Haploinsufficiency of the <i>c-myc</i> transcriptional repressor <i>FIR</i>, as a dominant negative-alternative splicing model, promoted p53-dependent T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia progression by activating Notch1

  • Matsushita K
  • Kitamura K
  • Rahmutulla B
  • et al.
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Abstract

FUSE-binding protein (FBP)-interacting repressor (FIR) is a c-myc transcriptional suppressor. A splice variant of FIR that lacks exon 2 in the transcriptional repressor domain (FIRΔexon2) upregulates c-myc transcription by inactivating wild-type FIR. The ratio of FIRΔexon2/FIR mRNA was increased in human colorectal cancer and hepatocellular carcinoma tissues. Because FIRΔexon2 is considered to be a dominant negative regulator of FIR, FIR heterozygous knockout (FIR+/-) C57BL6 mice were generated. FIR complete knockout (FIR-/-) was embryonic lethal before E9.5; therefore, it is essential for embryogenesis. This strongly suggests that insufficiency of FIR is crucial for carcinogenesis. FIR+/- mice exhibited prominent c-myc mRNA upregulation, particularly in the peripheral blood (PB), without any significant pathogenic phenotype. Furthermore, elevated FIRΔexon2/FIR mRNA expression was detected in human leukemia samples and cell lines. Because the single knockout of TP53 generates thymic lymphoma, FIR+/-TP53-/- generated T-cell type acute lymphocytic/ lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) with increased organ or bone marrow invasion with poor prognosis. RNA-sequencing analysis of sorted thymic lymphoma cells revealed that the Notch signaling pathway was activated significantly in FIR+/-TP53-/- compared with that in FIR+/+TP53-/- mice. Notch1 mRNA expression in sorted thymic lymphoma cells was confirmed using qRT-PCR. In addition, flow cytometry revealed that c-myc mRNA was negatively correlated with FIR but positively correlated with Notch1 in sorted T-ALL/ thymic lymphoma cells. Moreover, the knockdown of TP53 or c-myc using siRNA decreased Notch1 expression in cancer cells. In addition, an adenovirus vector encoding FIRΔexon2 cDNA increased bleomycin-induced DNA damage. Taken together, these data suggest that the altered expression of FIRΔexon2 increased Notch1 at least partially by activating c-Myc via a TP53-independent pathway. In conclusion, the alternative splicing of FIR, which generates FIRΔexon2, may contribute to both colorectal carcinogenesis and leukemogenesis.

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Matsushita, K., Kitamura, K., Rahmutulla, B., Tanaka, N., Ishige, T., Satoh, M., … Nomura, F. (2015). Haploinsufficiency of the c-myc transcriptional repressor FIR, as a dominant negative-alternative splicing model, promoted p53-dependent T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia progression by activating Notch1. Oncotarget, 6(7). https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.3244

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