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Cancer Cell. 2002 Feb;1(1):63-74.

Expression of a conditional AML1-ETO oncogene bypasses embryonic lethality and establishes a murine model of human t(8;21) acute myeloid leukemia.

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Department of Pathology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN 38105, USA.


The AML1/CBFbeta transcription factor complex, a frequent target of chromosomal translocations in leukemia, is essential for the generation of definitive hematopoietic stem cells. Paradoxically, expression of the acute myeloid leukemia-associated AML1-ETO fusion protein in mice results not in leukemia, but in embryonic lethality due to an absence of normal hematopoiesis. To bypass the embryonic lethality, we generated a mouse strain with a conditional AML1-ETO knockin allele that contains a loxP bracketed transcriptional stop cassette 5' to the AML1-ETO fusion site. Activation of this allele in vivo by Cre-mediated recombination resulted in an enhanced replating efficiency of myeloid progenitors, but it did not block their differentiation, nor was it sufficient to induce leukemia. However, induction of cooperating mutations resulted in the development of an acute myeloid disease that mimicked many of the features of human AML1-ETO-expressing leukemia.

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