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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006 Jan 31;103(5):1486-91. Epub 2006 Jan 23.

Inactivation of PU.1 in adult mice leads to the development of myeloid leukemia.

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The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, 1G Royal Parade, Parkville 3050, Victoria, Australia.


Genetically primed adult C57BL mice were deleted of exon 5 of the gene encoding the transcription factor PU.1 by IFN activation of Cre recombinase. After a 13-week delay, conditionally deleted (PU.1(-/-)) mice began dying of myeloid leukemia, and 95% of the mice surviving from early postinduction death developed transplantable myeloid leukemia whose cells were deleted of PU.1 and uniformly Gr-1 positive. The leukemic cells formed autonomous colonies in semisolid culture with varying clonal efficiency, but colony formation was enhanced by IL-3 and sometimes by granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor. Nine of 13 tumors analyzed had developed a capacity for autocrine IL-3 or granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor production, and there was evidence of rearrangement of the IL-3 gene. Acquisition of autocrine growth-factor production and autonomous growth appeared to be major events in the transformation of conditionally deleted PU.1(-/-) cells to fully developed myeloid leukemic populations.

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