Antiapoptotic effect of c-fes protooncogene during granulocytic differentiation

Sergio Ferrari, Rossella Manfredini, Enrico Tagliafico, Alexis Grande, Daniela Barbieri, Raffaella Balestri, Michela Pizzanelli, Patrizia Zucchini, Gennaro Citro, Gabriella Zupi, Claudio Franceschi, Umberto Torelli

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The c-fes protooncogene is expressed at high levels in the terminal stages of granulocytic differentiation. Its product, p92(c-fes), exhibits a tyrosine-kinase activity and is involved in the cellular response to GM-CSF, but its role is not yet clarified. To study this problem, the c-fes protooncogene expression has been inhibited in HL60 cells and in fresh leukemic blast cells of Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia (APL) induced to differentiate with All-Trans-Retinoic Acid (ATRA). Inhibition of c-fes function was obtained by treatment of the cells with a specific antisense oligomer complementary to the 5' region of the c-fes mRNA. It was observed that the cells, rather then differentiate to granulocytes, underwent premature cell death showing the morphological and molecular characteristics of apoptosis. Superimposable results are obtained on blast cells from APL. It is possible to conclude that the loss of cell viability that occurs during the in vitro differentiation of myeloid cells, after the complete inhibition of c-fes expression and treatment with ATRA, is due to activation of programmed cell death rather than an accelerated differentiation. Our data suggest that the c-fes product is essential for the survival of myeloid cells during differentiation.

Original languageEnglish
Issue numberSUPPL.1
Publication statusPublished - 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Cancer Research


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