Chromosomal aberrations and multiple genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have established a major hematopoietic quantitative trait locus in chromosome 6q23.3. The locus comprises an active enhancer region, in which some of the associated SNPs alter transcription factor binding. We now identify miR-3662 as a new functional driver contributing to the associated phenotypes. The GWAS SNPs are strongly associated with higher miR-3662 expression. Genome editing of rs66650371, a three-base-pair deletion, suggests a functional link between the SNP genotype and the abundance of miR-3662. Increasing miR-3662′s abundance increases colony formation in hematopoietic progenitor cells, particularly the erythroid lineage. In contrast, miR-3662 is not expressed in acute myeloid leukemia cells, and its overexpression has potent antileukemic effects in vitro and in vivo. Mechanistically, miR-3662 directly targets NF-κB–mediated transcription. Thus, miR-3662 is a new player of the hematopoietic 6q23.3 locus.
SIGNIFICANCE: The characterization of miR-3662 has identified a new actor in the prominent hematopoietic quantitative trait locus in chromosome 6q23.3. The mechanistic insights into miR-3662′s function may reveal novel or only partially known pathways for normal and malignant hematopoietic cell proliferation. Cancer Discov; 6(9); 1–16. ©2016 AACR.
Note: Supplementary data for this article are available at Cancer Discovery Online (http://cancerdiscovery.aacrjournals.org/).
- Received January 5, 2016.
- Revision received June 22, 2016.
- Accepted June 23, 2016.
- ©2016 American Association for Cancer Research.