Critical role of MXRA7 in differentiation blockade in human acute promyelocytic leukemia cells

Zhenjiang Sun, Dandan Lin, Ying Shen, Kunpeng Ma, Benfang Wang, Hong Liu, Suning Chen, Depei Wu*, Yiqiang Wang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The biology of the matrix remodeling-associated 7 (MXRA7) gene has been ill defined. Bioinformatic analysis of public data sets revealed that MXRA7 messenger RNA (mRNA) was highly expressed in acute myeloid leukemia (AML), especially acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL). High expression of MXRA7 was associated with poor overall survival of patients with AML. We confirmed that MXRA7 expression was upregulated in patients with APL and cell lines. Knockdown or overexpression of MXRA7 did not affect the proliferation of NB4 cells directly. Knockdown of MXRA7 in NB4 cells promoted drug-induced cell apoptosis, whereas overexpression of MXRA7 had no obvious influence on drug-induced cell apoptosis. Lowering MXRA7 protein levels in NB4 cells promoted all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA)–induced cell differentiation possibly through decreasing the PML-RARα level and increasing PML and RARα levels. Correspondingly, overexpression of MXRA7 showed consistent results. We also demonstrated that MXRA7 altered the expression of genes involved in leukemic cell differentiation and growth. Knockdown of MXRA7 upregulated the expression levels of C/EBPB, C/EBPD, and UBE2L6, and downregulated the expression levels of KDM5A, CCND2, and SPARC. Moreover, knockdown of MXRA7 inhibited the malignancy of NB4 cells in a non-obese diabetic-severe combined immune-deficient mice model. In conclusion, this study demonstrated that MXRA7 influences the pathogenesis of APL via regulation of cell differentiation. The novel findings about the role of MXRA7 in leukemia not only shed light on the biology of this gene but also proposed this gene as a new target for APL treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-54
Number of pages10
JournalExperimental Hematology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2023


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