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Oncogenic ZEB2 activation drives sensitivity toward KDM1A inhibition in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

Elevated expression of the Zinc finger E-box binding homeobox transcription factor-2 (ZEB2) is correlated with poor prognosis and patient outcome in a variety of human cancer subtypes. Using a conditional gain-of-function mouse model, we recently demonstrated that ZEB2 is an oncogenic driver of immature T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL), a heterogenic subgroup of human leukemia characterized by a high incidence of remission failure or hematological relapse after conventional chemotherapy. Here, we identified the lysine-specific demethylase KDM1A as a novel interaction partner of ZEB2 and demonstrated that mouse and human T-ALLs with increased ZEB2 levels critically depend on KDM1A activity for survival. Therefore, targeting the ZEB2 protein complex through direct disruption of the ZEB2-KDM1A interaction or pharmacological inhibition of the KDM1A demethylase activity itself could serve as a novel therapeutic strategy for this aggressive subtype of human leukemia and possibly other ZEB2-driven malignancies.
Journal: Blood
ISSN: 0006-4971
Issue: 8
Volume: 129
Pages: 981 - 990
Publication year:2017