• Discovery of a Novel CIP2A Variant (NOCIVA) with clinical relevance in predicting TKI resistance in myeloid leukemias

      Makela, Eleonora; Pavic, Karolina; Varila, Taru M; Salmenniemi, Urpu; Löyttyniemi, Eliisa; Nagelli, Srikar G; Ammunét, Tea; Kähäri, Veli-Matti; Clark, Richard E; Elo, Laura L; et al.
      Purpose: Cancerous inhibitor of PP2A (CIP2A) is an oncoprotein that inhibits the tumor suppressor PP2A-B56a. However, CIP2A mRNA variants remain uncharacterized. Here, we report the discovery of a CIP2Asplicing variant, NOCIVA (NOvel CIp2a VAriant). Experimental Design: Characterization of CIP2A variants was performed by both 3' and 5' rapid amplification of cDNA ends from cancer cells. The function of NOCIVA was assessed by structural and molecular biology approaches. Its clinical relevance was studied in an acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patient cohort and two independent chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) cohorts. Results: NOCIVA contains CIP2A exons 1-13 fused to 349 nucleotides from CIP2A intron 13. Intriguingly, the first 39 nucleotides of the NOCIVA-specific sequence are in the coding frame with exon 13 of CIP2A and code for a 13 amino acid peptide tail nonhomologous to any known human protein sequence. Therefore, NOCIVA translates to a unique human protein. NOCIVA retains the capacity to bind to B56a, but whereas CIP2A is predominantly a cytoplasmic protein, NOCIVA translocates to the nucleus. Indicative of prevalent alternative splicing from CIP2A to NOCIVA in myeloid malignancies, AML and CML patient samples overexpress NOCIVA but not CIP2A mRNA. In AML, a high NOCIVA/CIP2A mRNA expression ratio is a marker for adverse overall survival. In CML, high NOCIVA expression is associated with inferior event-free survival among imatinib-treated patients, but not among patients treated with dasatinib or nilotinib. Conclusions: We discovered novel variant of the oncoprotein CIP2A and its clinical relevance in predicting tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapy resistance in myeloid leukemias.