Molecular and cellular biology

8p12 stem cell myeloproliferative disorder: the FOP-fibroblast growth factor receptor 1 fusion protein of the t(6;8) translocation induces cell survival mediated by mitogen-activated protein kinase and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt/mTOR pathways.

PMID 11689702


The FOP-fibroblast growth factor receptor 1 (FGFR1) fusion protein is expressed as a consequence of a t(6;8) (q27;p12) translocation associated with a stem cell myeloproliferative disorder with lymphoma, myeloid hyperplasia and eosinophilia. In the present report, we show that the fusion of the leucine-rich N-terminal region of FOP to the catalytic domain of FGFR1 results in conversion of murine hematopoietic cell line Ba/F3 to factor-independent cell survival via an antiapoptotic effect. This survival effect is dependent upon the constitutive tyrosine phosphorylation of FOP-FGFR1. Phosphorylation of STAT1 and of STAT3, but not STAT5, is observed in cells expressing FOP-FGFR1. The survival function of FOP-FGFR1 is abrogated by mutation of the phospholipase C gamma binding site. Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) is also activated in FOP-FGFR1-expressing cells and confers cytokine-independent survival to hematopoietic cells. These results demonstrate that FOP-FGFR1 is capable of protecting cells from apoptosis by using the same effectors as the wild-type FGFR1. Furthermore, we show that FOP-FGFR1 phosphorylates phosphatidylinositol 3 (PI3)-kinase and AKT and that specific inhibitors of PI3-kinase impair its ability to promote cell survival. In addition, FOP-FGFR1-expressing cells show constitutive phosphorylation of the positive regulator of translation p70S6 kinase; this phosphorylation is inhibited by PI3-kinase and mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) inhibitors. These results indicate that translation control is important to mediate the cell survival effect induced by FOP-FGFR1. Finally, FOP-FGFR1 protects cells from apoptosis by survival signals including BCL2 overexpression and inactivation of caspase-9 activity. Elucidation of signaling events downstream of FOP-FGFR1 constitutive activation provides insight into the mechanism of leukemogenesis mediated by this oncogenic fusion protein.