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Leuk Lymphoma. 2008 Feb;49(2):331-8. doi: 10.1080/10428190701809149.

Neuropilin-1 in acute myeloid leukemia: expression and role in proliferation and migration of leukemia cells.

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  • 1State Key Laboratory of Experimental Hematology, Institute of Hematology and Blood Diseases Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College, Tianjin, People's Republic of China.


Neuropilin-1 (NRP-1) is a novel receptor of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and expressed in endothelial cells and tumor cells. The role of NRP-1 in the growth and progression of leukemia is unknown. Here we studied the mRNA expression and effect of NRP-1 in leukemic cells. Our results showed that NRP-1 mRNA was expressed in six of seven leukemic cell lines and primary leukemias derived from all 24 patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Reduced NRP-1 expression by RNA interference led to a decrease of VEGF-mediated mitogenic and migration responses in acute myeloid leukemic cell line HEL. Increased NRP-1 expression was directly correlated with the blast percentage in both peripheral blood and bone marrow of AML patients. Our data demonstrated that a higher level of NRP-1 mRNA was expressed in leukemias and NRP-1 promoted proliferation and chemotaxis of leukemic cells in response to VEGF. Inhibition of NRP-1 functions may provide a new therapeutic strategy for treatment of AML.

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