to describe the natural history, the haematological features and the genotype-phenotype correlations of this entity in order to, first, screen it better and earlier, before leukaemia occurrence and secondly to optimize appropriate monitoring and treatment, in particular when familial stem cell transplantation is considered.
METHODS: We have investigated 41 carriers of RUNX1 alteration belonging to nine unrelated French families with FPD/AML and two syndromic patients, registered in the French network on rare platelet disorders from 2005 to 2015.
RESULTS: Five missense, one non-sense, three frameshift mutations and two large deletions involving several genes including RUNX1 were evidenced. The history of familial leukaemia was suggestive of FPD/AML in seven pedigrees, whereas an autosomal dominant pattern of lifelong thrombocytopenia was the clinical presentation of two. Additional syndromic features characterized two large sporadic deletions. Bleeding tendency was mild and thrombocytopenia moderate (>50 x10(9)/L), with normal platelet volume. A functional platelet defect consistent with a δ-granule release defect was found in ten patients regardless of the type of RUNX1 alteration. The incidence of haematological malignancies was higher when the mutated RUNX1 allele was likely to cause a dominant negative effect (19/34) in comparison with loss of function alleles (3/9). A normal platelet count does not rule out the diagnosis of FPD/AML, since the platelet count was found normal for three mutated subjects, a feature that has a direct impact in the search for a related donor in case of allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplantation.
CONCLUSIONS: Platelet dysfunction suggestive of defective δ-granule release could be of values for the diagnosis of FPD/AML particularly when the clinical presentation is an autosomal dominant thrombocytopenia with normal platelet size in the absence of familial malignancies. The genotype-phenotype correlations might be helpful in genetic counselling and appropriate optimal therapeutic management.

Hamadou WS, Bourdon V, Gaildrat P, et al.
Mutational analysis of JAK2, CBL, RUNX1, and NPM1 genes in familial aggregation of hematological malignancies.
Ann Hematol. 2016; 95(7):1043-50 [PubMed] Related Publications
Familial aggregation of hematological malignancies has been reported highlighting inherited genetic predisposition. In this study, we targeted four candidate genes: JAK2 and RUNX1 genes assuring a prominent function in hematological process and CBL and NPM1 as proto-oncogenes. Their disruption was described in several sporadic hematological malignancies. The aim of this study is to determine whether JAK2, CBL, RUNX1, and NPM1 germline genes mutations are involved in familial hematological malignancies. Using direct sequencing, we analyzed JAK2 (exons 12 and 14); CBL (exons 7, 8 and 9); NPM1 (exon 12) and the entire RUNX1 in 88 independent families belonging to Tunisian and French populations. Twenty-one sporadic acute leukemias were included in this study. We reported a heterozygous intronic c.1641 + 6 T > C JAK2 variant (rs182123615) found in two independent familial cases diagnosed with gastric lymphoma and Hodgkin lymphoma. The in silico analysis suggested a potential impact on splicing, but the functional splicing minigene reporter assay on rs182123615 variant showed no aberrant transcripts. In one sporadic acute myeloblastic leukemia, we reported an insertion 846 in. TGTT in exon 12 of NPM1 gene that may impact the normal reading frame. The rs182123615 JAK2 variant was described in several contexts including myeloproliferative neoplasms and congenital erythrocytosis and was supposed to be pathogenic. Through this current study, we established the assessment of pathogenicity of rs182123615 and we classified it rather as rare polymorphism.

Hui H, Zhang X, Li H, et al.
Oroxylin A, a natural anticancer flavonoid compound, induces differentiation of t(8;21)-positive Kasumi-1 and primary acute myeloid leukemia cells.
J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2016; 142(7):1449-59 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: AML1/ETO fusion gene is one of disease-causing genes of t(8;21)-positive acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Oroxylin A (OA) has showed anticancer effects on other cancer cells. Here, studies were conducted to determine the antileukemia effect of OA on t(8;21)-positive AML cells in vitro and in vivo.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The effects of OA on cell viability of t(8;21)-positive Kasumi-1 and primary AML cells were analyzed by MTT assay. Cell differentiation was examined by NBT reduction assay, flow cytometry analysis for CD11b/CD14, and Giemsa stain. Protein expressions were determined by Western blots. Immunofluorescence assay was used to verify the effect of OA on HDAC-1 expression in vivo. Immunohistochemical staining was applied to evaluate leukemic infiltration of AML-bearing NOD/SCID mice.
RESULTS: OA enhanced NBT reduction activity and CD11b/CD14 expression of AML1/ETO-positive AML cells markedly. Results of Giemsa staining also demonstrated that OA could induce the morphologic changes with reduction of nuclear/cytoplasmic ratios, suggesting the cell differentiation induced by OA. Further study showed that OA decreased the expression of fusion protein AML1/ETO and down-regulated HDAC-1 protein levels in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, OA increased the expression of differentiation-related proteins C/EBPα and P21. Acetylation levels of histones were also advanced obviously after treatment of OA. In vivo study indicated that OA could prolong the survival of AML-bearing NOD/SCID mice and reduce leukocytic infiltration of the spleen.
CONCLUSIONS: All these results suggested that OA might be a novel candidate agent for differentiation therapy for AML1/ETO-positive AML and the mechanism required further investigation.

Moorman AV
New and emerging prognostic and predictive genetic biomarkers in B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Haematologica. 2016; 101(4):407-16 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a heterogeneous disease at the genetic level. Chromosomal abnormalities are used as diagnostic, prognostic and predictive biomarkers to provide subtype, outcome and drug response information. t(12;21)/ETV6-RUNX1 and high hyper-diploidy are good-risk prognostic biomarkers whereas KMT2A(MLL) translocations, t(17;19)/TCF3-HLF, haploidy or low hypodiploidy are high-risk biomarkers. t(9;22)/BCR-ABL1 patients require targeted treatment (imatinib/dasatinib), whereas iAMP21 patients achieve better outcomes when treated intensively. High-risk genetic biomarkers are four times more prevalent in adults compared to children. The application of genomic technologies to cases without an established abnormality (B-other) reveals copy number alterations which can be used either individually or in combination as prognostic biomarkers. Transcriptome sequencing studies have identified a network of fusion genes involving kinase genes -ABL1,ABL2,PDGFRB,CSF1R,CRLF2,JAK2 and EPOR in-vitro and in-vivo studies along with emerging clinical observations indicate that patients with a kinase-activating aberration may respond to treatment with small molecular inhibitors like imatinib/dasatinib and ruxolitinib. Further work is required to determine the true frequency of these abnormalities across the age spectrum and the optimal way to incorporate such inhibitors into protocols. In conclusion, genetic biomarkers are playing an increasingly important role in the management of patients with ALL.

Kohrs N, Kolodziej S, Kuvardina ON, et al.
MiR144/451 Expression Is Repressed by RUNX1 During Megakaryopoiesis and Disturbed by RUNX1/ETO.
PLoS Genet. 2016; 12(3):e1005946 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
A network of lineage-specific transcription factors and microRNAs tightly regulates differentiation of hematopoietic stem cells along the distinct lineages. Deregulation of this regulatory network contributes to impaired lineage fidelity and leukemogenesis. We found that the hematopoietic master regulator RUNX1 controls the expression of certain microRNAs, of importance during erythroid/megakaryocytic differentiation. In particular, we show that the erythorid miR144/451 cluster is epigenetically repressed by RUNX1 during megakaryopoiesis. Furthermore, the leukemogenic RUNX1/ETO fusion protein transcriptionally represses the miR144/451 pre-microRNA. Thus RUNX1/ETO contributes to increased expression of miR451 target genes and interferes with normal gene expression during differentiation. Furthermore, we observed that inhibition of RUNX1/ETO in Kasumi1 cells and in RUNX1/ETO positive primary acute myeloid leukemia patient samples leads to up-regulation of miR144/451. RUNX1 thus emerges as a key regulator of a microRNA network, driving differentiation at the megakaryocytic/erythroid branching point. The network is disturbed by the leukemogenic RUNX1/ETO fusion product.

Liu G, Xiang T, Wu QF, Wang WX
Long Noncoding RNA H19-Derived miR-675 Enhances Proliferation and Invasion via RUNX1 in Gastric Cancer Cells.
Oncol Res. 2016; 23(3):99-107 [PubMed] Related Publications
The lncRNA H19 and its mature product miR-675 have recently been shown to be upregulated and promote the progression of gastric cancer. However, the detailed function and underlying molecular mechanism of H19/miR-675 in the carcinogenesis of gastric cancer remains unclear. In this study, we found that H19 depended on miR-675 to enhance the proliferation and invasion of gastric cancer AGS cells, and the expression of miR-675 was positively correlated with H19 in patients with gastric cancer. Subsequently, the tumor-suppressor runt domain transcription factor 1 (RUNX1) was confirmed to be a downstream molecule of H19/miR-675 axis, since overexpression of H19 or miR-675 significantly decreased RUNX1 expression in AGS cells, and knockdown of H19 or miR-675 enhanced RUNX1 expression. More importantly, a series of assays further demonstrated that introduction of RUNX1 abrogated H19/miR-675-induced Akt/mTOR pathway activation and the following cellular proliferation and invasion of AGS cells. To our knowledge, this is the time to demonstrate that RUNX1 serves as a link between H19/miR-675 axis and Akt/mTOR signaling and is a pivotal mediator in gastric cancer progression induced by H19/miR-675. Thus, our study provides important clues for understanding the key roles of lncRNA-miRNA functional network and identifying new therapeutic targets for gastric cancer.

Marouf C, Göhler S, Filho MI, et al.
Analysis of functional germline variants in APOBEC3 and driver genes on breast cancer risk in Moroccan study population.
BMC Cancer. 2016; 16:165 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Breast cancer (BC) is the most prevalent cancer in women and a major public health problem in Morocco. Several Moroccan studies have focused on studying this disease, but more are needed, especially at the genetic and molecular levels. Therefore, we investigated the potential association of several functional germline variants in the genes commonly mutated in sporadic breast cancer.
METHODS: In this case-control study, we examined 36 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 13 genes (APOBEC3A, APOBEC3B, ARID1B, ATR, MAP3K1, MLL2, MLL3, NCOR1, RUNX1, SF3B1, SMAD4, TBX3, TTN), which were located in the core promoter, 5'-and 3'UTR or which were nonsynonymous SNPs to assess their potential association with inherited predisposition to breast cancer development. Additionally, we identified a ~29.5-kb deletion polymorphism between APOBEC3A and APOBEC3B and explored possible associations with BC. A total of 226 Moroccan breast cancer cases and 200 matched healthy controls were included in this study.
RESULTS: The analysis showed that12 SNPs in 8 driver genes, 4 SNPs in APOBEC3B gene and 1 SNP in APOBEC3A gene were associated with BC risk and/or clinical outcome at P ≤ 0.05 level. RUNX1_rs8130963 (odds ratio (OR) = 2.25; 95 % CI 1.42-3.56; P = 0.0005; dominant model), TBX3_rs8853 (OR = 2.04; 95 % CI 1.38-3.01; P = 0.0003; dominant model), TBX3_rs1061651 (OR= 2.14; 95 % CI1.43-3.18; P = 0.0002; dominant model), TTN_rs12465459 (OR = 2.02; 95 % confidence interval 1.33-3.07; P = 0.0009; dominant model), were the most significantly associated SNPs with BC risk. A strong association with clinical outcome were detected for the genes SMAD4 _rs3819122 with tumor size (OR = 0.45; 95 % CI 0.25-0.82; P = 0.009) and TTN_rs2244492 with estrogen receptor (OR = 0.45; 95 % CI 0.25-0.82; P = 0.009).
CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that genetic variations in driver and APOBEC3 genes were associated with the risk of BC and may have impact on clinical outcome. However, the reported association between the deletion polymorphism and BC risk was not confirmed in the Moroccan population. These preliminary findings require replication in larger studies.

Chimge NO, Little GH, Baniwal SK, et al.
RUNX1 prevents oestrogen-mediated AXIN1 suppression and β-catenin activation in ER-positive breast cancer.
Nat Commun. 2016; 7:10751 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Recent high-throughput studies revealed recurrent RUNX1 mutations in breast cancer, specifically in oestrogen receptor-positive (ER(+)) tumours. However, mechanisms underlying the implied RUNX1-mediated tumour suppression remain elusive. Here, by depleting mammary epithelial cells of RUNX1 in vivo and in vitro, we demonstrate combinatorial regulation of AXIN1 by RUNX1 and oestrogen. RUNX1 and ER occupy adjacent elements in AXIN1's second intron, and RUNX1 antagonizes oestrogen-mediated AXIN1 suppression. Accordingly, RNA-seq and immunohistochemical analyses demonstrate an ER-dependent correlation between RUNX1 and AXIN1 in tumour biopsies. RUNX1 loss in ER(+) mammary epithelial cells increases β-catenin, deregulates mitosis and stimulates cell proliferation and expression of stem cell markers. However, it does not stimulate LEF/TCF, c-Myc or CCND1, and it does not accelerate G1/S cell cycle phase transition. Finally, RUNX1 loss-mediated deregulation of β-catenin and mitosis is ameliorated by AXIN1 stabilization in vitro, highlighting AXIN1 as a potential target for the management of ER(+) breast cancer.

Boucher MO, Smitherman AB, Pahl KS, et al.
RUNX1 Amplification Increases the Risk for Thrombosis in Children With B-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.
J Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2016; 38(3):e125-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: RUNX1 (AML1) amplification in patients with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) has been associated with poor survival for unclear reasons. Our anecdotal experience suggests that children with B-ALL and RUNX1 amplification might be predisposed to thrombosis.
PROCEDURE: We performed a retrospective cohort study of children with B-ALL treated from 2008 to 2014 at the North Carolina Children's Hospital. Patient demographics, cytogenetics, and diagnosis of thrombosis were extracted by blinded chart review. Analysis was performed examining the relationship between RUNX1 amplification and thrombosis.
RESULTS: We identified 119 patients with B-ALL and a median age of 4.9 years (interquartile range, 2.9 to 8.6 y) at diagnosis. Four patients (3%) had RUNX1 amplification. The average number of RUNX1 copies among those with amplification was 5 (SD 0.81 [range, 4 to 6]). Eighteen thromboses were diagnosed within 6 months of starting treatment. These events were more likely among patients with RUNX1 amplification than in patients without amplification (75% vs. 13%; RR 5.75, 95% confidence interval, 2.75-12.01).
CONCLUSIONS: RUNX1 amplification may predispose to early thrombotic events in children with B-ALL which could, in part, contribute to their poorer outcomes. Treatment implications, including possible prophylactic anticoagulation of patients with of RUNX1 amplification, justify larger studies to confirm these findings.

Hua X, Hyland PL, Huang J, et al.
MEGSA: A Powerful and Flexible Framework for Analyzing Mutual Exclusivity of Tumor Mutations.
Am J Hum Genet. 2016; 98(3):442-55 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The central challenges in tumor sequencing studies is to identify driver genes and pathways, investigate their functional relationships, and nominate drug targets. The efficiency of these analyses, particularly for infrequently mutated genes, is compromised when subjects carry different combinations of driver mutations. Mutual exclusivity analysis helps address these challenges. To identify mutually exclusive gene sets (MEGS), we developed a powerful and flexible analytic framework based on a likelihood ratio test and a model selection procedure. Extensive simulations demonstrated that our method outperformed existing methods for both statistical power and the capability of identifying the exact MEGS, particularly for highly imbalanced MEGS. Our method can be used for de novo discovery, for pathway-guided searches, or for expanding established small MEGS. We applied our method to the whole-exome sequencing data for 13 cancer types from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). We identified multiple previously unreported non-pairwise MEGS in multiple cancer types. For acute myeloid leukemia, we identified a MEGS with five genes (FLT3, IDH2, NRAS, KIT, and TP53) and a MEGS (NPM1, TP53, and RUNX1) whose mutation status was strongly associated with survival (p = 6.7 × 10(-4)). For breast cancer, we identified a significant MEGS consisting of TP53 and four infrequently mutated genes (ARID1A, AKT1, MED23, and TBL1XR1), providing support for their role as cancer drivers.

Stoskus M, Vaitkeviciene G, Eidukaite A, Griskevicius L
ETV6/RUNX1 transcript is a target of RNA-binding protein IGF2BP1 in t(12;21)(p13;q22)-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Blood Cells Mol Dis. 2016; 57:30-4 [PubMed] Related Publications
The oncofetal RNA-binding protein IGF2BP1 (IGF2 mRNA binding protein 1) is overexpressed in a subset of cancers and promotes cell cycle, migration and aggressive phenotype by regulating post-transcriptionally a number of key mRNAs (e. g, ACTB, CD44, CTNNB1, KRAS, MAPK4, MYC, PTEN and others). IGF2BP1 is also overexpressed in t(12;21)(p13;q22)-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), but the biological significance of this phenomenon has not been addressed so far. We have identified leukemia fusion gene ETV6/RUNX1 mRNA to be highly enriched in immunoprecipitated fraction of endogenous IGF2BP1 from a model cell line REH and t(12;21)(p13;q22)-positive ALL samples. Furthermore, downregulation of IGF2BP1 by two-fold has resulted in a corresponding decrease of ETV6/RUNX1 mRNA validating this transcript as a target of IGF2BP1 protein in t(12;21)(p13;q22)-positive ALL. These data infer that IGF2BP1 is a potent regulator of ETV6/RUNX1 mRNA stability and potentially link this evolutionary-highly conserved protein to cell transformation events in ETV6/RUNX1-mediated leukemogenesis of t(12;21)(p13;q22)-positive ALL.

Patnaik MM, Tefferi A
Cytogenetic and molecular abnormalities in chronic myelomonocytic leukemia.
Blood Cancer J. 2016; 6:e393 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML) is a clonal stem cell disorder associated with peripheral blood monocytosis and an inherent tendency to transform to acute myeloid leukemia. CMML has overlapping features of myelodysplastic syndromes and myeloproliferative neoplasms. Clonal cytogenetic changes are seen in ~30%, whereas gene mutations are seen in >90% of patients. Common cytogenetic abnormalities include; trisomy 8, -Y, -7/del(7q), trisomy 21 and del(20q), with the Mayo-French risk stratification effectively risk stratifying patients based on cytogenetic abnormalities. Gene mutations frequently involve epigenetic regulators (TET2 ~60%), modulators of chromatin (ASXL1 ~40%), spliceosome components (SRSF2 ~50%), transcription factors (RUNX1 ~15%) and signal pathways (RAS ~30%, CBL ~15%). Of these, thus far, only nonsense and frameshift ASXL1 mutations have been shown to negatively impact overall survival. This has resulted in the development of contemporary, molecularly integrated (inclusive of ASXL1 mutations) CMML prognostic models, including Molecular Mayo Model and the Groupe Français des Myélodysplasies model. Better understanding of the prevalent genetic and epigenetic dysregulation has resulted in emerging targeted treatment options for some patients. The development of an integrated (cytogenetic and molecular) prognostic model along with CMML-specific response assessment criteria are much needed future goals.

Hou HA, Liu CY, Kuo YY, et al.
Splicing factor mutations predict poor prognosis in patients with de novo acute myeloid leukemia.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(8):9084-101 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Mutations in splicing factor (SF) genes are frequently detected in myelodysplastic syndrome, but the prognostic relevance of these genes mutations in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) remains unclear. In this study, we investigated mutations of three SF genes, SF3B1, U2AF1 and SRSF2, by Sanger sequencing in 500 patients with de novo AML and analysed their clinical relevance. SF mutations were identified in 10.8% of total cohort and 13.2% of those with intermediate-risk cytogenetics. SF mutations were closely associated with RUNX1, ASXL1, IDH2 and TET2 mutations. SF-mutated AML patients had a significantly lower complete remission rate and shorter disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) than those without the mutation. Multivariate analysis demonstrated that SFmutation was an independent poor prognostic factor for DFS and OS. A scoring system incorporating SF mutation and ten other prognostic factors was proved very useful to risk-stratify AML patients. Sequential study of paired samples showed that SF mutations were stable during AML evolution. In conclusion, SF mutations are associated with distinct clinic-biological features and poor prognosis in de novo AML patients and are rather stable during disease progression. These mutations may be potential targets for novel treatment and biomarkers for disease monitoring in AML.

Cheng CK, Chan NP, Wan TS, et al.
Helicase-like transcription factor is a RUNX1 target whose downregulation promotes genomic instability and correlates with complex cytogenetic features in acute myeloid leukemia.
Haematologica. 2016; 101(4):448-57 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Helicase-like transcription factor is a SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling factor involved in various biological processes. However, little is known about its role in hematopoiesis. In this study, we measured helicase-like transcription factor mRNA expression in the bone marrow of 204 adult patients with de novo acute myeloid leukemia. Patients were dichotomized into low and high expression groups at the median level for clinicopathological correlations. Helicase-like transcription factor levels were dramatically reduced in the low expression patient group compared to those in the normal controls (n=40) (P<0.0001). Low helicase-like transcription factor expression correlated positively with French-American-British M4/M5 subtypes (P<0.0001) and complex cytogenetic abnormalities (P=0.02 for ≥3 abnormalities;P=0.004 for ≥5 abnormalities) but negatively with CEBPA double mutations (P=0.012). Also, low expression correlated with poorer overall (P=0.005) and event-free (P=0.006) survival in the intermediate-risk cytogenetic subgroup. Consistent with the more aggressive disease associated with low expression, helicase-like transcription factor knockdown in leukemic cells promoted proliferation and chromosomal instability that was accompanied by downregulation of mitotic regulators and impaired DNA damage response. The significance of helicase-like transcription factor in genome maintenance was further indicated by its markedly elevated expression in normal human CD34(+)hematopoietic stem cells. We further demonstrated that helicase-like transcription factor was a RUNX1 target and transcriptionally repressed by RUNX1-ETO and site-specific DNA methylation through a duplicated RUNX1 binding site in its promoter. Taken together, our findings provide new mechanistic insights on genomic instability linked to helicase-like transcription factor deregulation, and strongly suggest a tumor suppressor function of the SWI/SNF protein in acute myeloid leukemia.

Kanderova V, Kuzilkova D, Stuchly J, et al.
High-resolution Antibody Array Analysis of Childhood Acute Leukemia Cells.
Mol Cell Proteomics. 2016; 15(4):1246-61 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
Acute leukemia is a disease pathologically manifested at both genomic and proteomic levels. Molecular genetic technologies are currently widely used in clinical research. In contrast, sensitive and high-throughput proteomic techniques for performing protein analyses in patient samples are still lacking. Here, we used a technology based on size exclusion chromatography followed by immunoprecipitation of target proteins with an antibody bead array (Size Exclusion Chromatography-Microsphere-based Affinity Proteomics, SEC-MAP) to detect hundreds of proteins from a single sample. In addition, we developed semi-automatic bioinformatics tools to adapt this technology for high-content proteomic screening of pediatric acute leukemia patients.To confirm the utility of SEC-MAP in leukemia immunophenotyping, we tested 31 leukemia diagnostic markers in parallel by SEC-MAP and flow cytometry. We identified 28 antibodies suitable for both techniques. Eighteen of them provided excellent quantitative correlation between SEC-MAP and flow cytometry (p< 0.05). Next, SEC-MAP was applied to examine 57 diagnostic samples from patients with acute leukemia. In this assay, we used 632 different antibodies and detected 501 targets. Of those, 47 targets were differentially expressed between at least two of the three acute leukemia subgroups. The CD markers correlated with immunophenotypic categories as expected. From non-CD markers, we found DBN1, PAX5, or PTK2 overexpressed in B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemias, LAT, SH2D1A, or STAT5A overexpressed in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemias, and HCK, GLUD1, or SYK overexpressed in acute myeloid leukemias. In addition, OPAL1 overexpression corresponded to ETV6-RUNX1 chromosomal translocation.In summary, we demonstrated that SEC-MAP technology is a powerful tool for detecting hundreds of proteins in clinical samples obtained from pediatric acute leukemia patients. It provides information about protein size and reveals differences in protein expression between particular leukemia subgroups. Forty-seven of SEC-MAP identified targets were validated by other conventional method in this study.

Browne G, Dragon JA, Hong D, et al.
MicroRNA-378-mediated suppression of Runx1 alleviates the aggressive phenotype of triple-negative MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cells.
Tumour Biol. 2016; 37(7):8825-39 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
The Runx1 transcription factor, known for its essential role in normal hematopoiesis, was reported in limited studies to be mutated or associated with human breast tumor tissues. Runx1 increases concomitantly with disease progression in the MMTV-PyMT transgenic mouse model of breast cancer. Compelling questions relate to mechanisms that regulate Runx1 expression in breast cancer. Here, we tested the hypothesis that dysregulation of Runx1-targeting microRNAs (miRNAs) allows for pathologic increase of Runx1 during breast cancer progression. Microarray profiling of the MMTV-PyMT model revealed significant downregulation of numerous miRNAs predicted to target Runx1. One of these, miR-378, was inversely correlated with Runx1 expression during breast cancer progression in mice and in human breast cancer cell lines MCF7 and triple-negative MDA-MB-231 that represent early- and late-stage diseases, respectively. MiR-378 is nearly absent in MDA-MB-231 cells. Luciferase reporter assays revealed that miR-378 binds the Runx1 3' untranslated region (3'UTR) and inhibits Runx1 expression. Functionally, we demonstrated that ectopic expression of miR-378 in MDA-MB-231 cells inhibited Runx1 and suppressed migration and invasion, while inhibition of miR-378 in MCF7 cells increased Runx1 levels and cell migration. Depletion of Runx1 in late-stage breast cancer cells resulted in increased expression of both the miR-378 host gene PPARGC1B and pre-miR-378, suggesting a feedback loop. Taken together, our study identifies a novel and clinically relevant mechanism for regulation of Runx1 in breast cancer that is mediated by a PPARGC1B-miR-378-Runx1 regulatory pathway. Our results highlight the translational potential of miRNA replacement therapy for inhibiting Runx1 in breast cancer.

Chin DW, Sakurai M, Nah GS, et al.
RUNX1 haploinsufficiency results in granulocyte colony-stimulating factor hypersensitivity.
Blood Cancer J. 2016; 6:e379 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
RUNX1/AML1 is among the most commonly mutated genes in human leukemia. Haploinsufficiency of RUNX1 causes familial platelet disorder with predisposition to myeloid malignancies (FPD/MM). However, the molecular mechanism of FPD/MM remains unknown. Here we show that murine Runx1(+/-) hematopoietic cells are hypersensitive to granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF), leading to enhanced expansion and mobilization of stem/progenitor cells and myeloid differentiation block. Upon G-CSF stimulation, Runx1(+/-) cells exhibited a more pronounced phosphorylation of STAT3 as compared with Runx1(+/+) cells, which may be due to reduced expression of Pias3, a key negative regulator of STAT3 signaling, and reduced physical sequestration of STAT3 by RUNX1. Most importantly, blood cells from a FPD patient with RUNX1 mutation exhibited similar G-CSF hypersensitivity. Taken together, Runx1 haploinsufficiency appears to predispose FPD patients to MM by expanding the pool of stem/progenitor cells and blocking myeloid differentiation in response to G-CSF.

Recouvreux MS, Grasso EN, Echeverria PC, et al.
RUNX1 and FOXP3 interplay regulates expression of breast cancer related genes.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(6):6552-65 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
Runx1 participation in epithelial mammary cells is still under review. Emerging data indicates that Runx1 could be relevant for breast tumor promotion. However, to date no studies have specifically evaluated the functional contribution of Runx1 to control gene expression in mammary epithelial tumor cells. It has been described that Runx1 activity is defined by protein context interaction. Interestingly, Foxp3 is a breast tumor suppressor gene. Here we show that endogenous Runx1 and Foxp3 physically interact in normal mammary cells and this interaction blocks Runx1 transcriptional activity. Furthermore we demonstrate that Runx1 is able to bind to R-spondin 3 (RSPO3) and Gap Junction protein Alpha 1 (GJA1) promoters. This binding upregulates Rspo3 oncogene expression and downregulates GJA1 tumor suppressor gene expression in a Foxp3-dependent manner. Moreover, reduced Runx1 transcriptional activity decreases tumor cell migration properties. Collectively, these data provide evidence of a new mechanism for breast tumor gene expression regulation, in which Runx1 and Foxp3 physically interact to control mammary epithelial cell gene expression fate. Our work suggests for the first time that Runx1 could be involved in breast tumor progression depending on Foxp3 availability.

Li N, Zhang QY, Zou JL, et al.
miR-215 promotes malignant progression of gastric cancer by targeting RUNX1.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(4):4817-28 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: miR-215 was reported to be downregulated and functioned as a tumor suppressor in several cancers. In contrast, miR-215 was preferentially upregulated in gastric cancer (GC) according to our data. Thus, we studied the potential biological function of miR-215 in GC.
METHODS: miR-215 expression was measured in 77 paired GC tissues and adjacent non-tumor tissues. Biological functions of miR-215 were analyzed using cell viability, colony formation, migration, invasion, cell cycle, apoptosis and luciferase assays as well as via tumorigenicity and metastasis analysis.
RESULTS: miR-215 was significantly upregulated in 7 GC cell lines and 77 GC tissues compared to adjacent non-tumor tissues (P < 0.05), and miR-215 expression was greater in advanced GC (stage III/IV; P < 0.05). Ectopic expression of miR-215 in GES-1 and HGC-27 cells (low miR-215 expression) promoted cell growth, migration, invasion, and metastasis, and these were reversed in NCI-N87 cells (high miR-215 expression) after miR-215 downregulation. Potential target genes of miR-215 were predicted and RUNX1, a transcription factor and a tumor suppressor, was confirmed to be potential target according to luciferase studies. RUNX1 was downregulated in GC tissues compared to adjacent non-tumor tissues (P < 0.05), and RUNX1 reversed partial function of miR-215 in vitro.
CONCLUSIONS: miR-215 promotes malignant progression of GC by targeting RUNX1, and RUNX1 can partially reverse miR-215 effects.

Jin Y, Wang X, Hu S, et al.
Determination of ETV6-RUNX1 genomic breakpoint by next-generation sequencing.
Cancer Med. 2016; 5(2):337-51 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
The t(12;21)(p13;q22) ETV6-RUNX1 gene fusion is one of the most common chromosomal translocation in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). It is associated with favorable prognosis. The identification of the genomic sequence of the breakpoint flanking regions of the ETV6-RUNX1 translocation should be the best strategy to monitor minimal residual disease (MRD) in patients with ETV6-RUNX1-positive ALL. In this study, the ETV6-RUNX1 translocation was sequenced by next-generation sequencing (NGS) in 26 patients with ETV6-RUNX1-positive ALL and re-sequenced by using the Sanger method. Interestingly, the three-way translocation, including ETV6-RUNX1, was detected in five patients. Four of them relapsed during or after therapy, while 21 patients without the three-way translocation were still in remission (P < 0.0001). The three-way translocation pattern was identical between the diagnosis and relapse samples in three patients, excluding one patient (SCMC-001245). The relapse samples retained the translocation of ETV6-RUNX1 relative to the three-way translocation t(8;12;21) at diagnosis, suggesting that the three-way translocation might be an important risk factor for relapse in patients with ETV6-RUNX1-positive ALL and should be further studied.

Saeidi K
Myeloproliferative neoplasms: Current molecular biology and genetics.
Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2016; 98:375-89 [PubMed] Related Publications
Myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) are clonal disorders characterized by increased production of mature blood cells. Philadelphia chromosome-negative MPNs (Ph-MPNs) consist of polycythemia vera (PV), essential thrombocythemia (ET), and primary myelofibrosis (PMF). A number of stem cell derived mutations have been identified in the past 10 years. These findings showed that JAK2V617F, as a diagnostic marker involving JAK2 exon 14 with a high frequency, is the best molecular characterization of Ph-MPNs. Somatic mutations in an endoplasmic reticulum chaperone, named calreticulin (CALR), is the second most common mutation in patients with ET and PMF after JAK2 V617F mutation. Discovery of CALR mutations led to the increased molecular diagnostic of ET and PMF up to 90%. It has been shown that JAK2V617F is not the unique event in disease pathogenesis. Some other genes' location such as TET oncogene family member 2 (TET2), additional sex combs-like 1 (ASXL1), casitas B-lineage lymphoma proto-oncogene (CBL), isocitrate dehydrogenase 1/2 (IDH1/IDH2), IKAROS family zinc finger 1 (IKZF1), DNA methyltransferase 3A (DNMT3A), suppressor of cytokine signaling (SOCS), enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2), tumor protein p53 (TP53), runt-related transcription factor 1 (RUNX1) and high mobility group AT-hook 2 (HMGA2) have also identified to be involved in MPNs phenotypes. Here, current molecular biology and genetic mechanisms involved in MNPs with a focus on the aforementioned factors is presented.

Further References

Kobayashi H, Satake N, Kaneko Y
Detection of the Der (21)t(12;21) chromosome forming the TEL-AML1 fusion gene in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Leuk Lymphoma. 1997; 28(1-2):43-50 [PubMed] Related Publications
The t(12;21) (p13;q22) is observed in approximately 20-25% of childhood B-lineage acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) cases in both Asian and Caucasian populations. This translocation results in the fusion of TEL, a recently described ETS-like gene on 12p13, and AML1, which was shown to be involved in the formation of fusion genes with ETO and EVI1 in myeloid leukemias. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis are useful in detecting this translocation which is not readily identified with routine cytogenetic techniques. The t(12;21) is associated with a distinct subgroup of patients characterized by an age between 1 and 10 years, an early B immunophenotype, and a good prognosis. A high incidence of the deletion of non-translocated TEL is another characteristic of leukemic cells with this translocation. TEL-AML1 hybrid protein thought to be critical in leukemogenesis possesses the HLH domain of TEL fused to almost the entire AML1 protein, although the detailed mechanisms of leukemogenesis remain obscure. RT-PCR combined with FISH analysis of posttreatment samples appears to be useful in detecting early relapse or minimal residual disease and thus, is expected to optimize the treatment strategy for patients with t(12;21).

Aguiar RC, Sohal J, van Rhee F, et al.
TEL-AML1 fusion in acute lymphoblastic leukaemia of adults. M.R.C. Adult Leukaemia Working Party.
Br J Haematol. 1996; 95(4):673-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
A number of fusion genes have been identified by study of acquired chromosomal translocations. Their detailed characterization has provided insights into mechanisms of leukaemogenesis and has enabled the development of molecular methods to assist in the diagnosis and monitoring of residual disease after treatment. The TEL-AML1 fusion gene is associated with a cryptic t(12:21)(p12:q22) translocation, and is the commonest known genetic abnormality in childhood B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL), occurring in about 25% of cases. We have used RT-PCR, followed by Southern blotting and direct sequencing, to establish the incidence of TEL-AML1 rearrangement in 131 adults with acute leukaemia (101 with ALL and 30 with chronic myeloid leukaemia in blastic crisis). Three patients were positive for TEL-AML1 transcripts. All three had common-ALL. All other patients were negative for TEL-AML1. We conclude that the TEL-AML1 fusion gene is found in adult ALL, though less commonly than in children.

Kwong YL, Wong KF
Low frequency of TEL/AML1 in adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Cancer Genet Cytogenet. 1997; 98(2):137-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Translocation (12;21)(p13;q22) is a recently characterized aberration in acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and results in the fusion of the TEL and the AML1 genes. It is the most common translocation in pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), occurring in about one third of the cases. To determine the frequency of TEL/AML1 in adult ALL, we studied 4 cases of T lineage ALL and 26 cases of B lineage ALL. Only one positive case was identified, giving a very low frequency of 3.3%. In this patient, TEL/AML1 was still detectable in complete hematologic remission. The apparent age predilection of t(12;21) warrants further investigations.

Andrieu V, Radford-Weiss I, Troussard X, et al.
Molecular detection of t(8;21)/AML1-ETO in AML M1/M2: correlation with cytogenetics, morphology and immunophenotype.
Br J Haematol. 1996; 92(4):855-65 [PubMed] Related Publications
The t(8;21) identifies a subgroup of acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) with a relatively good prognosis which may merit different treatment. It is associated predominantly, but not exclusively, with AML M2, and corresponds to rearrangements involving the AML1 and ETO genes. AML1-ETO positive, t(8;21) negative cases are well recognized but their incidence is unknown. In order to determine optimal prospective AML1-ETO RT-PCR screening strategies, we analysed 64 unselected AML M1 and M2 cases and correlated the results with other biological parameters. Molecular screening increased the overall detection rate from 8% to 14%. AML1-ETO was found in 3% (1/32) of AML M1 and 25% (8/32) of M2, including three patients without a classic (8;21) but with chromosome 8 abnormalities. It was more common in younger patients. Correlation with morphology enabled development of a scoring system which detected all nine AML1-ETO-positive cases with a false positive rate of 7% (4/55). Although certain AML1-ETO-positive cases demonstrated characteristic immunological features (CD19 and CD34 expression, CD33 negativity), each of these markers was insufficiently specific to permit prediction in an individual case. We conclude that initial routine prospective molecular screening for AML1-ETO in all AMLs, combined with standardized morphological and immunological analysis, is desirable in order to produce improved prognostic stratification and to determine whether screening can ultimately be restricted to appropriate subgroups.

Rubin CM, Larson RA, Anastasi J, et al.
t(3;21)(q26;q22): a recurring chromosomal abnormality in therapy-related myelodysplastic syndrome and acute myeloid leukemia.
Blood. 1990; 76(12):2594-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
We have identified an identical reciprocal translocation between the long arms of chromosomes 3 and 21 with breakpoints at bands 3q26 and 21q22, [t(3;21)(q26;q22)], in the malignant cells from five adult patients with therapy-related myelodysplastic syndrome (t-MDS) or acute myeloid leukemia (t-AML). Primary diagnoses were Hodgkin's disease in two patients and ovarian carcinoma, breast cancer, and polycythemia vera in one patient each. Patients had been treated with chemotherapy including an alkylating agent for their primary disease 1 to 18 years before the development of t-MDS or t-AML. We have not observed the t(3;21) in over 1,500 patients with a myelodysplastic syndrome or acute myeloid leukemia arising de novo or in over 1,000 patients with lymphoid malignancies. We have previously reported that the t(3;21) occurs in Philadelphia chromosome-positive chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). Thus, the t(3;21) appears to be limited to t-MDS/t-AML and CML, both of which represent malignant disorders of an early hematopoietic precursor cell. These results provide a new focus for the study of therapy-related leukemia at the molecular level.

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