Modeling of C/EBPalpha mutant acute myeloid leukemia reveals a common expression signature of committed myeloid leukemia-initiating cells.
Kirstetter P., Schuster MB., Bereshchenko O., Moore S., Dvinge H., Kurz E., Theilgaard-Mönch K., Månsson R., Pedersen TA., Pabst T., Schrock E., Porse BT., Jacobsen SEW., Bertone P., Tenen DG., Nerlov C.
Mutations in the CEBPA gene are present in 7%-10% of human patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). However, no genetic models exist that demonstrate their etiological relevance. To mimic the most common mutations affecting CEBPA-that is, those leading to loss of the 42 kDa C/EBPalpha isoform (p42) while retaining the 30kDa isoform (p30)-we modified the mouse Cebpa locus to express only p30. p30 supported the formation of granulocyte-macrophage progenitors. However, p42 was required for control of myeloid progenitor proliferation, and p42-deficient mice developed AML with complete penetrance. p42-deficient leukemia could be transferred by a Mac1+c-Kit+ population that gave rise only to myeloid cells in recipient mice. Expression profiling of this population against normal Mac1+c-Kit+ progenitors revealed a signature shared with MLL-AF9-transformed AML.