Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a genetically heterogeneous disease that is characterized by abnormal clonal proliferation of myeloid progenitor cells found predominantly within the bone marrow (BM) and blood. Recent studies suggest that genetic and phenotypic alterations in the BM microenvironment support leukemogenesis and allow leukemic cells to survive and evade chemotherapy-induced death. However, despite substantial evidence indicating the role of tumor-host interactions in AML pathogenesis, little is known about the complex microenvironment of the BM. To address this, we performed novel proteomic profiling of the noncellular compartment of the BM microenvironment in patients with AML (n = 10) and age- and sex-matched healthy control subjects (n = 10) using an aptamer-based, highly multiplexed, affinity proteomics platform (SOMAscan). We show that proteomic assessment of blood or RNA-sequencing of BM are suboptimal alternate screening strategies to determine the true proteomic composition of the extracellular soluble compartment of AML patient BM. Proteomic analysis revealed that 168 proteins significantly differed in abundance, with 91 upregulated and 77 downregulated in leukemic BM. A highly connected signaling network of cytokines and chemokines, including IL-8, was found to be the most prominent proteomic signature associated with AML in the BM microenvironment. We report the first description of significantly elevated levels of the myelosuppressive chemokine CCL23 (myeloid progenitor inhibitory factor-1) in both AML and myelodysplastic syndrome patients and perform functional experiments supportive of a role in the suppression of normal hematopoiesis. This unique paired RNA-sequencing and proteomics data set provides innovative mechanistic insights into AML and healthy aging and should serve as a useful public resource.
ASJC Scopus subject areas