Journal of molecular medicine (Berlin, Germany)

ASH2L: alternative splicing and downregulation during induced megakaryocytic differentiation of multipotential leukemia cell lines.

PMID 11466562


Abstract Drosophila ash2 is a member of the trxG gene super family, some human homologues of which are involved in hematopoiesis and leukemia. We report here the identification of the human homologue of Drosophila ash2 and its alternative splicing isoform, ASH2L1 and ASH2L2. ASH2L proteins are 60% homologous to Drosophila ash2. ASH2L also has a zinc finger motif (C2C2) although it is not identical to that in ASH2. Expression profile analysis showed that the amount of ASH2L transcripts is extremely high in fetal liver, testis, and leukemia cell lines with erythroid and megakaryocytic potential such as K562, Hel, and Dami. We treated these cells with differentiation inducers phorbol ester and hemin. We found that ASH2L is downregulated rapidly and dramatically in K562, Hel, and Dami cells during phorbol ester induced differentiation with megakaryocytic features. However, its expression is maintained at a high level during erythroid differentiation of K562 cells induced with hemin. These results suggest that ASH2L plays a role in hematopoiesis and is associated with some special kinds of leukemia.