SPRED1, a RAS MAPK pathway inhibitor that causes Legius syndrome, is a tumour suppressor downregulated in paediatric acute myeloblastic leukaemia.Oncogene. 2015 Jan 29; 34(5):631-8.O
Constitutional dominant loss-of-function mutations in the SPRED1 gene cause a rare phenotype referred as neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1)-like syndrome or Legius syndrome, consisted of multiple café-au-lait macules, axillary freckling, learning disabilities and macrocephaly. SPRED1 is a negative regulator of the RAS MAPK pathway and can interact with neurofibromin, the NF1 gene product. Individuals with NF1 have a higher risk of haematological malignancies. SPRED1 is highly expressed in haematopoietic cells and negatively regulates haematopoiesis. SPRED1 seemed to be a good candidate for leukaemia predisposition or transformation. We performed SPRED1 mutation screening and expression status in 230 paediatric lymphoblastic and acute myeloblastic leukaemias (AMLs). We found a loss-of-function frameshift SPRED1 mutation in a patient with Legius syndrome. In this patient, the leukaemia blasts karyotype showed a SPRED1 loss of heterozygosity, confirming SPRED1 as a tumour suppressor. Our observation confirmed that acute leukaemias are rare complications of the Legius syndrome. Moreover, SPRED1 was significantly decreased at RNA and protein levels in the majority of AMLs at diagnosis compared with normal or paired complete remission bone marrows. SPRED1 decreased expression correlated with genetic features of AML. Our study reveals a new mechanism which contributes to deregulate RAS MAPK pathway in the vast majority of paediatric AMLs.