Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are critical for regulating HOX genes, aberration of which is a dominant mechanism for leukemic transformation. How HOX gene-associated lncRNAs regulate hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) function and contribute to leukemogenesis remains elusive. We found that HOTTIP is aberrantly activated in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) to alter HOXA-driven topologically associated domain (TAD) and gene expression. HOTTIP loss attenuates leukemogenesis of transplanted mice, while reactivation of HOTTIP restores leukemic TADs, transcription, and leukemogenesis in the CTCF-boundary-attenuated AML cells. Hottip aberration in mice abnormally promotes HSC self-renewal leading to AML-like disease by altering the homeotic/hematopoietic gene-associated chromatin signature and transcription program. Hottip aberration acts as an oncogenic event to perturb HSC function by reprogramming leukemic-associated chromatin and gene transcription.
Keywords: CTCF boundary; HOTTIP lncRNA; HOTTIP transgenic mice; HOX and hematopoietic gene regulation; HSC self-renewal; WNT signaling targets; chromatin domain; enhancer/promoter accessibility; leukemia.
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