Objective: BCR-ABL is a unique oncoprotein of which sole expression can cause cancer. A number of signaling molecules were shown to be activated by BCR-ABL. One of the important molecules that contributes to BCR-ABL-mediated cell proliferation is signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) 5. To elucidate the mechanism of BCR-ABL-mediated leukemogenesis, a role of pim-1, one of the important target genes of STAT5, was investigated.
Materials and methods: A temperature-sensitive mutant of p210(BCR-ABL) was introduced in interleukin-3-dependent murine hematopoietic cell line Ba/F3 cells, and downstream signaling after activation of BCR-ABL was investigated. Effects of the expression of a dominant-negative (dn) Pim-1 and a dn STAT5A in BCR-ABL-driven cell proliferation also were studied in Ba/F3 cells.
Results: We found that pim-1 was markedly up-regulated following activation of BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase with activation of STAT5. Overexpression of pim-1 alone induced cytokine-independent cell growth of Ba/F3 cells in a dose-dependent manner. However, expression of the dn Pim-1 did not affect growth of Ba/F3 cells transformed by BCR-ABL, whereas that of the dn STAT5A did suppress it.
Conclusion: Pim-1 is one of the redundant molecules that contributes to induction of autonomous cell growth and is dispensable for leukemogenesis by BCR-ABL.