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Oncogene

A targeted knockdown screen of genes coding for phosphoinositide modulators identifies PIP4K2A as required for acute myeloid leukemia cell proliferation and survival.


PMID 24681948

Abstract

Given the importance of deregulated phosphoinositide (PI) signaling in leukemic hematopoiesis, genes coding for proteins that regulate PI metabolism may have significant and as yet unappreciated roles in leukemia. We performed a targeted knockdown (KD) screen of PI modulator genes in human acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells and identified candidates required to sustain proliferation or prevent apoptosis. One of these, the lipid kinase phosphatidylinositol-5-phosphate 4-kinase, type II, alpha (PIP4K2A) regulates cellular levels of phosphatidylinositol-5-phosphate (PtsIns5P) and phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PtdIns(4,5)P₂). We found PIP4K2A to be essential for the clonogenic and leukemia-initiating potential of human AML cells, and for the clonogenic potential of murine MLL-AF9 AML cells. Importantly, PIP4K2A is also required for the clonogenic potential of primary human AML cells. Its KD results in accumulation of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors CDKN1A and CDKN1B, G₁ cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. Both CDKN1A accumulation and apoptosis were partially dependent on activation of the mTOR pathway. Critically, however, PIP4K2A KD in normal hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells, both murine and human, did not adversely impact either clonogenic or multilineage differentiation potential, indicating a selective dependency that we suggest may be the consequence of the regulation of different transcriptional programs in normal versus malignant cells. Thus, PIP4K2A is a novel candidate therapeutic target in myeloid malignancy.

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