The interactions of leukemia cells with the bone marrow (BM) microenvironment is critical for disease progression and resistance to treatment. We have recently found that the vascular adhesion molecule E-(endothelial)-selectin is a key niche component that directly mediates acute myeloid leukemia (AML) chemo-resistance, revealing E-selectin as a promising therapeutic target. To understand how E-selectin promotes AML survival, we investigated the potential receptors on AML cells involved in E-selectin-mediated chemo-resistance. Using CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing to selectively suppress canonical E-selectin receptors CD44 or P-selectin glycoprotein ligand-1 (PSGL-1/CD162) from human AML cell line KG1a, we show that CD162, but not CD44, is necessary for E-selectin-mediated chemo-resistance . Using preclinical models of murine AML, we then demonstrate that absence of CD162 on AML cell surface leads to a significant delay in the onset of leukemia and a significant increase in sensitivity to chemotherapy associated with a more rapid proliferation compared to wild-type AML and a lower BM retention. Together, these data reveal for the first time that CD162 is a key AML cell surface receptor involved in AML progression, BM retention and chemo-resistance. These findings highlight specific blockade of AML cell surface CD162 as a potential novel niche-based strategy to improve the efficacy of AML therapy.
Copyright © 2020 Erbani, Tay, Barbier, Levesque and Winkler.