Loss-of-function mutations in the DNA methyltransferase 3A (DNMT3A) are seen in a large number of patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) with normal cytogenetics and are frequently associated with poor prognosis. DNMT3A mutations are an early preleukemic event, which — when combined with other genetic lesions — result in full-blown leukemia. Here, we show that loss of Dnmt3a in hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSC/Ps) results in myeloproliferation, which is associated with hyperactivation of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) pathway. PI3Kα/β or the PI3Kα/δ inhibitor treatment partially corrects myeloproliferation, although the partial rescue is more efficient in response to the PI3Kα/β inhibitor treatment. In vivo RNA-Seq analysis on drug-treated Dnmt3a–/– HSC/Ps showed a reduction in the expression of genes associated with chemokines, inflammation, cell attachment, and extracellular matrix compared with controls. Remarkably, drug-treated leukemic mice showed a reversal in the enhanced fetal liver HSC-like gene signature observed in vehicle-treated Dnmt3a–/– LSK cells as well as a reduction in the expression of genes involved in regulating actin cytoskeleton-based functions, including the RHO/RAC GTPases. In a human PDX model bearing DNMT3A mutant AML, PI3Kα/β inhibitor treatment prolonged their survival and rescued the leukemic burden. Our results identify a potentially new target for treating DNMT3A mutation–driven myeloid malignancies.
Lakshmi Reddy Palam, Baskar Ramdas, Katelyn Pickerell, Santhosh Kumar Pasupuleti, Rahul Kanumuri, Annamaria Cesarano, Megan Szymanski, Bryce Selman, Utpal P. Dave, George Sandusky, Fabiana Perna, Sophie Paczesny, Reuben Kapur