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Cell Growth & Differentiation Vol. 12, 641-647, December 2001
© 2001 American Association for Cancer Research

Mitogen-activated Protein Kinase Is Required for Bryostatin 1-induced Differentiation of the Human Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Cell Line Reh1

Nathan R. Wall, Ramzi M. Mohammad and Ayad M. Al-Katib2

Division of Hematology and Oncology, Department of Internal Medicine, Karmanos Cancer Institute at Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, Michigan 48201

Bryostatin 1 (bryo 1) is known to induce the differentiation and cell cycle arrest of human lymphoid leukemia cells in vitro. The extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), originally identified as a participant in mitogenic signaling, has recently been implicated in the signaling of cellular differentiation. To examine the role of the ERK/mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase pathway in B-lymphoid cell differentiation of the Reh Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia cell line, the effects of bryo 1 on ERK activation were determined. On bryo 1 treatment, the activity of ERK2 (p42) rapidly increased, with ERK1 (p44) protein levels remaining constant. p44/42 immunoprecipitates from lysates of bryo 1-treated cells had increased their ability to phosphorylate the transcription factor Elk-1. Constitutive AP-1 activity was shown to be potentiated after bryo 1 treatment using electrophoretic mobility shift assays. The protein composition of the AP-1 transcription factor complex activated by bryo 1 was analyzed using supershift analysis with specific antibodies against c-Fos, Fos B, c-Jun, Jun B, and Jun D proteins. Supershift analysis revealed that the bryo 1-induced AP-1 complex was composed predominantly of Fos B and Jun D. Therefore, we evaluated the effects of inhibiting MAP/ERK kinase (MEK) on both DNA binding and cellular differentiation. Treatment of Reh cells with 20 µM PD98059, a specific inhibitor of MEK, inhibited bryo 1-induced ERK activity and DNA binding. Furthermore, PD98059 blocked the bryo 1-induced differentiation of Reh cells, as assessed by a number of features associated with lymphoid differentiation, including changes in morphology, cell growth arrest, attachment, and increased expression of the leukocyte integrin CD11c. Moreover, transient transfection of Reh cells with antisense MAP kinase oligonucleotides blocked bryo 1-induced expression of CD11c. Our analysis also shows that CD11c’s gene promoter activity is augmented by bryo 1. Therefore, we conclude that activation of the MEK/ERK signaling pathway is necessary for bryo 1-induced differentiation of the pre-B Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia cell line Reh.




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Molecular Cancer Research Cell Growth & Differentiation
Copyright © 2001 by the American Association of Cancer Research.