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4150 Lncrna Famlf-2 Promotes Leukemogenesis Via the DHX9/c-Myc Axis in Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Program: Oral and Poster Abstracts
Session: 603. Lymphoid Oncogenesis: Basic: Poster III
Hematology Disease Topics & Pathways:
Lymphoid Leukemias, ALL, Diseases, Lymphoid Malignancies
Monday, December 11, 2023, 6:00 PM-8:00 PM

Xiaolin Lai, MD, PhD1,2*, Yuanhua Cai, MD, PhD1,2*, Yuanmao Huang, MD, PhD1,2*, Shuiling Shi, MD1,2*, Zhixiang Chen, MD1,2*, Xuechun Wang, PhD1,3*, Fuquan Tu, MD, PhD1,2,4*, Luya Ye, MD1,2*, Xiaofan Li, MD, PhD1,2, Lili PAN, MD, PhD1,2*, Jinggang Li, MD, PhD1,2*, Yang Li, MD, PhD1,2*, Huiying Gao, MD1,2* and Shaoyuan Wang, MD1,2*

1Union Clinical Medical Colleges, Fujian Medical University, Fuzhou, China
2Department of Hematology, Fujian Institute of Hematology, Fujian Provincial Key Laboratory on Hematology, Fujian Medical University Union Hospital, Fuzhou, China
3Department of Hematology, Fujian Institute of Hematology, Fujian Provincial Key Laboratory on Hematology, Fujian Medical University Union Hospital, Fuzhou, NJ, China
4Emergency Intensive Care Unit, Fujian Medical University Union Hospital, Fuzhou, China

Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs), defined as the transcripts longer than 200 nt without protein-coding capacity, have been found to be aberrantly expressed in diverse human diseases including leukemia. Our previous study identified Familial acute myelogenous leukemia related factor (FAMLF) in an acute myeloblastic leukemia (AML) pedigree. Two splice variants of FAMLF, FAMLF-1 and FAMLF-2 were detected. FAMLF-1 is upgraded in AML patients and associated with poor prognosis. However, the full cDNA sequence of FAMLF-2 is not verified and its role in leukemogenesis remain unclear. Herein, we aim to investigate the functional and mechanistic roles of FAMLF-2 in leukemia.

Using real-time quantitative RT-PCR assay, we found that the expression of FAMLF-2 was at higher levels in Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia(ALL) cell lines when compared to AML cell lines. Bone marrow cells were obtained from de novo ALL patients. qRT-PCR showed FAMLF-2 was up-regulated in ALL patients (N=115) compared to healthy controls (N=72). The FAMLF-2 expression was positively correlated with the poor prognosis in ALL patients by Kaplan-Meier analysis. These data demonstrated that FAMLF-2 is overexpressed in ALL patients and is associated with poor prognosis. To verify the full cDNA sequence of FAMLF-2, 5' and 3' rapid amplification of the cDNA ends (RACE) was performed, and we identified the 2393 nt of FAMLF-2. FAMLF-2 is predicted to not have protein-coding potential. Further subcellular analysis showed FAMLF-2 is mainly localized in the nucleus of Jurkat cells by lncRNA FISH and subcellular fractionation assay.

To further verify the role of FAMLF-2 in ALL leukemogenesis, a xenograft model was established in NCG mice by subcutaneously or intravenously injection of engineered Jurkat cells (knockdown group: shNC and shFAMLF-2, overexpression group: pCDH and FAMLF-2). We found that the size and weight of tumors in FAMLF-2 knockdown group were significantly decreased compared with the empty vector in subcutaneous ALL xenograft tumor model. and the mice in the shFAMLF-2 groups survived longer than those in the shNC groups in introvenous ALL xenograft tumor model (shFAMLF-2 vs. shNC: 55 days vs. 43 days, P<0.01). These data suggested that downregulation of FAMLF-2 inhibits leukemia development. Although no significant difference was found in the overall survival of mice overexpressed FAMLF-2. We observed the accelerated central nervous system(CNS) infiltration of leukemia cells when FAMLF-2 was overexpressed (clinical score at 32th day from Vector vs. FAMLF-2: 2.7 scores vs. 1.2 scores, p < 0.01 ). In vitro study revealed knockdown of FAMLF-2 inhibited cell proliferation and promoted cell apoptosis in ALL cells, and vice versa. Taken together, our clinical, mouse model, and AML cell data demonstrated that FAMLF-2 promotes leukemogenesis.

RNA sequencing was performed to study how FAMLF-2 promotes ALL development. Gene Set Enrichment Analysis (GSEA) of genes downregulated by FAMLF-2 showed "Myc targets" with the highest normalised enrichment score (NES) in Jurkat cells. C-Myc is a well-recognized transcription factor that involves in leukemogenesis. To investigate whether FAMLF-2 performed direct interaction with c-Myc, we performed RNA pull-down followed by mass spectrometry analysis. Instead of c-Myc, DExH-Box Helicase 9 (DHX9) has the highest abundance. The Western blot and RNA immunoprecipitation (RIP) assay were further performed to validated the direct interaction between FAMLF-2 and DHX9. DHX9 is an RNA helicase that participates in c-Myc mRNA stability. Inhibition of FAMLF-2 suppressed DHX9 and c-Myc expression. Reduced interaction between DHX9 protein and c-Myc mRNA were observed when FAMLF-2 were downregulated. Furthermore, RNA stability assays suggested that knockdown of FAMLF-2 leads to a declined half-life of c-Myc mRNA. Collectively, these results demonstrated that FAMLF-2 regulates the stability of c-Myc mRNA through direct binding of DHX9, thus involved in the ALL development.

In summary, our study revealed the previous undefined cDNA sequence of FAMLF-2, and provides new insights of FAMLF-2 in leukemogenesis via the DHX9/c-Myc axis, which might act as a prospective prognostic biological marker in ALL.

Disclosures: No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.

*signifies non-member of ASH