Expression of a truncated first exon BCR sequence in chronic myelogenous leukemia cells blocks cell growth and induces cell death
We have shown that a deletion mutant form of Bcr [Bcr(64-413)] is a strong inhibitor of the tyrosine kinase of Bcr-Abl in vitro and also inhibits its oncogenic growth effects (Liu et al., Cancer Res., 56: 5120-5124, 1996). To determine the effects of this Bcr-Abl kinase inhibitor on chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) cells, we cloned BCR(64-413) into a recombinant, replication-defective adenovirus to express useful quantities of Bcr(64-413) in a wide variety of cells in culture. Infection of
... re. Infection of Cos1 cells with plaque-purified virus at a multiplicity of infection of 20-40 induced high expression of Bcr(64-413) as detected by Western blotting. Infection of hematopoietic cells at modest multiplicities of infection (20-40) required special conditions involving shifting cycling cells to a nongrowing condition involving serum starvation and cell crowding. Under these conditions, both Bcr-Abl-positive and -negative hematopoietic cells can be efficiently infected by adenovirus, as demonstrated by 5-bromo-4-chloro-3-indolyl-beta-D-galactopyranoside staining of cells infected by beta-galactosidase (beta-GAL) adenovirus. We found that expression of Bcr(64-413) in Bcr-Abl-positive K562 and BV-173 cells, but not Bcr-Abl-negative SMS-SB cells, increased cell-cell clumping and inhibited cell growth. In contrast to the effects of the Bcr(64-413) adenovirus, the beta-GAL adenovirus, despite infecting both types of cells, did not block growth or increase cell-cell clumping of Bcr-Abl-positive and -negative hematopoietic cells. Expression of Bcr(64-413) protein in primary cultures of cells from CML patients with active disease interfered with cell growth, induced apoptosis (as measured by annexin staining), and increased cell-cell clumping, whereas the beta-GAL adenovirus and mock-infected cells lacked these effects. In contrast, normal marrow cells did not exhibit these effects on infection with Bcr(64-413) adenovirus. We conclude from these findings that Bcr(64-413) interferes with the oncogenic effects of Bcr-Abl and therefore has the potential for use in therapy of CML.