Cell of origin determines clinically relevant subtypes of MLL-rearranged AML Academic Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute
  • Myeloid-Lymphoid Leukemia Protein


  • Mixed lineage leukemia (MLL)-fusion proteins can induce acute myeloid leukemias (AMLs) from either hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) or granulocyte-macrophage progenitors (GMPs), but it remains unclear whether the cell of origin influences the biology of the resultant leukemia. MLL-AF9-transduced single HSCs or GMPs could be continuously replated, but HSC-derived clones were more likely than GMP-derived clones to initiate AML in mice. Leukemia stem cells derived from either HSCs or GMPs had a similar immunophenotype consistent with a maturing myeloid cell (LGMP). Gene expression analyses demonstrated that LGMP inherited gene expression programs from the cell of origin including high-level Evi-1 expression in HSC-derived LGMP. The gene expression signature of LGMP derived from HSCs was enriched in poor prognosis human MLL-rearranged AML in three independent data sets. Moreover, global 5'-mC levels were elevated in HSC-derived leukemias as compared with GMP-derived leukemias. This mirrored a difference seen in 5'-mC between MLL-rearranged human leukemias that are either EVI1 positive or EVI1 negative. Finally, HSC-derived leukemias were more resistant to chemotherapy than GMP-derived leukemias. These data demonstrate that the cell of origin influences the gene expression profile, the epigenetic state and the drug response in AML, and that these differences can account for clinical heterogeneity within a molecularly defined group of leukemias.

publication date

  • April 2013



  • Academic Article



  • eng

PubMed Central ID

  • PMC4693300

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1038/leu.2012.363

PubMed ID

  • 23235717

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 852

end page

  • 60


  • 27


  • 4