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EMBO J. 2001 May 1;20(9):2286-92.

Interleukin 3-dependent activation of DREAM is involved in transcriptional silencing of the apoptotic Hrk gene in hematopoietic progenitor cells.

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  • 1Unidad de Genetica Molecular, Hospital Universitario Marques de Valdecilla, 39008 Santander, Spain.


The apoptotic protein Hrk is expressed in hematopoietic progenitors after growth factor deprivation. Here we identify a silencer sequence in the 3' untranslated region of the hrk gene that binds to the transcriptional repressor DREAM in interleukin-3 (IL-3)-dependent hematopoietic progenitor cells, and abrogates the expression of reporter genes when located downstream of the open reading frame. In addition, the binding of DREAM to the hrk gene is reduced or eliminated when cells are cultured in the absence of IL-3 or treated with a calcium ionophore or a phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-specific inhibitor, suggesting that both calcium mobilization and phosphorylation can regulate the transcriptional activity of DREAM. Furthermore, we have shown that DREAM is phosphorylated by a phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-dependent, but Akt-independent pathway. In all cases, loss of the DREAM-DNA binding complex was correlated with increased levels of Hrk and apoptosis. These data suggest that IL-3 may trigger the activation of DREAM through different signaling pathways, which in turn binds to a silencer sequence in the hrk gene and blocks transcription, avoiding inappropriate cell death in hematopoietic progenitors.

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