Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.292, No.3, 609-616, 2002
EVI1 is expressed in megakaryocyte cell lineage and enforced expression of EVI1 in UT-7/GM cells induces megakaryocyte differentiation
3q21q26 syndrome, an acute myeloid leukemia (AML) or myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) with chromosomal translocations or inversions between the bands 3q21 and 3q26, is frequently associated with dys-megakaryocytopoiesis and increased platelet counts at the initial diagnosis. Since the EVI1 gene at 3q26 is transcriptionally activated in 3q21q26 syndrome, we assessed the role of EVI1 gene expression in the abnormal megakaryocytic differentiation in 3q21q26 syndrome. RT-PCR analysis of various types of hematopoietic cells revealed that the EVI1 gene is expressed specifically in CD34(+) cells, megakaryocytes, and platelets. UT-7 is a human immature megakaryo-blastic leukemia cell line with dependence for the growth on granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) (designated at UT-7/GM) and with a differentiation capacity to erythroid (UT-7/EPO) an megakaryocytic lineages (UT-7/TPO) by erythropoietin (EPO) and thrombopoietin (TPO), respectively. Among three UT-7 sublines, UT-7/GM, UT-7/EPO, and UT-7/TPO, expression of the EVI1 gene was detected at low levels in UT-7/GM and UT-7/EPO cells, but was detected at a higher level in UT-7/TPO cells. When UT-7/GM cells were cultured with TPO, the level of EVI1 expression was increased, along with increased numbers of polynuclear megakaryocytes and expression of the platelet factor 4 (PF-4) gene. Furthermore, forced expression of the EVI1 gene in UT-7/GM cells changed their morphology to polynuclear megakaryocytes, stopped their growth, and induced cell death within a month. These data indicate that expression of the EVI1 gene is involved in progression of megakaryocytic differentiation and, thus, the dysmegakaryo-cytopoiesis in 3q21q26 syndrome could be partly due to an enhanced differentiation capacity of leukemia cells and/or megakaryocytes by constitutive expression of the EVI1 gene. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science (USA).