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Blood. 1998 Nov 1;92(9):3226-39.

Mcl-1 in transgenic mice promotes survival in a spectrum of hematopoietic cell types and immortalization in the myeloid lineage.

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  • 1Departments of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Pathology, Anatomy, and Immunology, Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover, NH, USA.

Abstract

Mcl-1 is a member of the Bcl-2 family that is expressed in early monocyte differentiation and that can promote viability on transfection into immature myeloid cells. However, the effects of Mcl-1 are generally short lived compared with those of Bcl-2 and are not obvious in some transfectants. To further explore the effects of this gene, mice were produced that expressed Mcl-1 as a transgene in hematolymphoid tissues. The Mcl-1 transgene was found to cause moderate viability enhancement in a wide range of hematopoietic cell types, including lymphoid (B and T) as well as myeloid cells at both immature and mature stages of differentiation. However, enhanced hematopoietic capacity in transgenic bone marrow and spleen was not reflected in any change in pool sizes in the peripheral blood. In addition, among transgenic cells, mature T cells remained long lived compared with B cells and macrophages could live longer than either of these. Interestingly, when hematopoietic cells were maintained in tissue culture in the presence of interleukin-3, Mcl-1 enhanced the probability of outgrowth of continuously proliferating myeloid cell lines. Thus, Mcl-1 transgenic cells remained subject to normal in vivo homeostatic mechanisms controlling viable cell number, but these constraints could be overridden under specific conditions in vitro. Within the organism, Bcl-2 family members may act at "viability gates" along the differentiation continuum, functioning as part of a system for controlled hematopoietic cell amplification. Enforced expression of even a moderate viability-promoting member of this family such as Mcl-1, within a conducive intra- and extracellular environment in isolation from normal homeostatic constraints, can substantially increase the probability of cell immortalization.

Copyright 1998 by The American Society of Hematology

PMID:
9787159
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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