Background: Mechanisms that inactivate the p53 pathway in Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML), other than rare mutations, are still not well understood. Methods: We performed a bioinformatics study of the p53 pathway function at the gene expression level on our collection of 1153 p53-pathway related genes. Publically available Affymetrix data of 607 de-novo AML patients at diagnosis were analyzed according to the patients cytogenetic, FAB and molecular mutations subtypes. We further investigated the functional status of the p53 pathway in cytogenetically normal AML (CN-AML) and Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia (APL) patients using bioinformatics, Real-Time PCR and immunohistochemistry. Results: We revealed significant and differential alterations of p53 pathway-related gene expression in most of the AML subtypes. We found that p53 pathway-related gene expression was not correlated with the accepted grouping of AML subtypes such as by cytogenetically-based prognosis, morphological stage or by the type of molecular mutation. Our bioinformatic analysis revealed that p53 is not functional in CN-AML and APL blasts at inducing its most important functional outcomes: cell cycle arrest, apoptosis, DNA repair and oxidative stress defense. We revealed transcriptional downregulation of important p53 acetyltransferases in both CN-AML and APL, accompanied by increased Mdmx protein expression and inadequate Chk2 protein activation. Conclusions: Our bioinformatic analysis demonstrated that p53 pathway is differentially inactivated in different AML subtypes. Focused gene and protein analysis of p53 pathway in CN-AML and APL patients imply that functional inactivation of p53 protein can be attributed to its impaired acetylation. Our analysis indicates the need in further accurate evaluation of p53 pathway functioning and regulation in distinct subtypes of AML.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by grants to Prof Dina Ben Yehuda from the Gabrielle Rich Leukemia Foundation, the Caesarea Edmond Benjamin De Rothschild Foundation and Commision of the European Community, Integrated project 6th framework program.
© 2017 The Author(s).