Rapid expression of protooncogenes c-fos and c-myc in B-chronic lymphocytic leukemia cells during differentiation induced by phorbol ester and calcium ionophore

Drexler, H.G.; Janssen, J.W.; Brenner, M.K.; Hoffbrand, A.V.; Bartram, C.R.

Blood 73(6): 1656-1663


ISSN/ISBN: 0006-4971
PMID: 2496772
DOI: 10.1182/blood.v73.6.1656.1656
Accession: 041171432

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The peripheral blood mononuclear cells from patients with B-chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL) were incubated for 0.5 h to 72 h in the presence of the phorbol ester TPA, the calcium ionophore A23187, or a combination of these reagents. Using Northern blot analysis, total cellular RNA was prepared from cells harvested at different time points and hybridized with DNA clones specific for the protooncogenes c-fos and c-myc. While untreated control cells lacked detectable amounts of messenger RNA (mRNA), increase in the level of c-fos mRNA was noted as early as 0.5 h after exposure to the inducers. Peaks of c-fos and c-myc transcript accumulation were seen at 1 h and 4 h after induction, respectively. The most effective inducer was double stimulation with TPA plus A23187. The kinetics of c-fos and c-myc mRNA accumulation in B-CLL appear to be similar to those reported for normal lymphocytes that have been either activated by physiologic external stimuli or by direct activators of protein kinase C and calcium flux (such as TPA and A23187). No direct link between oncogene expression and proliferation or differentiation parameters could be established. These results document that expression of c-fos and c-myc genes, which are among the earliest events following stimulation of the protein kinase signal transduction pathway, can be successfully induced in B-CLL cells. The data provide further evidence for the hypothesis that signal transmission downstream of protein kinase C is intact in B-CLL.