AbstractNucleotides mediate intercellular communication by activating purinergic receptors and take part in various physiological and pathological processes. Abnormal purinergic signaling plays important roles in malignant progression. P2X7, which belongs to the P2X family of purinergic receptors, is abnormally expressed in various types of malignancies including leukemia. However, its role and molecular mechanism in leukemia have not been elucidated. Here, we analyzed the correlation between P2X7 expression and AML clinical outcome; explored the role and mechanism of P2X7 in AML progression by using mouse acute myeloid leukemia (AML), nude mouse xenograft and patient-derived xenograft models. High levels of P2X7 expression were correlated with worse survival in AML. P2X7 was highly expressed in MLL-rearranged AML. Furthermore, P2X7 accelerated the progression of MLL-rearranged AML by both promoting cell proliferation and increasing leukemia stem cell (LSC) levels. Moreover, P2X7 caused upregulation of Pbx3 accounts for its pro-leukemic effects. The P2X7-Pbx3 pathway might also contribute to the progression of other types of leukemia as well as solid tumors with high levels of P2X7 expression. Our study provides new insights into the malignant progression caused by abnormal purinergic signaling.
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Ferrata Storti Foundation, Pavia, Italy
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