• BMI1;
  • myelodysplastic syndrome;
  • chronic myeloid leukaemia;
  • ZMYM3;
  • acetylation


The polycomb group BMI1 is proved to be crucial in malignant myeloid progression. However, the underlying mechanism of the action of BMI1 in myeloid malignant progression was not well characterized. In this study, we found that the patients of both myelodysplastic syndromes and chronic myeloid leukaemia with BMI1 overexpression had a higher risk in malignant myeloid progression. In vitro gene transfection studies showed that BMI1 inhibited cell myeloid and erythroid differentiation induced by 12-O-tetradecanoyl phorbol-13-acetate (TPA) and histone deacetylase inhibitor sodium butyrate respectively. BMI1 also resisted apoptosis induced by arsenic trioxide. Moreover, the transcript levels of Runx1 and Pten were down-regulated in Bmi1-transfected cells in company with histone deacetylation modification. By using chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) collaborated with secondary generation sequencing and verified by ChIP-PCR, we found that BMI1 directly bound to the promoter region of Zmym3, which encodes a component of histone deacetylase-containing complexes. In addition, as one of the downstream target genes of this complex, c-fos was activated with increasing histone acetylation when ZMYM3 was suppressed in the Bmi1-transfected cells. These results suggested that BMI1 may reprogramme the histone acetylation profile in multiple genes through either indirect or direct binding effects which probably contributes to the malignant progression of myeloid progenitor cells.