Gene Summary

Gene:DLEU2; deleted in lymphocytic leukemia 2
Aliases: ALT1, DLB2, LEU2, RFP2, BCMSUN, RFP2OS, MIR15AHG, TRIM13OS, LINC00022, NCRNA00022
Summary:This locus represents a microRNA host gene and also produces long alternatively spliced non-coding RNAs. This genome region was observed to be deleted or epigenetically suppressed in leukemia, and was implicated as a negative regulator of cell proliferation. However, an alternative transcript produced at this locus was also found to promote progression through the cell cycle via angiotensin I converting enzyme 2 and cyclin D1. [provided by RefSeq, Dec 2017]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Source:NCBIAccessed: 31 August, 2019

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 31 August 2019 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.

  • Base Sequence
  • B-Lymphocytes
  • Apoptosis
  • Transcription
  • Zinc Finger E-box Binding Homeobox 2
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Single Nucleotide Polymorphism
  • Chromosome Aberrations
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Disease Progression
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases
  • Sequence Deletion
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • RT-PCR
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Neoplastic Cell Transformation
  • Leukemic Gene Expression Regulation
  • Promoter Regions
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Epigenetics
  • BCL2 protein
  • Up-Regulation
  • Chromosome Deletion
  • Cell Cycle
  • Mutation
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • Long Noncoding RNA
  • MicroRNAs
  • Cancer DNA
  • Proteins
  • Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Gene Deletion
  • Exons
  • Chromosome 13
  • Tumor Suppressor Gene
  • Acute Myeloid Leukaemia
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
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: DLEU2 (cancer-related)

Ma W, Zhang CQ, Dang CX, et al.
Upregulated long-non-coding RNA DLEU2 exon 9 expression was an independent indicator of unfavorable overall survival in patients with esophageal adenocarcinoma.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2019; 113:108655 [PubMed] Related Publications
In this study, we aimed to explore the expression profiles of some known functional lncRNAs in esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAD) and to screening the potential prognostic makers, using data from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA)-esophageal carcinoma (ESCA). Results showed that DLEU2 is a high potential OS related marker among 73 functional lncRNAs. DLEU2 and its intronic miR-15a and miR-16-1 expression were significantly upregulated in EAD compared with adjacent normal tissues. However, miR-15a and miR-16-1 expression were only weakly correlated with DLEU2 expression. Univariate and multivariate analysis confirmed that DLEU2 expression, but not miR-15a or miR-16-1 expression is an independent prognostic marker in terms of OS (HR:1.688, 95%CI: 1.085-2.627, p = 0.020) in EAD patients. The exon 9 of DLEU2 is very strongly co-expressed with DLEU2 (Pearson's r = 0.96) and showed better predictive value than total DLEU2 expression in predicting the OS of EAD patients. Multivariate analysis confirmed its independent prognostic value (HR:1.970, 95%CI: 1.266-3.067, p = 0.003), after adjustment of histologic grade, pathological stages and the presence of residual tumor. By checking the methylation status of DLEU2 gene, we excluded the possibility of the influence of two CpG sites near the DLEU2 exon 9 locus on its expression. In addition, although copy number alterations (CNAs) were observed DLEU2 gene, heterozygous loss (-1), low-level copy gain (+1) and high-level amplification (+2) had no significant association with DLEU2 transcription. Based on these findings, we infer that DLEU2 exon 9 expression might serve as a valuable biomarker of unfavorable OS in EAD patients.

Xu B, Gong X, Zi L, et al.
Silencing of DLEU2 suppresses pancreatic cancer cell proliferation and invasion by upregulating microRNA-455.
Cancer Sci. 2019; 110(5):1676-1685 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) DLEU2 has been shown to be dysregulated in several type of tumor. However, the potential biological roles and molecular mechanisms of DLEU2 in pancreatic cancer (PC) progression are poorly understood. In this study, we found that the DLEU2 level was substantially upregulated in PC tissues and PC cell lines, and significantly associated with poor clinical outcomes in PC patients. Overexpression of DLEU2 significantly induced PC cell proliferation and invasion, whereas knockdown of DLEU2 impaired cell proliferation and invasion in vitro. Furthermore, bioinformatics analysis, luciferase reporter assay, and RNA immunoprecipitation assay revealed that DLEU2 directly bond to microRNA-455 (miR-455) and functioned as an endogenous sponge for miR-455, which could remarkably suppress cell growth and invasion. We also determined that SMAD2 was a direct target of miR-455, and the restoration of SMAD2 rescued cell growth and invasion that were reduced by DLEU2 knockdown or miR-455 overexpression. In addition, low miR-455 expression and high SMAD2 expression was correlated with poor patient survival. These results indicate that DLEU2 is an important promoter of PC development, and targeting the DLEU2/miR-455/SMAD2 pathway could be a promising therapeutic approach in the treatment of PC.

Wu DM, Wen X, Han XR, et al.
Role of Circular RNA DLEU2 in Human Acute Myeloid Leukemia.
Mol Cell Biol. 2018; 38(20) [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
In the current study, we were interested in exploring the molecular mechanism of circular RNA DLEU2 (circRNA-DLEU2) (hsa_circ_0000488) and microRNA 496 (miR-496), as well as PRKACB, in human acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cell activities. The RNA expression levels of circRNA-DLEU2, hsa-miR-496, and PRKACB were assessed by quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR). The proliferation and apoptosis abilities of the cells were determined by CCK8 assay and flow cytometry analysis. Target relationships between circRNA-DLEU2 and miR-496, as well as PRKACB, were analyzed by luciferase reporter assay and probe assay. Immunoblotting assays were used to detect the protein expression level of PRKACB. We also did

Leng J, Song Q, Zhao Y, Wang Z
miR‑15a represses cancer cell migration and invasion under conditions of hypoxia by targeting and downregulating Bcl‑2 expression in human osteosarcoma cells.
Int J Oncol. 2018; 52(4):1095-1104 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Osteosarcoma is a common, high-risk primary bone malignancy that mostly affects the younger population. There has been no marked improvement in the clinical outcomes of osteosarcoma patients to date, and cancer recurrence and metastasis are common in high-grade osteosarcoma. Therefore, identifying new biomarkers and novel therapeutic targets is crucial for improving the prognosis of osteosarcoma patients. In the present study, the MG63 human osteosarcoma cell line was employed to examine the role of microRNA (miR)‑15a in regulating cellular activities under hypoxic conditions. It was demonstrated that hypoxia stimulates migration and invasion in MG63 cells, which was correlated with the downregulation of miR‑15a and upregulation of B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl‑2) expression. Introduction of miR‑15a or knockdown of endogenous Bcl‑2 may reduce hypoxia-induced cell invasion and migration through the regulation of matrix metalloproteinases. Analysis of the expression of miR‑15a indicated that hypoxia repressed the transcription of deleted in lymphocytic leukemia 2 (DLEU2), which is the host gene of miR‑15a. These findings indicated that miR‑15a may be a valuable target for the treatment of osteosarcoma, particularly for patients with high-grade cancer or heavy tumor burden.

Comiskey DF, Jacob AG, Sanford BL, et al.
A novel mouse model of rhabdomyosarcoma underscores the dichotomy of MDM2-ALT1 function in vivo.
Oncogene. 2018; 37(1):95-106 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Alternative splicing of the oncogene murine double minute 2 (MDM2) is induced in response to genotoxic stress. MDM2-ALT1, the major splice variant generated, is known to activate the p53 pathway and impede full-length MDM2's negative regulation of p53. Despite this perceptible tumor-suppressive role, MDM2-ALT1 is also associated with several cancers. Furthermore, expression of MDM2-ALT1 has been observed in aggressive metastatic disease in pediatric rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS), irrespective of histological subtype. Therefore, we generated a transgenic MDM2-ALT1 mouse model that would allow us to investigate the effects of this splice variant on the progression of tumorigenesis. Here we show that when MDM2-ALT1 is ubiquitously expressed in p53 null mice it leads to increased incidence of spindle cell sarcomas, including RMS. Our data provide evidence that constitutive MDM2-ALT1 expression is itself an oncogenic lesion that aggravates the tumorigenesis induced by p53 loss. On the contrary, when MDM2-ALT1 is expressed solely in B-cells in the presence of homozygous wild-type p53 it leads to significantly increased lymphomagenesis (56%) when compared with control mice (27%). However, this phenotype is observable only at later stages in life (⩾18 months). Moreover, flow cytometric analyses for B-cell markers revealed an MDM2-ALT1-associated decrease in the B-cell population of the spleens of these animals. Our data suggest that the B-cell loss is p53 dependent and is a response mounted to persistent MDM2-ALT1 expression in a wild-type p53 background. Overall, our findings highlight the importance of an MDM2 splice variant as a critical modifier of both p53-dependent and -independent tumorigenesis, underscoring the complexity of MDM2 posttranscriptional regulation in cancer. Furthermore, MDM2-ALT1-expressing p53 null mice represent a novel mouse model of fusion-negative RMS.

Zhu TG, Xiao X, Wei Q, et al.
Revealing potential long non-coding RNA biomarkers in lung adenocarcinoma using long non-coding RNA-mediated competitive endogenous RNA network.
Braz J Med Biol Res. 2017; 50(9):e6297 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
In our study, we aimed to reveal potential long non-coding RNAs (lncRNA) biomarkers in lung adenocarcinoma (LAD) using lncRNA-mediated competing endogenous RNAs (ceRNAs) network (LMCN). Competing lncRNA-mRNA interactions were identified using the hypergeometric test. Co-expression analysis for the competing lncRNA-mRNA interactions was implemented, and relying on the weight value >0.8, a highly competitive LMCN was further constructed. Degree distribution, betweenness and closeness for LMCN were carried out to analyze the network structure. Functional analyses of mRNAs in LMCN were carried out to further explore the biological functions of lncRNAs. Biclique algorithm was utilized to extract competing modules from the LMCN. Finally, we verified our findings in an independent sample set using qRT-PCR. Based on degrees >60, we identified 4 hubs, including DLEU2, SNHG12, HCP5, and LINC00472. Furthermore, 2 competing modules were identified, and LINC00472 in module 1 functioned as a hub in both LMCN and module. Functional implications of lncRNAs demonstrated that lncRNAs were related to histone modification, negative regulation of cell cycle, neuroactive ligand-receptor interaction, and regulation of actin cytoskeleton. qRT-PCR results demonstrated that lncRNAs LINC00472, and HCP5 were down-regulated in LAD tissues, while the expression level of SNHG12 was up-regulated in LAD tissues. Our study sheds novel light on the roles of lncRNA-related ceRNA network in LAD and facilitates the detection of potential lncRNA biomarkers for LAD diagnosis and treatment. Remarkably, in our study, LINC00472, HCP5, and SNHG12 might be potential biomarkers for LAD management.

Chen Z, Zhang J, Zhang Z, et al.
The putative tumor suppressor microRNA-30a-5p modulates clear cell renal cell carcinoma aggressiveness through repression of ZEB2.
Cell Death Dis. 2017; 8(6):e2859 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC), the most common subtype of renal cell carcinoma, can easily invade local tissues and metastasize, and is resistant to currently available treatments. Recent studies profiling microRNA expression in ccRCC have suggested miR-30a-5p may be deregulated in these cancer cells. To determine its role and mechanism of action in ccRCC, miR-30-5p expression levels were quantified and functions were analyzed using in vitro and in vivo experiments and bioinformatics. A decrease in miR-30a-5p expression was frequently noted in ccRCC cells and tissues. Importantly, low miR-30a-5p levels were significantly associated with a poor ccRCC patient prognosis. Stable overexpression of miR-30a-5p in 769-P cells was sufficient to prevent cellular proliferation and invasion in vitro and in vivo. Upon further examination, it was found that miR-30a-5p directly targeted the 3'-UTR of ZEB2 and suppressed ccRCC cell epithelial-mesenchymal transition. In addition, miR-30a-5p may be downregulated by the long non-coding RNA DLEU2. Taken together, these data reveal an important role for miR-30a-5p in the regulation of ccRCC proliferation and invasion, and indicate the potential for miR-30a-5p in applications furthering ccRCC prognostics and therapeutics.

Panagopoulos I, Gorunova L, Lobmaier I, et al.
Cytogenetic Analysis of a Pseudoangiomatous Pleomorphic/Spindle Cell Lipoma.
Anticancer Res. 2017; 37(5):2219-2223 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Pseudoangiomatous pleomorphic/spindle cell lipoma is a rare subtype of pleomorphic/spindle cell lipoma. Only approximately 20 such tumors have been described. Genetic information on pseudoangiomatous pleomorphic/spindle cell lipoma is restricted to a single case in which deletion of the forkhead box O1 (FOXO1) gene was found, using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH).
MATERIALS AND METHODS: G-banding and FISH analyses were performed on a pseudoangiomatous pleomorphic/spindle cell lipoma.
RESULTS: G-banding of tumor cells showed complex karyotypic changes including loss of chromosome 13. FISH analysis revealed that the deleted region contained the RB1 gene (13q14.2) and the part of chromosome arm 13q (q14.2-q14.3) in which spans the TRIM13 gene, the two non-coding RNA genes, DLEU1 and DLEU2, and the genetic markers RH44686 and D13S25.
CONCLUSION: Several acquired genomic aberrations were found in the tumor. Among them was loss of chromosome 13 material. Results confirm the (cyto)genetic similarity between pseudoangiomatous pleomorphic/spindle cell lipoma and spindle cell lipomas.

Chu J, Zhu Y, Liu Y, et al.
E2F7 overexpression leads to tamoxifen resistance in breast cancer cells by competing with E2F1 at miR-15a/16 promoter.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(31):31944-57 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
About 50-70% of breast cancers are estrogen receptor α (ERα) positive and most of them are sensitive to endocrine therapy including tamoxifen. However, one third of these patients will eventually develop resistance and relapse. We found that the expression of miR-15a and miR-16 were significantly decreased in tamoxifen resistant ER positive breast cancer cell lines. Exogenous expression of miR-15a/16 mimics re-sensitized resistant cells to tamoxifen by inhibiting Cyclin E1 and B cell lymphoma-2 (Bcl-2) to induce cell growth arrest and apoptosis respectively. Further, we identified that a repressive member of E2F family, E2F7, was responsible for the suppression of miR-15a/16 cluster by competing with E2F1 for E2F binding site at the promoter of their host gene DLEU2. Moreover, high expression of E2F7 is correlated with high risk of relapse and poor prognosis in breast cancer patients receiving tamoxifen treatment. Together, our results suggest that overexpression of E2F7 represses miR-15a/16 and then increases Cyclin E1 and Bcl-2 that result in tamoxifen resistance. E2F7 may be a valuable prognostic marker and a therapeutic target of tamoxifen resistance in breast cancer.

Comiskey DF, Jacob AG, Singh RK, et al.
Splicing factor SRSF1 negatively regulates alternative splicing of MDM2 under damage.
Nucleic Acids Res. 2015; 43(8):4202-18 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Genotoxic stress induces alternative splicing of the oncogene MDM2 generating MDM2-ALT1, an isoform attributed with tumorigenic properties. However, the mechanisms underlying this event remain unclear. Here we explore MDM2 splicing regulation by utilizing a novel minigene that mimics endogenous MDM2 splicing in response to UV and cisplatinum-induced DNA damage. We report that exon 11 is necessary and sufficient for the damage-specific alternative splicing of the MDM2 minigene and that the splicing factor SRSF1 binds exon 11 at evolutionarily conserved sites. Interestingly, mutations disrupting this interaction proved sufficient to abolish the stress-induced alternative splicing of the MDM2 minigene. Furthermore, SRSF1 overexpression promoted exclusion of exon 11, while its siRNA-mediated knockdown prevented the stress-induced alternative splicing of endogenous MDM2. Additionally, we observed elevated SRSF1 levels under stress and in tumors correlating with the expression of MDM2-ALT1. Notably, we demonstrate that MDM2-ALT1 splicing can be blocked by targeting SRSF1 sites on exon 11 using antisense oligonucleotides. These results present conclusive evidence supporting a negative role for SRSF1 in MDM2 alternative splicing. Importantly, we define for the first time, a clear-cut mechanism for the regulation of damage-induced MDM2 splicing and present potential strategies for manipulating MDM2 expression via splicing modulation.

Morenos L, Chatterton Z, Ng JL, et al.
Hypermethylation and down-regulation of DLEU2 in paediatric acute myeloid leukaemia independent of embedded tumour suppressor miR-15a/16-1.
Mol Cancer. 2014; 13:123 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML) is a highly heterogeneous disease. Studies in adult AML have identified epigenetic changes, specifically DNA methylation, associated with leukaemia subtype, age of onset and patient survival which highlights this heterogeneity. However, only limited DNA methylation studies have elucidated any associations in paediatric AML.
METHODS: We interrogated DNA methylation on a cohort of paediatric AML FAB subtype M5 patients using the Illumina HumanMethylation450 (HM450) BeadChip, identifying a number of target genes with p <0.01 and Δβ >0.4 between leukaemic and matched remission (n = 20 primary leukaemic, n = 13 matched remission). Amongst those genes identified, we interrogate DLEU2 methylation using locus-specific SEQUENOM MassARRAY® EpiTYPER® and an increased validation cohort (n = 28 primary leukaemic, n = 14 matched remission, n = 17 additional non-leukaemic and cell lines). Following methylation analysis, expression studies were undertaken utilising the same patient samples for singleplex TaqMan gene and miRNA assays and relative expression comparisons.
RESULTS: We identified differential DNA methylation at the DLEU2 locus, encompassing the tumour suppressor microRNA miR-15a/16-1 cluster. A number of HM450 probes spanning the DLEU2/Alt1 Transcriptional Start Site showed increased levels of methylation in leukaemia (average over all probes >60%) compared to disease-free haematopoietic cells and patient remission samples (<24%) (p < 0.001). Interestingly, DLEU2 mRNA down-regulation in leukaemic patients (p < 0.05) was independent of the embedded mature miR-15a/16-1 expression. To assess prognostic significance of DLEU2 DNA methylation, we stratified paediatric AML patients by their methylation status. A subset of patients recorded methylation values for DLEU2 akin to non-leukaemic specimens, specifically patients with sole trisomy 8 and/or chromosome 11 abnormalities. These patients also showed similar miR-15a/16-1 expression to non-leukaemic samples, and potential improved disease prognosis.
CONCLUSIONS: The DLEU2 locus and embedded miRNA cluster miR-15a/16-1 is commonly deleted in adult cancers and shown to induce leukaemogenesis, however in paediatric AML we found the region to be transcriptionally repressed. In combination, our data highlights the utility of interrogating DNA methylation and microRNA in combination with underlying genetic status to provide novel insights into AML biology.

Veronese A, Pepe F, Chiacchia J, et al.
Allele-specific loss and transcription of the miR-15a/16-1 cluster in chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
Leukemia. 2015; 29(1):86-95 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Deregulation of the miR-15a/16-1 cluster has a key role in the pathogenesis of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), a clinically heterogeneous disease with indolent and aggressive forms. The miR-15a/16-1 locus is located at 13q14, the most frequently deleted region in CLL. Starting from functional investigations of a rare SNP upstream the miR cluster, we identified a novel allele-specific mechanism that exploits a cryptic activator region to recruit the RNA polymerase III for miR-15a/16-1 transcription. This regulation of the miR-15a/16- locus is independent of the DLEU2 host gene, which is often transcribed monoallellically by RPII. We found that normally one allele of miR-15a/16-1 is transcribed by RNAPII, the other one by RNAPIII. In our subset of CLL patients harboring 13q14 deletions, exclusive RNA polymerase III (RPIII)-driven transcription of the miR-15a/16-1 was the consequence of loss of the RPII-regulated allele and correlated with high expression of the poor prognostic marker ZAP70 (P=0.019). Thus, our findings point to a novel biological process, characterized by double allele-specific transcriptional regulation of the miR-15a/16-1 locus by alternative mechanisms. Differential usage of these mechanisms may distinguish at onset aggressive from indolent forms of CLL. This provides a basis for the clinical heterogeneity of the CLL patients carrying 13q14 deletions.

Xue G, Yan HL, Zhang Y, et al.
c-Myc-mediated repression of miR-15-16 in hypoxia is induced by increased HIF-2α and promotes tumor angiogenesis and metastasis by upregulating FGF2.
Oncogene. 2015; 34(11):1393-406 [PubMed] Related Publications
Previous studies have established the link between aberrant microRNA (miRNA) expression and hypoxia in various neoplasms. However, how these hypoxia-related miRNAs modulate tumor progression is still unclear. Therefore, the patterns of miRNA in colorectal carcinoma cell lines in response to hypoxia or not were first screened and the hypoxia-induced repression of the miR-15-16 cluster was confirmed. Then, this repression was found to be associated with high tumor stage and poor prognosis in colorectal carcinoma and is shown to promote tumor angiogenesis and metastasis by the loss of restriction of its target gene, fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF2). Moreover, the general and alterative promoters of the miR-15-16 host (deleted in lymphocytic leukemia 2, DLEU2) were mapped, and three c-Myc/Max binding sites in response to the hypoxia-induced repression of miR-15-16 were further identified. Finally, an enhanced stability of c-Myc/Max heterodimer promoted by increased hypoxia-inducible factor-2α (HIF-2α) was validated, and we also verified that the enhancement contributed to the hypoxia-induced repression of miR-15-16. In brief, the c-Myc-mediated transcriptional repression of miR-15-16 in hypoxia is induced by increased HIF-2α and promoted tumor angiogenesis and hematogenous metastasis by the further loss of post-transcriptional inhibition of FGF2. Our study provides a better understanding of the coping mechanisms in response to tumor hypoxia and may be helpful in developing an effective prognostic marker or treatment target against solid tumors.

Kasar S, Underbayev C, Yuan Y, et al.
Therapeutic implications of activation of the host gene (Dleu2) promoter for miR-15a/16-1 in chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
Oncogene. 2014; 33(25):3307-15 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Genetic lesions and other regulatory events lead to silencing of the 13q14 locus in a majority of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients. This locus encodes a pair of critical proapoptotic microRNAs, miR-15a/16-1. Decreased levels of miR-15a/16-1 are critical for the increased survival exhibited by CLL cells. Similarly, in a de novo murine model of CLL, the NZB strain, germline-encoded regulation of the syntenic region resulted in decreased miR-15a/16-1. In this paper, we have identified additional molecular mechanisms regulating miR-15a/16-1 levels and have shown that the transcription factor BSAP (B-cell-specific activator protein) directly interacts with Dleu2, the host gene containing the miR-15a/16-1 loci, and by negative regulation of the Dleu2 promoter, results in repression of miR-15a/16-1 expression. CLL patient B-cell expression levels of BSAP were increased compared with control sources of B cells. With the use of small interfering RNA-mediated repression, the levels of BSAP were decreased in vitro in the NZB-derived malignant B-1 cell line, LNC, and in ex vivo CLL patient peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). BSAP knockdown led to an increase in the expression of miR-15a/16-1 and an increase in apoptosis, and a cell cycle arrest in both the cell line and patient PBMCs. Moreover, using Dleu2 promoter analysis by chromatin immunoprecipitation assay, we have shown that BSAP directly interacts with the Dleu2 promoter. Derepression of the Dleu2 promoter via inhibition of histone deacetylation combined with BSAP knockdown increased miR-15a/16-1 expression, and also increased malignant B-cell death. In summary, therapy targeting enhanced host gene Dleu2 transcription may augment CLL therapy.

Konialis C, Savola S, Karapanou S, et al.
Routine application of a novel MLPA-based first-line screening test uncovers clinically relevant copy number aberrations in haematological malignancies undetectable by conventional cytogenetics.
Hematology. 2014; 19(4):217-24 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: The presence of numerical and/or structural chromosomal abnormalities is a frequent finding in clonal hematopoietic malignant disease, typically diagnosed through routine karyotyping and/or fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) analysis. Recently, the application of array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) has uncovered many new cryptic genomic copy number imbalances, most of which are now recognized as clinically useful markers of haematological malignancies. In view of the limitations of both FISH and aCGH techniques, in terms of their routine application as a first line screening test, we designed a new multiple ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) probemix for use in addition to classic karyotype analysis.
METHODS: A novel MLPA probemix was developed to interrogate copy number changes involving chromosomal regions: 2p23-24 (MYCN, ALK), 5q32-34 (MIR145A, EBF1, MIR146A), 6q21-27, 7p12.2 (IKZF1), 7q21-36, 8q24.21 (MYC), 9p24 (JAK2 V617F point mutation), 9p21.3 (CDKN2A/2B), 9p13.2 (PAX5), 10q23 (PTEN), 11q22.3 (ATM), 12p13.2 (ETV6), 13q14 (RB1, MIR15A, DLEU2, DLEU1), 17p13.1 (TP53), and 21q22.1 (RUNX1/AML1) and was applied to DNA extracted from 313 consecutive bone marrow patient samples, referred for routine karyotype analysis.
RESULTS: More than half of the samples originated from newly investigated patients. We discovered clinically relevant genomic aberrations, involving a total of 24 patients (8%) all with a normal karyotype, which would have remained undiagnosed.
DISCUSSION: Our data clearly indicate that routine application of this MLPA screening panel, as an adjunct to karyotype analysis, provides a sensitive, robust, rapid and low-cost approach for uncovering clinically important genomic abnormalities, which would have otherwise remained undetected.

Chen CQ, Chen CS, Chen JJ, et al.
Histone deacetylases inhibitor trichostatin A increases the expression of Dleu2/miR-15a/16-1 via HDAC3 in non-small cell lung cancer.
Mol Cell Biochem. 2013; 383(1-2):137-48 [PubMed] Related Publications
Histone deacetylases (HDACs) inhibitor is a promising new approach to the treatment of lung cancer therapy via inhibiting cell growth and inducing apoptosis. miR-15a and miR-16-1 are important tumor suppressors through modulating B cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2), Cyclin D1, D2, and others. However, whether HDACs inhibitor modulates the expression of miR-15a/16-1 in lung cancer is still unknown. The purpose of our study was to identify a new miRNA-mediated mechanism which plays an important role in the anti-cancer effects of HDACs inhibitor. We found HDACs inhibitors trichostatin A (TSA) and sodium butyrate upregulated the expression of miR-15a/16-1, residing in the host tumor suppressor Dleu2 gene, through increasing the histone acetylation in the region of Dleu2/miR-15a/16-1 promoter in lung cancer cells. Moreover, among class Ι HDACs subtypes, only knockdown of HDAC3 by specific siRNA increased the hyperacetylation of Dleu2/miR-15a/16-1 promoter region and finally resulted in the upregulation of miR-15a/16-1. Furthermore, overexpression of miR-15a/16-1, which were always deleted or downregulated in lung cancer cells, effectively suppressed cell growth and reduced colony formation. Finally, TSA reduced the expression of Bcl-2, an important survival protein in lung cancer cells, partly through upregulation of miR-15a/16-1. Therefore, this offers a therapeutic strategy that lung cancer patients who exhibit low level of miR-15a/16-1 or high activity of HDACs may benefit from HDACs inhibitor-based therapy.

Gatt ME, Takada K, Mani M, et al.
TRIM13 (RFP2) downregulation decreases tumour cell growth in multiple myeloma through inhibition of NF Kappa B pathway and proteasome activity.
Br J Haematol. 2013; 162(2):210-20 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Multiple myeloma (MM) is an incurable neoplasm caused by proliferation of malignant plasma cells in the bone marrow (BM). MM is characterized frequently by a complete or partial deletion of chromosome 13q14, seen in more than 50% of patients at diagnosis. Within this deleted region the tripartite motif containing 13 (TRIM13, also termed RFP2) gene product has been proposed to be a tumour suppressor gene (TSG). Here, we show that low expression levels of TRIM13 in MM are associated with chromosome 13q deletion and poor clinical outcome. We present a functional analysis of TRIM13 using a loss-of-function approach, and demonstrate that TRIM13 downregulation decreases tumour cell survival as well as cell cycle progression and proliferation of MM cells. In addition, we provide evidence for the involvement of TRIM13 downregulation in inhibiting the NF kappa B pathway and the activity of the 20S proteasome. Although this data does not support a role of TRIM13 as a TSG, it substantiates important roles of TRIM13 in MM tumour survival and proliferation, underscoring its potential role as a novel target for therapeutic intervention.

Garding A, Bhattacharya N, Claus R, et al.
Epigenetic upregulation of lncRNAs at 13q14.3 in leukemia is linked to the In Cis downregulation of a gene cluster that targets NF-kB.
PLoS Genet. 2013; 9(4):e1003373 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Non-coding RNAs are much more common than previously thought. However, for the vast majority of non-coding RNAs, the cellular function remains enigmatic. The two long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) genes DLEU1 and DLEU2 map to a critical region at chromosomal band 13q14.3 that is recurrently deleted in solid tumors and hematopoietic malignancies like chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). While no point mutations have been found in the protein coding candidate genes at 13q14.3, they are deregulated in malignant cells, suggesting an epigenetic tumor suppressor mechanism. We therefore characterized the epigenetic makeup of 13q14.3 in CLL cells and found histone modifications by chromatin-immunoprecipitation (ChIP) that are associated with activated transcription and significant DNA-demethylation at the transcriptional start sites of DLEU1 and DLEU2 using 5 different semi-quantitative and quantitative methods (aPRIMES, BioCOBRA, MCIp, MassARRAY, and bisulfite sequencing). These epigenetic aberrations were correlated with transcriptional deregulation of the neighboring candidate tumor suppressor genes, suggesting a coregulation in cis of this gene cluster. We found that the 13q14.3 genes in addition to their previously known functions regulate NF-kB activity, which we could show after overexpression, siRNA-mediated knockdown, and dominant-negative mutant genes by using Western blots with previously undescribed antibodies, by a customized ELISA as well as by reporter assays. In addition, we performed an unbiased screen of 810 human miRNAs and identified the miR-15/16 family of genes at 13q14.3 as the strongest inducers of NF-kB activity. In summary, the tumor suppressor mechanism at 13q14.3 is a cluster of genes controlled by two lncRNA genes that are regulated by DNA-methylation and histone modifications and whose members all regulate NF-kB. Therefore, the tumor suppressor mechanism in 13q14.3 underlines the role both of epigenetic aberrations and of lncRNA genes in human tumorigenesis and is an example of colocalization of a functionally related gene cluster.

Tagawa H, Ikeda S, Sawada K
Role of microRNA in the pathogenesis of malignant lymphoma.
Cancer Sci. 2013; 104(7):801-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
MicroRNA (miRNA) are non-coding regulatory RNA usually consisting of 20-24 nucleotides. Over the past decade, increases and decreases in miRNA expression have been shown to associate with various types of disease, including cancer. The first two known miRNA aberrations resulted from altered expression of DLEU2 and C13orf25 in hematological malignancies. DLEU2, which encodes miR-15a and miR-16-1, was discovered from 13q14 deletion in chronic lymphocytic leukemia, while C13orf25, which encodes six mature miRNA (miR-17, miR-18, miR-19a, miR-19b, miR-20a and miR-92a), was identified from 13q31 amplification in aggressive B-cell lymphomas. These miRNA were downregulated or upregulated in accordance with genomic deletion or amplification, which suggests that they contribute to tumorigenesis through altered regulation of target oncogenes or tumor suppressors. Consistent with that idea, miR-15a/16-1 is known to regulate Bcl2 in chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and miR-17-92 regulates the tumor suppressors p21, Pten and Bim in aggressive B-cell lymphomas. Dysregulation of other miRNA, including miR-21, miR-29, miR-150 and miR-155, have also been shown to play crucial roles in the pathogenesis of aggressive transformed, high-grade and refractory lymphomas. Addition of miRNA dysregulation to the original genetic events likely enhances tumorigenicity of malignant lymphoma through activation of one or more signaling pathways.

Edelmann J, Holzmann K, Miller F, et al.
High-resolution genomic profiling of chronic lymphocytic leukemia reveals new recurrent genomic alterations.
Blood. 2012; 120(24):4783-94 [PubMed] Related Publications
To identify genomic alterations in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), we performed single-nucleotide polymorphism-array analysis using Affymetrix Version 6.0 on 353 samples from untreated patients entered in the CLL8 treatment trial. Based on paired-sample analysis (n = 144), a mean of 1.8 copy number alterations per patient were identified; approximately 60% of patients carried no copy number alterations other than those detected by fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis. Copy-neutral loss-of-heterozygosity was detected in 6% of CLL patients and was found most frequently on 13q, 17p, and 11q. Minimally deleted regions were refined on 13q14 (deleted in 61% of patients) to the DLEU1 and DLEU2 genes, on 11q22.3 (27% of patients) to ATM, on 2p16.1-2p15 (gained in 7% of patients) to a 1.9-Mb fragment containing 9 genes, and on 8q24.21 (5% of patients) to a segment 486 kb proximal to the MYC locus. 13q deletions exhibited proximal and distal breakpoint cluster regions. Among the most common novel lesions were deletions at 15q15.1 (4% of patients), with the smallest deletion (70.48 kb) found in the MGA locus. Sequence analysis of MGA in 59 samples revealed a truncating mutation in one CLL patient lacking a 15q deletion. MNT at 17p13.3, which in addition to MGA and MYC encodes for the network of MAX-interacting proteins, was also deleted recurrently.

Gaidano G, Foà R, Dalla-Favera R
Molecular pathogenesis of chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
J Clin Invest. 2012; 122(10):3432-8 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is the most common leukemia in adults. Here, we highlight important genetic alterations that contribute to tumorigenesis, clinical progression, and chemorefractoriness of CLL. All CLLs share a common gene expression profile that suggests derivation from antigen-experienced B cells, a model supported by frequent B cell receptor repertoire skewing and stereotypy. Many CLL patients carry mutated immuno-globulin heavy-chain variable genes, while approximately 35% harbor unmutated IgV genes, which are associated with an inferior outcome. Deletion of chromosome 13q14, which is the most common genetic mutation at diagnosis, is considered an initiating lesion that frequently results in disruption of the tumor suppressor locus DLEU2/MIR15A/MIR16A. Next-generation sequencing has revealed additional recurrent genetic lesions that are implicated in CLL pathogenesis. These advancements in the molecular genetics of CLL have important implications for stratifying treatment based on molecular prognosticators and for targeted therapy.

Cubedo E, Gentles AJ, Huang C, et al.
Identification of LMO2 transcriptome and interactome in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.
Blood. 2012; 119(23):5478-91 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
LMO2 regulates gene expression by facilitating the formation of multipartite DNA-binding complexes. In B cells, LMO2 is specifically up-regulated in the germinal center (GC) and is expressed in GC-derived non-Hodgkin lymphomas. LMO2 is one of the most powerful prognostic indicators in diffuse large B-cell (DLBCL) patients. However, its function in GC B cells and DLBCL is currently unknown. In this study, we characterized the LMO2 transcriptome and transcriptional complex in DLBCL cells. LMO2 regulates genes implicated in kinetochore function, chromosome assembly, and mitosis. Overexpression of LMO2 in DLBCL cell lines results in centrosome amplification. In DLBCL, the LMO2 complex contains some of the traditional partners, such as LDB1, E2A, HEB, Lyl1, ETO2, and SP1, but not TAL1 or GATA proteins. Furthermore, we identified novel LMO2 interacting partners: ELK1, nuclear factor of activated T-cells (NFATc1), and lymphoid enhancer-binding factor1 (LEF1) proteins. Reporter assays revealed that LMO2 increases transcriptional activity of NFATc1 and decreases transcriptional activity of LEF1 proteins. Overall, our studies identified a novel LMO2 transcriptome and interactome in DLBCL and provides a platform for future elucidation of LMO2 function in GC B cells and DLBCL pathogenesis.

Lia M, Carette A, Tang H, et al.
Functional dissection of the chromosome 13q14 tumor-suppressor locus using transgenic mouse lines.
Blood. 2012; 119(13):2981-90 [PubMed] Related Publications
Deletion of chromosomal region 13q14 represents the most common genetic aberration in B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). 13q14 deletions are commonly large and heterogeneous in size and affect multiple genes. We recently found that targeted deletion in mice of the 0.11 megabase (mb)-long minimal deleted region (MDR) encompassing the DLEU2/miR-15a/16-1 cluster recapitulates the spectrum of CLL-associated lymphoproliferations in humans, including CLL, CD5(+) monoclonal B-cell lymphocytosis, and CD5(-) non-Hodgkin lymphomas. In the present study, we demonstrate that additional deletion of the 0.69-mb large genomic region telomeric to the MDR called the common deleted region (CDR) changed the spectrum of lymphoproliferations developing in CDR- versus MDR-deleted mice in that the number of CLL among B-cell lymphoproliferations was significantly elevated in the former. In addition, CDR-deleted mice seemed to succumb to their disease faster than MDR-deleted mice. Comparing HCDR3 regions of CD5(+) lymphoproliferations derived from this and published CLL mouse models, 44% (29 of 66) of junctions could be assigned to 8 sets of highly similar HCDR3 regions, demonstrating that CLL developing in mice frequently expresses almost identical, stereotypic Ag receptors. These results suggest that the size of 13q14 deletions influences the phenotype of the developing lymphoproliferations and potentially the severity of disease, suggesting a tumor-suppressor function for genetic elements in addition to DLEU2/miR-15a/16-1.

Zhang X, Chen X, Lin J, et al.
Myc represses miR-15a/miR-16-1 expression through recruitment of HDAC3 in mantle cell and other non-Hodgkin B-cell lymphomas.
Oncogene. 2012; 31(24):3002-3008 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Our recent study demonstrated miR-15a/16-1 downregulation in mantle cell lymphoma (MCL). Here, we investigated mechanisms of miR-15a/16-1 transcriptional repression and its epigenetic regulation by c-Myc and histone deacetylase (HDAC) in MCL. c-Myc expression was detected in MCL cell lines and in the primary MCL samples, and pri-miR-15a/16-1 mRNAs were significantly upregulated in Mino and Jeko-1 cells with c-Myc knockdown by small interfering RNAs (siRNAs). Our co-immunoprecipitation analysis showed that c-Myc interacted with HDAC3. Moreover, using chromatin immunoprecipitation, we demonstrated that both c-Myc and HDAC3 co-localized to the two promoters of the miR-15a/16-1 cluster gene, DLEU2, and inhibition of HDAC3 increased histone acetylation of the DLEU2 promoters. Luciferase reporter assay confirmed the dependence of Myc-mediated DLEU2 transcriptional repression on HDAC3. Treatment with the pan-HDAC inhibitor, suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid and HDAC3 siRNA resulted in increased miR-15a/16-1 expression. The regulatory mechanism of miR-15a/16-1 was further demonstrated in Burkitt lymphoma and Myc overexpressing cell lines. These findings highlight the role of HDAC3 in Myc-induced miR-15a/16-1 changes and reveal novel mechanisms for c-Myc-driven microRNA suppression and malignant transformation in aggressive B-cell malignancies.

Mian M, Scandurra M, Chigrinova E, et al.
Clinical and molecular characterization of diffuse large B-cell lymphomas with 13q14.3 deletion.
Ann Oncol. 2012; 23(3):729-35 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Deletions at 13q14.3 are common in chronic lymphocytic leukemia and are also present in diffuse large B-cell lymphomas (DLBCL) but never in immunodeficiency-related DLBCL. To characterize DLBCL with 13q14.3 deletions, we combined genome-wide DNA profiling, gene expression and clinical data in a large DLBCL series treated with rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicine, vincristine and prednisone repeated every 21 days (R-CHOP21).
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Affymetrix GeneChip Human Mapping 250K NspI and U133 plus 2.0 gene were used. MicroRNA (miRNA) expression was studied were by real-time PCR. Median follow-up of patients was 4.9 years.
RESULTS: Deletions at 13q14.3, comprising DLEU2/MIR15A/MIR16, occurred in 22/166 (13%) cases. The deletion was wider, including also RB1, in 19/22 cases. Samples with del(13q14.3) had concomitant specific aberrations. No reduced MIR15A/MIR16 expression was observed, but 172 transcripts were significantly differential expressed. Among the deregulated genes, there were RB1 and FAS, both commonly deleted at genomic level. No differences in outcome were observed in patients treated with R-CHOP21.
CONCLUSIONS: Cases with 13q14.3 deletions appear as group of DLBCL characterized by common genetic and biologic features. Deletions at 13q14.3 might contribute to DLBCL pathogenesis by two mechanisms: deregulating the cell cycle control mainly due RB1 loss and contributing to immune escape, due to FAS down-regulation.

Dal Bo M, Rossi FM, Rossi D, et al.
13q14 deletion size and number of deleted cells both influence prognosis in chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2011; 50(8):633-43 [PubMed] Related Publications
Deletion at 13q14 is detected by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) in about 50% of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Although CLL with 13q deletion as the sole cytogenetic abnormality (del13q-only) usually have good prognosis, more aggressive clinical courses are documented for del13q-only CLL carrying higher percentages of 13q deleted nuclei. Moreover, deletion at 13q of different sizes have been described, whose prognostic significance is still unknown. In a multi-institutional cohort of 342 del13q-only cases and in a consecutive unselected cohort of 265 CLL, we investigated the prognostic significance of 13q deletion, using the 13q FISH probes locus-specific identifier (LSI)-D13S319 and LSI-RB1 that detect the DLEU2/MIR15A/MIR16-1 and RB1 loci, respectively. Results indicated that both percentage of deleted nuclei and presence of larger deletions involving the RB1 locus cooperated to refine the prognosis of del13q-only cases. In particular, CLL carrying <70% of 13q deleted nuclei with deletions not comprising the RB1 locus were characterized by particularly long time-to-treatment. Conversely, CLL with 13q deletion in <70% of nuclei but involving the RB1 locus, or CLL carrying 13q deletion in ≥70% of nuclei, with or without RB1 deletions, collectively experienced shorter time-to-treatment. A revised flowchart for the prognostic FISH assessment of del13q-only CLL, implying the usage of both 13q probes, is proposed.

Vassiliou GS, Cooper JL, Rad R, et al.
Mutant nucleophosmin and cooperating pathways drive leukemia initiation and progression in mice.
Nat Genet. 2011; 43(5):470-5 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a molecularly diverse malignancy with a poor prognosis whose largest subgroup is characterized by somatic mutations in NPM1, which encodes nucleophosmin. These mutations, termed NPM1c, result in cytoplasmic dislocation of nucleophosmin and are associated with distinctive transcriptional signatures, yet their role in leukemogenesis remains obscure. Here we report that activation of a humanized Npm1c knock-in allele in mouse hemopoietic stem cells causes Hox gene overexpression, enhanced self renewal and expanded myelopoiesis. One third of mice developed delayed-onset AML, suggesting a requirement for cooperating mutations. We identified such mutations using a Sleeping Beauty transposon, which caused rapid-onset AML in 80% of mice with Npm1c, associated with mutually exclusive integrations in Csf2, Flt3 or Rasgrp1 in 55 of 70 leukemias. We also identified recurrent integrations in known and newly discovered leukemia genes including Nf1, Bach2, Dleu2 and Nup98. Our results provide new pathogenetic insights and identify possible therapeutic targets in NPM1c+ AML.

Parker H, Rose-Zerilli MJ, Parker A, et al.
13q deletion anatomy and disease progression in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
Leukemia. 2011; 25(3):489-97 [PubMed] Related Publications
Historically, genes targeted by recurrent chromosomal deletions have been identified within the smallest genomic region shared in all patients, the minimally deleted region (MDR). However, deletions this small do not occur in all patients and are a simplification of the impact larger heterogeneous deletions have during carcinogenesis. We use the example of 13q14 deletions in chronic lymphocytic leukemia to show that genes outside MDRs are associated with disease progression. Genomic profiling of 224 patients identified 205 copy number alterations on chromosome 13 in 132 cases. Deletions including DLEU2 were heterogeneous (845 Kb-96.2 Mb) and identified two breakpoint cluster regions within short interspersed nuclear elements proximal to DLEU2 and within long interspersed nuclear elements/L1 repeats distal to GUCY1B2. After defining a deletion class on the basis of size and location, we show that (a) at diagnosis, larger deletions (class II) were associated with a significantly increased risk of disease progression (odds ratio=12.3; P=0.005), (b) in progressive patients, class II deletions were enriched (P=0.02) and (c) this association was independent of IgVH mutational status, ZAP70 expression and ATM/TP53 deletion. Deletion of a 1 Mb gene cluster (48.2-49.2 Mb), including SETDB2, PHF11 and RCBTB1, was significantly associated (P<0.01) with disease progression. Here, we show that the deletion of genes outside MDRs can influence clinical outcome.

Klein U, Lia M, Crespo M, et al.
The DLEU2/miR-15a/16-1 cluster controls B cell proliferation and its deletion leads to chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
Cancer Cell. 2010; 17(1):28-40 [PubMed] Related Publications
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is a malignancy of B cells of unknown etiology. Deletions of the chromosomal region 13q14 are commonly associated with CLL, with monoclonal B cell lymphocytosis (MBL), which occasionally precedes CLL, and with aggressive lymphoma, suggesting that this region contains a tumor-suppressor gene. Here, we demonstrate that deletion in mice of the 13q14-minimal deleted region (MDR), which encodes the DLEU2/miR-15a/16-1 cluster, causes development of indolent B cell-autonomous, clonal lymphoproliferative disorders, recapitulating the spectrum of CLL-associated phenotypes observed in humans. miR-15a/16-1-deletion accelerates the proliferation of both human and mouse B cells by modulating the expression of genes controlling cell-cycle progression. These results define the role of 13q14 deletions in the pathogenesis of CLL.

Lerner M, Harada M, Lovén J, et al.
DLEU2, frequently deleted in malignancy, functions as a critical host gene of the cell cycle inhibitory microRNAs miR-15a and miR-16-1.
Exp Cell Res. 2009; 315(17):2941-52 [PubMed] Related Publications
The microRNAs miR-15a and miR-16-1 are downregulated in multiple tumor types and are frequently deleted in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), myeloma and mantle cell lymphoma. Despite their abundance in most cells the transcriptional regulation of miR-15a/16-1 remains unclear. Here we demonstrate that the putative tumor suppressor DLEU2 acts as a host gene of these microRNAs. Mature miR-15a/miR-16-1 are produced in a Drosha-dependent process from DLEU2 and binding of the Myc oncoprotein to two alterative DLEU2 promoters represses both the host gene transcript and levels of mature miR-15a/miR-16-1. In line with a functional role for DLEU2 in the expression of the microRNAs, the miR-15a/miR-16-1 locus is retained in four CLL cases that delete both promoters of this gene and expression analysis indicates that this leads to functional loss of mature miR-15a/16-1. We additionally show that DLEU2 negatively regulates the G1 Cyclins E1 and D1 through miR-15a/miR-16-1 and provide evidence that these oncoproteins are subject to miR-15a/miR-16-1-mediated repression under normal conditions. We also demonstrate that DLEU2 overexpression blocks cellular proliferation and inhibits the colony-forming ability of tumor cell lines in a miR-15a/miR-16-1-dependent way. Together the data illuminate how inactivation of DLEU2 promotes cell proliferation and tumor progression through functional loss of miR-15a/miR-16-1.

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