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Chromatin accessibility landscape of pediatric T-lymphoblastic leukemia and human T-cell precursors


Abstract

We aimed at identifying the developmental stage at which leukemic cells of pediatric T-ALLs are arrested and at defining leukemogenic mechanisms based on ATAC-Seq. Chromatin accessibility maps of seven developmental stages of human healthy T cells revealed progressive chromatin condensation during T-cell maturation. Developmental stages were distinguished by 2,823 signature chromatin regions with 95% accuracy. Open chromatin surrounding SAE1 was identified to best distinguish thymic developmental stages suggesting a potential role of SUMOylation in T-cell development. Deconvolution using signature regions revealed that T-ALLs, including those with mature immunophenotypes, resemble the most immature populations, which was confirmed by TF-binding motif profiles. We integrated ATAC-Seq and RNA-Seq and found DAB1, a gene not related to leukemia previously, to be overexpressed, abnormally spliced and hyper-accessible in T-ALLs. DAB1-negative patients formed a distinct subgroup with particularly immature chromatin profiles and hyper-accessible binding sites for SPI1 (PU.1), a TF crucial for normal T-cell maturation. In conclusion, our analyses of chromatin accessibility and TF-binding motifs showed that pediatric T-ALL cells are most similar to immature thymic precursors, indicating an early developmental arrest.

Abstract

We aimed at identifying the developmental stage at which leukemic cells of pediatric T-ALLs are arrested and at defining leukemogenic mechanisms based on ATAC-Seq. Chromatin accessibility maps of seven developmental stages of human healthy T cells revealed progressive chromatin condensation during T-cell maturation. Developmental stages were distinguished by 2,823 signature chromatin regions with 95% accuracy. Open chromatin surrounding SAE1 was identified to best distinguish thymic developmental stages suggesting a potential role of SUMOylation in T-cell development. Deconvolution using signature regions revealed that T-ALLs, including those with mature immunophenotypes, resemble the most immature populations, which was confirmed by TF-binding motif profiles. We integrated ATAC-Seq and RNA-Seq and found DAB1, a gene not related to leukemia previously, to be overexpressed, abnormally spliced and hyper-accessible in T-ALLs. DAB1-negative patients formed a distinct subgroup with particularly immature chromatin profiles and hyper-accessible binding sites for SPI1 (PU.1), a TF crucial for normal T-cell maturation. In conclusion, our analyses of chromatin accessibility and TF-binding motifs showed that pediatric T-ALL cells are most similar to immature thymic precursors, indicating an early developmental arrest.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Children's Hospital Zurich > Medical Clinic
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Life Sciences > Molecular Medicine
Language:English
Date:7 September 2020
Deposited On:27 Jan 2021 08:55
Last Modified:01 Feb 2021 16:29
Publisher:Wiley Open Access
ISSN:1757-4676
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.15252/emmm.202012104
PubMed ID:32755029

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