The acidic leucine-rich nuclear phosphoprotein 32B (ANP32B) is a member of a conserved superfamily of nuclear proteins whose functions are largely unknown. In our previous work, ANP32B was identified as a novel direct substrate for caspase-3 and acted as a negative regulator for leukemic cell apoptosis. In this work, we provided the first demonstration that ANP32B expression was down-regulated during differentiation induction of leukemic cells by all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA). Knockdown of ANP32B expression by specific shRNA enhanced ATRA-induced leukemic cell differentiation, while ectopic expression of ANP32B attenuated it, indicating an inhibitory role of ANP32B against leukemic cell differentiation. Furthermore, luciferase reporter assay revealed that ANP32B might exert this role through inhibiting the ATRA dependent transcriptional activity of retinoic acid receptor (RARα). These data will shed new insights into understanding the biological functions of ANP32B protein.
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