The pediatric T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) still remains a cancer with worst prognosis for high recurrence. Massive studies were conducted for the leukemia relapse based on diagnosis and relapse paired samples. However, the initially diagnostic samples may contain the relapse information and mechanism, which were rarely studied. In this study, we collected mRNA and microRNA (miRNA) data from initially diagnosed pediatric T-ALL samples with their relapse or remission status after treatment. Integrated differential co-expression and miRNA-transcription factor (TF)-gene regulatory network analyses were used to reveal the possible relapse mechanisms for pediatric T-ALL. We detected miR-1246/1248 and NOTCH2 served as key nodes in the relapse network, and they combined with TF WT1/SOX4/REL to form regulatory modules that influence the progress of T-ALL. A regulatory loop miR-429-MYCN-MFHAS1 was found potentially associated with the remission of T-ALL. Furthermore, we proved miR-1246/1248 combined with NOTCH2 could promote cell proliferation in the T-ALL cell line by experiments. Meanwhile, analysis based on the miRNA-drug relationships demonstrated that drugs 5-fluorouracil, ascorbate, and trastuzumab targeting miR-1246 could serve as potential supplements for the standard therapy. In conclusion, our findings revealed the potential molecular mechanisms of T-ALL relapse by the combination of co-expression and regulatory network, and they provide preliminary clues for precise treatment of T-ALL patients.
Luo, M., Zhang, Q., Xia, M., Hu, F., Ma, Z., Chen, Z., & Guo, A. Y. (2018). Differential Co-expression and Regulatory Network Analysis Uncover the Relapse Factor and Mechanism of T Cell Acute Leukemia. Molecular Therapy - Nucleic Acids, 12, 184–194. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.omtn.2018.05.003