FOXM1, a known transcription factor, promotes cell proliferation in a variety of cancer cells. Here we show that Foxm1 is required for survival, quiescence and self-renewal of MLL-AF9 (MA9)-transformed leukemia stem cells (LSCs) in vivo. Mechanistically, Foxm1 upregulation activates the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathways by directly binding to β-catenin and stabilizing β-catenin protein through inhibiting its degradation, thereby preserving LSC quiescence, and promoting LSC self-renewal in MLL-rearranged AML. More importantly, inhibition of FOXM1 markedly suppresses leukemogenic potential and induces apoptosis of primary LSCs from MLL-rearranged AML patients in vitro and in vivo in xenograft mice. Thus, our study shows a critical role and mechanisms of Foxm1 in MA9-LSCs, and indicates that FOXM1 is a potential therapeutic target for selectively eliminating LSCs in MLL-rearranged AML.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)