Pharmacological targeting of miR-155 via the NEDD8-activating enzyme inhibitor MLN4924 (Pevonedistat) in FLT3-ITD acute myeloid leukemia
Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute
Tandem Repeat Sequences
fms-Like Tyrosine Kinase 3
High levels of microRNA-155 (miR-155) are associated with poor outcome in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). In AML, miR-155 is regulated by NF-κB, the activity of which is, in part, controlled by the NEDD8-dependent ubiquitin ligases. We demonstrate that MLN4924, an inhibitor of NEDD8-activating enzyme presently being evaluated in clinical trials, decreases binding of NF-κB to the miR-155 promoter and downregulates miR-155 in AML cells. This results in the upregulation of the miR-155 targets SHIP1, an inhibitor of the PI3K/Akt pathway, and PU.1, a transcription factor important for myeloid differentiation, leading to monocytic differentiation and apoptosis. Consistent with these results, overexpression of miR-155 diminishes MLN4924-induced antileukemic effects. In vivo, MLN4924 reduces miR-155 expression and prolongs the survival of mice engrafted with leukemic cells. Our study demonstrates the potential of miR-155 as a novel therapeutic target in AML via pharmacologic interference with NF-κB-dependent regulatory mechanisms. We show the targeting of this oncogenic microRNA with MLN4924, a compound presently being evaluated in clinical trials in AML. As high miR-155 levels have been consistently associated with aggressive clinical phenotypes, our work opens new avenues for microRNA-targeting therapeutic approaches to leukemia and cancer patients.