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Hematology - Molecular Biology - Oncology


JAK2 V617F-Dependent Upregulation of PU.1 Expression in the Peripheral Blood of Myeloproliferative Neoplasm Patients
Published: Monday, July 18, 2011
Author: Tamotsu Irino et al.

by Tamotsu Irino, Munehiro Uemura, Humitsugu Yamane, Shigeto Umemura, Takahiko Utsumi, Naoki Kakazu, Taku Shirakawa, Mitsuhiro Ito, Takayo Suzuki, Kazuo Kinoshita

Myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN) are multiple disease entities characterized by clonal expansion of one or more of the myeloid lineages (i.e. granulocytic, erythroid, megakaryocytic and mast cell). JAK2 mutations, such as the common V617F substitution and the less common exon 12 mutations, are frequently detected in such tumor cells and have been incorporated into the diagnostic criteria published by the World Health Organization since 2008. However, the mechanism by which these mutations contribute to MPN development is poorly understood. We examined gene expression profiles of MPN patients focusing on genes in the JAK–STAT signaling pathway using low-density real-time PCR arrays. We identified the following 2 upregulated genes in MPN patients: a known target of the JAK–STAT axis, SOCS3, and a potentially novel target, SPI1, encoding PU.1. Induction of PU.1 expression by JAK2 V617F in JAK2-wildtype K562 cells and its downregulation by JAK2 siRNA transfection in JAK2 V617F-positive HEL cells supported this possibility. We also found that the ABL1 kinase inhibitor imatinib was very effective in suppressing PU.1 expression in BCR-ABL1-positive K562 cells but not in HEL cells. This suggests that PU.1 expression is regulated by both JAK2 and ABL1. The contribution of the two kinases in driving PU.1 expression was dominant for JAK2 and ABL1 in HEL and K562 cells, respectively. Therefore, PU.1 may be a common transcription factor upregulated in MPN. PU.1 is a transcription factor required for myeloid differentiation and is implicated in erythroid leukemia. Therefore, expression of PU.1 downstream of activated JAK2 may explain why JAK2 mutations are frequently observed in MPN patients.
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