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Title: Identification of common and distinct epigenetic reprogramming properties of core-binding factor fusion proteins
Author: Loke, Justin Ching Ting
ISNI:       0000 0004 6063 1242
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2017
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RUNX1, also known as CBFa, is a master regulator of haematopoiesis. In Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML) it is frequently disrupted by translocations to different epigenetic regulators, resulting in the expression of core-binding factor fusion proteins. We compared the chromatin landscape of t(8;21) and t(3;21) AML which express RUNX1-ETO and RUNX1-EVI1, respectively. We found that the diverse clinical outcomes of patients with these two forms of AML are reflected in fundamental differences in gene expression and chromatin landscape. Despite both fusion proteins sharing a RUNT DNA binding domain, we show that RUNX1-EVI-1 targets a more immature stem cell-related gene expression program of genes as compared to RUNX1-ETO. Despite the differences in the epigenomic landscape of t(3;21) and t(8;21) leukaemia, knockdown of either core-binding factor fusion protein activates a common myeloid differentiation program involving up regulation of C/EBPa. By blocking C/EBPa DNA binding through a dominant negative partner, we showed that this factor is required for the downstream effects of RUNX1-EVI-1 knockdown. Even in the continued presence of RUNX1-EVI-1, ectopic expression of C/EBPa. is sufficient to initiate myeloid differentiation in t(3;21) cells. Overall, this suggests that deregulation of C/EBPa is a common pathway in the development of both t(8;21) and t(3;21) AML.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Kay Kendall Leukaemia Fund Junior Clinical Fellowship
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: RC0254 Neoplasms. Tumors. Oncology (including Cancer)