c-Myb, the cellular homologue of the transforming gene of the avian myeloblastosis virus, is preferentially expressed in all hematopoietic lineages, including T and B lymphocyte lineages. In T lymphocytes, c-Myb expression appears to be required for cell cycle progression and proliferation. To further investigate the role of c-Myb in T cell proliferation and survival, interleukin (IL) 2-dependent CTLL-2 cells were transfected with a constitutively active c-myb or with a c-myb antisense construct able to down-regulate endogenous Myb levels, and the transfectants were assessed for proliferation and survival in low concentrations of IL-2 and for susceptibility to dexamethasone-induced apoptosis. Compared with control cells, CTLL-2 cells constitutively expressing c-Myb proliferate in low concentrations of IL-2 and are less susceptible to apoptosis induced by IL-2 deprivation or treatment with dexamethasone. In contrast, cells transfected with an antisense c-myb construct do not proliferate in low concentrations of IL-2 and undergo apoptosis upon IL-2 deprivation or dexamethasone treatment more rapidly than parental cells. Overexpression of c-Myb was accompanied by up-regulation of BCL-2 expression. In transient transfection assays, the murine bcl-2 promoter was efficiently transactivated by c-Myb, but such effect was observed also in cells transfected with a DNA binding-deficient c-myb construct. Moreover, in gel retardation assays, a 38- bp oligomer in the shortest bcl-2 promoter segment regulated by c-Myb formed a specific complex with nuclear extracts from c-Myb-transfected CTLL-2 cells. Thus, these results strongly suggest that c-Myb, in addition to regulating T cell proliferation, protects T lymphocytes from apoptosis by induction of BCL-2 expression, which involves a c-Myb-dependent mechanism of promoter regulation.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|Publication status||Published - Apr 1 1997|
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