DOI: 10.1002/eji.202350717 ISSN: 0014-2980

Acquired immune resistance is associated with interferon signature and modulation of KLF6/c‐MYB transcription factors in myeloid leukemia

Mubaida Parveen, Beren Karaosmanoglu, Ceren Sucularli, Aysegul Uner, Ekim Z. Taskiran, Gunes Esendagli
  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy


Resistance to immunity is associated with the selection of cancer cells with superior capacities to survive inflammatory reactions. Here, we tailored an ex vivo immune selection model for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and isolated the residual subpopulations as “immune‐experienced” AML (ieAML) cells. We confirmed that upon surviving the immune reactions, the malignant blasts frequently decelerated proliferation, displayed features of myeloid differentiation and activation, and lost immunogenicity. Transcriptomic analyses revealed a limited number of commonly altered pathways and differentially expressed genes in all ieAML cells derived from distinct parental cell lines. Molecular signatures predominantly associated with interferon and inflammatory cytokine signaling were enriched in the AML cells resisting the T‐cell‐mediated immune reactions. Moreover, the expression and nuclear localization of the transcription factors c‐MYB and KLF6 were noted as the putative markers for immune resistance and identified in subpopulations of AML blasts in the patients’ bone marrow aspirates. The immune modulatory capacities of ieAML cells lasted for a restricted period when the immune selection pressure was omitted. In conclusion, myeloid leukemia cells harbor subpopulations that can adapt to the harsh conditions established by immune reactions, and a previous “immune experience” is marked with IFN signature and may pave the way for susceptibility to immune intervention therapies.

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