Key Points

  • Inhibiting MTCH2 increased levels of pyruvate and PDH in nucleus leading to differentiation and loss of engraftment potential in AML.

  • Defined a new mechanism by which mitochondrial pathways control epigenetics and differentiation in AML.

Abstract

Through a clustered regularly insterspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) screen to identify mitochondrial genes necessary for the growth of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells, we identified the mitochondrial outer membrane protein mitochondrial carrier homolog 2 (MTCH2). In AML, knockdown of MTCH2 decreased growth, reduced engraftment potential of stem cells, and induced differentiation. Inhibiting MTCH2 in AML cells increased nuclear pyruvate and pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH), which induced histone acetylation and subsequently promoted the differentiation of AML cells. Thus, we have defined a new mechanism by which mitochondria and metabolism regulate AML stem cells and gene expression.

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