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Title: Investigations into the role of EVI1 in Fanconi Anaemia associated leukaemic Transformation
Author: Schneider, Marion
ISNI:       0000 0004 5990 192X
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2016
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The inherited bone marrow failure syndrome Fanconi Anaemia (FA) is caused by mutations in any one of the multiple FANC genes, which encode proteins that collaborate in the FA/BRCA DNA damage response pathway. FA is characterised by extreme predisposition to acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). AML in FA is associated with typical chromosomal aberrations involving gains of the long arm of chromosome 3 (3q gains). These are linked to overexpression of the oncogene ecotropic viral integration site 1 (EVI1). Based on this clinical observation, the hypothesis that EVI1 confers leukaemic transformation, in particular in the context of FA, was tested. Mouse embryonic stem cells with either functional or disrupted FA/BRCA-pathway were used to model normal and FA-associated embryonic haematopoiesis, and the effect of EVI1 overexpression was assessed in this model. EVI1 functions were also investigated with respect to protein interactions, focusing on the interaction with the co-repressor C-terminal binding protein 1 (CtBP1), in the context of genotoxic stress. To study this, in vitro haematopoietic differentiation assays, flow cytometry, mass spectrometry, immunoprecipitations and immunofluorescence were employed. In vitro haematopoietic differentiation using mouse embryonic stem cells with defective Fanca was successfully developed and applied. The analysis revealed that EVI1 overexpression in haemangioblast-like cells prevented the generation of haematopoietic precursors through endothelial to haematopoietic transition. Studies into EVI1 protein interaction dynamics showed that DNA damage-induced phosphorylation of EVI1 modifies interaction with the co-repressor CtBP1. This interaction was demonstrated to be partially required for the EVI1-induced block of the development of haematopoietic precursors using the mESC-based model. An EVI1-mediated modulation of the FA phenotype characteristic G2-arrest and of the FA-associated embryonic haematopoiesis was not demonstrated. This study contributes to the understanding of the function of the EVI1 oncogene in normal and FA-associated haematopoiesis and the DNA damage response. FA-associated haematopoiesis and leukaemogenesis can be further studied using the embryonic haematopoiesis model developed here, and further studies can build on the data generated with respect to EVI1.
Supervisor: Whetton, Anthony ; Meyer, Stefan ; Somervaille, Tim Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Fanconi Anaemia ; EVI1 ; Acute Myeloid Leukaemia