Cloning and characterization of a novel zinc finger protein (MDZF) that is associated with monocytic differentiation of acute promyelocytic leukemia cells

J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2001 Nov;127(11):659-67. doi: 10.1007/s004320100266.


Aim: To study the characteristics of a novel zinc finger protein designated as monocytic differentiation-associated zinc finger protein (MDZF) and its role in the differentiation of leukemia cells.

Methods: The mRNA expression of MDZF in tissues and cells was analyzed by Northern blot and RT-PCR. Polyclonal antibodies against the N terminus of MDZF were used to analyze protein expression in hematopoietic cell lines and subcellular location of MDZF in promyelocytic NB4 cells. The NB4 cells treated with TPA or ATRA at different intervals were harvested and then the expression level of MDZF protein was determined by Western blot.

Result: A full-length cDNA was successfully identified from a human monocyte-derived dendritic cell cDNA library which encodes 610 amino acids with eight C2H2 zinc finger motifs and one POZ domain. It was located on chromosome 3 according to the genome database. This novel zinc finger protein was designated as MDZF. One transcript isoform of MDZF was also cloned by RT-PCR. Northern blot showed that MDZF mRNA was restrictedly expressed in heart, skeleton muscle, kidney, liver, and placenta. MDZF protein was expressed in all hematopoietic cell lines examined. Immunoblotting and confocal analysis indicated a dominant cytoplasmic location of MDZF in NB4 cells. Furthermore, after NB4 cells were treated with TPA for 48 h and differentiated into monocytes, MDZF expression increased fivefold in the NB4 cells, but no effect was observed in NB4 cells treated with ATRA.

Conclusion: A novel zinc finger protein MDZF was cloned. MDZF is upregulated in monocytic, but not granulocytic, differentiation of NB4 acute promyelocytic leukemia cells. MDZF may be a candidate regulator of monocytic differentiation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Antigens, Differentiation, Myelomonocytic / chemistry*
  • Base Sequence
  • Blotting, Northern
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Line
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Cytoplasm / metabolism
  • DNA, Complementary / metabolism
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / chemistry
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics*
  • Dendritic Cells / cytology
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Gene Library
  • Glutathione Transferase / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Immunoblotting
  • Jurkat Cells
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Monocytes / cytology
  • Protein Isoforms
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / metabolism
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Time Factors
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Transcription Factors / biosynthesis*
  • Transcription Factors / chemistry
  • Transcription Factors / genetics*
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • U937 Cells
  • Up-Regulation
  • Zinc Fingers*


  • Antigens, Differentiation, Myelomonocytic
  • DNA, Complementary
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • MDZF protein, human
  • Protein Isoforms
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • Glutathione Transferase