HOTTIP lncRNA is highly expressed in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) driven by MLL rearrangements or NPM1 mutations to mediate HOXA topologically associated domain (TAD) formation and drive aberrant transcription. However, the mechanism through which HOTTIP accesses CCCTC-binding factor (CTCF) chromatin boundaries and regulates CTCF-mediated genome topology remains unknown. Here, we show that HOTTIP directly interacts with and regulates a fraction of CTCF-binding sites (CBSs) in the AML genome by recruiting CTCF/cohesin complex and R-loop-associated regulators to form R-loops. HOTTIP-mediated R-loops reinforce the CTCF boundary and facilitate formation of TADs to drive gene transcription. Either deleting CBS or targeting RNase H to eliminate R-loops in the boundary CBS of β-catenin TAD impaired CTCF boundary activity, inhibited promoter/enhancer interactions, reduced β-catenin target expression, and mitigated leukemogenesis in xenograft mouse models with aberrant HOTTIP expression. Thus, HOTTIP-mediated R-loop formation directly reinforces CTCF chromatin boundary activity and TAD integrity to drive oncogene transcription and leukemia development.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology