The KDM2B- let-7b -EZH2 axis in myelodysplastic syndromes as a target for combined epigenetic therapy.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


PloS one, Volume 9, Issue 9, p.e107817 (2014)


2014, Bioinformatics Core Facility, Experimental Histopathology Core Facility, Flow Cytometry Core Facility


Both DNA and histone methylation are dysregulated in the myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). Based on preliminary data we hypothesized that dysregulated interactions of KDM2B, let-7b and EZH2 signals lead to an aberrant epigenetic landscape. Gene expression in CD34+ cells from MDS marrows was analyzed by NanoString miR array and validated by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The functions of KDM2B, let-7b and EZH2 were characterized in myeloid cell lines and in primary MDS cells. Let-7b levels were significantly higher, and KDM2B and EZH2 expression was lower in primary CD34+ MDS marrow cells (n = 44) than in healthy controls (n = 21; p<0.013, and p<0.0001, respectively). Overexpression of let-7b reduced EZH2 and KDM2B protein levels, and decreased cells in S-phase while increasing G0/G1 cells (p = 0.0005), accompanied by decreased H3K27me3 and cyclin D1. Silencing of KDM2B increased let-7b expression. Treatment with the cyclopentanyl analog of 3-deazaadenosine, DZNep, combined with the DNA hypomethylating agent 5-azacitidine, decreased levels of EZH2, suppressed methylation of di- and tri-methylated H3K27, and increased p16 expression, associated with cell proliferation. Thus, KDM2B, via let-7b/EZH2, promotes transcriptional repression. DZNep bypassed the inhibitory KDM2B/let-7b/EZH2 axis by preventing H3K27 methylation and reducing cell proliferation. DZNep might be able to enhance the therapeutic effects of DNA hypomethylating agents such as 5-azacitidine, currently considered standard therapy for patients with MDS.