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1.  GSK3 regulates the expressions of human and mouse c-Myb via different mechanisms 
Cell Division  2010;5:27.
c-Myb is expressed at high levels in immature progenitors of all the hematopoietic lineages. It is associated with the regulation of proliferation, differentiation and survival of erythroid, myeloid and lymphoid cells, but decreases during the terminal differentiation to mature blood cells. The cellular level of c-Myb is controlled by not only transcriptional regulation but also ubiquitin-dependent proteolysis. We recently reported that mouse c-Myb protein is controlled by ubiquitin-dependent degradation by SCF-Fbw7 E3 ligase via glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK3)-mediated phosphorylation of Thr-572 in a Cdc4 phosphodegron (CPD)-dependent manner. However, this critical threonine residue is not conserved in human c-Myb. In this study, we investigated whether GSK3 is involved in the regulatory mechanism for human c-Myb expression.
Human c-Myb was degraded by ubiquitin-dependent degradation via SCF-Fbw7. Human Fbw7 ubiquitylated not only human c-Myb but also mouse c-Myb, whereas mouse Fbw7 ubiquitylated mouse c-Myb but not human c-Myb. Human Fbw7 mutants with mutations of arginine residues important for recognition of the CPD still ubiquitylated human c-Myb. These data strongly suggest that human Fbw7 ubiquitylates human c-Myb in a CPD-independent manner. Mutations of the putative GSK3 phosphorylation sites in human c-Myb did not affect the Fbw7-dependent ubiquitylation of human c-Myb. Neither chemical inhibitors nor a siRNA for GSK3β affected the stability of human c-Myb. However, depletion of GSK3β upregulated the transcription of human c-Myb, resulting in transcriptional suppression of γ-globin, one of the c-Myb target genes.
The present observations suggest that human Fbw7 ubiquitylates human c-Myb in a CPD-independent manner, whereas mouse Fbw7 ubiquitylates human c-Myb in a CPD-dependent manner. Moreover, GSK3 negatively regulates the transcriptional expression of human c-Myb but does not promote Fbw7-dependent degradation of human c-Myb protein. Inactivation of GSK3 as well as mutations of Fbw7 may be causes of the enhanced c-Myb expression observed in leukemia cells. We conclude that expression levels of human and mouse c-Myb are regulated via different mechanisms.
PMCID: PMC3001421  PMID: 21092141
2.  Selective inhibition of c-Myb DNA-binding by RNA polymers 
BMC Biochemistry  2004;5:15.
The transcription factor c-Myb is expressed in hematopoietic progenitor cells and other rapidly proliferating tissues, regulating genes important for proliferation, differentiation and survival. The DNA-binding domain (DBD) of c-Myb contains three tandemly arranged imperfect repeats, designated Myb domain R1, R2 and R3. The three-dimensional structure of the DBD shows that only the second and third Myb domains are directly involved in sequence-specific DNA-binding, while the R1 repeat does not contact DNA and only marginally affects DNA-binding properties. No structural information is available on the N-terminal 30 residues. Since deletion of the N-terminal region including R1 plays an important role in oncogenic activation of c-Myb, we asked whether this region confers properties beyond DNA-binding to the neighbouring c-Myb DBD.
Analysis of a putative RNA-binding function of c-Myb DBD revealed that poly(G) preferentially inhibited c-Myb DNA-binding. A strong sequence-selectivity was observed when different RNA polymers were compared. Most interesting, the poly(G) sensitivity was significantly larger for a protein containing the N-terminus and the R1-repeat than for the minimal DNA-binding domain.
Preferential inhibition of c-Myb DNA binding by poly(G) RNA suggests that c-Myb is able to interact with RNA in a sequence-selective manner. While R2 and R3, but not R1, are necessary for DNA-binding, R1 seems to have a distinct role in enhancing the RNA-sensitivity of c-Myb.
PMCID: PMC533864  PMID: 15527501
3.  The C-Terminal Domain of B-Myb Acts As a Positive Regulator of Transcription and Modulates Its Biological Functions 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  1998;18(1):499-511.
The myb gene family consists of three members, named A-, B-, and c-myb. All three members of this family encode nuclear proteins that bind DNA in a sequence-specific manner and function as regulators of transcription. In this report, we have examined the biochemical and biological activities of murine B-myb and compared these properties with those of murine c-myb. In transient transactivation assays, murine B-myb exhibited transactivation potential comparable to that of c-myb. An analysis of deletion mutants of B-myb and c-myb showed that while the C-terminal domain of c-Myb acts as a negative regulator of transcriptional transactivation, the C-terminal domain of B-Myb functions as a positive enhancer of transactivation. To compare the biological activities of c-myb and B-myb, the two genes were overexpressed in 32Dcl3 cells, which are known to undergo terminal differentiation into granulocytes in the presence of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF). We observed that c-myb blocked the G-CSF-induced terminal differentiation of 32Dcl3 cells, resulting in their continued proliferation in the presence of G-CSF. In contrast, ectopic overexpression of B-myb blocked the ability of 32D cells to proliferate in the presence of G-CSF and accelerated the G-CSF-induced granulocytic differentiation of these cells. Similar studies with B-myb–c-myb chimeras showed that only chimeras that contained the C-terminal domain of B-Myb were able to accelerate the G-CSF-induced terminal differentiation of 32Dcl3 cells. These studies show that c-myb and B-myb do not exhibit identical biological activities and that the carboxyl-terminal regulatory domain of B-Myb plays a critical role in its biological function.
PMCID: PMC121519  PMID: 9418897
4.  Single Molecule Analysis of c-myb Alternative Splicing Reveals Novel Classifiers for Precursor B-ALL 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(8):e22880.
The c-Myb transcription factor, a key regulator of proliferation and differentiation in hematopoietic and other cell types, has an N-terminal DNA binding domain and a large C-terminal domain responsible for transcriptional activation, negative regulation and determining target gene specificity. Overexpression and rearrangement of the c-myb gene (MYB) has been reported in some patients with leukemias and other types of cancers, implicating activated alleles of c-myb in the development of human tumors. Alternative RNA splicing can produce variants of c-myb with qualitatively distinct transcriptional activities that may be involved in transformation and leukemogenesis. Here, by performing a detailed, single molecule assay we found that c-myb alternative RNA splicing was elevated and much more complex in leukemia samples than in cell lines or CD34+ hematopoietic progenitor cells from normal donors. The results revealed that leukemia samples express more than 60 different c-myb splice variants, most of which have multiple alternative splicing events and were not detectable by conventional microarray or PCR approaches. For example, the single molecule assay detected 21 and 22 splice variants containing the 9B and 9S exons, respectively, most of which encoded unexpected variant forms of c-Myb protein. Furthermore, the detailed analysis identified some splice variants whose expression correlated with poor survival in a small cohort of precursor B-ALL samples. Our findings indicate that single molecule assays can reveal complexities in c-myb alternative splicing that have potential as novel biomarkers and could help explain the role of c-Myb variants in the development of human leukemia.
PMCID: PMC3154906  PMID: 21853052
5.  c-Myb and its target Bmi1 are required for p190BCR/ABL leukemogenesis in mouse and human cells 
Leukemia  2011;26(4):644-653.
Expression of c-Myb is required for normal hematopoiesis and for proliferation of myeloid leukemia blasts and a subset of T cell leukemia but its role in B-cell leukemogenesis is unknown.
We tested the role of c-Myb in p190BCR/ABL-dependent B-cell leukemia in mice transplanted with p190BCR/ABL-transduced marrow cells with a c-Myb allele (Mybf/d) and in double transgenic p190BCR/ABL/Mybw/d mice. In both models, loss of a c-Myb allele caused a less aggressive B-cell leukemia.
In p190BCR/ABL expressing human B-cell leukemia lines, knockdown of c-Myb expression suppressed proliferation and colony formation.
Compared to c-Mybw/f cells, expression of Bmi1, a regulator of stem cell proliferation and maintenance, was decreased in pre-B cells from Mybw/d p190BCR/ABL transgenic mice. Ectopic expression of a mutant c-Myb or Bmi1 enhanced the proliferation and colony formation of Mybw/d p190BCR/ABL B-cells; by contrast, Bmi1 downregulation inhibited colony formation of p190BCR/ABL-expressing murine B cells and human B-cell leukemia lines. Moreover, c-Myb interacted with a segment of the human Bmi1 promoter and enhanced its activity.
In blasts from nineteen Ph1 adult ALL patients, levels of c-Myb and Bmi1 showed a positive correlation. Together, these findings support the existence of a c-Myb-Bmi1 transcription regulatory pathway required for p190BCR/ABL leukemogenesis.
PMCID: PMC3252490  PMID: 21960247
Oncogene; Transcription Factor; Stem Cells; Leukemia
6.  Alteration of C-MYB DNA binding to cognate responsive elements in HL-60 variant cells 
Molecular Pathology  2002;55(5):325-335.
Aims: To establish whether the MYB protein expressed in HL-60 variant cells, which are cells resistant to 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA) induced differentiation, is able to bind MYB recognition elements (MREs) involved in the transcriptional regulation of myb target genes. In addition, to determine whether alterations in the binding of the MYB protein to MREs affects HL-60 cell proliferation and differentiation.
Methods: Nuclear extracts of HL-60 variant cells exhibiting different degrees of resistance to TPA induced monocytic differentiation were used in electrophoretic mobility shift experiments (EMSAs), bandshift experiments performed with labelled oliogonucleotides containing the MYB consensus binding sequences.
Results: The MYB protein contained in nuclear extracts from HL-60 variant cells did not bind efficiently to the MYB recognition elements identified in the mim-1 and PR264 promoters. Molecular cloning of the myb gene and analysis of the MYB protein expressed in the HL-60 variant cells established that the lack of binding did not result from a structural alteration of MYB in these cells. The lack of MRE binding did not abrogate the ability of variant HL-60s to proliferate and to undergo differentiation. Furthermore, the expression of the PR264/SC35 splicing factor was not affected as a result of the altered MYB DNA binding activity.
Conclusions: Because the MYB protein expressed in HL-60 variant cells did not appear to be structurally different from the MYB protein expressed in parental HL-60 cells, it is possible that the HL-60 variant cells contain a MYB binding inhibitory factor (MBIF) that interferes with MYB binding on MREs. The increased proliferation rate of HL-60 variant cells and their reduced serum requirement argues against the need for direct MYB binding in the regulation of cell growth.
PMCID: PMC1187265  PMID: 12354938
c-myb; MYB recognition elements; HL-60; TPA; monocytic differentiation; SC35; PR264
7.  Molecular Mechanisms Associated with the Regulation of Apoptosis by the Two Alternatively Spliced Products of c-Myb 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2003;23(18):6631-6645.
The c-myb proto-oncogene encodes two alternatively spliced mRNAs, which in turn code for proteins of 75 kDa and 89 kDa. It is at present unclear whether the two isoforms of c-Myb perform identical functions or whether they mediate different biological effects. To assess their role in apoptotic death of hematopoietic cells, we expressed the two isoforms of c-Myb in the murine myeloid cell lines 32Dcl3 and FDCP1. Our results show that while ectopic overexpression of p75 c-Myb results in the acceleration of cell death, similar overexpression of p89 c-Myb results in the protection of cells from apoptotic death. An analysis of gene expression changes with mouse cDNA expression arrays revealed that while p75 c-Myb blocked the expression of glutathione S-transferase μ mRNA, p89 c-Myb greatly enhanced the expression of this gene. These results were further confirmed by Northern blot analysis. Ectopic overexpression of the glutathione S-transferase μ gene in 32Dcl3 cells resulted in protection of cells from interleukin-3 withdrawal-induced cell death similar to that seen with the ectopic overexpression of p89 c-Myb. These results suggest that the two isoforms of c-Myb differentially regulate apoptotic death of myeloid cells through differential regulation of glutathione S-transferase μ gene expression.
PMCID: PMC193713  PMID: 12944488
8.  A degradation-resistant c-Myb mutant cooperates with Bcl-2 in enhancing proliferative potential and survival of hematopoietic cells 
Blood cells, molecules & diseases  2007;39(3):292-296.
The c-myb gene is preferentially expressed in primitive hematopoietic cell and plays a central role in the control of cell proliferation, differentiation and survival by regulating the transcription of several genes implicated in these processes including the antiapoptotic Bcl-2.
We show here that, compared to wild-type c-Myb, overexpression of a degradation resistant c-Myb mutant [Δ(358-452) c-Myb] enhances the clonogenic potential of hematopoietic progenitors as indicated by increased cytokine-dependent primary and secondary colony formation of Lin− Sca-1+ Kit+ mouse marrow cells.
Moreover, proliferation assays of IL-3 dependent myeloid precursor 32Dcl3 cells co-expressing Bcl-2 and c-Myb indicate that these cells continue to proliferate in the absence of IL-3 and this effect is more apparent in cells expressing the degradation resistant Δ(358-452) c-Myb. Interestingly, overexpression of Δ(358-452) c-Myb is by itself sufficient to protect 32Dcl3 cells from apoptosis induced by IL-3 deprivation; moreover, these cells are also increased in number which most likely reflects the enhanced proliferative potential conferred by Δ(358-452) c-Myb to apoptosis-resistant cells.
PMCID: PMC4274770  PMID: 17644012
oncogene cooperation; clonogenic potential; apoptosis resistance
9.  Alternative RNA Splicing Produces Multiple Forms of c-Myb with Unique Transcriptional Activities▿ †  
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2008;28(6):2091-2101.
The c-Myb transcription factor regulates the proliferation and differentiation of hematopoietic cells, and activated alleles of c-myb induce leukemias and lymphomas in animals. Relatively minor changes in the structure of c-Myb protein change the genes that it regulates and can unleash its latent transforming activities. Here, quantitative assays were used to analyze the alternative splicing of human c-myb transcripts. We identified an array of variant transcripts, expressed in highly regulated, lineage-specific patterns, that were formed through the use of alternate exons 8A, 9A, 9B, 10A, 13A, and 14A. Expression levels of the different splice variant transcripts were regulated independently of one another during human hematopoietic cell differentiation, and the alternative splicing of c-myb mRNAs was increased in primary leukemia samples. The alternatively spliced c-myb transcripts were associated with polysomes and encoded a series of c-Myb proteins with identical DNA binding domains but unique C-terminal domains. In several types of assays, the variant c-Myb proteins exhibited quantitative and qualitative differences in transcriptional activities and specificities. The results suggest that the human c-myb gene encodes a family of related proteins with different transcriptional activities. Enhanced alternative splicing may be a mechanism for unmasking the transforming activity of c-myb in human leukemias.
PMCID: PMC2268396  PMID: 18195038
10.  Knock-down of Kaiso induces proliferation and blocks granulocytic differentiation in blast crisis of chronic myeloid leukemia 
Kaiso protein has been identified as a new member of the POZ-ZF subfamily of transcription factors that are involved in development and cancer. There is consistent evidence of the role of Kaiso and its involvement in human tumorigenesis but there is no evidence about its role in hematopoietic differentiation or establishment of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). We used, normal K562 cell line, established from a CML patient in blast crisis, and imatinib-resistant K562 cell line, to investigate the specific distribution of Kaiso and their contribution to the cell differentiation status of the blast crisis of CML (CML-BP).
We found cytoplasmic expression of Kaiso, in K562 cells and patients, confirmed by immunofluorescence, immunohistochemistry and western blot of cytoplasmic protein fraction. Kaiso was weakly expressed in the imatinib-resistant K562 cell line confirmed by immunofluorescence and western blot. The cytoplasmic expression of Kaiso was not modified when the K562 cells were treated for 16 h with imatinib 0.1 and 1 μM. In our study, small interfering RNA (siRNA) was introduced to down regulate the expression of Kaiso and p120ctn in K562 cell line. Kaiso and p120ctn were down regulated individually (siRNA-Kaiso or siRNA-p120ctn) or in combination using a simultaneous co-transfection (siRNA-Kaiso/p120ctn). We next investigated whether knockdown either Kaiso or p120ctn alone or in combination affects the cell differentiation status in K562 cells. After down regulation we analyzed the expression of hematopoietic cell differentiation and proliferation genes: SCF, PU-1, c-MyB, C/EBPα, Gata-2 and maturation markers of hematopoietic cells expressed in the plasma membrane: CD15, CD11b, CD33, CD117. The levels of SCF and c-MyB were increased by 1000% and 65% respectively and PU-1, Gata-2 and C/EBPα were decreased by 66%, 50% and 80% respectively, when Kaiso levels were down regulated by siRNA. The results were similar when both Kaiso and p120ctn were down regulated by siRNA. The increased expression of SCF and decreased expression of GATA-2 could be responsible by the higher cell viability detected in K562 cells double knock-down of both Kaiso and p120ctn. Finally, we studied the effect of knock-down either Kaiso or p120ctn, alone or in combination on CD15, CD11b, CD33 and Cd117 expression. Using siRNA approach a reduction of 35%, 8% and 13% in CD15, CD33 and CD117 levels respectively, were achieved in all transfections, when compared to scrambled knock-down cells.
These results suggest that both Kaiso and p120ctn, contributes to maintaining the differentiated state of the K562 cells and similar to other cancers, cytoplasmic localization of Kaiso is related to a poor prognosis in CML-BP. By the broad and profound effects on the expression of genes and markers of hematopoietic differentiation produced by Kaiso knock-down, these findings reveal Kaiso as a potential target for selective therapy of CML.
PMCID: PMC3461418  PMID: 22709531
11.  Alternative splicing of RNAs transcribed from the human c-myb gene. 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  1990;10(6):2715-2722.
An alternative splicing event in which a portion of the intron bounded by the vE6 and vE7 exons with v-myb homology is included as an additional 363-nucleotide coding exon (termed E6A or coding exon 9A) has been described for normal and tumor murine cells that express myb. We show here that this alternative splicing event is conserved in human c-myb transcripts. In addition, another novel exon (termed E7A or coding exon 10A) is identified in human c-myb mRNAs expressed in normal and tumor cells. Although the myb protein isoform encoded by murine E6A-containing mRNA is larger than the major c-myb protein, the predicted products of both forms of human alternatively spliced myb transcripts are 3'-truncated myb proteins that terminate in the alternative exons. These proteins are predicted to lack the same carboxy-terminal domains as the viral myb proteins encoded by avian myeloblastosis virus and E26 virus. The junction sequences that flank these exons closely resemble the consensus splice donor and splice acceptor sequences, yet the alternative transcripts are less abundant than is the major form of c-myb transcripts. The contribution that alternative splicing events in c-myb expression may make on c-myb function remains to be elucidated.
PMCID: PMC360631  PMID: 2188096
12.  Myb overexpression overrides androgen depletion–induced cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in prostate cancer cells, and confers aggressive malignant traits: potential role in castration resistance 
Carcinogenesis  2012;33(6):1149-1157.
Myb, a cellular progenitor of v-Myb oncogenes, is amplified in prostate cancer and exhibits greater amplification frequency in hormone-refractory disease. Here, we have investigated the functional significance of Myb in prostate cancer. Our studies demonstrate Myb expression in all prostate cancer cell lines (LNCaP, C4-2, PC3 and DU145) examined, whereas it is negligibly expressed in normal/benign prostate epithelial cells (RWPE1 and RWPE2). Notably, Myb is significantly upregulated, both at transcript (>60-fold) and protein (>15-fold) levels, in castration-resistant (C4-2) cells as compared with androgen-dependent (LNCaP) prostate cancer cells of the same genotypic lineage. Using loss and gain of function approaches, we demonstrate that Myb promotes and sustains cell cycle progression and survival under androgen-supplemented and -deprived conditions, respectively, through induction of cyclins (A1, D1 and E1), Bcl-xL and Bcl2 and downregulation of p27 and Bax. Interestingly, Myb overexpression is also associated with enhanced prostate-specific antigen expression. Furthermore, our data show a role of Myb in enhanced motility and invasion and decreased homotypic interactions of prostate cancer cells. Myb overexpression is also associated with actin reorganization leading to the formation of filopodia-like cellular protrusions. Immunoblot analyses demonstrate gain of mesenchymal and loss of epithelial markers and vice versa, in Myb-overexpressing LNCaP and -silenced C4-2 cells, respectively, indicating a role of Myb in epithelial to mesenchymal transition. Altogether, our studies provide first experimental evidence for a functional role of Myb in growth and malignant behavior of prostate cancer cells and suggest a novel mechanism for castration resistance.
PMCID: PMC3514863  PMID: 22431717
13.  Regulation of proliferation and cytokine expression of bone marrow fibroblasts: role of c-myb 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  1993;178(3):997-1005.
The c-myb protooncogene plays a major role in regulating the process of in vitro and in vivo hematopoiesis via its activity as transcriptional regulator in hematopoietic progenitor cells. Since the bone marrow microenvironment appears to regulate in vivo hematopoiesis by maintaining the growth of multipotent progenitors via secretion of specific cytokines, we asked whether c-myb is also required for the proliferation of and/or cytokine production by stromal cells that generate fibroblast-like colonies (fibroblast colony-forming units [CFU- F]). Using the reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction technique, we detected low levels of c-myb mRNA transcripts in human normal bone marrow fibroblasts. Treatment of these cells with c-myb antisense oligodeoxynucleotides caused downregulation of c-myb expression, decreased in the number of marrow CFU-F colonies (approximately 54% inhibition) and in the cell number within residual colonies (approximately 80%), and downregulation of granulocyte/macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) and stem cell factor (SCF) mRNA expression. Transfection of T98G glioblastoma cells, in which expression of c-myb, GM-CSF, and SCF mRNAs is undetectable or barely detectable, with a plasmid containing a full-length c-myb cDNA under the control of the SV40 promoter induced the expression of biologically active SCF and GM-CSF in these cells. Regulation of GM-CSF expression by c-myb was due in part to transactivation of the GM-CSF promoter. These results indicate that, in addition to regulating hematopoietic cell proliferation, c-myb is also required for proliferation of and cytokines synthesis by bone marrow fibroblasts.
PMCID: PMC2191153  PMID: 7688794
14.  Negative regulation of p120GAP GTPase promoting activity by p210bcr/abl: implication for RAS-dependent Philadelphia chromosome positive cell growth 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  1994;179(6):1855-1865.
The p210bcr/abl tyrosine kinase appears to be responsible for initiating and maintaining the leukemic phenotype in chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) patients. p21ras-p120GAP interactions play a central role in transducing mitogenic signals. Therefore, we investigated whether p21ras and p120GAP are regulated by p210bcr/abl, and whether this activation is functionally significant for CML cell proliferation. We report that transient expression of p210bcr/abl in fibroblast-like cells induces simultaneous activation of p21ras and inhibition of GTPase-promoting activity of p120GAP, and confirm these data showing that downregulation of p210bcr/abl expression in CML cells with bcr/abl antisense oligodeoxynucleotides induces both inhibition of p21ras activation and stimulation of GTPase-promoting activity of p120GAP. Tyrosine phosphorylation of two p120GAP-associated proteins, p190 and p62, which may affect p120GAP activity, also depends on p210bcr/abl tyrosine kinase expression. Direct dependence of these effects on the kinase activity is proven in experiments in which expression of c-MYB protein in fibroblast-like cells or downregulation of c-MYB expression resulting in analogous inhibition of CML cell proliferation does not result in the same changes. Use of specific antisense oligodeoxynucleotides to downregulate p21ras expression revealed a requirement for functional p21ras in the proliferation of Philadelphia chromosome-positive CML primary cells. Thus, the p210bcr/abl-dependent regulation of p120GAP activity is responsible, in part, for the maintenance of p21ras in the active GTP-bound form, a crucial requirement for CML cell proliferation.
PMCID: PMC2191514  PMID: 8195713
15.  c-Myb Inhibits Myoblast Fusion 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(10):e76742.
Satellite cells represent a heterogeneous population of stem and progenitor cells responsible for muscle growth, repair and regeneration. We investigated whether c-Myb could play a role in satellite cell biology because our previous results using satellite cell-derived mouse myoblast cell line C2C12 showed that c-Myb was expressed in growing cells and downregulated during differentiation. We detected c-Myb expression in activated satellite cells of regenerating muscle. c-Myb was also discovered in activated satellite cells associated with isolated viable myofiber and in descendants of activated satellite cells, proliferating myoblasts. However, no c-Myb expression was detected in multinucleated myotubes originated from fusing myoblasts. The constitutive expression of c-Myb lacking the 3′ untranslated region (3′ UTR) strongly inhibited the ability of myoblasts to fuse. The inhibition was dependent on intact c-Myb transactivation domain as myoblasts expressing mutated c-Myb in transactivation domain were able to fuse. The absence of 3′ UTR of c-Myb was also important because the expression of c-Myb coding region with its 3′ UTR did not inhibit myoblast fusion. The same results were repeated in C2C12 cells as well. Moreover, it was documented that 3′ UTR of c-Myb was responsible for downregulation of c-Myb protein levels in differentiating C2C12 cells. DNA microarray analysis of C2C12 cells revealed that the expression of several muscle-specific genes was downregulated during differentiation of c-Myb-expressing cells, namely: ACTN2, MYH8, TNNC2, MYOG, CKM and LRRN1. A detailed qRT-PCR analysis of MYOG, TNNC2 and LRRN1 is presented. Our findings thus indicate that c-Myb is involved in regulating the differentiation program of myogenic progenitor cells as its expression blocks myoblast fusion.
PMCID: PMC3804598  PMID: 24204667
16.  A single amino acid change within the R2 domain of the VvMYB5b transcription factor modulates affinity for protein partners and target promoters selectivity 
BMC Plant Biology  2011;11:117.
Flavonoid pathway is spatially and temporally controlled during plant development and the transcriptional regulation of the structural genes is mostly orchestrated by a ternary protein complex that involves three classes of transcription factors (R2-R3-MYB, bHLH and WDR). In grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.), several MYB transcription factors have been identified but the interactions with their putative bHLH partners to regulate specific branches of the flavonoid pathway are still poorly understood.
In this work, we describe the effects of a single amino acid substitution (R69L) located in the R2 domain of VvMYB5b and predicted to affect the formation of a salt bridge within the protein. The activity of the mutated protein (name VvMYB5bL, the native protein being referred as VvMYB5bR) was assessed in different in vivo systems: yeast, grape cell suspensions, and tobacco. In the first two systems, VvMYB5bL exhibited a modified trans-activation capability. Moreover, using yeast two-hybrid assay, we demonstrated that modification of VvMYB5b transcriptional properties impaired its ability to correctly interact with VvMYC1, a grape bHLH protein. These results were further substantiated by overexpression of VvMYB5bR and VvMYB5bL genes in tobacco. Flowers from 35S::VvMYB5bL transgenic plants showed a distinct phenotype in comparison with 35S::VvMYB5bR and the control plants. Finally, significant differences in transcript abundance of flavonoid metabolism genes were observed along with variations in pigments accumulation.
Taken together, our findings indicate that VvMYB5bL is still able to bind DNA but the structural consequences linked to the mutation affect the capacity of the protein to activate the transcription of some flavonoid genes by modifying the interaction with its co-partner(s). In addition, this study underlines the importance of an internal salt bridge for protein conformation and thus for the establishment of protein-protein interactions between MYB and bHLH transcription factors. Mechanisms underlying these interactions are discussed and a model is proposed to explain the transcriptional activity of VvMYB5L observed in the tobacco model.
PMCID: PMC3240579  PMID: 21861899
17.  A human B-cell interactome identifies MYB and FOXM1 as master regulators of proliferation in germinal centers 
Assembly of a mixed interaction network specific to human B cells.Identification and validation of master regulators of germinal center reaction.MYB and FOXM1 are synergistic master regulators of proliferation in germinal center B cells and control a new protein complex involving replication and mitotic-related genes.
We have assembled an interaction network specific to human B cells (the human B-cell interactome or HBCI), containing protein–DNA and protein–protein interactions using an evidence integration approach. The integration of different interaction layers in one network allowed us to elucidate master regulator (MR) genes controlling specific cellular processes as well as transcriptional regulation of proteins in complexes whose availability must be regulated in context-dependent manner. The latter is a poorly understood process, as transcriptional networks and protein–protein interaction networks are usually studied in isolation. We have developed a new algorithm called master regulator inference analysis (MARINa) for discovering MRs of specific phenotypes and applied it to the HBCI to infer MRs of germinal center (GC) formation. GCs are structures where antigen-stimulated B cells highly proliferate, undergo somatic hypermutation of immunoglobulin genes, and are selected based on the production of high-affinity antibodies. GC B cells (centroblasts) derive from naive B cells, from which they differ for the activation of genetic programs controlling cell proliferation, DNA metabolism, and pro-apoptotic programs and for the repression of anti-apoptotic, cell-cycle arrest, DNA repair, and signal transduction programs from cytokines and chemokines. MARINa recovered known MRs of GC B cells and also revealed a new transcription factor module controlling their proliferation. In particular, we identified MYB and FOXM1 as being key MRs of GC B cells. Indeed, 80% of the genes jointly regulated by these transcription factors are activated in the GC, including those encoding proteins in a predicted complex regulating DNA pre-replication, replication, and mitosis. We first tested whether MYB and FOXM1 may regulate each other as predicted in the HBCI, and show that MYB is a transcriptional activator of FOXM1, suggesting that they form a feed-forward loop, involved in the synergistic activation of a large subset of GC-specific genes. We then validated that common MYB/FOXM1 targets and other predicted MRs were affected by the silencing of either TF, using gene expression profiling. Furthermore, we showed that downregulated targets (AURKA, BUBR1, CCNB2, FANCI, MCM3, and PTTG1) and MRs (NFYB, E2F1, and E2F5) after MYB or FOXM1 silencing are indeed directly bound by them in their promoter region. Silencing of FOXM1 and MYB showed a decrease in proliferating cells and an increase in apoptotic cells, indicating that MYB and FOXM1 are necessary for viability and rapid proliferation of GC B cells. To gain more insight into the control of GC-proliferation phenotype by MYB and FOXM1, we further examined specific targets involved in the formation of a predicted protein complex. Approximately half of MYB/FOXM1 targets cluster within a complex, including new interactions between pre-replication and mitotic proteins. We experimentally validate that two mitotic kinases in the inferred complex, BUBR1 and AURKA, physically interact with MCM3, all of them being confirmed to be direct targets of FOXM1 and MYB. In summary, these results document that coordinated analysis of both transcriptional and post-translational interactions in the HBCI can identify synergistic MRs of human phenotypes, as well as provide insight on the functional regulatory role of these proteins. These results indicate that the HBCI analysis can be used for the identification of determinants of major human cell phenotypes and provides a paradigm of general applicability to normal and pathologic tissues.
Assembly of a transcriptional and post-translational molecular interaction network in B cells, the human B-cell interactome (HBCI), reveals a hierarchical, transcriptional control module, where MYB and FOXM1 act as synergistic master regulators of proliferation in the germinal center (GC). Eighty percent of genes jointly regulated by these transcription factors are activated in the GC, including those encoding proteins in a complex regulating DNA pre-replication, replication, and mitosis. These results indicate that the HBCI analysis can be used for the identification of determinants of major human cell phenotypes and provides a paradigm of general applicability to normal and pathologic tissues.
PMCID: PMC2913282  PMID: 20531406
B cell; germinal centers; interactome; master regulator
18.  c-Myb Contributes to G2/M Cell Cycle Transition in Human Hematopoietic Cells by Direct Regulation of Cyclin B1 Expression▿  
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2007;27(6):2048-2058.
Myb family proteins are ubiquitously expressed transcription factors. In mammalian cells, they play a critical role in regulating the G1/S cell cycle transition but their role in regulating other cell cycle checkpoints is incompletely defined. Herein, we report experiments which demonstrate that c-Myb upregulates cyclin B1 expression in normal and malignant human hematopoietic cells. As a result, it contributes directly to G2/M cell cycle progression. In cell lines and primary cells, cyclin B1 levels varied directly with c-Myb expression. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays, mutation analysis, and luciferase reporter assays revealed that c-Myb bound the cyclin B1 promoter preferentially at a site just downstream of the transcriptional start site. The biological significance of c-Myb, versus B-Myb, binding the cyclin B1 promoter was demonstrated by the fact that expression of inducible dominant negative c-Myb in K562 cells accelerated their exit from M phase. In addition, expression of c-Myb in HCT116 cells rescued cyclin B1 expression after B-myb expression was silenced with small interfering RNA. These results suggest that c-Myb protein plays a previously unappreciated role in the G2/M cell cycle transition of normal and malignant human hematopoietic cells and expands the known repertoire of c-myb functions in regulating human hematopoiesis.
PMCID: PMC1820494  PMID: 17242210
19.  Chaetocin antileukemia activity against chronic myelogenous leukemia cells is potentiated by bone marrow stromal factors and overcomes innate imatinib resistance 
Oncogenesis  2014;3(10):e122-.
Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) is maintained by a minor population of leukemic stem cells (LSCs) that exhibit innate resistance to tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) targeting BCR-ABL. Innate resistance can be induced by secreted bone marrow stromal cytokines and growth factors (BMSFs) that protect CML-LSCs from TKIs, resulting in minimal residual disease. Developing strategies to eradicate innate TKI resistance in LSCs is critical for preventing disease relapse. Cancer cells balance reactive oxygen species (ROS) at higher than normal levels, promoting their proliferation and survival, but also making them susceptible to damage by ROS-generating agents. Bcr-Abl increases cellular ROS levels, which can be reduced with TKI inhibitors, whereas, BMSFs increase ROS levels. We hypothesized that BMSF-mediated increases in ROS would trigger ROS damage in TKI-treated CML-LSCs when exposed to chaetocin, a mycotoxin that imposes oxidative stress by inhibiting thioredoxin reductase-1. Here, we showed that chaetocin suppressed viability and colony formation, and induced apoptosis of the murine hematopoietic cell line TonB210 with and without Bcr-Abl expression, and these effects were potentiated by BMSFs. In contrast, imatinib activities in Bcr-Abl-positive TonB210 cells were inhibited by BMSFs. Further, BMSFs did not inhibit imatinib activities when TonB210 cells expressing Bcr-Abl were cotreated with chaetocin. Chaetocin showed similar activities against LSC-enriched CML cell populations isolated from a murine transplant model of CML blast crisis that were phenotypically negative for lineage markers and positive for Sca-1 and c-Kit (CML-LSK). BMSFs and chaetocin increased ROS in CML-LSK cells and addition of BMSFs and chaetocin resulted in higher levels compared with chaetocin or BMSF treatment alone. Pretreatment of CML-LSKs with the antioxidant N-acetylcysteine blocked chaetocin cytotoxicity, even in the presence of BMSFs, demonstrating the importance ROS for chaetocin activities. Chaetocin effects on self-renewal of CML-LSKs were assessed by transplanting CML-LSKs into secondary recipients following ex vivo exposure to chaetocin, in the presence or absence of BMSFs. Disease latency in mice transplanted with CML-LSKs following chaetocin treatment more than doubled compared with untreated CML-LSKs or BMSFs-treated CML-LSKs. Mice transplanted with CML-LSKs following chaetocin treatment in the presence of BMSFs had significantly extended survival time compared with mice transplanted with CML-LSKs treated with chaetocin alone. Our findings indicate that chaetocin activity against CML-LSKs is significantly enhanced in the presence of BMSFs and suggest that chaetocin may be effective as a codrug to complement TKIs in CML treatment by disrupting the innate resistance of CML-LSKs through an ROS dependent mechanism.
PMCID: PMC4216903  PMID: 25329721
20.  Transcriptional Regulation of an Iron-Inducible Gene by Differential and Alternate Promoter Entries of Multiple Myb Proteins in the Protozoan Parasite Trichomonas vaginalis▿  
Eukaryotic Cell  2009;8(3):362-372.
Iron-inducible transcription of a malic enzyme gene (also reputed to be ap65-1) in Trichomonas vaginalis was previously shown to involve a Myb1 repressor and a Myb2 activator, each of which may preferentially select two closely spaced promoter sites, MRE-1/MRE-2r, which comprises overlapping promoter elements, and MRE-2f. In the present study, an iron-inducible ∼32-kDa Myb3 nuclear protein was demonstrated to bind only the MRE-1 element. Changes in the iron supply, which produced antagonistic effects on the levels of Myb2 and Myb3 expression, also resulted in temporal and alternate entries of Myb2 and Myb3 into the ap65-1 promoter. Repression or activation of basal and iron-inducible ap65-1 transcription was detected in transfected cells when Myb3 was, respectively, substantially knocked down or overexpressed. In the latter case, increased Myb3 promoter entry was detected with concomitant decrease in Myb2 promoter entry under specific conditions, while Myb3 promoter entry was inhibited under all test conditions in cells overexpressing Myb2. In contrast, concomitant promoter entries by Myb2 and Myb3 diminished in cells overexpressing Myb1, except that Myb3 promoter entry was slightly affected under prolonged iron depletion. Together, these results suggest that Myb2 and Myb3 may coactivate basal and iron-inducible ap65-1 transcription against Myb1 through conditional and competitive promoter entries.
PMCID: PMC2653241  PMID: 19151329
21.  A second c-myb protein is translated from an alternatively spliced mRNA expressed from normal and 5'-disrupted myb loci. 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  1989;9(12):5456-5463.
The major protein encoded by the c-myb oncogene in many species has been identified as an unstable, nuclear DNA-binding protein with an apparent molecular mass of 75 to 80 kilodaltons (p75c-myb). Recently, an alternatively spliced form of c-myb-encoded mRNA has been identified in murine cells containing either normal or rearranged c-myb genes. This mRNA includes a new exon, termed E6A, formed through use of cryptic splice sites located in the large intron between c-myb exons vE6 and vE7. E6A is predicted to contribute an internal 121-residue in-frame insertion into a region C terminal of the DNA-binding domain the c-myb-encoded protein. Here we report the identification of an 85-kilodalton (p85c-myb-E6A) protein as the translation product of the alternatively spliced E6A c-myb mRNA. This protein as well as p75c-myb were precipitated with anti-Myb antibodies raised against the conserved DNA-binding region of c-Myb. Proteolytic mapping studies showed that the two proteins are highly related but not identical. However, only the p85 protein reacted with an antiserum prepared against the E6A region expressed in bacteria, demonstrating that p85 but not p75 contains E6A sequences. In addition, the mobilities of both p85 and p75 were increased in myeloid tumor cell lines containing proviral integrations upstream of the 5' coding exons of v-myb, indicating that both proteins are truncated forms of c-Myb expressed from the same disrupted allele. p75c-myb and p85c-myb-E6A were indistinguishable with respect to nuclear localization and protein half-life. Furthermore, both forms of Myb were synthesized continuously throughout the cell cycle in 70Z ore-B cells. The contribution of the E6A domain to c-myb function remains to be elucidated.
PMCID: PMC363714  PMID: 2685565
22.  Role of c-Myb in the survival of pre B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia and leukemogenesis 
American journal of hematology  2012;87(10):969-976.
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the most common cancer in children. The current treatment protocol for ALL involves an intense chemotherapy regimen yielding cure rates of nearly 80%. However, new therapies need to be designed not only to increase the survival rate but also to combat the risk of severe therapy associated toxicities including secondary malignancies, growth problems, organ damage, and infertility. The c-Myb proto-oncogene is highly expressed in immature hematopoietic cells. In this study, we demonstrate that loss of c-Myb itself decreased the viability of these leukemic cells. Additionally, the inhibition of c-Myb caused a decrease in cell proliferation, significantly increased the number of cells in G0/G1 phase of the cell cycle, increased the sensitivity of pre-B-ALL cells to cytotoxic agents in vitro, and significantly delayed disease onset in a mouse model of leukemia. Furthermore, we demonstrate that Bcl-2 is a target of c-Myb in pre-B-ALL cells. Our results identify c-Myb as a potential therapeutic target in pre-B-ALL and suggest that suppression of c-Myb levels or activity, in combination with currently used therapies and/or dose reduction, may lead to a decrease in toxicity and an increase in patient survival rates. Because c-Myb is aberrantly expressed in several other malignancies, targeting c-Myb will have broad clinical applications.
PMCID: PMC3578739  PMID: 22764095
23.  Oligonucleotide N3'-->P5' phosphoramidates as antisense agents. 
Nucleic Acids Research  1996;24(8):1508-1514.
Uniformly modified oligonucleotide N3'-->P5' phosphoramidates, where every 3'-oxygen is replaced by a 3'-amino group, were synthesized. These compounds have very high affinity to single-stranded RNAs and thus have potential utility as antisense agents. As was shown in this study, the oligonucleotide phosphoramidates are resistant to digestion with snake venom phosphodiesterase, to nuclease activity in a HeLa cell nuclear extract, or to nuclease activity in 50% human plasma, where no significant hydrolysis was observed after 8 h. These compounds were used in various in vitro cellular systems as antisense compounds addressed to different targeted regions of c-myb, c-myc and bcr-abl mRNAs. C-myb antisense phosphoramidates at 5 microM caused sequence and dose-dependent inhibition of HL-60 cell proliferation and a 75% reduction in c-myb protein and RNA levels, as determined by Western blot and RT-PCR analysis. Analogous results were observed for anti-c-myc phosphoramidates, where a complete cytostatic effect for HL-60 cells was observed at 1 microM concentration for fully complementary, but not for mismatched compounds, which were indistinguishable from untreated controls. This was correlated with a 93% reduction in c-myc protein level. Moreover, colony formation by the primary CML cells was also inhibited 75-95% and up to 99% by anti-c-myc and anti-bcr-abl phosphoramidate oligonucleotides, respectively, in a sequence- and dose-dependent manner within a 0.5 nM-5 microM dose range. At these concentrations the colony-forming ability of normal bone marrow cells was not affected. The presented in vitro data indicate that oligonucleotide N3'-->P5' phosphoramidates could be used as specific and efficient antisense agents.
PMCID: PMC145826  PMID: 8628685
24.  Stage-related proliferative activity determines c-myb functional requirements during normal human hematopoiesis. 
To determine if MYB protein is preferentially required during specific stages of normal human hematopoiesis we incubated normal marrow mononuclear cells (MNC) with c-myb antisense oligodeoxynucleotides. Treated cells were cultured in semisolid medium under conditions designed to favor the growth of specific progenitor cell types. Compared with untreated controls, granulocyte-macrophage (GM) CFU-derived colonies decreased 77% when driven by recombinant human (rH) IL-3, and 85% when stimulated by rH GM colony-stimulating factor (CSF); erythroid burst-forming unit (BFU-E)- and CFU-E-derived colonies decreased 48 and 78%, respectively. In contrast, numbers of G-CSF-stimulated granulocyte colonies derived from antisense treated MNC were unchanged from controls, though the numbers of cells composing these colonies decreased approximately 90%. Similar results were obtained when MY10+ cells were exposed to c-myb antisense oligomers. When compared with untreated controls, numbers of CFU-GM and BFU-E colonies derived from MY10+ cells were unchanged, but the numbers of cells composing these colonies were reduced approximately 75 and greater than 90%, respectively, in comparison with controls. c-myc sense and antisense oligomers were without significant effect in these assays. Using the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, c-myb mRNA was detected in developing hematopoietic cells on days 0-8. At day 14 c-myb expression was no longer detectable using this technique. These results suggest that c-myb is required for proliferation of intermediate-late myeloid and erythroid progenitors, but is less important for lineage commitment and early progenitor cell amplification.
PMCID: PMC296386  PMID: 2404028
25.  Overexpression of an Alternatively Spliced Form of c-Myb Results in Increases in Transactivation and Transforms Avian Myelomonoblasts 
Journal of Virology  1998;72(8):6813-6821.
An alternatively spliced form of c-myb exists that encodes an additional 120 amino acids in chicken and 121 amino acids in human and mouse. These amino acids are encoded by an additional exon, termed exon 9A. This exon is not present in v-myb, and proteins containing these amino acids have never been tested for oncogenic transformation. A series of myb constructs was therefore created in order to compare the functions of Myb proteins on the basis of their inclusion or exclusion of the amino acids encoded by exon 9A (E9A). We found that the presence of E9A resulted in a robust increase in transactivation for full-length c-Myb (CCC), as well as the singly truncated derivatives dCC and CCd, while doubly truncated Myb proteins v-Myb (dVd) and dCd did not exhibit any differences in transactivation. The increase in transactivation requires the Myb DNA-binding domain. When the leukemic transformation by the Myb proteins was tested, it was found that cells transformed by dVd resembled monoblasts, while cells transformed by CCC and its derivatives, dCd, dCC, and CCd, resembled myelomonoblasts. Despite differences in the morphology of the hematopoietic cells, the cell surface phenotypes and cell cycle profiles of transformed cells did not change for each pair of Myb proteins in the presence or absence of E9A. Thus, there was no direct correlation between the level of transcriptional activation and the strength of leukemic transformation.
PMCID: PMC109890  PMID: 9658130

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