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Acta Haematol. 2011;126(4):205-10. doi: 10.1159/000329911. Epub 2011 Sep 16.

BRIT1/MCPH1 expression in chronic myeloid leukemia and its regulation of the G2/M checkpoint.

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Department of Clinical and Molecular Biomedicine, Section of Hematology, Ferrarotto Hospital, Via Citelli 6, Catania, Italy.

Erratum in

  • Acta Haematol. 2011;126(4):210.
  • Acta Haematol. 2012;127(2):80.


BRIT1 (BRCT-repeat inhibitor of hTERT expression), also known as microcephalin (MCPH1), is a crucial gene in the complex cellular machine that is devoted to DNA repair and acts as a regulator of both the intra-S and G2/M checkpoints. The most important role of BRIT1/MCPH1 in the regulation of cell cycle progression appears to be the G2/M checkpoint. The K562 and peripheral blood cells of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) patients at diagnosis were found to downregulate BRIT1/MCPH1. However, we could not find any correlation between bcr/abl activity and the BRIT1/MCPH1 level. In order to study the genomic instability of CML cells, we evaluated the ability of these cells to arrest mitotic division after exposure to hydroxyurea, a known genotoxic agent. We showed that CML cells continue to proliferate without the activation of the G2/M cell cycle checkpoint arrest or of the apoptotic mechanism. This behavior may predispose the cells to accumulate genomic defects. In conclusion, we found that CML cells have a low BRIT1/MCPH1 level and show a defective G2/M arrest, confirming that these cells have a constitutive genomic instability.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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