bims-tremyl Biomed News
on Therapy resistance biology in myeloid leukemia
Issue of 2021‒08‒01
thirty-six papers selected by
Paolo Gallipoli
Barts Cancer Institute, Queen Mary University of London

  1. Leukemia. 2021 Jul 28.
      In acute myeloid leukemia (AML) internal tandem duplications of the FLT3 gene (FLT3-ITD) are associated with poor prognosis. Retrospectively, we investigated the prognostic and predictive impact of FLT3-ITD insertion site (IS) in 452 patients randomized within the RATIFY trial, which evaluated midostaurin additionally to intensive chemotherapy. Next-generation sequencing identified 908 ITDs, with 643 IS in the juxtamembrane domain (JMD) and 265 IS in the tyrosine kinase domain-1 (TKD1). According to IS, patients were categorized as JMDsole (n = 251, 55%), JMD and TKD1 (JMD/TKD1; n = 117, 26%), and TKD1sole (n = 84, 19%). While clinical variables did not differ among the 3 groups, NPM1 mutation was correlated with JMDsole (P = 0.028). Overall survival (OS) differed significantly, with estimated 4-year OS probabilities of 0.44, 0.50, and 0.30 for JMDsole, JMD/TKD1, and TKD1sole, respectively (P = 0.032). Multivariate (cause-specific) Cox models for OS and cumulative incidence of relapse using allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) in first complete remission as a time-dependent variable identified TKD1sole as unfavorable and HCT as favorable factors. In addition, Midostaurin exerted a significant benefit only for JMDsole. Our results confirm the distinct molecular heterogeneity of FLT3-ITD and the negative prognostic impact of TKD1 IS in AML that was not overcome by midostaurin.
  2. Leukemia. 2021 Jul 29.
      Mutations in the Janus Kinase 2 (JAK2) gene resulting in constitutive kinase activation represent the most common genetic event in myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN), a group of diseases involving overproduction of one or more kinds of blood cells, including red cells, white cells, and platelets. JAK2 kinase inhibitors, such as ruxolitinib, provide clinical benefit, but inhibition of wild-type (wt) JAK2 limits their clinical utility due to toxicity to normal cells, and small molecule inhibition of mutated JAK2 kinase activity can lead to drug resistance. Here, we present a strategy to target mutated JAK2 for degradation, using the cell's intracellular degradation machinery, while sparing non-mutated JAK2. We employed a chemical genetics screen, followed by extensive selectivity profiling and genetic studies, to identify the deubiquitinase (DUB), JOSD1, as a novel regulator of mutant JAK2. JOSD1 interacts with and stabilizes JAK2-V617F, and inactivation of the DUB leads to JAK2-V617F protein degradation by increasing its ubiquitination levels, thereby shortening its protein half-life. Moreover, targeting of JOSD1 leads to the death of JAK2-V617F-positive primary acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells. These studies provide a novel therapeutic approach to achieving selective targeting of mutated JAK2 signaling in MPN.
  3. Leuk Lymphoma. 2021 Jul 29. 1-12
      Selinexor, a selective inhibitor of nuclear export, has demonstrated promising activity in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). This randomized, phase II study evaluated selinexor 60 mg twice weekly (n = 118) vs. physician's choice (PC) treatment (n = 57) in patients aged ≥60 years with relapsed/refractory (R/R) AML. The primary outcome was overall survival (OS). Median OS did not differ significantly for selinexor vs. PC (3.2 vs. 5.6 months; HR = 1.18 [95% CI: 0.79-1.75]; p = 0.422). Complete remission (CR) plus CR with incomplete hematologic recovery trending in favor of selinexor occurred in a minority of patients. Selinexor treated patients had an increased incidence of adverse events. The most common grade ≥3 adverse events were thrombocytopenia, febrile neutropenia, anemia, hyponatremia. Despite well-balanced baseline characteristics, there were numerically higher rates of TP53 mutations, prior myelodysplastic syndrome, and lower absolute neutrophil counts in the selinexor group; warranting further investigation of selinexor in more carefully stratified R/R AML patients.Registered trial: NCT02088541.
    Keywords:  AML; Selinexor; refractory; relapsed
  4. Blood. 2021 Jul 28. pii: blood.2020009680. [Epub ahead of print]
      Biallelic mutations of the CEBPA gene (CEBPAbi) define a distinct entity associated with favorable prognosis, however the role of monoallelic mutations (CEBPAsm) is poorly understood. We retrospectively analyzed 4708 adult AML patients recruited into Study Alliance Leukemia trials to investigate the prognostic impact of CEBPAsm. CEBPA mutations were identified in 240 patients (5.1%), 131 CEBPAbi and 109 CEBPAsm (60 affecting the amino-terminal transactivation domains (CEBPAsmTAD) and 49 the carboxy-terminal DNA-binding or basic leucine zipper region (CEBPAsmbZIP)). Interestingly, CEBPAbi and CEBPAsmbZIP patients shared several clinical factors, i.e. were significantly younger (median 46 years and 50 years) and had higher WBC counts at diagnosis (median 23.7 and 35.7 109/l) compared to CEBPAsmTAD patients (median age 63 yrs., median WBC 13.1 109/l; p<.001). Co-mutations were also similar in both groups, e.g. GATA2 mutations (35.1% CEBPAbi; 36.7% CEBPAsmbZIP vs. 6.7% CEBPAsmTAD; p<.001) or NPM1 mutations (3.1% CEBPAbi; 8.2% CEBPAsmbZIP vs. 38.3% CEBPAsmTAD; p<.001). CEBPAbi and CEBPAsmbZIP, but not CEBPAsmTAD were associated with significantly improved overall (median OS: 103 and 63 vs. 13 months) and event-free survival (median EFS: 20.7 and 17.1 vs. 5.7 months), in univariate and multivariable analyses. More detailed analysis revealed that the clinical and molecular features as well as the favorable survival were confined to patients showing in-frame mutations in bZIP (CEBPAbZIP-inf). When grouping patients into CEBPAbZIP-inf and CEBPAother (including CEBPAsmTAD and other non-CEBPAbZIP-inf patients), only CEBPAbZIP-inf patients showed superior CR rates and the longest median OS and EFS, arguing for a previously undefined prognostic role of this type of mutations.
  5. Blood. 2021 Jul 29. 138(4): 318-330
      The prognosis of patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) remains dismal, highlighting the need for novel innovative treatment strategies. The application of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy to patients with AML has been limited, in particular by the lack of a tumor-specific target antigen. CD70 is a promising antigen to target AML, as it is expressed on most leukemic blasts, whereas little or no expression is detectable in normal bone marrow samples. To target CD70 on AML cells, we generated a panel of CD70-CAR T cells that contained a common single-chain variable fragment (scFv) for antigen detection, but differed in size and flexibility of the extracellular spacer and in the transmembrane and the costimulatory domains. These CD70scFv CAR T cells were compared with a CAR construct that contained human CD27, the ligand of CD70 fused to the CD3ζ chain (CD27z). The structural composition of the CAR strongly influenced expression levels, viability, expansion, and cytotoxic capacities of CD70scFv-based CAR T cells, but CD27z-CAR T cells demonstrated superior proliferation and antitumor activity in vitro and in vivo, compared with all CD70scFv-CAR T cells. Although CD70-CAR T cells recognized activated virus-specific T cells (VSTs) that expressed CD70, they did not prevent colony formation by normal hematopoietic stem cells. Thus, CD70-targeted immunotherapy is a promising new treatment strategy for patients with CD70-positive AML that does not affect normal hematopoiesis but will require monitoring of virus-specific T-cell responses.
  6. Am J Blood Res. 2021 ;11(3): 290-302
      Both elderly acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients and those with baseline infections, when treated with intensive chemotherapy, are associated with high induction mortality. We report 24 patients (16-newly-diagnosed, 8-relapsed/refractory) with AML deemed unfit for intensive chemotherapy (by virtue of age >60 years, ECOG-PS 3-4, or those with non-resolving infections at baseline), treated with azacytidine-venetoclax combination as induction chemotherapy. Median follow-up of the study group was 8 months. The overall complete remission (CR)+CR with incomplete count recovery (CRi) rate was 58.3%. 1-year progression-free survival and overall survival of the whole cohort was 44.4% and 55.8%, respectively. On subgroup analysis, newly-diagnosed AML (p=0.05), intermediate-risk cytogenetics (p=0.007), and HMA-naïve (p=0.05) patients had a significantly better outcome. AML patients with baseline infections (versus without infections) treated with azacytidine-venetoclax induction, have lesser induction mortality (compared with historic intensive chemotherapy) with equivalent response rates. A detailed analysis amongst cohorts with different venetoclax durations revealed that, shorter duration (<21 days) venetoclax (versus 21-28 days duration) in induction therapy leads to similar response rates and similar severity of myelosuppression, however, with early count recovery and lesser duration of intravenous antibiotics.
    Keywords:  Acute myeloid leukemia; India; azacytidine; elderly; infections; intensive chemotherapy; venetoclax duration
  7. Acta Oncol. 2021 Jul 30. 1-7
      BACKGROUND: For patients undergoing allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) for acute myeloid leukemia (AML), disease relapse remains the most common reason for transplant failure and patient death. Recent randomized controlled trials (RCTs) have aimed to reduce the risk of relapse by means of post-transplant maintenance therapy.METHODS: We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of RCTs comparing the efficacy and safety of maintenance with observation or placebo in patients with AML after allogeneic HSCT. We searched Cochrane Library, PubMed and conference proceedings up to Febuary 2021.
    RESULTS: Our search yielded five trials including 736 patients. Maintenance therapy consisted of tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) in 3 studies (sorafenib 2 studies; midostaurin 1 study) and hypomethylating agents (HMAs) in 2 studies (decitabine and azacytidine 1 study each). Maintenance therapy was associated with an improved overall survival (OS), HR = 0.61 (95% CI 0.47-0.80). Subgroup analysis revealed advantage in OS with either TKI or HMA maintenance. Relapse free survival (RFS) was also improved in the maintenance arm compared with the control arm HR = 0.51(95% CI 0.40 - 0.66). There was no difference between the two arms in overall grade 3/4 adverse events or overall infections, in grade 3/4 infections, or in acute and chronic graft versus host disease.
    CONCLUSIONS: Our meta-analysis shows that post-transplant maintenance therapy in AML patients is effective in improving RFS and OS, with a satisfactory safety profile.
    Keywords:  Acute myeloid leukemia; allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant; maintenance; meta-analysis
  8. Cancer Res. 2021 Jul 28. pii: canres.1027.2021. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mutations in the isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1) and IDH2 genes are frequently observed in a wide variety of hematologic malignancies, including myeloid and T-cell leukemias. In this study, we generated Idh2R140Q transgenic mice to examine the role of the Idh2R140Q mutation in leukemia. No leukemia developed in Idh2R140Q transgenic mice, suggesting a need for additional genetic events for leukemia development. Since myeloid cells from NUP98-HOXD13 fusion (NHD13) transgenic mice frequently acquire somatic Idh mutations when they transform to AML, we generated Idh2R140Q/NHD13 double transgenic mice. Idh2R140Q/NHD13 transgenic mice developed an immature T cell leukemia with an immunophenotype similar to double-negative 1 (DN1) or DN2 thymocytes. Idh2R140Q/NHD13 leukemic cells were enriched for an early thymic precursor transcriptional signature, and the gene expression profile for Idh2R140Q/NHD13 DN1/DN2 T-ALL closely matched that of human early/immature T cell precursor (EITP) ALL. Moreover, recurrent mutations found in EITP ALL patients, including KRAS, PTPN11, JAK3, SH2B3, and EZH2 were also found in Idh2R140Q/NHD13 DN1/DN2 T-ALL. In vitro treatment of Idh2R140Q/NHD13 thymocytes with enasidenib, a selective inhibitor of mutant IDH2, led to a marked decrease in leukemic cell proliferation. These findings demonstrate that Idh2R140Q/NHD13 mice can serve as a useful in vivo model for the study of EITP ALL development and therapy.
  9. Blood. 2021 Jul 28. pii: blood.2021010980. [Epub ahead of print]
      The transcription factors STAT5A and STAT5B are critical in hematopoiesis and leukemia. They are widely believed to have redundant functions but we describe a unique role for STAT5B in driving the self-renewal of hematopoietic and leukemic stem cells (HSCs/LSCs). We find STAT5B to be specifically activated in HSCs and LSCs, where it induces many genes associated with quiescence and self-renewal, including the surface marker CD9. Levels of CD9 represent a prognostic marker for patients with STAT5-driven leukemia and our findings suggest that anti-CD9 antibodies may be useful in their treatment to target and eliminate LSCs. We show that it is vital to consider STAT5A and STAT5B as distinct entities in normal and malignant hematopoiesis.
  10. Cancer Treat Res Commun. 2021 Jul 11. pii: S2468-2942(21)00130-1. [Epub ahead of print]28 100432
      BACKGROUND: Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) is a group of hematologic diseases characterized by a variety of clinically important genetic alterations. Genetic mutations affecting the FMS-like receptor tyrosine kinase-3 (FLT3) and Wilm's tumor (WT-1) genes are associated with poor prognosis in AML. In this work, efficiency of HRM method for detection of FLT3-ITD, FLT3-TKD, and WT-1 mutations was assessed in comparison with direct sequencing.METHOD: A total of 58 formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded BM biopsy specimens of AML patients were analyzed. Mutation detection was performed by HRM method and the results were consequently compared with direct sequencing RESULTS: FLT3 and WT-1 mutations were detected in 21 (36.2%) and 3 (5.17%) samples, respectively. Among all FLT3 mutations, 10 (17.2%) and 11 (18.2%) samples were harboring the FLT3-ITD and-TKD gene mutations, respectively. Frequency of the FLT3-ITD was not statistically different in females (51%) and males (49%). Also, FLT3-TKD was more common in males although the differences in gender distribution were not statistically significant (P = 0.721 and P = 0.626, respectively).
    CONCLUSIONS: Regarded as the desirable characteristic, the present study is generally distinguished by the similar previous ones due to assessing the FFPE BM tissue from the perspective of the type of assessed sample. This discrepancy between our results and those in prior studies may be due to the disparity of the studied population size, adopted methods as well as the sample type. In this survey, regarding to low amount of extracted DNA from the paraffinized samples, the HRM method was efficient in determining the mentioned mutations.
    Keywords:  AML; FLT3-ITD; FLT3-TKD; HRM; WT-1
  11. Stem Cell Res. 2021 Jul 12. pii: S1873-5061(21)00312-3. [Epub ahead of print]55 102465
      Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is caused by the dysregulated tyrosine kinase activity of the BCR-ABL fusion protein. In this study, we generated induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) with a normal karyotype, using cells from a patient with CML and a Philadelphia chromosome. These human iPSCs showed positive pluripotency markers and differentiated into three germ layers. This iPSC line can be useful for the study of CML, namely the biology of hematopoietic stem cells with normal karyotype in CML, and for the development of patient-specific immunological treatment.
  12. Clin Lab Med. 2021 Sep;pii: S0272-2712(21)00014-7. [Epub ahead of print]41(3): 497-515
      The genetic basis for pediatric acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is highly heterogeneous, often involving the cooperative action of characteristic chromosomal rearrangements and somatic mutations in progrowth and antidifferentiation pathways that drive oncogenesis. Although some driver mutations are shared with adult AML, many genetic lesions are unique to pediatric patients, and their appropriate identification is essential for patient care. The increased understanding of these malignancies through broad genomic studies has begun to risk-stratify patients based on their combinations of genomic alterations, a trend that will enable precision medicine in this population.
    Keywords:  Acute myeloid leukemia; Molecular genetics; Next-generation sequencing; Pediatric oncology; Rearrangement
  13. J Immunother Cancer. 2021 Jul;pii: e002968. [Epub ahead of print]9(7):
      BACKGROUND: Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) stem cells (LSCs) are capable of surviving current standard chemotherapy and are the likely source of deadly, relapsed disease. While stem cell transplant serves as proof-of-principle that AML LSCs can be eliminated by the immune system, the translation of existing immunotherapies to AML has been met with limited success. Consequently, understanding and exploiting the unique immune-evasive mechanisms of AML LSCs is critical.METHODS: Analysis of stem cell datasets and primary patient samples revealed CD200 as a putative stem cell-specific immune checkpoint overexpressed in AML LSCs. Isogenic cell line models of CD200 expression were employed to characterize the interaction of CD200+ AML with various immune cell subsets both in vitro and in peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC)-humanized mouse models. CyTOF and RNA-sequencing were performed on humanized mice to identify novel mechanisms of CD200-mediated immunosuppression. To clinically translate these findings, we developed a fully humanized CD200 antibody (IgG1) that removed the immunosuppressive signal by blocking interaction with the CD200 receptor while also inducing a potent Fc-mediated response. Therapeutic efficacy of the CD200 antibody was evaluated using both humanized mice and patient-derived xenograft models.
    RESULTS: Our results demonstrate that CD200 is selectively overexpressed in AML LSCs and is broadly immunosuppressive by impairing cytokine secretion in both innate and adaptive immune cell subsets. In a PBMC-humanized mouse model, CD200+ leukemia progressed rapidly, escaping elimination by T cells, compared with CD200- AML. T cells from mice with CD200+ AML were characterized by an abundance of metabolically quiescent CD8+ central and effector memory cells. Mechanistically, CD200 expression on AML cells significantly impaired OXPHOS metabolic activity in T cells from healthy donors. Importantly, CD200 antibody therapy could eliminate disease in the presence of graft-versus-leukemia in immune competent mice and could significantly improve the efficacy of low-intensity azacitidine/venetoclax chemotherapy in immunodeficient hosts.
    CONCLUSIONS: Overexpression of CD200 is a stem cell-specific marker that contributes to immunosuppression in AML by impairing effector cell metabolism and function. CD200 antibody therapy is capable of simultaneously reducing CD200-mediated suppression while also engaging macrophage activity. This study lays the groundwork for CD200-targeted therapeutic strategies to eliminate LSCs and prevent AML relapse.
    Keywords:  immunomodulation; lymphocyte activation; metabolic networks and pathways; tumor escape
  14. Lancet Haematol. 2021 Aug;pii: S2352-3026(21)00192-7. [Epub ahead of print]8(8): e552-e561
      BACKGROUND: Addition of the BCL2 inhibitor venetoclax to lower intensity therapy has been shown to improve overall survival in older (aged 75 years or older) and unfit patients with newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukaemia. The aim of this study was to investigate the activity of venetoclax combined with intensive chemotherapy in patients aged 65 years or younger with acute myeloid leukaemia.METHODS: This cohort study was done at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in the USA, as part of the single-centre, single arm, phase 2, CLIA trial. Here we report on the independent cohort investigating the safety and activity of venetoclax added to intensive chemotherapy (the CLIA regimen [cladribine, high-dose cytarabine, idarubicin]). Eligible patients were aged 18-65 years with a new diagnosis of acute myeloid leukaemia, mixed phenotype acute leukaemia, or high-risk myelodysplastic syndrome (≥10% blasts or International Prognostic Scoring System ≥2 [intermediate]), who received no previous potentially curative therapy for leukaemia. Patients received cladribine (5 mg/m2) and cytarabine (1·5 g/m2 for patients aged <60 years, 1 g/m2 for patients aged ≥60 years) intravenously on days 1-5 and idarubicin (10 mg/m2) intravenously on days 1-3. Consolidation was cladribine (5 mg/m2) and cytarabine (1 g/m2 for patients aged <60 years and 0·75 g/m2 for patients aged ≥60 years) on days 1-3 and idarubicin (8 mg/m2) on days 1-2. Venetoclax (400 mg) was given on days 2-8 with each course. Patients with a known FLT3-ITD or FLT3-TKD mutation received midostaurin or gilteritinib. The primary outcome was composite complete response (complete response plus complete response with incomplete blood count recovery). Secondary outcomes were overall response, duration of response, event-free survival, overall survival, and safety. This trial was registered with, NCT02115295.
    FINDINGS: Between Feb 25, 2019, and March 23, 2021, 77 patients were assessed for eligibility, 50 of whom were enrolled. Median age was 48 years (IQR 37-56). 47 (94% [95% CI 83-98]) patients had composite complete response, with the same proportion also having an overall response; two (4% [1-14]) patients did not respond, and one (2% [0-11]) patient died during induction. 37 (82% [95% CI 68-92]) of 45 patients had undetectable measurable residual disease (MRD). At a median follow-up of 13·5 months (IQR 6·4-19·5), the median duration of response, event-free survival, and overall survival were not reached. At 12 months, the estimated duration of response was 74% (95% CI 60-92), event-free survival was 68% (54-85), and overall survival was 85% (75-97). The most common adverse events of grade 3 or worse were febrile neutropenia (42 [84%] patients), infection (six [12%]), and alanine aminotransferase elevations (six [12%]). There was one death during induction in a patient treated with CLIA-venetoclax plus a FLT3 inhibitor. Two patients died of infectious complications while in complete response in consolidation cycles, both of whom had FLT3-mutated acute myeloid leukaemia and were receiving combined therapy with a FLT3 inhibitor. No deaths were deemed to be treatment related.
    INTERPRETATION: Venetoclax added to CLIA was safe and active in patients with newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukaemia or high-risk myelodysplastic syndrome, producing high rates of durable MRD-negative remissions and encouraging event-free survival and overall survival.
    FUNDING: MD Anderson Cancer Center.
  15. Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Cell Res. 2021 Jul 27. pii: S0167-4889(21)00168-3. [Epub ahead of print] 119114
      IDH1 mutations are frequent and early events in gliomas. Mutant IDH1 produces D-2HG that causes epigenetic changes by increasing histone and DNA methylations, thereby contributing to tumor growth. Mutant IDH1 rewires metabolism and endows a few therapeutic vulnerabilities in cells. But, mutant IDH1 inhibitor(s) treatments reverse these therapeutic vulnerabilities by increasing cell growth. Nevertheless, it is unclear how mutant IDH1 inhibitor(s) increases cell growth. As mutant IDH1 inhibitor(s) increase cell growth, therefore we asked whether mutant IDH1 inhibitor(s) activate oncogenes in mutant IDH1-expressing cells. To answer this question, we used allosteric mutant IDH1 inhibitors to treat mutant IDH1-expressing HT1080 cells, and examined for activation of oncogenes by assessing the levels of our read-outs: BCAT1 and YKL-40. We found that mutant IDH1 inhibitors' treatments increased BCAT1 and YKL-40 levels in HT1080 cells. Next, we observed that mutant IDH1 inhibitors activated STAT3 by phosphorylation at Tyr-705 position (pSTAT3-Y705) and its nuclear translocation. Upon examining the molecular mechanism of pSTAT3-Y705 activation in mutant IDH1 inhibitor-treated cells, we found that mutant IDH1 strongly bound STAT3, but mutant IDH1 inhibitor treatment decreased mutant IDH1-STAT3 binding. Furthermore, we observed that STAT3-knockdown and pharmacological inhibition of STAT3 attenuated the mutant IDH1 inhibitor-mediated increase in BCAT1 and YKL-40 levels, whereas STAT3 overexpression and Interleukin-6 (STAT3 activator) treatments increased BCAT1 and YKL-40 levels. We conclude that mutant IDH1 inhibitors activate the oncogenic transcription factor-STAT3 leading to an increase in BCAT1 and YKL-40 levels in mutant IDH1-expressing cells.
    Keywords:  BCAT1; IDH1; Mutant IDH1 inhibitors; STAT3; YKL-40
  16. Haematologica. 2021 Jul 29.
      Intensive chemotherapy has been the backbone of the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) for decades. However, an increase in novel targeted agents, which has been brought about in part by a deeper understanding of the genetic makeup of AML, has led to remission-inducing regimens that do not require traditional cytotoxic agents. Combinations of a hypomethylating agent (HMA) and venetoclax have doubled the chance of remission for patients considered unfit for induction chemotherapy who would have traditionally been offered singleagent HMA. In fact, this regimen may rival the complete remission rate achieved with induction chemotherapy for certain populations such as the very elderly and those with secondary AML, but equivalency has yet to be established. Further advances include the addition of gemtuzumab ozogamicin and FLT3 inhibitors to induction chemotherapy, which improves survival for patients with core-binding factor and FLT3-mutated AML, respectively. Still, much work is needed to improve the outcomes of the highest-risk subgroups: frail patients and those with high-risk cytogenetics and/or TP53 mutations. Promisingly, the landscape of AML therapy is shifting dramatically and no longer is intensity, when feasible, always the best answer for AML.
  17. Leukemia. 2021 Jul 29.
      Despite recent advances in therapeutic approaches, patients with MLL-rearranged leukemia still have poor outcomes. Here, we find that the RNA-binding protein IGF2BP3, which is overexpressed in MLL-translocated leukemia, strongly amplifies MLL-Af4-mediated leukemogenesis. Deletion of Igf2bp3 significantly increases the survival of mice with MLL-Af4-driven leukemia and greatly attenuates disease, with a minimal impact on baseline hematopoiesis. At the cellular level, MLL-Af4 leukemia-initiating cells require Igf2bp3 for their function in leukemogenesis. At the molecular level, IGF2BP3 regulates a complex posttranscriptional operon governing leukemia cell survival and proliferation. IGF2BP3-targeted mRNA transcripts include important MLL-Af4-induced genes, such as those in the Hoxa locus, and the Ras signaling pathway. Targeting of transcripts by IGF2BP3 regulates both steady-state mRNA levels and, unexpectedly, pre-mRNA splicing. Together, our findings show that IGF2BP3 represents an attractive therapeutic target in this disease, providing important insights into mechanisms of posttranscriptional regulation in leukemia.
  18. Blood. 2021 Jul 28. pii: blood.2020006785. [Epub ahead of print]
      BCL2 and MCL1 are commonly expressed pro-survival (anti-apoptotic) proteins in hematological cancers and play important roles in their biology either through dysregulation or by virtue of intrinsic importance to the cell-of-origin of the malignancy. A new class of small molecule anti-cancer drugs, BH3-mimetics, now enable specific targeting of these proteins in patients. BH3-mimetics act by inhibiting the pro-survival BCL2 proteins to enable the activation of BAX and BAK, apoptosis effectors which permeabilize the outer mitochondrial membrane, triggering apoptosis directly in many cells and sensitizing others to cell death when combined with other anti-neoplastic drugs. Venetoclax, a specific inhibitor of BCL2, is the first approved in class, demonstrating striking single agent activity in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and in other lymphoid neoplasms, as well as activity against acute myeloid leukemia (AML), especially when used in combination. Key insights from the venetoclax experience include that responses occur rapidly, with major activity as monotherapy proving to be the best indicator for success in combination regimens. This emphasizes the importance of adequate single agent studies for drugs in this class. Furthermore, secondary resistance is common with long-term exposure and often mediated by genetic or adaptive changes in the apoptotic pathway, suggesting that BH3-mimetics are better suited to limited-duration, rather than continuous, therapy. The success of venetoclax has inspired development of BH3-mimetics targeting MCL1. Despite promising preclinical activity against MYC-driven lymphomas, myeloma and AML, their success may particularly depend on their tolerability profile given physiological roles for MCL1 in several non-hematological tissues.
  19. EJHaem. 2021 May;2(2): 211-218
      Integration of orthogonal data could provide new opportunities to pinpoint the underlying molecular mechanisms of hematologic disorders. Using a novel gene network approach, we integrated DNA methylation data from The Cancer Genome Atlas (n = 194 cases) with the corresponding gene expression profile. Our integrated gene network analysis classified AML patients into low-, intermediate-, and high-risk groups. The identified high-risk group had significantly shorter overall survival compared to the low-risk group (p-value ≤10-11). Specifically, our approach identified a particular subgroup of nine high-risk AML cases that died within 2 years after diagnosis. These high-risk cases otherwise would be incorrectly classified as intermediate-risk solely based on cytogenetics, mutation profiles, and common molecular characteristics of AML. We confirmed the prognostic value of our integrative gene network approach using two independent datasets, as well as through comparison with European LeukemiaNet and LSC17 criteria. Our approach could be useful in the prognostication of a subset of borderline AML cases. These cases would not be classified into appropriate risk groups by other approaches that use gene expression, but not DNA methylation data. Our findings highlight the significance of epigenomic data, and they indicate integrating DNA methylation data with gene coexpression networks can have a synergistic effect.
  20. Oncogene. 2021 Jul 30.
      The chromosomal translocation t(8;21) and the resulting oncofusion gene AML1/ETO have long served as a prototypical genetic lesion to model and understand leukemogenesis. In this review, we describe the wide-ranging role of AML1/ETO in AML leukemogenesis, with a particular focus on the aberrant epigenetic regulation of gene transcription driven by this AML-defining mutation. We begin by analyzing how structural changes secondary to distinct genomic breakpoints and splice changes, as well as posttranscriptional modifications, influence AML1/ETO protein function. Next, we characterize how AML1/ETO recruits chromatin-modifying enzymes to target genes and how the oncofusion protein alters chromatin marks, transcription factor binding, and gene expression. We explore the specific impact of these global changes in the epigenetic network facilitated by the AML1/ETO oncofusion on cellular processes and leukemic growth. Furthermore, we define the genetic landscape of AML1/ETO-positive AML, presenting the current literature concerning the incidence of cooperating mutations in genes such as KIT, FLT3, and NRAS. Finally, we outline how alterations in transcriptional regulation patterns create potential vulnerabilities that may be exploited by epigenetically active agents and other therapeutics.
  21. Cell Rep. 2021 Jul 27. pii: S2211-1247(21)00834-2. [Epub ahead of print]36(4): 109421
      Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) are inactivated by dual-specificity phosphatases (DUSPs), the activities of which are tightly regulated during cell differentiation. Using knockdown screening and single-cell transcriptional analysis, we demonstrate that DUSP4 is the phosphatase that specifically inactivates p38 kinase to promote megakaryocyte (Mk) differentiation. Mechanistically, PRMT1-mediated methylation of DUSP4 triggers its ubiquitinylation by an E3 ligase HUWE1. Interestingly, the mechanistic axis of the DUSP4 degradation and p38 activation is also associated with a transcriptional signature of immune activation in Mk cells. In the context of thrombocytopenia observed in myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), we demonstrate that high levels of p38 MAPK and PRMT1 are associated with low platelet counts and adverse prognosis, while pharmacological inhibition of p38 MAPK or PRMT1 stimulates megakaryopoiesis. These findings provide mechanistic insights into the role of the PRMT1-DUSP4-p38 axis on Mk differentiation and present a strategy for treatment of thrombocytopenia associated with MDS.
    Keywords:  DUSP4; HUWE1; MDS; PRMT1; leukemia; megakaryocyte; myelodysplasia syndrome; p38; platlet; trombocytopenia
  22. Nat Commun. 2021 07 27. 12(1): 4549
      Germline pathogenic variants in DNMT3A were recently described in patients with overgrowth, obesity, behavioral, and learning difficulties (DNMT3A Overgrowth Syndrome/DOS). Somatic mutations in the DNMT3A gene are also the most common cause of clonal hematopoiesis, and can initiate acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Using whole genome bisulfite sequencing, we studied DNA methylation in peripheral blood cells of 11 DOS patients and found a focal, canonical hypomethylation phenotype, which is most severe with the dominant negative DNMT3AR882H mutation. A germline mouse model expressing the homologous Dnmt3aR878H mutation phenocopies most aspects of the human DOS syndrome, including the methylation phenotype and an increased incidence of spontaneous hematopoietic malignancies, suggesting that all aspects of this syndrome are caused by this mutation.
  23. Elife. 2021 Jul 26. pii: e64148. [Epub ahead of print]10
      HOXA9 is often highly expressed in leukemias. However, its precise roles in leukemogenesis remain elusive. Here, we show that HOXA9 maintains gene expression for multiple anti-apoptotic pathways to promote leukemogenesis. In MLL fusion-mediated leukemia, MLL fusion directly activates the expression of MYC and HOXA9. Combined expression of MYC and HOXA9 induced leukemia, whereas single gene transduction of either did not, indicating a synergy between MYC and HOXA9. HOXA9 sustained expression of the genes implicated in the hematopoietic precursor identity when expressed in hematopoietic precursors, but did not reactivate it once silenced. Among the HOXA9 target genes, BCL2 and SOX4 synergistically induced leukemia with MYC. Not only BCL2, but also SOX4 suppressed apoptosis, indicating that multiple anti-apoptotic pathways underlie cooperative leukemogenesis by HOXA9 and MYC. These results demonstrate that HOXA9 is a crucial transcriptional maintenance factor that promotes MYC-mediated leukemogenesis, potentially explaining why HOXA9 is highly expressed in many leukemias.
    Keywords:  HOXA9; MYC; apoptosis; cancer biology; chromosomes; gene expression; leukemia; mouse; transcription
  24. Leuk Lymphoma. 2021 Jul 27. 1-7
      Ivosidenib and enasidenib are targeted agents that inhibit mutant isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH) enzymes, restoring normal cellular differentiation in affected acute myeloid leukemia patients. Both agents carry a risk of differentiation syndrome (DS), a potentially life-threatening complication. In this multicenter, retrospective study we sought to determine the real-world incidence and characterize DS in patients with a myeloid malignancy treated with an IDH inhibitor. Of 49 total patients, 15 patients (31%) had a documented diagnosis of DS and 8 patients (16%) met the criteria of DS by Montesinos, et al. The most common signs and symptoms of DS were dyspnea/hypoxia (56%), unexplained fever (56%), bone pain/arthralgia (44%), edema/weight gain (39%), and pleural/pericardial effusions (33%). Our study reports a higher real-world incidence of DS in patients treated with IDH inhibitors for myeloid malignancies than previously reported.
    Keywords:  Differentiation syndrome; IDH inhibitor; IDH-DS; acute myeloid leukemia; enasidenib; ivosidenib
  25. Haematologica. 2021 Jul 29.
      Myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN) are chronic, clonal hematologic malignancies characterized by myeloproliferation and a high incidence of vascular complications (thrombotic and bleeding). Although MPN-specific driver mutations have been identified, the underlying events that culminate in these clinical manifestations require further clarification. We reviewed the numerous studies performed during the last decade identifying endothelial cell (EC) dysregulation as a factor contributing to MPN disease development. The JAK2V617F MPN mutation and other myeloid-associated mutations have been detected not only in hematopoietic cells but also in EC and their precursors in MPN patients, suggesting a link between mutated EC and the high incidence of vascular events. To date, however, the role of EC in MPN continues to be questioned by some investigators. In order to further clarify the role of EC in MPN, we first describe the experimental strategies used to study EC biology and then analyze the available evidence generated using these assays which implicate mutated EC in MPN-associated abnormalities. Mutated EC have been reported to possess a pro-adhesive phenotype as a result of increased endothelial Pselectin exposure, secondary to degranulation of Weibel-Palade bodies, which is further accentuated by exposure to pro-inflammatory cytokines. Additional evidence indicates that MPN myeloproliferation requires JAK2V617F expression by both hematopoietic stem cells and EC. Furthermore, the reports of JAK2V617F and other myeloid malignancy- associated mutations in both hematopoietic cells and EC in MPN patients support the hypothesis that MPN driver mutations may first appear in a common precursor cell for both EC and hematopoietic cells.
  26. Nat Commun. 2021 07 27. 12(1): 4559
      Activating mutations in the BRAF-MAPK pathway have been reported in histiocytoses, hematological inflammatory neoplasms characterized by multi-organ dissemination of pro-inflammatory myeloid cells. Here, we generate a humanized mouse model of transplantation of human hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) expressing the activated form of BRAF (BRAFV600E). All mice transplanted with BRAFV600E-expressing HSPCs succumb to bone marrow failure, displaying myeloid-restricted hematopoiesis and multi-organ dissemination of aberrant mononuclear phagocytes. At the basis of this aggressive phenotype, we uncover the engagement of a senescence program, characterized by DNA damage response activation and a senescence-associated secretory phenotype, which affects also non-mutated bystander cells. Mechanistically, we identify TNFα as a key determinant of paracrine senescence and myeloid-restricted hematopoiesis and show that its inhibition dampens inflammation, delays disease onset and rescues hematopoietic defects in bystander cells. Our work establishes that senescence in the human hematopoietic system links oncogene-activation to the systemic inflammation observed in histiocytic neoplasms.
  27. J Clin Oncol. 2021 Jul 29. JCO2100389
      PURPOSE: Patients with relapsed or refractory T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (r/r T-ALL) have few options and poor prognosis. The aim was to assess donor-derived anti-CD7 chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell safety and efficacy in patients with r/r T-ALL.METHODS: In this single-center, phase I trial, we administered anti-CD7 CAR T cells, manufactured from either previous stem-cell transplantation donors or new donors, to patients with r/r T-ALL, in single infusions at doses of 5 × 105 or 1 × 106 (±30%) cells per kilogram of body weight. The primary end point was safety with efficacy secondary.
    RESULTS: Twenty participants received infusions. Adverse events including cytokine release syndrome grade 1-2 occurred in 90% (n = 18) and grade 3-4 in 10% (n = 2), cytopenia grade 3-4 in 100% (n = 20), neurotoxicity grade 1-2 in 15% (n = 3), graft-versus-host disease grade 1-2 in 60% (n = 12), and viral activation grade 1-2 in 20% (n = 4). All adverse events were reversible, except in one patient who died through pulmonary hemorrhage related to fungal pneumonia, which occurred at 5.5 months, postinfusion. Ninety percent (n = 18) achieved complete remission with seven patients proceeding to stem-cell transplantation. At a median follow-up of 6.3 months (range 4.0-9.2), 15 remained in remission. CAR T cells were still detectable in five of five patients assessed in month 6, postinfusion. Although patients' CD7-positive normal T cells were depleted, CD7-negative T cells expanded and likely alleviated treatment-related T-cell immunodeficiency.
    CONCLUSION: Among 20 patients with r/r T-ALL enrolled in this trial, donor-derived CD7 CAR T cells exhibited efficient expansion and achieved a high complete remission rate with manageable safety profile. A multicenter, phase II trial of donor-derived CD7 CAR T cells is in progress (NCT04689659).
  28. Circ Res. 2021 Jul 28.
      Rationale: Cancer therapy can be associated with short- and long-term cardiac dysfunction. Cancer patients often exhibit therapy-related clonal hematopoiesis (t-CH), an aggressive form of clonal hematopoiesis that can result from somatic mutations in genes encoding regulators of the DNA-damage response (DDR) pathway. Gain-of-function mutations in exon 6 the protein phosphatase Mg2+/Mn2+ dependent 1D (PPM1D) gene are the most frequently mutated DDR gene associated with t-CH. Whether t-CH can contribute to cardiac dysfunction is unknown. Objective: We evaluated the causal and mechanistic relationships between Ppm1d-mediated t-CH and non-ischemic heart failure in an experimental system. Methods and Results: To test whether gain-of-function hematopoietic cell mutations in Ppm1d can increase the susceptibility to cardiac stress, we evaluated cardiac dysfunction in a mouse model where clonal hematopoiesis-associated mutations in exon 6 of Ppm1d were produced by CRISPR-Cas9 technology. Mice transplanted with hematopoietic stem cells containing the mutated Ppm1d gene exhibited augmented cardiac remodeling following the continuous infusion of angiotensin II (AngII). Ppm1d-mutant macrophages were impaired in DDR pathway activation and displayed greater DNA damage, higher reactive oxygen species generation and an augmented proinflammatory profile with elevations in IL-1β and IL-18. The administration of an NLRP3 inflammasome inhibitor to mice reversed the cardiac phenotype induced by the Ppm1d-mutated hematopoietic stem cells under conditions of AngII-induced stress. Conclusions: A mouse model of Ppm1d-mediated t-CH was more susceptible to cardiac stress. Mechanistically, disruption of the DDR pathway led to elevations in inflammatory cytokine production, and the NLRP3 inflammasome was shown to be essential for this augmented cardiac stress response. These data indicate that t-CH involving activating mutations in PPM1D can contribute to the cardiac dysfunction observed in cancer survivors, and that anti-inflammatory therapy may have utility in treating this condition.
  29. Transplant Cell Ther. 2021 Aug;pii: S2666-6367(21)00831-9. [Epub ahead of print]27(8): 642-649
      Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT) is potentially curative for certain hematologic malignancies and nonmalignant diseases. The field of allo-HCT has witnessed significant advances, including broadening indications for transplantation, availability of alternative donor sources, less toxic preparative regimens, new cell manipulation techniques, and novel GVHD prevention methods, all of which have expanded the applicability of the procedure. These advances have led to clinical practice conundrums when applying traditional definitions of hematopoietic recovery, graft rejection, graft failure, poor graft function, and donor chimerism, because these may vary based on donor type, cell source, cell dose, primary disease, graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) prophylaxis, and conditioning intensity, among other variables. To address these contemporary challenges, we surveyed a panel of allo-HCT experts in an attempt to standardize these definitions. We analyzed survey responses from adult and pediatric transplantation physicians separately. Consensus was achieved for definitions of neutrophil and platelet recovery, graft rejection, graft failure, poor graft function, and donor chimerism, but not for delayed engraftment. Here we highlight the complexities associated with the management of mixed donor chimerism in malignant and nonmalignant hematologic diseases, which remains an area for future research. We recognize that there are multiple other specific, and at times complex, clinical scenarios for which clinical management must be individualized.
    Keywords:  Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation; Donor chimerism; Graft failure; Graft rejection; Hematopoietic recovery
  30. Leukemia. 2021 Jul 26.
      In this phase I/II clinical trial, we investigated the safety and efficacy of high doses of mb-IL21 ex vivo expanded donor-derived NK cells to decrease relapse in 25 patients with myeloid malignancies receiving haploidentical stem-cell transplantation (HSCT). Three doses of donor NK cells (1 × 105-1 × 108 cells/kg/dose) were administered on days -2, +7, and +28. Results were compared with an independent contemporaneously treated case-matched cohort of 160 patients from the CIBMTR database.After a median follow-up of 24 months, the 2-year relapse rate was 4% vs. 38% (p = 0.014), and disease-free survival (DFS) was 66% vs. 44% (p = 0.1) in the cases and controls, respectively. Only one relapse occurred in the study group, in a patient with the high level of donor-specific anti-HLA antibodies (DSA) presented before transplantation. The 2-year relapse and DFS in patients without DSA was 0% vs. 40% and 72% vs. 44%, respectively with HR for DFS in controls of 2.64 (p = 0.029). NK cells in recipient blood were increased at day +30 in a dose-dependent manner compared with historical controls, and had a proliferating, mature, highly cytotoxic, NKG2C+/KIR+ phenotype.Administration of donor-derived expanded NK cells after haploidentical transplantation was safe, associated with NK cell-dominant immune reconstitution early post-transplant, preserved T-cell reconstitution, and improved relapse and DFS. TRIAL REGISTRATION: NCT01904136 ( ).
  31. Br J Haematol. 2021 Jul 30.
      Fedratinib, an oral Janus kinase-2 (JAK2) inhibitor, reduces splenomegaly and improves symptom burden in patients with myelofibrosis. Regulatory approval of fedratinib 400-mg daily was based on results of an updated analysis of the pivotal phase III, placebo-controlled JAKARTA trial in patients with JAK-inhibitor-naïve myelofibrosis. At week 24, spleen volume response rate was 47% and symptom response rate was 40% with fedratinib 400 mg, versus 1% and 9% respectively, with placebo. Common adverse events were diarrhoea, nausea, anaemia, and vomiting. No Wernicke encephalopathy occurred in patients receiving fedratinib 400 mg/day. These updated data support use of first-line fedratinib in patients with myelofibrosis.
    Keywords:  JAK inhibitor; fedratinib; myelofibrosis
  32. Leukemia. 2021 Jul 24.
      Infants with MLL-rearranged infant acute lymphoblastic leukemia (MLL-r iALL) undergo intense therapy to counter a highly aggressive malignancy with survival rates of only 30-40%. The majority of patients initially show therapy response, but in two-thirds of cases the leukemia returns, typically during treatment. The glucocorticoid drug prednisone is established as a major player in the treatment of leukemia and the in vivo response to prednisone monotreatment is currently the best indicator of risk for MLL-r iALL. We used two different single-cell RNA sequencing technologies to analyze the expression of a prednisone-dependent signature, derived from an independent study, in diagnostic bone marrow and peripheral blood biopsies. This allowed us to classify individual leukemic cells as either resistant or sensitive to treatment and show that quantification of these two groups can be used to better predict the occurrence of future relapse in individual patients. This work also sheds light on the nature of the therapy-resistant subpopulation of relapse-initiating cells. Leukemic cells associated with high relapse risk are characterized by basal activation of glucocorticoid response, smaller size, and a quiescent gene expression program with cell stemness properties. These results improve current risk stratification and elucidate leukemic therapy-resistant subpopulations at diagnosis.
  33. Blood. 2021 07 28. pii: blood.2021012206. [Epub ahead of print]
      Myeloid leukemia in children with Down syndrome (ML-DS) is associated with young age and somatic GATA1 mutations. Due to high event-free survival (EFS) and hypersensitivity of the leukemic blasts to chemotherapy, the prior Children's Oncology Group protocol ML-DS protocol (AAML0431), reduced overall treatment intensity but lacking risk stratification, retained the high-dose cytarabine course (HD-AraC), which was highly associated with infectious morbidity. Despite high EFS of ML-DS, survival for those who relapse is rare. AAML1531 introduced therapeutic risk stratification based on the previously identified prognostic factor, measurable residual disease (MRD) at the end of the first induction course. Standard risk (SR) patients were identified by negative MRD using flow cytometry (<0.05%) and did not receive the historically administered HD-AraC course. Interim analysis of 114 SR patients revealed a 2-year EFS of 85.6% (95% confidence interval (CI), 75.7-95.5%), which was significantly lower than for MRD-negative patients treated with HD-AraC on AAML0431 (p=0.0002). Overall survival at 2 years was 91.0% (95% CI 83.8%-95.0%). Twelve SR patients relapsed, mostly within one year from study entry and had a 1-year OS of 16.7% (95% CI 2.7% - 41.3%). Complex karyotypes were more frequent in SR patients who relapsed compared to those who did not (36% vs. 9%; p=0.0248). MRD by error-corrected sequencing of GATA1 mutations was piloted in 18 SR patients and detectable in 60% who relapsed vs. 23% who did not (p=0.2682). Patients with SR ML-DS had worse outcomes without HD-AraC after risk classification based on flow cytometric MRD. NCT02521493.
  34. Blood. 2021 Jul 27. pii: blood.2020009778. [Epub ahead of print]
      Understanding human hematopoietic stem cell fate control is important for their improved therapeutic manipulation. Asymmetric cell division, the asymmetric inheritance of factors during division instructing future daughter cell fates, was recently described in mouse blood stem cells. In human blood stem cells, the possible existence of asymmetric cell division remained unclear due to technical challenges in its direct observation. Here, we use long-term quantitative single-cell imaging to show that lysosomes and active mitochondria are asymmetrically inherited in human blood stem cells and that their inheritance is a coordinated, non-random process. Furthermore, multiple additional organelles, including autophagosomes, mitophagosomes, autolysosomes and recycling endosomes show preferential asymmetric co-segregation with lysosomes. Importantly, asymmetric lysosomal inheritance predicts future asymmetric daughter cell cycle length, differentiation and stem cell marker expression, while asymmetric inheritance of active mitochondria correlates with daughter metabolic activity. Hence, human hematopoietic stem cell fates are regulated by asymmetric cell division, with both mechanistic evolutionary conservation and differences to the mouse system.
  35. Blood. 2021 Jul 29. pii: blood.2021011682. [Epub ahead of print]
      Histone H3 lysine 4 methylation (H3K4Me) is most often associated with chromatin activation, and removing H3K4 methyl groups has been shown to be coincident with gene repression. H3K4Me demethylase KDM1a/LSD1 is a therapeutic target for multiple diseases, including for the potential treatment of b-globinopathies (sickle cell disease and b-thalassemia) since it is a component of g-globin repressor complexes, and LSD1 inactivation leads to robust induction of the fetal globin genes. The effects of LSD1 inhibition in definitive erythropoiesis are not well characterized, so we examined the consequences of conditional inactivation of Lsd1 in adult red blood cells using a new Gata1creERT2 BAC transgene. Erythroid-specific loss of Lsd1 activity in mice led to a block in erythroid progenitor differentiation and to the expansion of GMP-like cells, converting hematopoietic differentiation potential from an erythroid to a myeloid fate. The analogous phenotype was also observed in human hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPC), coincident with induction of myeloid transcription factors (e.g. PU.1 and CEBPa). Finally, blocking the activity of transcription factors PU.1 or RUNX1 at the same time as LSD1 inhibition rescued myeloid lineage conversion to an erythroid phenotype. These data show that LSD1 promotes erythropoiesis by repressing myeloid cell fate in adult erythroid progenitors, and that inhibition of the myeloid differentiation pathway reverses the lineage switch induced by LSD1 inactivation.