The transcription factor Wilms' tumor gene 1, WT1, is implicated both in normal developmental processes and in the generation of a variety of solid tumors and hematological malignancies. Physical interactions of other cellular proteins with WT1 are known to modulate its function. We previously identified the Krüppel-like zinc-finger protein, ZNF224, as a novel human WT1-associating protein that enhances the transcriptional activation of the human vitamin D receptor promoter by WT1. Here, we have analyzed the effects of WT1-ZNF224 interaction on the expression of apoptosis-regulating genes in the chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) K562 cell line. The results demonstrated that ZNF224 acts in fine tuning of WT1-dependent control of gene expression, acting as a co-activator of WT1 in the regulation of proapoptotic genes and suppressing WT1 mediated transactivation of antiapoptotitc genes. Moreover, the DNA damaging drug cytosine arabinoside (ara-C) induces expression of ZNF224 in K562 cells and this induction enhances cell apoptotic response to ara-C. These findings suggest that ZNF224 can be a mediator of DNA damage-induced apoptosis in leukemia cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology