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Blood. 2009 May 7;113(19):4702-10. doi: 10.1182/blood-2007-05-088724. Epub 2009 Feb 20.

Enhanced expression of p210BCR/ABL and aberrant expression of Zfp423/ZNF423 induce blast crisis of chronic myelogenous leukemia.

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Department of Developmental Biology, Research Institute of Radiation Biology and Medicine, Hiroshima University, Hiroshima, Japan.


Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) is a hematopoietic disorder originating from p210BCR/ABL-transformed stem cells, which begins as indolent chronic phase (CP) but progresses into fatal blast crisis (BC). To investigate molecular mechanism(s) underlying disease evolution, CML-exhibiting p210BCR/ABL transgenic mice were crossed with BXH2 mice that transmit a replication-competent retrovirus. Whereas nontransgenic mice in the BXH2 background exclusively developed acute myeloid leukemia, p210BCR/ABL transgenic littermates developed nonmyeloid leukemias, in which inverse polymerase chain reaction detected 2 common viral integration sites (CISs). Interestingly, one CIS was transgene's own promoter, which up-regulated p210BCR/ABL expression. The other was the 5' noncoding region of a transcription factor, Zfp423, which induced aberrant Zfp423 expression. The cooperative activities of Zfp423 and p210BCR/ABL were demonstrated as follows: (1) introduction of Zfp423 in p210BCR/ABL transgenic bone marrow (BM) cells increased colony-forming ability, (2) suppression of ZNF423 (human homologue of Zfp423) in ZNF423-expressing, p210BCR/ABL-positive hematopoietic cells retarded cell growth, (3) mice that received a transplant of BM cells transduced with Zfp423 and p210BCR/ABL developed acute leukemia, and (4) expression of ZNF423 was found in human BCR/ABL-positive cell lines and CML BC samples. These results demonstrate that enhanced expression of p210BCR/ABL and deregulated expression of Zfp423/ZNF423 contribute to CML BC.

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