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EMBO J. 2003 Nov 3;22(21):5806-16.

C/EBPbeta: a major PML-RARA-responsive gene in retinoic acid-induced differentiation of APL cells.

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Harvard Institutes of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, 77 Avenue Louis Pasteur, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


In acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL), the translocation t(15;17) induces a block at the promyelocytic stage of differentiation in an all-trans-retinoic acid (ATRA)-responsive manner. Here we report that upon treatment with ATRA, t(15;17) cells (NB4) reveal a very rapid increase in protein level and binding activity of C/EBPbeta, a C/EBP family member, which was not observed in an ATRA-resistant NB4 cell line. We further provide evidence that ATRA mediates a direct increase of C/EBPbeta, only in PML-RARA (promyelocytic leukemia-retinoic acid receptor alpha)-expressing cells. In addition, transactivation experiments indicate that the PML-RARA fusion protein, but not PML-RARA mutants defective in transactivation, strongly transactivates the C/EBPbeta promoter. These results suggest that PML-RARA mediates ATRA-induced C/EBPbeta expression. Finally, we demonstrate the importance of C/EBPbeta in granulocytic differentiation. We show that not only does C/EBPbeta induce granulocytic differentiation of non-APL myeloid cell lines independent of addition of ATRA or other cytokines, but also that C/EBPbeta induction is required during ATRA-induced differentiation of APL cells. Taken together, C/EBPbeta is an ATRA-dependent PML-RARA target gene involved in ATRA-induced differentiation of APL cells.

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