A Human IPS Model Implicates Embryonic B-Myeloid Fate Restriction as Developmental Susceptibility to B Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Associated ETV6-RUNX1.
Böiers C., Richardson SE., Laycock E., Zriwil A., Turati VA., Brown J., Wray JP., Wang D., James C., Herrero J., Sitnicka E., Karlsson S., Smith AJH., Jacobsen SEW., Enver T.
ETV6-RUNX1 is associated with childhood acute B-lymphoblastic leukemia (cALL) functioning as a first-hit mutation that initiates a clinically silent pre-leukemia in utero. Because lineage commitment hierarchies differ between embryo and adult, and the impact of oncogenes is cell-context dependent, we hypothesized that the childhood affiliation of ETV6-RUNX1 cALL reflects its origins in a progenitor unique to embryonic life. We characterize the first emerging B cells in first-trimester human embryos, identifying a developmentally restricted CD19-IL-7R+ progenitor compartment, which transitions from a myeloid to lymphoid program during ontogeny. This developmental series is recapitulated in differentiating human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs), thereby providing a model for the initiation of cALL. Genome-engineered hPSCs expressing ETV6-RUNX1 from the endogenous ETV6 locus show expansion of the CD19-IL-7R+ compartment, show a partial block in B lineage commitment, and produce proB cells with aberrant myeloid gene expression signatures and potential: features (collectively) consistent with a pre-leukemic state.