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Jiang, Xi; Hu, Chao; Arnovitz, Stephen; Bugno, Jason; Yu, Miao; Zuo, Zhixiang; Chen, Ping; Huang, Hao; Ulrich, Bryan; Gurbuxani, Sandeep; Weng, Hengyou; Strong, Jennifer; Wang, Yungui; Li, Yuanyuan; Salat, Justin; Li, Shenglai; Elkahloun, Abdel G.; Yang, Yang; Neilly, Mary Beth; Larson, Richard A.; Le Beau, Michelle M.; Herold, Tobias; Bohlander, Stefan K.; Liu, Paul P.; Zhang, Jiwang; Li, Zejuan; He, Chuan; Jin, Jie; Hong, Seungpyo; Chen, Jianjun (2016): miR-22 has a potent anti-tumour role with therapeutic potential in acute myeloid leukaemia. In: Nature Communications, Vol. 7, 11452


MicroRNAs are subject to precise regulation and have key roles in tumorigenesis. In contrast to the oncogenic role of miR-22 reported in myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and breast cancer, here we show that miR-22 is an essential anti-tumour gatekeeper in de novo acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) where it is significantly downregulated. Forced expression of miR-22 significantly suppresses leukaemic cell viability and growth in vitro, and substantially inhibits leukaemia development and maintenance in vivo. Mechanistically, miR-22 targets multiple oncogenes, including CRTC1, FLT3 and MYCBP, and thus represses the CREB and MYC pathways. The downregulation of miR-22 in AML is caused by TET1/GFI1/EZH2/SIN3A-mediated epigenetic repression and/or DNA copy-number loss. Furthermore, nanoparticles carrying miR-22 oligos significantly inhibit leukaemia progression in vivo. Together, our study uncovers a TET1/GFI1/EZH2/SIN3A/miR-22/CREB-MYC signalling circuit and thereby provides insights into epigenetic/genetic mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of AML, and also highlights the clinical potential of miR-22-based AML therapy.