A large variety of alternatively spliced and differentially expressed mRNAs are encoded by the human acute myeloid leukemia gene AML1
Levanon, D.; Bernstein, Y.; Negreanu, V.; Ghozi, M.C.; Bar-Am, I.; Aloya, R.; Goldenberg, D.; Lotem, J.; Groner, Y.
Dna and Cell Biology 15(3): 175-185
ISSN/ISBN: 1044-5498 PMID: 8634147 DOI: 10.1089/dna.1996.15.175
The human chromosome 21 acute myeloid leukemia gene AML1 is frequently rearranged in the leukemia-associated translocations t(8;21) and t(3;21), generating fused proteins containing the amino-terminal part of AML1. In normal blood cells, five size classes (2-8 kb) of AML1 mRNAs have been previously observed. We isolated seven cDNAs corresponding to various AML1 mRNAs. Sequencing revealed that their size differences were mainly due to alternatively spliced 5' and 3' untranslated regions, some of which were vast, exceeding 1.5 kb (5') and 4.3 kb (3'). These untranslated regions contain sequences known to control mRNA translation and stability and seem to modulate AML1 mRNA stability. Further heterogeneity was found in the coding region due to the presence of alternatively spliced stop codon-containing exons. The latter led to production of polypeptides that were smaller than the full-length AML1 protein; they lacked the trans-activation domains but maintained DNA binding and heterodimerization ability. The size of these truncated products was similar to the AML1 segment in the fused t(8;21) and t(3;21) proteins. In thymus, only one mRNA species of 6 kb was detected. Using in situ hybridization, we showed that its expression was confined to the cortical region of the organ. The 6-kb mRNA was also prominent in cultured peripheral blood T cells, and its expression was markedly reduced upon mitogenic activation by phorbol myristate acetate (TPA) plus concanavalin A (ConA). These results, and the presence of multiple coding regions flanked by long complex untranslated regions, suggest that AML1 expression is regulated at different levels by several control mechanisms generating the large variety of mRNAs and protein products.