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

Bcr: a negative regulator of the Bcr-Abl oncoprotein.

Chronic myelogenous leukemia is typically characterized by the presence of the Philadelphia chromosome (Ph) in which 5' portions of the BCR gene are fused to a large portion of the ABL gene. Our studies and those of others indicate that Bcr sequences within the Bcr-Abl oncoprotein are critically involved in activating the Abl tyrosine kinase and actively participate in the oncogenic response, which is generated by the Bcr-Abl oncoprotein. We investigated the role of the Bcr protein in the oncogenic effects of Bcr-Abl. Reduction of the level of the Bcr protein by incubating cells with a 3' BCR anti-sense oligodeoxynucleotide increased the growth rate and survival of hematopoietic cell lines expressing Bcr-Abl. Also, enforced expression of Bcr in Bcr-Abl cell lines strongly reduced transformation efficiency. Induction of Bcr expression drastically reduced the phosphotyrosine content of Bcr-Abl in Rat-1 fibroblasts transformed by P185 BCR-ABL and in hematopoietic cells expressing P210 Bcr-Abl within days following induction of Bcr. Rat-1/P185 cells maintained for three weeks after Bcr induction had dramatically reduced amounts of phosphotyrosine proteins compared to cells in which Bcr expression was repressed by the addition of Tet. In contrast Bcr expression did not decrease the phosphotyrosine content of either v-Src or activated Neu tyrosine kinase. Importantly, the phosphotyrosine content of total P160 BCR (induced plus endogenous) was strongly reduced by inducing expression of Bcr, indicating that the induced Bcr protein was not a target of the tyrosine kinase activity of Bcr-Abl but instead functioned as an inhibitor of Bcr-Abl. These results show that the Bcr protein can function as a negative regulator of Bcr-Abl, but that the inhibitory effects of Bcr are dependent on achieving an elevated level of Bcr expression relative to Bcr-Abl.[1]


  1. Bcr: a negative regulator of the Bcr-Abl oncoprotein. Wu, Y., Ma, G., Lu, D., Lin, F., Xu, H.J., Liu, J., Arlinghaus, R.B. Oncogene (1999) [Pubmed]
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