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.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||[Rinshō ketsueki] The Japanese journal of clinical hematology|
|Publication status||Published - Apr 1 2016|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes