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AML1-ETO requires enhanced C/D box snoRNA/RNP formation to induce self-renewal and leukaemia.

Zhou F, Liu Y, Rohde C, Pauli C, Gerloff D, Köhn M, Misiak D, Bäumer N, Cui C, Göllner S, Oellerich T, Serve H, Garcia-Cuellar MP, Slany R, Maciejewski JP, Przychodzen B, Seliger B, Klein HU, Bartenhagen C, Berdel WE, Dugas M, Taketo MM, Farouq D, Schwartz S, Regev A, Hébert J, Sauvageau G, Pabst C, Hüttelmaier S, Müller-Tidow C

Department of Hematology and Oncology, University of Halle, Halle 06120, Germany.

Leukaemogenesis requires enhanced self-renewal, which is induced by oncogenes. The underlying molecular mechanisms remain incompletely understood. Here, we identified C/D box snoRNAs and rRNA 2'-O-methylation as critical determinants of leukaemic stem cell activity. Leukaemogenesis by AML1-ETO required expression of the groucho-related amino-terminal enhancer of split (AES). AES functioned by inducing snoRNA/RNP formation via interaction with the RNA helicase DDX21. Similarly, global loss of C/D box snoRNAs with concomitant loss of rRNA 2'-O-methylation resulted in decreased leukaemia self-renewal potential. Genomic deletion of either C/D box snoRNA SNORD14D or SNORD35A suppressed clonogenic potential of leukaemia cells in vitro and delayed leukaemogenesis in vivo. We further showed that AML1-ETO9a, MYC and MLL-AF9 all enhanced snoRNA formation. Expression levels of C/D box snoRNAs in AML patients correlated closely with in vivo frequency of leukaemic stem cells. Collectively, these findings indicate that induction of C/D box snoRNA/RNP function constitutes an important pathway in leukaemogenesis.

Nat. Cell Biol. 2017;19(7):844-855.

Pubmed ID: 28650479

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