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Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) stem/progenitor cells (SPC) express a transcriptional program characteristic of proliferation, yet can achieve and maintain quiescence. Understanding the mechanisms by which leukemic SPC maintain quiescence will help to clarify how they persist during long-term targeted treatment. We have identified a novel BCR-ABL1 protein kinase dependent pathway mediated by the up-regulation of hsa-mir183, the down-regulation of its direct target EGR1 and, as a consequence, up-regulation of E2F1. We show here that inhibition of hsa-mir183 reduced proliferation and impaired colony formation of CML SPC. Downstream of this, inhibition of E2F1 also reduced proliferation of CML SPC, leading to p53-mediated apoptosis. In addition, we demonstrate that E2F1 plays a pivotal role in regulating CML SPC proliferation status. Thus, for the first time, we highlight the mechanism of hsa-mir183/EGR1-mediated E2F1 regulation and demonstrate this axis as a novel, critical factor for CML SPC survival, offering new insights into leukemic stem cell eradication.

Original publication




Journal article




American Society of Hematology

Publication Date





1532 - 1544