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Single-cell analysis reveals selection of TP53-mutated clones after MDM2 inhibition

Maslah N et al.
Blood Advances (2022)

The mechanisms of transformation of chronic myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN) to leukemia are largely unknown but TP53mutations acquisition is considered a key event in this process. P53 is a main tumor suppressor but mutations in this protein per se do not confer a proliferative advantage to the cells and a selection process is needed for the expansion of mutant clones. MDM2 inhibitors may rescue normal p53 from degradation and have been evaluated in a variety of cancers with promising results. However the impact of these drugs on TP53 mutated cells is underexplored. We report herein evidence of a direct effect of MDM2 inhibition on the selection of MPN patients’ cells harboring TP53 mutations. To decipher whether these mutations can arise in a specific molecular context we used a DNA single cell approach to determine the clonal architecture of TP53 mutated cells. We observed that TP53 mutations are late events in MPN mainly occurring in the driver clone while clonal evolution frequently consists of sequential branching instead of linear consecutive acquisition of mutations in the same clone. At the single cell level the presence of additional mutations does not influence the selection of TP53 mutant cells by MDM2 inhibitor treatment. Also, we describe an in vitro test allowing to predict the emergence of TP53 mutated clones. Altogether, this is the first demonstration that a drug treatment can directly favor the emergence of TP53-mutated subclones in MPN.


Maslah N, Verger E, Giraudier S, Chea M, Hoffman R, Mascarenhas J, Cassinat B, Kiladjian


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