The expression of ETV6/CBFA2 (TEL/AML1) is not sufficient for the transformation of hematopoietic cell lines in vitro or the induction of hematologic disease in vivo

Cancer Genet Cytogenet. 2001 Oct 15;130(2):93-104. doi: 10.1016/s0165-4608(01)00518-0.


ETV6/CBFA2 (TEL/AML1) is the most frequent genetic abnormality associated with acute lymphoblastic leukemias in children, and is associated with a favorable prognosis. To investigate the influence of ETV6/CBFA2 on cellular transformation, the fusion gene was cloned into a murine ecotropic retroviral vector and transduced into IL-3-dependent Ba/F3 and 32Dcl.3 and IL-7-dependent IxN/2b murine hematopoietic cell lines. Different variants of ETV6/CBFA2, corresponding to CBFA2 alternatively spliced variants, and the reciprocal product CBFA2/ETV6, were stably expressed in each of these cell lines. However, although Western blot analysis demonstrated expression of each variant, none of the stable cell lines expressing CBFA2/ETV6 or the variants conferred factor-independent growth. We further investigated the effect of ETV6/CBFA2 expression in vivo by generating transgenic mice in which expression of the fusion was directed to lymphoid cells using the immunoglobulin heavy chain enhancer/promoter. Four founder mice were identified showing transmission and expression of the chimeric product. The mice were bred for five generations and followed for more than 24 months. The mice did not develop a malignant hematologic disorder, nor did they display histopathologic, morphologic, or immunophenotypic abnormalities, although ETV6/CBFA2 expression was confirmed in each line. We conclude that the expression of ETV6/CBFA2 alone is not sufficient for induction of growth factor independence in hematopoietic cell lines or hematologic disease in transgenic mice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic*
  • Core Binding Factor Alpha 2 Subunit
  • Electroporation
  • Enhancer Elements, Genetic
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin Heavy Chains / genetics
  • Leukemia / etiology
  • Leukemia / genetics
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Oncogene Proteins, Fusion / genetics*
  • Plasmids / metabolism
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Retroviridae / genetics
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Time Factors
  • Transcriptional Activation
  • Transduction, Genetic


  • Core Binding Factor Alpha 2 Subunit
  • Immunoglobulin Heavy Chains
  • Oncogene Proteins, Fusion
  • TEL-AML1 fusion protein