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1.  Expression of p89c-Mybex9b, an alternatively spliced form of c-Myb, is required for proliferation and survival of p210BCR/ABL-expressing cells 
Blood Cancer Journal  2012;2(5):e71-.
The c-Myb gene encodes the p75c-Myb isoform and less-abundant proteins generated by alternatively spliced transcripts. Among these, the best known is pc-Mybex9b, which contains 121 additional amino acids between exon 9 and 10, in a domain involved in protein–protein interactions and negative regulation. In hematopoietic cells, expression of pc-Mybex9b accounts for 10–15% of total c-Myb; these levels may be biologically relevant because modest changes in c-Myb expression affects proliferation and survival of leukemic cells and lineage choice and frequency of normal hematopoietic progenitors. In this study, we assessed biochemical activities of pc-Mybex9b and the consequences of perturbing its expression in K562 and primary chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) progenitor cells. Compared with p75c-Myb, pc-Mybex9b is more stable and more effective in transactivating Myb-regulated promoters. Ectopic expression of pc-Mybex9b enhanced proliferation and colony formation and reduced imatinib (IM) sensitivity of K562 cells; conversely, specific downregulation of pc-Mybex9b reduced proliferation and colony formation, enhanced IM sensitivity of K562 cells and markedly suppressed colony formation of CML CD34+ cells, without affecting the levels of p75c-Myb. Together, these studies indicate that expression of the low-abundance pc-Mybex9b isoform has an important role for the overall biological effects of c-Myb in BCR/ABL-transformed cells.
doi:10.1038/bcj.2012.16
PMCID: PMC3366069  PMID: 22829973
transcription factor; oncogene; chronic myeloid leukemia
2.  Tumorigenic conversion of p53-deficient colon epithelial cells by an activated Ki-ras gene. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1998;101(8):1572-1580.
Distinct genetic abnormalities (loss-of-function mutations of APC and p53 and oncogenic activation of Ki-ras) are associated with specific stages of the sporadic, most common types of colorectal tumors. However, the inability to maintain primary colon epithelial cells in culture has hindered the analysis of the pathogenetic role of these abnormalities in colorectal tumorigenesis. We have now established primary cultures of epithelial cells from the colon crypts of p53-deficient mice; these cells are nontumorigenic as indicated by their failure to form colonies in soft agar and to grow as tumors in immunodeficient SCID mice and in immunocompetent syngeneic hosts. Upon ectopic expression of an activated Ki-ras gene, p53-deficient colon epithelial cells form colonies in soft agar and highly invasive subcutaneous tumors in both immunodeficient and immunocompetent mice. Ectopic expression of wild-type p53, but not of a DNA-binding-deficient mutant, markedly suppressed the colony-forming ability of the Ki-ras-transformed p53-deficient epithelial cells. Together, these findings establish a functional synergism in colorectal tumorigenesis dependent on the effects of an oncogenic Ki-ras in a p53-deficient background. This model of tumorigenic conversion of colon epithelial cells might be useful to identify genetic changes associated with disease progression and to evaluate the therapeutic response to conventional and novel anticancer drugs.
PMCID: PMC508737  PMID: 9541486
3.  Ectopic expression of decorin protein core causes a generalized growth suppression in neoplastic cells of various histogenetic origin and requires endogenous p21, an inhibitor of cyclin-dependent kinases. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1997;100(1):149-157.
Decorin belongs to a family of secreted, small, leucine-rich proteoglycans that affect matrix assembly and cellular growth. Ectopic expression of decorin proteoglycan or protein core as a mutated form lacking any glycosaminoglycan side chains induced growth suppression in neoplastic cells of various histogenetic origins, including tumor cells derived from gastrointestinal, genital, skeletal, cutaneous, or bone marrow tissues. Exogenously added recombinant decorin also suppressed overall growth of the parental cell lines. In all stably-transfected clones, growth retardation was specifically associated with induction of the potent cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p21, but not p27, and subsequent translocation of p21 protein into the nuclei of decorin-expressing cells. This led to a greater proportion of the cells arrested in G1 phase of the cell cycle. These changes were independent of functional p53 or retinoblastoma protein. De novo expression of decorin in HCT116 human colon carcinoma cells harboring a disrupted p21 gene failed to induce growth suppression, in contrast to the wild-type cells in which p21 and growth arrest could be induced. These findings indicate that ectopic production of decorin protein core can retard the growth of a variety of tumor cells and that endogenous p21 is a required downstream effector of this biological axis.
PMCID: PMC508175  PMID: 9202067
4.  Effect of cisplatin and c-myb antisense phosphorothioate oligodeoxynucleotides combination on a human colon carcinoma cell line in vitro and in vivo. 
British Journal of Cancer  1996;74(3):387-393.
We investigated the effect of c-myb antisense phosphorothioate oligodeoxynucleotides [(S)ODNs] and cisplatin (CDDP) combination on the human colon carcinoma cell line LoVo Dx both in vitro and in nude mice bearing LoVo Dx solid tumour. We show that antisense (S)ODN treatment decreases c-myb mRNA and protein expression, induces growth arrest in the G1 phase of the cell cycle, and inhibits cell proliferation. In vivo treatment with c-myb antisense (S)ODNs results in a reduction in tumour growth. A greater inhibition of cell proliferation in vitro and a higher increase of tumour growth inhibition and growth delay in vivo were obtained with the combination of (S)ODNs and CDDP than when the two agents were administered separately. This comparative study, using the same tumour cell line in vitro and in vivo, suggests that c-myb antisense (S)ODNs might be useful in the therapy of colon cancer in combination with antineoplastic drugs.
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PMCID: PMC2074645  PMID: 8695353
5.  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
6.  Overexpression of the zinc finger protein MZF1 inhibits hematopoietic development from embryonic stem cells: correlation with negative regulation of CD34 and c-myb promoter activity. 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  1995;15(11):6075-6087.
Zinc finger genes encode proteins that act as transcription factors. The myeloid zinc finger 1 (MZF1) gene encodes a zinc finger protein with two DNA-binding domains that recognize two distinct consensus sequences, is preferentially expressed in hematopoietic cells, and may be involved in the transcriptional regulation of hematopoiesis-specific genes. Reverse transcription-PCR analysis of human peripheral blood CD34+ cells cultured under lineage-restricted conditions demonstrated MZF1 expression during both myeloid and erythroid differentiation. Sequence analysis of the 5'-flanking region of the CD34 and c-myb genes, which are a marker of and a transcriptional factor required for hematopoietic proliferation and differentiation, respectively, revealed closely spaced MZF1 consensus binding sites found by electrophoretic mobility shift assays to interact with recombinant MZF1 protein. Transient or constitutive MZF1 expression in different cell types resulted in specific inhibition of chloramphenicol acetyltransferase activity driven by the CD34 or c-myb 5'-flanking region. To determine whether transcriptional modulation by MZF1 activity plays a role in hematopoietic differentiation, constructs containing the MZF1 cDNA under the control of different promoters were transfected into murine embryonic stem cells which, under defined in vitro culture conditions, generate colonies of multiple hematopoietic lineages. Constitutive MZF1 expression interfered with the ability of embryonic stem cells to undergo hematopoietic commitment and erythromyeloid colony formation and prevented the induced expression of CD34 and c-myb mRNAs during differentiation of these cells. These data indicate that MZF1 plays a critical role in hematopoiesis by modulating the expression of genes involved in this process.
PMCID: PMC230859  PMID: 7565760
7.  Inhibition of leukaemia cell proliferation by folic acid-polylysine-mediated introduction of c-myb antisense oligodeoxynucleotides into HL-60 cells. 
British Journal of Cancer  1994;69(3):463-467.
The inhibitory effect of c-myb antisense oligodeoxynucleotides (ODNs) conjugated to folic acid (FA) on HL-60 cell proliferation was examined. Folic acid was covalently linked to a polylysine chain and purified by gel chromatography. Sterile FA-polylysine was complexed with c-myb sense and antisense. Exposure of HL-60 cells to the FA-polylysine-c-myb antisense ODN complex resulted in a down-regulation of c-myb expression and a greater inhibition of proliferation than that obtained using free ODNs. Moreover, FA-polylysine conjugate alone or complexed to c-myb sense ODN was not toxic to cells. The antigenic properties and uptake of the vitamin were not affected by the polylysine chain. These data suggest that this strategy is potentially useful for the selective delivery of anti-oncogene-targeted ODNs into cancer cells.
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PMCID: PMC1968841  PMID: 8123474
8.  Highly efficient elimination of Philadelphia leukemic cells by exposure to bcr/abl antisense oligodeoxynucleotides combined with mafosfamide. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1993;92(1):194-202.
Synthetic oligodeoxynucleotides complementary to the break-point junction of bcr-abl transcripts selectively inhibit the proliferation of Philadelphia-positive leukemic cells, but residual leukemic cells persist in antisense oligodeoxynucleotides-treated cultures. Cyclophosphamide derivatives such as mafosfamide and 4-hydroperoxycyclophosphamide are used at high doses for purging of Philadelphia leukemic cells from marrows but such treatment can be associated with delayed engraftment and prolonged cytopenias. To develop a more effective procedure that might optimize the killing of leukemia cells and the sparing of normal hematopoietic progenitor cells, a 1:1 mixture of Philadelphia leukemic cells and normal bone marrow cells was exposed to a combination of a low dose of mafosfamide and bcr-abl antisense oligodeoxynucleotides and assayed for growth ability in clonogenic assays and in immunodeficient mice. Bcr-abl transcripts were not detected in residual colonies, and cytogenetic analysis of individual colonies revealed a normal karyotype. Normal but not leukemic hematopoietic colonies of human origin were also detected in marrows of immunodeficient mice 1 mo after injection of the treated cells. Our results indicate that a combination of a conventional chemotherapeutic agent and a tumor-specific antisense oligodeoxynucleotide is highly effective in killing leukemic cells and in sparing a much higher number of normal progenitor cells as compared with high-dose mafosfamide treatment. This offers the prospect of a novel and more selective ex vivo treatment of chronic myelogenous leukemia.
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PMCID: PMC293565  PMID: 8325984
9.  Positive autoregulation of c-myb expression via Myb binding sites in the 5' flanking region of the human c-myb gene. 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  1991;11(12):6166-6176.
The nuclear proto-oncogene c-myb is preferentially expressed in lymphohematopoietic cells, in which it plays an important role in the processes of differentiation and proliferation. The mechanism(s) that regulates c-myb expression is not fully understood, although in mouse cells a regulatory mechanism involves a transcriptional block in the first intron. To analyze the contribution of the 5' flanking sequences in regulating the expression of the human c-myb gene, we isolated a genomic clone containing extensive 5' flanking sequences, the first exon, and a large portion of the first intron. Sequence analysis of a subcloned 1.3-kb BamHI insert corresponding to 687 nucleotides of the 5' flanking sequence, the entire first exon, and 300 nucleotides of the first intron revealed the presence of closely spaced putative Myb binding sites within a segment extending from nucleotides -616 to -575 upstream from the cap site. A 165-bp segment containing these putative Myb binding sites was linked to a human thymidine kinase (TK) cDNA driven by a low-activity proliferating cell nuclear antigen promoter and cotransfected into TK- ts13 cells with a plasmid in which a full-length human c-myb cDNA is driven by the early simian virus 40 promoter; Myb inducibility of TK mRNA expression was observed both in transient expression assays and in stable transformants. The highest level of inducibility was detected when the 165-bp fragment was placed 138 bp upstream of the proliferating cell nuclear antigen promoter-TK cDNA reporter unit or 3' of the TK cDNA. Mutation of the putative Myb binding sites greatly reduced c-myb transactivation of TK mRNA expression and specifically reduced the binding of in vitro-translated Myb protein at those sites. Finally, c-myb transactivated TK mRNA expression driven by a segment of the authentic c-myb 5' flanking region containing the Myb binding sites. These data suggest that human c-myb maintains high levels of Myb protein in cells that require this gene product for proliferation and/or differentiation by an autoregulatory mechanism involving Myb binding sites in the 5' flanking region.
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PMCID: PMC361795  PMID: 1944282
10.  Constitutively expressed c-myb abrogates the requirement for insulinlike growth factor 1 in 3T3 fibroblasts. 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  1991;11(2):731-736.
The proto-oncogene c-myb, whose expression is usually limited to cells of the hematopoietic lineages, can be expressed in fibroblasts if placed under the control of a constitutive promoter, such as the simian virus SV40 early promoter. 3T3 cells carrying a constitutively expressed human c-myb were found to grow in 1% serum or in a serum-free, platelet-derived growth factor-supplemented medium, whereas the parent cell line, BALB/c 3T3, needed insulinlike growth factor 1 (IGF-1) in addition to platelet-derived growth factor for growth. myb-carrying cells, however, could not grow in platelet-poor plasma. In fibroblasts, therefore, a constitutively expressed c-myb can abrogate the requirement for platelet-poor plasma or IGF-1. When 3T3 cells constitutively expressed both c-myc and c-myb, they could grow in serum-free medium without added growth factors. The ability of c-myb to abrogate in fibroblasts the IGF-1 requirement seems to be due to its ability to induce overexpression of IGF-1, as indicated by an increase in steady-state levels of IGF-1 mRNA. These results have some important implications; for instance, they suggest a commonality of pathways for entry into S phase in different cell types and the possibility of a myb-like or myb-equivalent gene product of critical importance for entry of fibroblasts into S phase.
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PMCID: PMC359724  PMID: 1990279
11.  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.
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PMCID: PMC296386  PMID: 2404028
12.  Inhibition of human megakaryocytopoiesis in vitro by platelet factor 4 (PF4) and a synthetic COOH-terminal PF4 peptide. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1989;83(5):1477-1486.
We report that highly purified human platelet factor 4 (PF4) inhibits human megakaryocytopoiesis in vitro. At greater than or equal to 25 micrograms/ml, PF4 inhibited megakaryocyte colony formation approximately 80% in unstimulated cultures, and approximately 58% in cultures containing recombinant human IL 3 and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor. Because PF4 (25 micrograms/ml) had no effect on either myeloid or erythroid colony formation lineage specificity of this effect was suggested. A synthetic COOH-terminal PF4 peptide of 24, but not 13 residues, also inhibited megakaryocyte colony formation, whereas a synthetic 18-residue beta-thromboglobulin (beta-TG) peptide and native beta-TG had no such effect when assayed at similar concentrations. The mechanism of PF4-mediated inhibition was investigated. First, we enumerated total cell number, and examined cell maturation in control colonies (n = 200) and colonies (n = 100) that arose in PF4-containing cultures. Total cells per colony did not differ dramatically in the two groups (6.1 +/- 3.0 vs. 4.2 +/- 1.6, respectively), but the numbers of mature large cells per colony was significantly decreased in the presence of PF4 when compared with controls (1.6 +/- 1.5 vs. 3.9 +/- 2.3; P less than 0.001). Second, by using the human leukemia cell line HEL as a model for primitive megakaryocytic cells, we studied the effect of PF4 on cell doubling time, on the expression of both growth-regulated (H3, p53, c-myc,and c-myb), and non-growth-regulated (beta 2-microglobulin) genes. At high concentrations of native PF4 (50 micrograms/ml), no effect on cell doubling time, or H3 or p53 expression was discerned. In contrast, c-myc and c-myb were both upregulated. These results suggested the PF4 inhibited colony formation by impeding cell maturation, as opposed to cell proliferation, perhaps by inducing expression of c-myc and c-myb. The ability of PF4 to inhibit a normal cell maturation function was then tested. Megakaryocytes were incubated in synthetic PF4, or beta-TG peptides for 18 h and effect on Factor V steady-state mRNA levels was determined in 600 individual cells by in situ hybridization. beta-TG peptide had no effect on FV mRNA levels, whereas a approximately 60% decrease in expression of Factor V mRNA was found in megakaryocytes exposed to greater than or equal 100 ng/ml synthetic COOH-terminal PF4 peptide. Accordingly, PF4 modulates megakaryocyte maturation in vitro, and may function as a negative autocrine regulator of human megakaryocytopoiesis.
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PMCID: PMC303850  PMID: 2523411
13.  Dissociation of c-fos induction from macrophage differentiation in human myeloid leukemic cell lines. 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  1987;7(2):769-774.
Treatment of five human myeloid leukemic cell lines (KG1, ML3, HL-60, U-937, and HEL) with TPA was followed by macrophage differentiation and was accompanied by an early and transient increase in the mRNA level of c-fos proto-oncogene. The induction of c-fos was also observed in human cell lines K562 and K-Gla that did not respond to TPA with terminal macrophage differentiation. The treatment of HL-60 and U-937 cell lines with 1-oleoyl-2-acetylglycerol, a synthetic analog of diacylglycerol that, like TPA, stimulates protein kinase C activity, was followed by early and transient induction of c-fos mRNA in the absence of terminal macrophage differentiation. Finally, treatment of HL-60 with TPA in the presence of retinal, an inhibitor of protein kinase C, drastically reduced the induction of c-fos mRNA but had no effect on the terminal macrophage differentiation that is induced in this cell line by TPA. These results indicate that the induction of c-fos and terminal macrophage differentiation in response to TPA treatment can be dissociated in the in vitro models provided by human myeloid leukemic cell lines. Moreover, these findings suggest that the induction of c-fos is not only insufficient but may also be unnecessary for the differentiation along the monocyte-macrophage pathway.
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PMCID: PMC365133  PMID: 3547082
14.  Coding sequence and growth regulation of the human vimentin gene. 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  1986;6(11):3614-3620.
We have established the complete coding sequence of the human vimentin gene. It had 91% homology to the coding sequence of the Syrian hamster vimentin gene (Quax et al., Cell 35:215-223, 1983) and partial homology to several other sequences coding for intermediate filament proteins. The most striking difference between the Syrian hamster and human vimentin genes was in the 3' untranslated region, which was considerably longer in the Syrian hamster. Using RNA blots and a human vimentin cDNA clone from an Okayama-Berg library, we have established that expression of the vimentin gene was growth regulated. The steady-state levels of cytoplasmic vimentin mRNA in 3T3 cells were increased by serum and platelet-derived growth factor, but not by epidermal growth factor, insulin, or platelet-poor plasma. The increase in expression of the vimentin gene that occurred when G0-phase cells were stimulated to proliferate was detected in six different cell types from four different species. The expression of the vimentin gene was also increased when HL60 cells were induced to differentiate by phorbol esters; it decreased when differentiation was induced by retinoic acid.
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PMCID: PMC367121  PMID: 3467175
15.  Recent amplification of an alpha satellite DNA in humans. 
Nucleic Acids Research  1985;13(2):521-535.
A repeat sequence 682 base pairs (bp) long produced by cleavage of human DNA with Xba I restriction enzyme is composed of four tandemly arranged subunits with lengths of 171, 170, 171, and 170 bp each. The sequence organization of the 682 bp Xba I repeat bears a striking resemblance to other complex satellite DNAs of primates, including the Eco RI human alpha satellite family which also occurs as a 170 bp repeat. The Eco RI tetramer and the 682 bp Xba I repeat show a sequence divergence of 21%. The 682 bp Xba I repeat sequence is restricted to humans and is only distantly related to the previously reported 340 bp Xba human repeated DNA sequence. These finding are consistent with the concept of occasional amplifications of members or groups of members of alpha satellite DNA during human evolution. Amplifications apparently occurred after humans, apes and gibbons diverged from Old World monkeys (Eco RI satellite), after humans and apes diverged from gibbons (340 bp Xba I satellite) and after humans diverged from the great apes (682 bp Xba I satellite).
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PMCID: PMC341012  PMID: 2987800

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