1. Key Laboratory of Laboratory Medical Diagnostics Designated by the Ministry of Education, College of Laboratory Medicine, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, China
2. Department of clinical laboratory, Yantai Yuhuangding Hospital, Shandong, China
3. Department of clinical laboratory, People's hospital of Ganzhou, Jiangxi, China
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) with mutated nucleophosmin (NPM1) has been defined as a unique subgroup in the new classification of myeloid neoplasm, and the AML patients with mutated NPM1 frequently present extramedullary infiltration, but how NPM1 mutants regulate this process remains elusive. In this study, we found that overexpression of type A NPM1 gene mutation (NPM1-mA) enhanced the adhesive, migratory and invasive potential in THP-1 AML cells lacking mutated NPM1. NPM1-mA had up-regulated expression and gelatinolytic matrix metalloprotease-2 (MMP-2)/MMP-9 activity, as assessed by real-time PCR, western blotting and gelatin zymography. Following immunoprecipitation analysis to identify the interaction of NPM1-mA with K-Ras, we focused on the effect of NPM1-mA overexpression on the Ras/Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling axis and showed that NPM1-mA increased the MEK and ERK phosphorylation levels, as evaluated by western blotting. Notably, a specific inhibitor of the ERK/MAPK pathway (PD98059), but not p38/MAPK, JNK/MAPK or PI3-K/AKT inhibitors, markedly decreased the cell invasion numbers in a transwell assay. Further experiments demonstrated that blocking the ERK/MAPK pathway by PD98059 resulted in reduced MMP-2/9 protein levels and MMP-9 activity. Additionally, NPM1-mA overexpression had down-regulated gene expression and protein production of tissue inhibitor of MMP-2 (TIMP-2) in THP-1 cells. Furthermore, evaluation of gene expression data from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) dataset revealed that MMP-2 was overexpressed in AML patient samples with NPM1 mutated and high MMP-2 expression associated with leukemic skin infiltration. Taken together, our results reveal that NPM1 mutations contribute to the invasive potential of AML cells through MMPs up-regulation via Ras/ERK MAPK signaling pathway activation and offer novel insights into the potential role of NPM1 mutations in leukemogenesis.
Keywords: acute myeloid leukemia, invasion, nucleophosmin, gene mutation, MMPs, ERK/MAPK