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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Embryonic lethality and impairment of haematopoiesis in mice heterozygous for an AML1-ETO fusion gene.

Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) is a major haematopoietic malignancy characterized by the proliferation of a malignant clone of myeloid progenitor cells. A reciprocal translocation, t(8;21)(q22;q22), observed in the leukaemic cells of approximately 40% of patients with the M2 subtype of AML disrupts both the AML1 (CBFA2) gene on chromosome 21 and the ETO ( MTG8) gene on chromosome 8 (refs 3-5). A chimaeric protein is synthesized from one of the derivative chromosomes that contains the N terminus of the AML1 transcription factor, including its DNA-binding domain, fused to most of ETO, a protein of unknown function. We generated mice that mimic human t(8;21) with a "knock-in' strategy. Mice heterozygous for an AML1-ETO allele (AML1-ETO/+) die in midgestation from haemorrhaging in the central nervous system and exhibit a severe block in fetal liver haematopoiesis. This phenotype is very similar to that resulting from homozygous disruption of the AML1 ( Cbfa2) or Cbfb genes, indicating that AML1-ETO blocks normal AML1 function. However, yolk sac cells from AML1-ETO/+ mice differentiated into macrophages in haematopoietic colony forming unit (CFU) assays, unlike Cbfa2-/- or Cbfb-/-cells, which form no colonies in vitro. This indicates that AML1-ETO may have other functions besides blocking wild-type AML1, a property that may be important in leukaemogenesis.[1]


  1. Embryonic lethality and impairment of haematopoiesis in mice heterozygous for an AML1-ETO fusion gene. Yergeau, D.A., Hetherington, C.J., Wang, Q., Zhang, P., Sharpe, A.H., Binder, M., Marín-Padilla, M., Tenen, D.G., Speck, N.A., Zhang, D.E. Nat. Genet. (1997) [Pubmed]
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