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The Role of Stat1 in Retinoic Acid-induced Myelomonocytic Differentiation of Human Leukemia Cells

by Dimberg, Anna

Abstract (Summary)
All-trans retinoic acid (ATRA), a biologically active metabolite of vitamin A, is a powerful inducer of terminal differentiation and growth arrest of several myeloid cell lines in vitro. Although the efficacy of ATRA as an anti-cancer drug has been demonstrated by the successful treatment of acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL), knowledge concerning the molecular mechanisms directing ATRA-induced differentiation and cell cycle arrest of myeloid cells is lacking. Our results show, for the first time, that the complex regulation of cell cycle proteins and myeloid-specific transcription factors induced by ATRA relies on functional Stat1. We found that Stat1 is activated by both tyrosine-701 and serine-727 phosphorylation upon ATRA-induced differentiation of the human monoblastic cell line U-937. Expression of phosphorylation deficient mutants of Stat1 (Stat1Y701F or Stat1S727A) inhibited both ATRA-induced differentiation and cell cycle arrest of U-937 cells, pointing to a requirement of active Stat1 in these processes. Detailed analysis of the molecular mechanism of ATRA-induced cell cycle arrest and differentiation showed that the onset of cell cycle arrest was associated with a decrease in c-Myc and cyclin E levels and upregulation of p27Kip1 and p21WAF1/CIP1. This was followed by a rapid fall in cyclin A and B and a coordinate dephosphorylation of the retinoblastoma protein (pRb). The inhibition of ATRA-induced cell-cycle arrest by constitutive expression of Stat1Y701F or Stat1S727A was associated with impaired regulation of these cyclins and p27Kip1, positioning Stat1 activation upstream of these events. To further understand the process of ATRA-induced differentiation, the regulation of myeloid-specific transcription factors was investigated during ATRA-treatment. Notably, ATRA-induced upregulation of Stat2, ICSBP and C/EBP-? was selectively impaired in sublines expressing Stat1Y701F or Stat1S727A, suggesting an important function of these factors downstream Stat1. Taken together, the work in this thesis clearly demonstrates that Stat1 plays a key role in ATRA-induced terminal differentiation of myeloid cells, through regulation of cell cycle proteins and myeloid-specific transcription factors.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:Uppsala universitet

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation

Keywords:MEDICINE; Dermatology and venerology,clinical genetics, internal medicine; Clinical genetics; Genetics; Stat1; ATRA; U-937; myeloid; differentiation; cell cycle; growth arrest; Genetik; patologi; Pathology

ISBN:91-554-5224-8

Date of Publication:01/01/2002

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