NF1 inactivation in adult acute myelogenous leukemia

Brian Parkin, Peter Ouillette, Yin Wang, Yan Liu, Whitney Wright, Diane Roulston, Anjali Purkayastha, Amanda Dressel, Judith Karp, Paula Bockenstedt, Ammar Al-Zoubi, Moshe Talpaz, Lisa Kujawski, Yang Liu, Kerby Shedden, Sajid Shakhan, Cheng Li, Harry Erba, Sami N. Malek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Purpose: This study was conducted to identify novel genes with importance to the biology of adult acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). Experimental Design: We analyzed DNA from highly purified AML blasts and paired buccal cells from 95 patients for recurrent genomic microdeletions using ultra-high density Affymetrix single nucleotide polymorphism 6.0 array-based genomic profiling. Results: Through fine mapping of microdeletions on 17q, we derived a minimal deleted region of ∼0.9-Mb length that harbors 11 known genes; this region includes Neurofibromin 1 (NF1). Sequence analysis of all NF1 coding exons in the 11 AML cases with NF1 copy number changes identified acquired truncating frameshift mutations in two patients. These NF1 mutations were already present in the hematopoetic stem cell compartment. Subsequent expression analysis of NF1 mRNA in the entire AML cohort using fluorescence-activated cell sorting sorted blasts as a source of RNA identified six patients (one with a NF1 mutation) with absent NF1 expression. The NF1 null states were associated with increased Rasbound GTP, and short hairpin RNA-mediated NF1 suppression in primary AML blasts with wild-type NF1 facilitated colony formation in methylcellulose. Primary AML blasts without functional NF1, unlike blasts with functional NF1, displayed sensitivity to rapamycin-induced apoptosis, thus identifying a dependence on mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling for survival. Finally, colony formation in methylcellulose ex vivo of NF1 null CD34+/CD38- cells sorted from AML bone marrow samples was inhibited by low-dose rapamycin. Conclusions: NF1 null states are present in 7 of 95 (7%) of adult AML and delineate a disease subset that could be preferentially targeted by Ras or mammalian target of rapamycin-directed therapeutics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4135-4147
Number of pages13
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 15 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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