AML suppresses hematopoiesis by releasing exosomes that contain microRNAs targeting c-MYB

Noah I. Hornick, Ben Doron, Sherif Abdelhamed, Jianya Huan, Christina A. Harrington, Rongkun Shen, Xiaolu Cambronne, Santhosh Chakkaramakkil Verghese, Peter Kurre

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

109 Scopus citations


Exosomes are paracrine regulators of the tumor microenvironment and contain complex cargo. We previously reported that exosomes released from acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells can suppress residual hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell (HSPC) function indirectly through stromal reprogramming of niche retention factors. We found that the systemic loss of hematopoietic function is also in part a consequence of AML exosome-directed microRNA (miRNA) trafficking to HSPCs. Exosomes isolated from cultured AML or the plasma from mice bearing AML xenografts exhibited enrichment of miR-150 and miR-155. HSPCs cocultured with either of these exosomes exhibited impaired clonogenicity, through the miR-150- and miR-155-mediated suppression of the translation of transcripts encoding c-MYB, a transcription factor involved in HSPC differentiation and proliferation. To discover additional miRNA targets, we captured miR-155 and its target transcripts by coimmunoprecipitation with an attenuated RNAinduced silencing complex (RISC)-trap, followed by high-throughput sequencing. This approach identified known and previously unknown miR-155 target transcripts. Integration of the miR-155 targets with information from the protein interaction database STRING revealed proteins indirectly affected by AML exosome-derived miRNA. Our findings indicate a direct effect of AML exosomes on HSPCs that, through a stroma-independent mechanism, compromises hematopoiesis. Furthermore, combining miRNA target data with protein-protein interaction datamay be a broadly applicable strategy to define the effects of exosomemediated trafficking of regulatory molecules within the tumor microenvironment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberra88
JournalScience signaling
Issue number444
StatePublished - Sep 6 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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