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Evidence for Hox and E2A-PBX1 collaboration in mouse T-cell leukemia.

Bijl J, Krosl J, Lebert-Ghali CE, Vacher J, Mayotte N, Sauvageau G

Laboratory of Molecular Genetics of Hematopoietic Stem Cells, Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Quebec, Canada. jbijl.hmr@ssss.gouv.qc.ca

Using murine Moloney leukemia virus (MMLV)-based proviral insertional mutagenesis, we previously showed a preferential targeting of a small region in the Hoxa gene locus in E2A-PBX1-induced lymphoid leukemia resulting in the overexpression of several Hoxa genes including Hoxa10, Hoxa9 and Hoxa7. This observation suggested a functional interaction between Hox gene overexpression and E2A-PBX1 in lymphoid tumors. To further explore this possibility, we generated a series of compound E2A-PBX1 x Hox transgenic mice and tested the genetic interaction between these genes in the generation of lymphoid leukemia in vivo. Results presented in this report show that the onset of T-cell leukemia is significantly accelerated in E2A-PBX1 x Hoxb4 compound transgenic animals when compared with control E2A-PBX1 or Hoxb4 littermates. Hoxa9 appears less potent than Hoxb4 to accelerate E2A-PBX1-induced T-cell leukemia in mice. E2A-PBX1-induced T-cell leukemias express much higher levels of Hoxa genes than MMLV-induced counterparts, possibly suggesting a contribution of these genes to T-cell transformation by E2A-PBX1. Collectively, these data provide the first genetic evidence showing oncogenic collaboration between E2A-PBX1 and a Hox gene in lymphoid malignancies in vivo and document the specific deregulation of a subgroup of Hoxa genes in these leukemias.

Oncogene 2008;27(49):6356-64.

Pubmed ID: 18679416

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