Abstract : Cells are constantly exposed to endogenous and exogenous stresses that can result in DNA damage. In response, they have evolved complex pathways to maintain genomic integrity. RUNX family transcription factors (RUNX1, RUNX2, and RUNX3 in mammals) are master regulators of development and differentiation, and are frequently dysregulated in cancer. A growing body of research also implicates RUNX proteins as regulators of the DNA damage response, often acting in conjunction with the p53 and Fanconi anemia pathways. In this review, we discuss the functional role and mechanisms involved in RUNX factor mediated response to DNA damage and other cellular stresses. We highlight the impact of these new findings on our understanding of cancer predisposition associated with RUNX factor dysregulation and their implications for designing novel approaches to prevent cancer formation in affected individuals.
Abstract : The Runt-related transcription factors (RUNX) transcription factors have been known for their critical roles in numerous developmental processes and diseases such as autoimmune disorders and cancer. Especially, RUNX proteins are best known for their roles in hematopoiesis, particularly during the development of T cells. As scientists discover more types of new immune cells, the functional diversity of RUNX proteins also has been increased over time. Furthermore, recent research has revealed complicated transcriptional networks involving RUNX proteins by the current technical advances. Databases established by next generation sequencing data analysis has identified ever increasing numbers of potential targets for RUNX proteins and other transcription factors. Here, we summarize diverse functions of RUNX proteins mainly on lymphoid lineage cells by incorporating recent discoveries.
Abstract : Drosophila hematopoiesis is comparable to mammalian differentiation of myeloid lineages, and therefore, has been a useful model organism in illustrating the molecular and genetic basis for hematopoiesis. Multiple novel regulators and signals have been uncovered using the tools of Drosophila genetics. A Runt domain protein, lozenge, is one of the first players recognized and closely studied in the hematopoietic lineage specification. Here, we explore the role of lozenge in determination of prohemocytes into a special class of hemocyte, namely the crystal cell, and discuss molecules and signals controlling the lozenge function and its implication in immunity and stress response. Given the highly conserved nature of Runt domain in both invertebrates and vertebrates, studies in Drosophila will enlighten our perspectives on Runx-mediated development and pathologies.
Abstract : The identification of adult stem cells is challenging because of the heterogeneity and plasticity of stem cells in different organs. Within the same tissue, stem cells may be highly proliferative, or maintained in a quiescent state and only to be activated after tissue damage. Although various stem cell markers have been successfully identified, there is no universal stem cell marker, which is exclusively expressed in all stem cells. Here, we discuss the roles of master developmental regulator RUNX1 in stem cells and the development of a 270 base pair fragment of the Runx1 enhancer (eR1) for use as stem cell marker. Using eR1 to identify stem cells offers a distinct advantage over gene promoters, which might not be expressed exclusively in stem cells. Moreover, RUNX1 has been strongly implicated in various cancer types, such as leukemia, breast, esophageal, prostate, oral, skin, and ovarian cancers?it has been suggested that RUNX1 dysfunction promotes stem cell dysfunction and proliferation. As tissue stem cells are potential candidates for cancer cells-of-origin and cancer stem cells, we will also discuss the use of eR1 to target oncogenic gene manipulations in stem cells and to track subsequent neoplastic changes.
Abstract : The transcription factor RUNX1 first came to prominence due to its involvement in the t(8;21) translocation in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Since this discovery, RUNX1 has been shown to play important roles not only in leukemia but also in the ontogeny of the normal hematopoietic system. Although it is currently still challenging to fully assess the different parameters regulating RUNX1 dosage, it has become clear that the dose of RUNX1 can greatly affect both leukemia and normal hematopoietic development. It is also becoming evident that varying levels of RUNX1 expression can be used as markers of tumor progression not only in the hematopoietic system, but also in non-hematopoietic cancers. Here, we provide an overview of the current knowledge of the effects of RUNX1 dosage in normal development of both hematopoietic and epithelial tissues and their associated cancers.
Abstract : Somatic RUNX1 mutations are found in approximately 10% of patients with de novo acute myeloid leukemia (AML), but are more common in secondary forms of myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) or AML. Particularly, this applies to MDS/AML developing from certain types of leukemia-prone inherited bone marrow failure syndromes. How these RUNX1 mutations contribute to the pathobiology of secondary MDS/AML is still unknown. This mini-review focusses on the role of RUNX1 mutations as the most common secondary leukemogenic hit in MDS/AML evolving from severe congenital neutropenia (SCN).
Abstract : RUNX1 plays an important role in the regulation of normal hematopoiesis. RUNX1 mutations are frequently found and have been intensively studied in hematological malignancies. Germline mutations in RUNX1 cause familial platelet disorder with predisposition to acute myeloid leukemia (FPD/AML). Somatic mutations of RUNX1 are observed in various types of hematological malignancies, such as AML, acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN), chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML), and congenital bone marrow failure (CBMF). Here, we systematically review the clinical and molecular characteristics of RUNX1 mutations, the mechanisms of pathogenesis caused by RUNX1 mutations, and potential therapeutic strategies to target RUNX1-mutated cases of hematological malignancies.
Abstract : Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) is an autosomal dominant disorder. NF1 patients are predisposed to formation of several type solid tumors as well as to juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia. Loss of NF1 results in dysregulation of MAPK, PI3K and other signaling cascades, to promote cell proliferation and to inhibit cell apoptosis. The RUNX1 gene is associated with stem cell function in many tissues, and plays a key role in the fate of stem cells. Aberrant RUNX1 expression leads to context-dependent tumor development, in which RUNX1 may serve as a tumor suppressor or an oncogene in specific tissue contexts. The co-occurrence of mutation of NF1 and RUNX1 is detected rarely in several cancers and signaling downstream of RAS-MAPK can alter RUNX1 function. Whether aberrant RUNX1 expression contributes to NF1-related tumorigenesis is not fully understood. This review focuses on the role of RUNX1 in NF1-related tumors and blood disorders, and in sporadic cancers.
Abstract : Runt-related transcription factor 2 (RUNX2) is a key transcription factor for bone formation and osteoblast differentiation. Various signaling pathways and mechanisms that regulate the expression and transcriptional activity of RUNX2 have been thoroughly investigated since the involvement of RUNX2 was first reported in bone formation. As the regulation of Runx2 expression by extracellular signals has recently been reviewed, this review focuses on the regulation of post-translational RUNX2 activity. Transcriptional activity of RUNX2 is regulated at the post-translational level by various enzymes including kinases, acetyl transferases, deacetylases, ubiquitin E3 ligases, and prolyl isomerases. We describe a sequential and linear causality between post-translational modifications of RUNX2 by these enzymes. RUNX2 is one of the most important osteogenic transcription factors; however, it is not a suitable drug target. Here, we suggest enzymes that directly regulate the stability and/or transcriptional activity of RUNX2 at a post-translational level as effective drug targets for treating bone diseases.