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Oncogene

Co-resistance to retinoic acid and TRAIL by insertion mutagenesis into RAM.


PMID 16449964

Abstract

Retinoic acid (RA), used as first-line therapy for acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL), exerts its antileukemic activity by inducing blast differentiation and activating tumor-selective TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) signaling. To identify downstream mediators of RA signaling, we used retrovirus-mediated insertion mutagenesis in PLB985 leukemia cells and established the RA-resistant cell line WY-1. In PLB985, but not WY-1 cells, RA induced TRAIL and its DR4 and DR5 receptors. Knocking down TRAIL expression by RNA interference blocked RA-induced apoptosis. WY-1 cells are defective for RA-induced differentiation, G1 arrest and exhibit co-resistance to TRAIL. In WY-1 cells, a single virus copy is integrated into a novel RA-regulated gene termed RAM (retinoic acid modulator). RAM is expressed in the myelomonocytic lineage and extinguished by RA in PLB985, but not WY-1 cells. Whereas knocking down RAM expression by RNA interference promoted RA-induced differentiation and TRAIL-triggered apoptosis of PLB985 and WY-1 cells, overexpression of the predicted 109 amino-acid RAM open reading frame did not alter RA signaling in PLB985 cells. This indicates that, apart from encoding the putative RAM protein, RAM RNA may exert additional functions that are impaired by the retrovirus insertion. Our study demonstrates that RA induction of the TRAIL pathway is also operative in leukemia cells lacking an RARalpha oncofusion protein and identifies RAM as a novel RA-dependent modulator of myeloid differentiation and death.

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