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Nature. 1996 Aug 8;382(6591):541-4.

Reversal of apoptosis by the leukaemia-associated E2A-HLF chimaeric transcription factor.

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Department of Experimental Oncology, St Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee 38105, USA.


The E2A-HLF (for hepatic leukaemia factor) fusion gene, formed by action of the t(17;19) (q22;p13) chromosomal translocation, drives the leukaemic transformation of early B-cell precursors, but the mechanism of this activity remains unknown. Here we report that human leukaemia cells carrying the translocation t(17;19) rapidly died by apoptosis when programmed to express a dominant-negative suppressor of the fusion protein E2A-HLF, indicating that the chimaeric oncoprotein probably affects cell survival rather than cell growth. Moreover, when introduced into murine pro-B lymphocytes, the oncogenic E2A-HLF fusion protein reversed both interleukin-3-dependent and p53-mediated apoptosis. The close homology of the basic region/leucine zipper (bZIP) DNA-binding and dimerization domain of HLF to that of the CES-2 cell-death specification protein of Caenorhabditis elegans suggests a model of leukaemogenesis in which E2A-HLF blocks an early step within an evolutionarily conserved cell-death pathway.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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