A TIM-3/galectin-9 autocrine stimulatory loop drives self-renewal of human myeloid leukemia stem cells and leukemia progression

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) originates from self-renewing leukemic stem cells (LSCs), an ultimate therapeutic target for AML. We previously reported that the T-cell immunoglobulin mucin-3 (TIM-3) is expressed on the LCS surface in most types of AML. Since only the TIM-3(+), i.e. not the TIM-3(-), fraction of human AML cells can reconstitute human AML in immunodeficient mice, we hypothesized that the TIM-3 has an essential function in maintaining AML LSCs. Herein, we show that TIM-3 and its ligand, galectin-9 (Gal-9), constitute an autocrine loop critical for human AML LSC development. Serum Gal-9 was significantly elevated in primary AML patients and in mice xenografted with human AML. Neutralization of Gal-9 inhibited xenogeneic reconstitution of human AML, as well as Gal-9 ligation of TIM-3 co-activated NF-κB and β-catenin signaling, suggesting that TIM-3 signaling is necessary for LSC self-renewal. Interestingly, identical changes were found to be involved in the progressive transformation of a variety of pre-leukemic disorders into myeloid leukemia. Thus, molecules constituting the TIM-3/Gal-9 autocrine loop are potential therapeutic targets applicable to most types of myeloid leukemia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)412-416
Number of pages5
Journal[Rinshō ketsueki] The Japanese journal of clinical hematology
Volume57
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)

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