Splicing machinery genomics events in acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) : in search for therapeutic targets, diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers

18 Feb 2021

Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is the most common form of acute leukaemia and has the highest mortality rate. Screening for mutations in patients with AML has shown that in many cases genes carrying mutations are involved in the alternate splicing of mRNA. These include members of the Serine Arginine (SR) family of splicing factors, as well as components of the spliceosome. Mutations in associated genes also affect the function of members of the heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoproteins (hnRNPs). These mutations in splicing factors can lead to changes in the expression of different isoforms whose splicing is controlled by these splicing factors. These different isoforms may have completely different functions, for example, members of the BCl-2 family are alternately spliced to give rise to pro and anti-apoptotic members. Mutations in the splicing factors that control the splicing of these mRNAs can lead to changes in the expression level of these isoforms. In this review we will examine the mechanics of the regulation of the various splice isoforms and how this drives the development of tumors. This information is pertinent for drug discovery, and the splicing factors with the most promise for pharmacological control will be discussed.