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Cold Spring Harb Symp Quant Biol. 2008;73:461-7. doi: 10.1101/sqb.2008.73.039. Epub 2008 Nov 21.

The INK4-ARF (CDKN2A/B) locus in hematopoiesis and BCR-ABL-induced leukemias.

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  • 1Departments of Oncology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee 38105, USA.

Abstract

Senescence and apoptosis programs governed by the Rb and p53 signaling networks can counter tissue stem cell self-renewal. A master regulator of Rb and p53 is the INK4-ARF (CDKN2A/B) locus that encodes two CDK inhibitors, p16(INK4A) and p15(INK4B), that maintain Rb in its active, hypophosphorylated form, and p14(ARF) (p19(Arf) in mice), that inhibits Mdm2 and activates p53. The INK4-ARF genes are epigenetically silenced in hematopoietic stem cells but become poised to respond to oncogenic stress as blood cells differentiate. Inactivation of INK4-ARF endows differentiated cells with an inappropriate self-renewal capacity, a defining feature of cancer cells. In BCR-ABL-induced (Philadelphia chromosome-positive [Ph(+)]) leukemias, INK4-ARF deletions frequently occur in clinically aggressive acute lymphoblastic leukemias (Ph(+) ALLs) but are not seen in more indolent Ph(+) chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) or in CML myeloid blast crisis. Mouse modeling of Ph(+) ALL reveals that Arf inactivation attenuates responsiveness to targeted BCR-ABL kinase inhibitors, enhances the maintenance of leukemia-initiating cells within the hematopoietic microenvironment, and facilitates the emergence of malignant clones that harbor drug-resistant BCR-ABL kinase mutations. Thus, although BCR-ABL mutations typify drug resistance in both CML and Ph(+) ALL, loss of INK4-ARF in Ph(+) ALL enhances disease aggressiveness and undermines the salutary effects of targeted therapy.

PMID:
19028987
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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