PU.1 Opposes IL-7-Dependent Proliferation of Developing B Cells with Involvement of the Direct Target Gene Bruton Tyrosine Kinase.

Christie DA, Xu LS, Turkistany SA, Solomon LA, Li SK, Yim E, Welch I, Bell GI, Hess DA, DeKoter RP

Deletion of genes encoding the E26 transformation-specific transcription factors PU.1 and Spi-B in B cells (CD19-CreΔPB mice) leads to impaired B cell development, followed by B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia at 100% incidence and with a median survival of 21 wk. However, little is known about the target genes that explain leukemogenesis in these mice. In this study we found that immature B cells were altered in frequency in the bone marrow of preleukemic CD19-CreΔPB mice. Enriched pro-B cells from CD19-CreΔPB mice induced disease upon transplantation, suggesting that these were leukemia-initiating cells. Bone marrow cells from preleukemic CD19-CreΔPB mice had increased responsiveness to IL-7 and could proliferate indefinitely in response to this cytokine. Bruton tyrosine kinase (BTK), a negative regulator of IL-7 signaling, was reduced in preleukemic and leukemic CD19-CreΔPB cells compared with controls. Induction of PU.1 expression in cultured CD19-CreΔPB pro-B cell lines induced Btk expression, followed by reduced STAT5 phosphorylation and early apoptosis. PU.1 and Spi-B regulated Btk directly as shown by chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis. Ectopic expression of BTK was sufficient to induce apoptosis in cultured pro-B cells. In summary, these results suggest that PU.1 and Spi-B activate Btk to oppose IL-7 responsiveness in developing B cells.

Chromatin Shearing
Bioruptor Plus

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January, 2015



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