LSD1 inhibition by tranylcypromine derivatives interferes with GFI1-mediated repression of PU.1 target genes and induces differentiation in AML
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LSD1 has emerged as a promising epigenetic target in the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). We used two murine AML models based on retroviral overexpression of Hoxa9/Meis1 (H9M) or MN1 to study LSD1 loss of function in AML. The conditional knockout of Lsd1 resulted in differentiation with both granulocytic and monocytic features and increased ATRA sensitivity and extended the survival of mice with H9M-driven AML. The conditional knockout led to an increased expression of multiple genes regulated by the important myeloid transcription factors GFI1 and PU.1. These include the transcription factors GFI1B and IRF8. We also compared the effect of different irreversible and reversible inhibitors of LSD1 in AML and could show that only tranylcypromine derivatives were capable of inducing a differentiation response. We employed a conditional knock-in model of inactive, mutant LSD1 to study the effect of only interfering with LSD1 enzymatic activity. While this was sufficient to initiate differentiation, it did not result in a survival benefit in mice. Hence, we believe that targeting both enzymatic and scaffolding functions of LSD1 is required to efficiently treat AML. This finding as well as the identified biomarkers may be relevant for the treatment of AML patients with LSD1 inhibitors.
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