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Leukemia. 2009 Sep;23(9):1622-7. doi: 10.1038/leu.2009.74. Epub 2009 Apr 9.

BCR-ABL promotes neutrophil differentiation in the chronic phase of chronic myeloid leukemia by downregulating c-Jun expression.

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Division of Hematology, Department of Internal Medicine, National Defense Medical College, Tokorozawa, Saitama, Japan.


The mechanism that is responsible for mature neutrophil overproduction in the chronic phase (CP) of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), a neoplastic disease of hematopoietic stem cells carrying a constitutively active tyrosine kinase BCR-ABL, remains obscure. In this study, microarray analysis revealed that c-Jun, a monopoiesis-promoting transcription factor, was downregulated in CML neutrophils. BCR-ABL directly inhibited c-Jun expression, as c-Jun downregulation in primary CML neutrophils and in the CML blast cell lines, KCL22 and K562, was reversed by the tyrosine kinase inhibitor imatinib. We established a myeloid differentiation model in KCL22 cells using zinc-inducible CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein (C/EBP)alpha (KCL22/alpha). Myeloid differentiation was observed in C/EBP-induced KCL22/alpha cells. Imatinib-induced c-Jun upregulation promoted the monocytic differentiation of KCL22/alpha cells. c-Jun knockdown in KCL22/alpha cells by a short interfering RNA redirected their differentiation from the monocytic to the neutrophilic lineage, even after imatinib treatment. A blockade of PI3K-Akt signaling with an Akt inhibitor upregulated c-Jun and induced the monocytic differentiation of KCL22, K562, and C/EBP-induced KCL22/alpha cells. Thus, BCR-ABL downregulates c-Jun expression by activating the PI3K-Akt pathway during CML-CP, thereby allowing C/EBPs to promote neutrophil differentiation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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