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Genes Cancer. 2011 Jan;2(1):10-9. doi: 10.1177/1947601911402682.

A Role for PML in Innate Immunity.

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Cancer Genetics Program, Beth Israel Deaconess Cancer Center, Department of Medicine and Pathology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.


The promyelocytic leukemia gene (PML) of acute promyelocytic leukemia is an established tumor suppressor gene with critical functions in growth suppression, induction of apoptosis, and cellular senescence. Interestingly, although less studied, PML seems to play a key role also in immune response to viral infection. Herein, we report that Pml(-/-) mice spontaneously develop an atypical invasive and lethal granulomatous lesion known as botryomycosis (BTM). In Pml(-/-) mice, BTM is the result of impaired function of macrophages, whereby they fail to become activated and are thus unable to clear pathogenic microorganisms. Accordingly, Pml(-/-) mice are resistant to lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced septic shock as a result of an ineffective production of cytokines and chemokines, suggesting a role for PML in the innate immune Toll-like receptor (TLR)/NF-κB prosurvival pathway. These results not only shed light on a new fundamental function of PML in innate immunity, but they also point to a proto-oncogenic role for PML in certain cellular and pathological contexts.


PML; botryomycosis; innate immunity

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