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Single-cell RNA sequencing of a new transgenic t(8;21) preleukemia mouse model reveals regulatory networks promoting leukemic transformation

  • Yan, Ming
  • Liu, Mengdan
  • Davis, Amanda G
  • Stoner, Samuel A
  • Zhang, Dong-Er
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2024
eScholarship - University of California
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T(8;21)(q22;q22), which generates the AML1-ETO fusion oncoprotein, is a common chromosomal abnormality in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients. Despite having favorable prognosis, 40% of patients will relapse, highlighting the need for innovative models and application of the newest technologies to study t(8;21) leukemogenesis. Currently, available AML1-ETO mouse models have limited utility for studying the pre-leukemic stage because AML1-ETO produces mild hematopoietic phenotypes and no leukemic transformation. Conversely, overexpression of a truncated variant, AML1-ETO9a (AE9a), promotes fully penetrant leukemia and is too potent for studying pre-leukemic changes. To overcome these limitations, we devised a germline-transmitted Rosa26 locus AE9a knock-in mouse model that moderately overexpressed AE9a and developed leukemia with long latency and low penetrance. We observed pre-leukemic alterations in AE9a mice, including skewing of progenitors towards granulocyte/monocyte lineages and replating of stem and progenitor cells. Next, we performed single-cell RNA sequencing to identify specific cell populations that contribute to these pre-leukemic phenotypes. We discovered a subset of common myeloid progenitors that have heightened granulocyte/monocyte bias in AE9a mice. We also observed dysregulation of key hematopoietic transcription factor target gene networks, blocking cellular differentiation. Finally, we identified Sox4 activation as a potential contributor to stem cell self-renewal during the pre-leukemic stage.

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