Activation of the erythropoietin gene in the majority of F-MuLV-induced erythroleukemias results in growth factor independence and enhanced tumorigenicity

J. C. Howard, L. Berger, M. R. Bani, R. G. Hawley, Y. Ben-David

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Retroviral insertional activation of Fli-1 is the first detectable genetic alteration associated with F-MuLV-induced primary erythroleukemias, while mutations within p53 are only observed in Epo-dependent (ED) cell lines derived from syngeneic mice serially transplanted with F-MuLV-induced primary erythroleukemias. In this study we have determined the mechanism of growth factor independence in several Epo-independent (EI) cell lines established from adult mice previously injected with ED-erythroleukemia cell lines or serially transplanted primary tumor cells. Here me have shown constitutive expression of the Epo gene in 12 of 15 (80%) EI-erythroleukemia cell lines. Among these 12 cell lines, eight were shown to possess clonal rearrangement of the Epo gene which could be detected in the tumors used to establish the majority of these EI-cell lines. Analysis of the pattern of proviral integration revealed that the activation of the Epo gene in these cell lines is independent of retroviral insertional mutagenesis, but apparently the result of genomic rearrangements. Furthermore, the acquisition of growth factor independence by these leukemic cells confers a selective growth advantage in vivo and is associated with enhanced tumorigenicity. Together these observations suggest that the activation of the Epo gene in the large majority of these F-MuLV-induced erythroleukemic cell lines establishes an autocrine loop resulting in the constitutive activation of the Epo receptor signal transduction pathway, thereby conferring a growth and survival advantage in vivo and in vitro.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1405-1415
Number of pages11
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1996



  • Advanced tumorigenicity
  • Epo rearrangement
  • Friend erythroleukemia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cancer Research
  • Genetics

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