GATA2, a zinc finger transcription factor predominantly expressed in hematopoietic cells, acts as an essential regulator of hematopoietic stem cell generation, survival and functionality. Loss and gain of GATA2 expression has been implicated in myelodysplastic syndrome and acute myeloid leukemia (AML) yet the precise biological impact of GATA2 expression on human AML cell fate decisions remains ambiguous. Herein, we performed large-scale bioinformatics that demonstrated relatively frequent GATA2 overexpression in AML patients as well as select human AML (or AML-like) cell lines. By using shRNAi to target GATA2 in these AML cell lines, and an AML cell line expressing normal levels of GATA2, we found that inhibition of GATA2 caused attenuated cell proliferation and enhanced apoptosis exclusively in AML cell lines that overexpress GATA2. We proceeded to pharmacologically inhibit GATA2 in concert with AML chemotherapeutics and found this augmented cell killing in AML cell lines that overexpress GATA2, but not in an AML cell line expressing normal levels of GATA2. These data indicate that inhibition of GATA2 enhances chemotherapy-mediated apoptosis in human AML cells overexpressing GATA2. Thus, we define novel insights into the oncogenic role of GATA2 in human AML cells and suggest the potential utilization of transient GATA2 therapeutic targeting in AML.
- Acute myeloid leukaemia