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Mol Cell. 2003 Aug;12(2):393-400.

Bmi-1 regulation of INK4A-ARF is a downstream requirement for transformation of hematopoietic progenitors by E2a-Pbx1.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.


Loss-of-function alterations of INK4A are commonly observed in lymphoid malignancies, but are consistently absent in pre-B cell leukemias induced by the chimeric oncoprotein E2a-Pbx1 created by t(1;19) chromosomal translocations. We report here that experimental induction of E2a-Pbx1 enhances expression of BMI-1, a lymphoid oncogene whose product functions as a transcriptional repressor of the INK4A-ARF tumor suppressor locus. Bmi-1-deficient hematopoietic progenitors are resistant to transformation by E2a-Pbx1; however, the requirement for Bmi-1 is alleviated in cells deficient for both Bmi-1 and INK4A-ARF. Furthermore, the adverse effects of E2a-Pbx1 on pre-B cell survival and differentiation are partially bypassed by forced expression of p16(Ink4a). These results link E2a-Pbx1 with Bmi-1 on an oncogenic pathway that is likely to play a role in the pathogenesis of human lymphoid leukemias through downregulation of the INK4A-ARF gene.

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