Critical Role of c-Myc in Acute Myeloid Leukemia Involving Direct Regulation of miR-26a and Histone Methyltransferase EZH2

Genes Cancer. 2011 May;2(5):585-92. doi: 10.1177/1947601911416357.


Increased expression or aberrant activation of c-Myc plays an important role in leukemogenesis. Here, we show that in acute myeloid leukemia (AML), c-Myc directly controls the expression of EZH2, a component of the Polycomb repressive complex 2, and miR-26a. miR-26a is downregulated in primary blasts from AML patients and, during myeloid differentiation of AML cells, is induced together with a decrease in c-Myc and Ezh2 levels. Previously, EZH2 was shown to be regulated by miR-26a at the translational levels in lymphomas. However, we demonstrate that in AML, the variation of EZH2 mainly depends on c-Myc transcriptional control. We also show that enforced expression of miR-26a in AML cells is able to inhibit cell cycle progression by downregulating cyclin E2 expression. In addition, increased levels of miR-26a potentiate the antiproliferative effects of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D(3) (VitD) and stimulate myeloid differentiation. Our results identify new molecular targets of c-Myc in AML and highlight miR-26a attractiveness as a therapeutic target in leukemia.

Keywords: AML; EZH2; c-Myc; miR-26a.