Mol Carcinog 2015 Dec 9;54(12):1815-9. Epub 2014 Dec 9.
Department of Medicine I, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.
Even though a large proportion of patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) achieve a complete remission upon initial therapy, the majority of them eventually relapse with resistant disease. Overexpression of the gene coding for the transcription factor Ecotropic Virus Integration site 1 (EVI1) is associated with rapid disease recurrence and shortened survival. We therefore sought to identify EVI1 target genes that may play a role in chemotherapy resistance using a previously established in vitro model system for EVI1 positive myeloid malignancies. Gene expression microarray analyses uncovered the Cell Adhesion Molecule 1 (CADM1) gene as a candidate whose deregulation by EVI1 may contribute to drug refractoriness. CADM1 is an apoptosis inducing tumor suppressor gene that is inactivated by methylation in a variety of tumor types. In the present study we provide evidence that it may play a role in chemotherapy induced cell death in AML: CADM1 was induced by drugs used in the treatment of AML in a human myeloid cell line and in primary diagnostic AML samples, and its experimental expression in a cell line model increased the proportion of apoptotic cells. CADM1 up-regulation was abolished by ectopic expression of EVI1, and EVI1 expression correlated with increased CADM1 promoter methylation both in a cell line model and in primary AML cells. Finally, CADM1 induction was repressed in primary samples from AML patients at relapse. In summary, these data suggest that failure to up-regulate CADM1 in response to chemotherapeutic drugs may contribute to therapy resistance in AML.