Ezh2 loss promotes development of myelodysplastic syndrome but attenuates its predisposition to leukaemic transformation

Nat Commun. 2014 Jun 23;5:4177. doi: 10.1038/ncomms5177.


Loss-of-function mutations of EZH2, a catalytic component of polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2), are observed in ~\n10% of patients with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), but are rare in acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). Recent studies have shown that EZH2 mutations are often associated with RUNX1 mutations in MDS patients, although its pathological function remains to be addressed. Here we establish an MDS mouse model by transducing a RUNX1S291fs mutant into hematopoietic stem cells and subsequently deleting Ezh2. Ezh2 loss significantly promotes RUNX1S291fs-induced MDS. Despite their compromised proliferative capacity of RUNX1S291fs/Ezh2-null MDS cells, MDS bone marrow impairs normal hematopoietic cells via selectively activating inflammatory cytokine responses, thereby allowing propagation of MDS clones. In contrast, loss of Ezh2 prevents the transformation of AML via PRC1-mediated repression of Hoxa9. These findings provide a comprehensive picture of how Ezh2 loss collaborates with RUNX1 mutants in the pathogenesis of MDS in both cell autonomous and non-autonomous manners.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Marrow Cells / enzymology
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic
  • Core Binding Factor Alpha 2 Subunit / genetics
  • Core Binding Factor Alpha 2 Subunit / metabolism
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Disease Progression
  • Enhancer of Zeste Homolog 2 Protein
  • Female
  • Homeodomain Proteins / genetics
  • Homeodomain Proteins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute / enzymology*
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute / genetics
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute / pathology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Myelodysplastic Syndromes / enzymology*
  • Myelodysplastic Syndromes / genetics
  • Myelodysplastic Syndromes / pathology
  • Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 / deficiency
  • Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 / genetics*


  • Core Binding Factor Alpha 2 Subunit
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Runx1 protein, mouse
  • homeobox protein HOXA9
  • EZH2 protein, human
  • Enhancer of Zeste Homolog 2 Protein
  • Ezh2 protein, mouse
  • Polycomb Repressive Complex 2

Associated data

  • GEO/GSE50537