Epigenetic silencing of SOCS5 potentiates JAK-STAT signaling and progression of T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
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Activating mutations in cytokine receptors and transcriptional regulators govern aberrant signal transduction in T-cell lineage acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL). However, the roles played by suppressors of cytokine signaling remain incompletely understood. We examined the regulatory roles of suppressor of cytokine signaling 5 (SOCS5) in T-ALL cellular signaling networks and leukemia progression. We found that SOCS5 was differentially expressed in primary T-ALL and its expression levels were lowered in HOXA-deregulated leukemia harboring KMT2A gene rearrangements. Here, we report that SOCS5 expression is epigenetically regulated by DNA methyltransferase-3A-mediated DNA methylation and methyl CpG binding protein-2-mediated histone deacetylation. We show that SOCS5 negatively regulates T-ALL cell growth and cell cycle progression but has no effect on apoptotic cell death. Mechanistically, SOCS5 silencing induces activation of JAK-STAT signaling, and negatively regulates interleukin-7 and interleukin-4 receptors. Using a human T-ALL murine xenograft model, we show that genetic inactivation of SOCS5 accelerates leukemia engraftment and progression, and leukemia burden. We postulate that SOCS5 is epigenetically deregulated in T-ALL and serves as an important regulator of T-ALL cell proliferation and leukemic progression. Our results link aberrant downregulation of SOCS5 expression to the enhanced activation of the JAK-STAT and cytokine receptor-signaling cascade in T-ALL.© 2019 The Authors. Cancer Science published by John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd on behalf of Japanese Cancer Association.