The transcription factor ZNF224 plays a key proapoptotic role in chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), by modulating Wilms Tumor protein 1 (WT1) dependent apoptotic genes transcription. Recently, we demonstrated that Bcr-Abl signaling represses ZNF224 expression in Bcr-Abl positive CML cell lines and in CML patients. Interestingly, Imatinib and second-generation tyrosine kinase inhibitors specifically increase ZNF224 expression. On the other hand, Bcr-Abl positively modulates, via JAK2 activation, the expression of the c-Myc oncogene, which is required for Bcr-Abl oncogenic transformation in CML. Consequently, JAK2 inhibitors represent promising molecular therapeutic tools in CML. In this work, we demonstrate that ZNF224 is a novel transcriptional repressor of c-Myc in CML. We also show that ZNF224 induction by Imatinib and AG490, a specific JAK2 inhibitor, is responsible for the transcriptional repression of c-MYC, thus highlighting the crucial role of the ZNF224/c-Myc axis in Imatinib responsiveness. Interestingly, we also report that ZNF224 is induced by AG490 in Imatinibresistant CML cells, leading to c-Myc repression and apoptosis induction. These findings suggest that the development of molecular tools able to induce ZNF224 expression could provide promising means to bypass Imatinib resistance in CML.
- Cell- och molekylärbiologi