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Nat Genet. 1998 Nov;20(3):266-72.

PML is essential for multiple apoptotic pathways.

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Department of Human Genetics and Molecular Biology Program, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Cornell University, New York, New York 10021, USA.


The PML gene of acute promyelocytic leukaemia (APL) encodes a cell growth and tumour suppressor, however, the mechanisms by which PML suppresses tumorigenesis are poorly understood. We show here that Pml is required for Fas- and caspase-dependent DNA-damage-induced apoptosis. We also found that Pml is essential for induction of programmed cell death by Fas, tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF), ceramide and type I and II interferons (IFNs). As a result, Pml-/- mice and cells are protected from the lethal effects of ionizing radiation and anti-Fas antibody. Pml is required for caspase 1 and caspase 3 activation upon exposure to these stimuli. The PML-RAR alpha fusion protein of APL renders haemopoietic progenitor cells resistant to Fas-, TNF- and IFN-induced apoptosis with a lack of caspase 3 activation, thus acting as a Pml dominant-negative product. These results demonstrate that Pml is a mediator of multiple apoptotic signals, and implicate inhibition of apoptosis in the pathogenesis of APL.

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