Jiang Q, Isquith J, Zipeto MA, Diep RH, Pham J, Delos Santos N, Reynoso E, Chau J, Leu H, Lazzari E, Melese E, Ma W, Fang R, Minden M, Morris S, Ren B, Pineda G, Holm F, Jamieson C
Adenosine deaminase associated with RNA1 (ADAR1) deregulation contributes to therapeutic resistance in many malignancies. Here we show that ADAR1-induced hyper-editing in normal human hematopoietic progenitors impairs miR-26a maturation, which represses CDKN1A expression indirectly via EZH2, thereby accelerating cell-cycle transit. However, in blast crisis chronic myeloid leukemia progenitors, loss of EZH2 expression and increased CDKN1A oppose cell-cycle transit. Moreover, A-to-I editing of both the MDM2 regulatory microRNA and its binding site within the 3' UTR region stabilizes MDM2 transcripts, thereby enhancing blast crisis progenitor propagation. These data reveal a dual mechanism governing malignant transformation of progenitors that is predicated on hyper-editing of cell-cycle-regulatory miRNAs and the 3' UTR binding site of tumor suppressor miRNAs.