Integrated genomic analysis identifies deregulated JAK/STAT-MYC-biosynthesis axis in aggressive NK-cell leukemia

Liang Huang, Dan Liu, Na Wang, Shaoping Ling, Yuting Tang, Jun Wu, Lingtong Hao, Hui Luo, Xuelian Hu, Lingshuang Sheng, Lijun Zhu, Di Wang, Yi Luo, Zhen Shang, Min Xiao, Xia Mao, Kuangguo Zhou, Lihua Cao, Lili Dong, Xinchang ZhengPinpin Sui, Jianlin He, Shanlan Mo, Jin Yan, Qilin Ao, Lugui Qiu, Hongsheng Zhou, Qifa Liu, Hongyu Zhang, Jianyong Li, Jie Jin, Li Fu, Weili Zhao, Jieping Chen, Xin Du, Guoliang Qing, Hudan Liu, Xin Liu, Gang Huang, Ding Ma, Jianfeng Zhou, Qian Fei Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations

Abstract

Aggressive NK-cell leukemia (ANKL) is a rare form of NK cell neoplasm that is more prevalent among people from Asia and Central and South America. Patients usually die within days to months, even after receiving prompt therapeutic management. Here we performed the first comprehensive study of ANKL by integrating whole genome, transcriptome and targeted sequencing, cytokine array as well as functional assays. Mutations in the JAK-STAT pathway were identified in 48% (14/29) of ANKL patients, while the extracellular STAT3 stimulator IL10 was elevated by an average of 56-fold (P < 0.0001) in the plasma of all patients examined. Additional frequently mutated genes included TP53 (34%), TET2 (28%), CREBBP (21%) and MLL2 (21%). Patient NK leukemia cells showed prominent activation of STAT3 phosphorylation, MYC expression and transcriptional activities in multiple metabolic pathways. Functionally, STAT3 activation and MYC expression were critical for the proliferation and survival of ANKL cells. STAT signaling regulated the MYC transcription program, and both STAT signaling and MYC transcription were required to maintain the activation of nucleotide synthesis and glycolysis. Collectively, the JAK-STAT pathway represents a major target for genomic alterations and IL10 stimulation in ANKL. This newly discovered JAK/STAT-MYC-biosynthesis axis may provide opportunities for the development of novel therapeutic strategies in treating this subtype of leukemia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)172-186
Number of pages15
JournalCell Research
Volume28
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • aggressive NK-cell leukemia
  • genomic landscape
  • glycolysis
  • IL-10
  • JAK/STAT pathway
  • MYC activation
  • nucleotide synthesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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