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Pondering the puzzle of PML (promyelocytic leukemia) nuclear bodies: can we fit the pieces together using an RNA regulon?

Borden KL

Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer and Department of Pathology and Cell Biology, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada H4M 1J6.

The promyelocytic leukemia protein PML and its associated nuclear bodies are hot topics of investigation. This interest arises for multiple reasons including the tight link between the integrity of PML nuclear bodies and several disease states and the impact of the PML protein and PML nuclear bodies on proliferation, apoptosis and viral infection. Unfortunately, an understanding of the molecular underpinnings of PML nuclear body function remains elusive. Here, a general overview of the PML field is provided and is extended to discuss whether some of the basic tenets of "PML-ology" are still valid. For instance, recent findings suggest that some components of PML nuclear bodies form bodies in the absence of the PML protein. Also, a new model for PML nuclear body function is proposed which provides a unifying framework for its effects on diverse biochemical pathways such as Akt signaling and the p53-Mdm2 axis. In this model, the PML protein acts as an inhibitor of gene expression post-transcriptionally via inhibiting a network node in the eIF4E RNA regulon. An example is given for how the PML RNA regulon model provided the basis for the development of a new anti-cancer strategy being tested in the clinic.

Biochim. Biophys. Acta 2008;1783(11):2145-54.

Pubmed ID: 18616965

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