Aberrant expression of Ecotropic Viral Integration Site 1 (EVI1) is a hallmark of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) with inv(3) or t(3;3), which is a disease subtype with especially poor outcome. In studying transcriptomes from AML patients with chromosome 3q rearrangements, we identified a significant upregulation of the Nuclear Receptor Interacting Protein 1 (NRIP1) as well as its adjacent non-coding RNA LOC101927745. Utilizing transcriptomic and epigenomic data from over 900 primary patient samples as well as genetic and transcriptional engineering approaches, we have identified several mechanisms that can lead to upregulation of NRIP1 in AML. We hypothesize that the LOC101927745 transcription start site harbors a context-dependent enhancer that is bound by EVI1, causing upregulation of NRIP1 in AML with chr3 abnormalities. Furthermore, we show that NRIP1 knockdown negatively affects the proliferation and survival of 3q-rearranged AML cells and increases their sensitivity towards ATRA, suggesting that NRIP1 is relevant for the pathogenesis of inv(3)/t(3;3) AML and could serve as a novel therapeutic target in myeloid malignancies with 3q abnormalities.
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