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Blood. 1999 May 15;93(10):3302-8.

An essential role for NF-kappaB in human CD34(+) bone marrow cell survival.

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  • 1The Molecular Toxicology and Environmental Health Sciences Center, School of Pharmacy, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, CO, USA.


The transcription factor, NF-kappaB, is important for T-cell activation, B-cell maturation, and human immunodeficiency virus transcription and plays a role in alternatively mediating and protecting against apoptosis in a variety of cell types. However, a role for NF-kappaB in human CD34(+) bone marrow cells has not been described. We provide evidence here that virtually all human CD34(+) bone marrow cells express NF-kappaB that can be activated by exposure to phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate and a variety of cytokines, eg, tumor necrosis factor alpha, interleukin-3, and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor. In addition, we demonstrate that NF-kappaB may be required for human CD34(+) bone marrow cell clonogenic function and survival. These results offer insight into a new role for NF-kappaB in maintaining survival and function in hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells and suggest that proposed strategies involving inhibition of NF-kappaB activation as an adjunct to cancer chemotherapy should be approached with caution.

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