: Circular RNAs (circRNAs) are emerging as new players in leukemogenic mechanisms. In patients with T-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (T-ALL), the recent report of a remarkable dysregulation of circRNAs incited further functional investigation. Here we focus on circFBXW7, highly expressed in T-cells, with a notably high abundance of the circular compared to linear transcript of FBXW7. Two T-ALL patient cohorts profiled with RNA-seq were analyzed in comparison with five populations of developing thymocytes as normal counterpart, quantifying circRNA and gene expression. CircFBXW7 expression was very heterogeneous in T-ALL patients allowing their stratification in two groups with low and high expression of this circRNA, not correlated with FBXW7 mutation status and T-ALL molecular subgroups. With a loss-of-function study in T-ALL in vitro, we demonstrate that circFBXW7 depletion increases leukemic cell viability and proliferation. Microarray profiling highlighted the effect of the circFBXW7 silencing on gene expression, with activation of pro-proliferative pathways, supporting a tumor suppressor role of circFBXW7 in T-ALL. Further, MYC and intracellular NOTCH1 protein levels, as well as expression of MYC target and NOTCH signaling genes were elevated after circFBXW7 depletion, suggesting an inhibitory role of circFBXW7 in these oncogenic axes. Plus, low circFBXW7 levels were associated with a particular gene expression profile in T-ALL patients, which was remarkably mirrored by the effects of circFBXW7 loss-of-function in vitro. CircFBXW7 depletion notably emerges as a new factor enhancing a proliferative phenotype and the activation of the MYC signaling pathway, key players in this aggressive malignancy.

CircFBXW7 in patients with T-cell ALL: depletion sustains MYC and NOTCH activation and leukemia cell viability

Buratin, Alessia;Borin, Cristina;Tretti Parenzan, Caterina;Dal Molin, Anna;Orsi, Silvia;Binatti, Andrea;Simon, Katharina;Paganin, Maddalena;Serafin, Valentina;Gaffo, Enrico;Te Kronnie, Geertruij;Bresolin, Silvia;Bortoluzzi, Stefania
2023

Abstract

: Circular RNAs (circRNAs) are emerging as new players in leukemogenic mechanisms. In patients with T-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (T-ALL), the recent report of a remarkable dysregulation of circRNAs incited further functional investigation. Here we focus on circFBXW7, highly expressed in T-cells, with a notably high abundance of the circular compared to linear transcript of FBXW7. Two T-ALL patient cohorts profiled with RNA-seq were analyzed in comparison with five populations of developing thymocytes as normal counterpart, quantifying circRNA and gene expression. CircFBXW7 expression was very heterogeneous in T-ALL patients allowing their stratification in two groups with low and high expression of this circRNA, not correlated with FBXW7 mutation status and T-ALL molecular subgroups. With a loss-of-function study in T-ALL in vitro, we demonstrate that circFBXW7 depletion increases leukemic cell viability and proliferation. Microarray profiling highlighted the effect of the circFBXW7 silencing on gene expression, with activation of pro-proliferative pathways, supporting a tumor suppressor role of circFBXW7 in T-ALL. Further, MYC and intracellular NOTCH1 protein levels, as well as expression of MYC target and NOTCH signaling genes were elevated after circFBXW7 depletion, suggesting an inhibitory role of circFBXW7 in these oncogenic axes. Plus, low circFBXW7 levels were associated with a particular gene expression profile in T-ALL patients, which was remarkably mirrored by the effects of circFBXW7 loss-of-function in vitro. CircFBXW7 depletion notably emerges as a new factor enhancing a proliferative phenotype and the activation of the MYC signaling pathway, key players in this aggressive malignancy.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3468570
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