BMI1 enhancer polymorphism underlies chromosome 10p12.31 association with childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia

Int J Cancer. 2018 Dec 1;143(11):2647-2658. doi: 10.1002/ijc.31622. Epub 2018 Oct 3.


Genome-wide association studies of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) have identified regions of association at PIP4K2A and upstream of BMI1 at chromosome 10p12.31-12.2. The contribution of both loci to ALL risk and underlying functional variants remain to be elucidated. We carried out single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) imputation across chromosome 10p12.31-12.2 in Latino and non-Latino white ALL cases and controls from two independent California childhood leukemia studies, and additional Genetic Epidemiology Research on Aging study controls. Ethnicity-stratified association analyses were performed using logistic regression, with meta-analysis including 3,133 cases (1,949 Latino, 1,184 non-Latino white) and 12,135 controls (8,584 Latino, 3,551 non-Latino white). SNP associations were identified at both BMI1 and PIP4K2A. After adjusting for the lead PIP4K2A SNP, genome-wide significant associations remained at BMI1, and vice-versa (pmeta < 10-10 ), supporting independent effects. Lead SNPs differed by ethnicity at both peaks. We sought functional variants in tight linkage disequilibrium with both the lead Latino SNP among Admixed Americans and lead non-Latino white SNP among Europeans. This pinpointed rs11591377 (pmeta = 2.1 x 10-10 ) upstream of BMI1, residing within a hematopoietic stem cell enhancer of BMI1, and which showed significant preferential binding of the risk allele to MYBL2 (p = 1.73 x 10-5 ) and p300 (p = 1.55 x 10-3 ) transcription factors using binomial tests on ChIP-Seq data from a SNP heterozygote. At PIP4K2A, we identified rs4748812 (pmeta = 1.3 x 10-15 ), which alters a RUNX1 binding motif and demonstrated chromosomal looping to the PIP4K2A promoter. Fine-mapping chromosome 10p12 in a multi-ethnic ALL GWAS confirmed independent associations and identified putative functional variants upstream of BMI1 and at PIP4K2A.

Keywords: BMI1; childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia; enhancer element; fine-mapping; genome-wide association study.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • California / ethnology
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / metabolism
  • Child
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 10 / genetics*
  • Core Binding Factor Alpha 1 Subunit / metabolism
  • Enhancer Elements, Genetic
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Genome-Wide Association Study / methods*
  • Humans
  • K562 Cells
  • Linkage Disequilibrium
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Phosphotransferases (Alcohol Group Acceptor) / genetics*
  • Phosphotransferases (Alcohol Group Acceptor) / metabolism
  • Polycomb Repressive Complex 1 / genetics*
  • Polycomb Repressive Complex 1 / metabolism
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide*
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / ethnology
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / genetics*
  • Trans-Activators / metabolism
  • Young Adult


  • BMI1 protein, human
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Core Binding Factor Alpha 1 Subunit
  • MYBL2 protein, human
  • RUNX2 protein, human
  • Trans-Activators
  • Polycomb Repressive Complex 1
  • PIP4K2A protein, human
  • Phosphotransferases (Alcohol Group Acceptor)