miR-155 targets histone deacetylase 4 (HDAC4) and impairs transcriptional activity of B-cell lymphoma 6 (BCL6) in the Eµ-miR-155 transgenic mouse model.

Sandhu SK, Volinia S, Costinean S, Galasso M, Neinast R, Santhanam R, Parthun MR, Perrotti D, Marcucci G, Garzon R, Croce CM
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 109 20047-52 12/04/2012


Multiple studies have established that microRNAs (miRNAs) are involved in the initiation and progression of cancer. Notably, miR-155 is one of the most overexpressed miRNAs in several solid and hematological malignancies. Ectopic miR-155 expression in mice B cells (Eµ-miR-155 transgenic mice) has been shown to induce pre-B-cell proliferation followed by high-grade lymphoma/leukemia. Loss of miR-155 in mice resulted in impaired immunity due to defective T-cell-mediated immune response. Here we provide a mechanistic insight into miR-155-induced leukemogenesis in the Eµ-miR-155 mouse model through genome-wide transcriptome analysis of naïve B cells and target studies. We found that a key transcriptional repressor and proto-oncogene, Bcl6 is significantly down-regulated in Eµ-miR-155 mice. The reduction of Bcl6 subsequently leads to de-repression of some of the known Bcl6 targets like inhibitor of differentiation (Id2), interleukin-6 (IL6), cMyc, Cyclin D1, and Mip1a/ccl3, all of which promote cell survival and proliferation. We show that Bcl6 is indirectly regulated by miR-155 through Mxd1/Mad1 up-regulation. Interestingly, we found that miR-155 directly targets HDAC4, a corepressor partner of BCL6. Furthermore, ectopic expression of HDAC4 in human-activated B-cell-type diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) cells results in reduced miR-155-induced proliferation, clonogenic potential, and increased apoptosis. Meta-analysis of the diffuse large B-cell lymphoma patient microarray data showed that miR-155 expression is inversely correlated with Bcl6 and Hdac4. Hence this study provides a better understanding of how miR-155 causes disruption of the BCL6 transcriptional machinery that leads to up-regulation of the survival and proliferation genes in miR-155-induced leukemias.

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