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Oncogene. 1999 Mar 25;18(12):2069-84.

Mrvi1, a common MRV integration site in BXH2 myeloid leukemias, encodes a protein with homology to a lymphoid-restricted membrane protein Jaw1.

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Division of Hematology and Oncology, Department of Medicine, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock 72205, USA.


Ecotropic MuLVs induce myeloid leukemia in BXH2 mice by insertional mutagenesis of cellular proto-oncogenes or tumor suppressor genes. Disease genes can thus be identified by viral tagging as common sites of viral integration in BXH2 leukemias. Previous studies showed that a frequent common integration site in BXH2 leukemias is the Nf1 tumor suppressor gene. Unexpectedly, about half of the viral integrations at Nf1 represented a previously undiscovered defective nonecotropic virus, termed MRV. Because other common integration sites in BXH2 leukemias encoding proto-oncogenes contain ecotropic rather than MRV viruses, it has been speculated that MRV viruses may selectively target tumor suppressor genes. To determine if this were the case, 21 MRV-positive BXH2 leukemias were screened for new MRV common integration sites. One new site, Mrvi1 was identified that was disrupted by MRV in two of the leukemias. Ecotropic virus did not disrupt Mrvi1 in 205 ecotropic virus-positive leukemias, suggesting that Mrvi1 is specifically targeted by MRV. Mrvi1 encodes a novel protein with homology to Jaw1, a lymphoid restricted type II membrane protein that localizes to the endoplasmic reticulum. MRV integration occurs at the 5' end of the gene between two differentially used promoters. Within hematopoietic cells, Mrvi1 expression is restricted to megakaryocytes and some myeloid leukemias. Like Jaw1, which is down-regulated during lymphoid differentiation, Mrv1 is downregulated during monocytic differentiation of BXH2 leukemias. Taken together, these data suggest that MRV integration at Mrvi1 induces myeloid leukemia by altering the expression of a gene important for myeloid cell growth and/or differentiation. Experiments are in progress to test whether Mrvi1 is a tumor suppressor gene.

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