Gene Summary

Gene:CSF3R; colony stimulating factor 3 receptor (granulocyte)
Aliases: CD114, GCSFR
Summary:The protein encoded by this gene is the receptor for colony stimulating factor 3, a cytokine that controls the production, differentiation, and function of granulocytes. The encoded protein, which is a member of the family of cytokine receptors, may also function in some cell surface adhesion or recognition processes. Alternatively spliced transcript variants have been described. Mutations in this gene are a cause of Kostmann syndrome, also known as severe congenital neutropenia. [provided by RefSeq, Aug 2010]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:granulocyte colony-stimulating factor receptor
Source:NCBIAccessed: 17 August, 2015


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (9)
Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
Show (3)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
Graph generated 17 August 2015 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

  • Stimulation, Chemical
  • Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor
  • Childhood Cancer
  • Up-Regulation
  • Thrombopoietin
  • Base Sequence
  • Androgen Receptors
  • Y Chromosome
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae
  • Neoplastic Cell Transformation
  • Stromal Cells
  • Bladder Cancer
  • Signal Transduction
  • Acute Myeloid Leukaemia
  • Tumor Markers
  • Transfection
  • TNF
  • T-Cell Antigen Receptors
  • Serine Endopeptidases
  • Apoptosis
  • Mutation
  • Ubiquitin
  • Myeloid Leukemia
  • Point Mutation
  • U937 Cells
  • Cell Division
  • Receptors, Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor
  • Neutropenia
  • Messenger RNA
  • Receptors, Colony-Stimulating Factor
  • Chromosome 1
  • Restriction Mapping
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2
  • Transduction
  • Transcription
  • Estrogen Receptors
  • Translocation
  • Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Leukaemia
Tag cloud generated 17 August, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (3)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: CSF3R (cancer-related)

Gutknecht MF, Bouton AH
Functional significance of mononuclear phagocyte populations generated through adult hematopoiesis.
J Leukoc Biol. 2014; 96(6):969-80 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
Tissue homeostasis requires a complete repertoire of functional macrophages in peripheral tissues. Recent evidence indicates that many resident tissue macrophages are seeded during embryonic development and persist through adulthood as a consequence of localized proliferation. Mononuclear phagocytes are also produced during adult hematopoiesis; these cells are then recruited to sites throughout the body, where they function in tissue repair and remodeling, resolution of inflammation, maintenance of homeostasis, and disease progression. The focus of this review is on mononuclear phagocytes that comprise the nonresident monocyte/macrophage populations in the body. Key features of monocyte differentiation are presented, focusing primarily on the developmental hierarchy that is established through this process, the markers used to identify discrete cell populations, and novel, functional attributes of these cells. These features are then explored in the context of the tumor microenvironment, where mononuclear phagocytes exhibit extensive plasticity in phenotype and function.

Zhang X, Blaskovich MA, Forinash KD, Sebti SM
Withacnistin inhibits recruitment of STAT3 and STAT5 to growth factor and cytokine receptors and induces regression of breast tumours.
Br J Cancer. 2014; 111(5):894-902 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 26/08/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The binding of STAT3 and STAT5 to growth factor and cytokine receptors such as EGFR and IL-6 receptor gp130 is critical to their activation and ability to contribute to malignant transformation. Therefore, interfering with these biochemical processes could lead to the discovery of novel anticancer agents.
METHODS: Co-immunoprecipitation, western blotting, microscopy, DNA binding, invasion, and soft agar assays as well as a mouse model were used to investigate the mechanism by which the natural product Withacnistin (Wit) inhibits STAT 3/5 tyrosine phosphoryaltion and activation.
RESULTS: Wit blocks EGF- and IL-6-stimulated binding of STAT3 and STAT5 to EGFR and gp130. Wit inhibits EGF-, PDGF-, IL-6-, IFNβ-, and GM-CSF-stimulation of tyrosine phosphorylation of STAT3 and STAT5 but not of EGFR or PDGFR. The inhibition of P-STAT3 and P-STAT5 occurred rapidly, within minutes of Wit treatment and growth factor stimulation. Wit also inhibits STAT3 nuclear translocation, DNA binding, promoter transcriptional activation, and it suppresses the expression levels of STAT3 target genes such as Bcl-xL and Mcl-1. Finally, Wit induces apoptosis, inhibits anchorage-dependent and -independent growth and invasion, and causes breast tumour regression in an ErbB2-driven transgenic mouse model.
CONCLUSIONS: These data warrant further development of Wit as a novel anticancer drug for targeting tumours that harbour hyperactivated STAT3 and STAT5.

Yano M, Imamura T, Asai D, et al.
An overall characterization of pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia with CRLF2 overexpression.
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2014; 53(10):815-23 [PubMed] Related Publications
For an overall characterization of pediatric B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (BCPALL) with CRLF2 overexpression (OE), we conducted genetic analysis of CRLF2 in 167 pediatric BCPALL patients. CRLF2 OE was detected in 30 (18%) of 167 patients, the P2RY8-CRLF2 fusion was identified in only 3 (1.8%) of 167 patients, all of which demonstrated CRLF2 OE. Moreover, CRLF2 gain was identified in 18 (11%) of 167 patients. Messenger RNA sequencing revealed a novel fusion transcript, CSF2RA-CRLF2, in a case with CRLF2 OE, suggesting that this fusion is associated with CRLF2 OE. In survival analysis, no significant differences in 5-year event-free survival (EFS) and overall survival were observed between patients with and without CRLF2 OE (70.7 vs. 75.4%, log rank P = 0.68 and 96.4 vs. 82.1%, log rank P = 0.11, respectively). However, a significant difference in 5-year EFS between CRLF2 OE patients with and without IKZF1 deletion was observed (44.4 vs. 83.1%, log rank P = 0.02). In multivariate analysis, only IKZF1 deletion was a significant predictor of inferior OS (hazard ratio: 2.427, P = 0.04).These findings suggest that CRLF2 OE is not an independent prognostic factor in pediatric BCPALL.

Li P, Harris D, Liu Z, et al.
STAT3-activated GM-CSFRα translocates to the nucleus and protects CLL cells from apoptosis.
Mol Cancer Res. 2014; 12(9):1267-82 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
UNLABELLED: Here, it was determined that chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) cells express the α subunit, but not the β subunit, of the granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor receptor (GM-CSFR/CSF2R). GM-CSFRα was detected on the surface, in the cytosol, and in the nucleus of CLL cells via confocal microscopy, cell fractionation, and GM-CSFRα antibody epitope mapping. Because STAT3 is frequently activated in CLL and the GM-CSFRα promoter harbors putative STAT3 consensus binding sites, MM1 cells were transfected with truncated forms of the GM-CSFRα promoter, then stimulated with IL6 to activate STAT3 and to identify STAT3-binding sites. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) and an electoromobility shift assay (EMSA) confirmed STAT3 occupancy to those promoter regions in both IL6-stimulated MM1 and CLL cells. Transfection of MM1 cells with STAT3-siRNA or CLL cells with STAT3-shRNA significantly downregulated GM-CSFRα mRNA and protein levels. RNA transcripts, involved in regulating cell survival pathways, and the proteins KAP1 (TRIM28) and ISG15 coimmunoprecipitated with GM-CSFRα. GM-CSFRα-bound KAP1 enhanced the transcriptional activity of STAT3, whereas GM-CSFRα-bound ISG15 inhibited the NF-κB pathway. Nevertheless, overexpression of GM-CSFRα protected MM1 cells from dexamethasone-induced apoptosis, and GM-CSFRα knockdown induced apoptosis in CLL cells, suggesting that GM-CSFRα provides a ligand-independent survival advantage.
IMPLICATIONS: Constitutively, activation of STAT3 induces the expression of GM-CSFRα that protects CLL cells from apoptosis, suggesting that inhibition of STAT3 or GM-CSFRα may benefit patients with CLL.

Szmigielska-Kaplon A, Szemraj J, Hamara K, et al.
Polymorphism of CD44 influences the efficacy of CD34(+) cells mobilization in patients with hematological malignancies.
Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2014; 20(7):986-91 [PubMed] Related Publications
In the last decade, peripheral blood was the main source of hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) for autologous and allogeneic transplantation. The exact mechanisms of HSC mobilization are still not clear and the efficacy of the procedure is hardly predictable. Ligand-receptor interactions of adhesion molecules, such as SDF1/CXCR4, VLA4/VCAM-1, or CD44/osteopontin, play an important role in homing of HSC in the hematopoietic niche. There is some evidence that disruption of the ligand-receptor complex leads to the egress of HSCs to the peripheral blood. The aim of the present study was the evaluation of constitutive polymorphism of genes encoding cytokines and receptors present in the HSC niche and their impact on the efficacy of mobilization of HSCs in patients with hematological malignancies. We enrolled 110 patients (60 females and 50 males) in the study. The median age of the patients was 55 (range, 22 to 69) years. The group consisted of patients with multiple myeloma (n = 74), non-Hodgkin lymphoma (n = 19), Hodgkin lymphoma (n = 15), or acute myeloid leukemia (n = 2). The mobilization procedures comprised chemotherapy and subsequent granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) at a dose of 10 μg/kg daily. The poor mobilizers group was defined according to Italian National Bone Marrow Transplant Registry criteria: patients with peak CD34(+) in the peripheral blood < 20/μL or total yield < 2 × 10(6) CD34(+) cells/kg body weight in maximum 3 aphereses. Genotyping was performed using standard PCR-based assays. The group of patients (N = 108) who achieved minimal threshold for collections (CD34(+) at least 10/μL) proceeded to apheresis. The median total yield of CD34(+) in this group was 5.6 × 10(6) cells/kg body weight, whereas the median number of cells collected during the first apheresis was 3.3 × 10(6) cells/kg body weight. Median number of days of G-CSF treatment before first apheresis was 10. Fifteen patients fulfilled the criteria for poor mobilizer. The group of poor mobilizers had higher frequency of TT genotype in rs13347 (CD44) gene (CC+ CT versus TT P = .047). Patients homozygous for T allele had a lower total yield of CD34(+) cells/kg body weight than the group with allele C (median, 3.7 × 10(6)/kg versus 5.8 × 10(6)/kg; P = .019) and a lower number of CD34(+) cells gathered during first apheresis (.95 × 10(6)/kg versus 3.3 × 10(6)/kg, P = .04). Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that the CD44 TT genotype was the only factor associated with 5-fold higher risk of poor mobilization (P = .037). Polymorphic variants of CXCR4 and VCAM-1 did not significantly influence the efficacy of HSCs mobilization in our group of patients. In conclusion, our results indicate that among investigated single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), only CD44 rs13347 has an impact on the efficacy of HSCs mobilization in patients with hematologic malignancies. CD44 SNPs analysis may be helpful for predicting the poor mobilizers population who may benefit from newer modalities using adhesion molecules inhibitors.

Duan C, Liu X, Liang S, et al.
Oestrogen receptor-mediated expression of Olfactomedin 4 regulates the progression of endometrial adenocarcinoma.
J Cell Mol Med. 2014; 18(5):863-74 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
Endometrial adenocarcinoma is the most common tumour of the female genital tract in developed countries, and oestrogen receptor (ER) signalling plays a pivotal role in its pathogenesis. When we used bioinformatics tools to search for the genes contributing to gynecological cancers, the expression of Olfactomedin 4 (OLFM4) was found by digital differential display to be associated with differentiation of endometrial adenocarcinoma. Aberrant expression of OLFM4 has been primarily reported in tumours of the digestive system. The mechanism of OLFM4 in tumuorigenesis is elusive. We investigated OLFM4 expression in endometrium, analysed the association of OLFM4 with ER signalling in endometrial adenocarcinoma, and examined the roles of OLFM4 in endometrial adenocarcinoma. Expression of OLFM4 was increased during endometrial carcinogenesis, linked to the differentiation of endometrioid adenocarcinoma, and positively related to the expression of oestrogen receptor-α (ERα) and progesterone receptor. Moreover, ERα-mediated signalling regulated expression of OLFM4, and knockdown of OLFM4 enhanced proliferation, migration and invasion of endometrial carcinoma cells. Down-regulation of OLFM4 was associated with decreased cumulative survival rate of patients with endometrioid adenocarcinoma. Our data suggested that impairment of ERα signal-mediated OLFM4 expression promoted the malignant progression of endometrioid adenocarcinoma, which may have significance for the therapy of this carcinoma.

Helm O, Held-Feindt J, Grage-Griebenow E, et al.
Tumor-associated macrophages exhibit pro- and anti-inflammatory properties by which they impact on pancreatic tumorigenesis.
Int J Cancer. 2014; 135(4):843-61 [PubMed] Related Publications
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) still ranking 4th in the order of fatal tumor diseases is characterized by a profound tumor stroma with high numbers of tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs). Driven by environmental factors, monocytes differentiate into M1- or M2-macrophages, the latter commonly regarded as being protumorigenic. Because a detailed analysis of TAMs in human PDAC development is still lacking, freshly isolated PDAC-derived TAMs were analyzed for their phenotype and impact on epithelial-mesenchymal-transition (EMT) of benign (H6c7) and malignant (Colo357) pancreatic ductal epithelial cells. TAMs exhibited characteristics of M1-macrophages (expression of HLA-DR, IL-1β, or TNF-α) and M2-macrophages (expression of CD163 and IL-10). In the presence of TAMs, H6c7, and Colo357 cells showed an elongated cell shape along with an increased expression of mesenchymal markers such as vimentin and reduced expression of epithelial E-cadherin. Similar to TAMs, in vitro generated M1- and M2-macrophages both mediated EMT in H6c7 and Colo357 cells. M1-macrophages acquired M2-characteristics during coculture that could be prevented by GM-CSF treatment. However, M1-macrophages still potently induced EMT in H6c7 and Colo357 cells although lacking M2-characteristics. Overall, these data demonstrate that TAMs exhibit anti- as well as proinflammatory properties that equally contribute to EMT induction in PDAC initiation and development.

Sobolik T, Su YJ, Wells S, et al.
CXCR4 drives the metastatic phenotype in breast cancer through induction of CXCR2 and activation of MEK and PI3K pathways.
Mol Biol Cell. 2014; 25(5):566-82 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
Aberrant expression of CXCR4 in human breast cancer correlates with metastasis to tissues secreting CXCL12. To understand the mechanism by which CXCR4 mediates breast cancer metastasis, MCF-7 breast carcinoma cells were transduced to express wild-type CXCR4 (CXCR4WT) or constitutively active CXCR4 (CXCR4ΔCTD) and analyzed in two-dimensional (2D) cultures, three-dimensional reconstituted basement membrane (3D rBM) cultures, and mice using intravital imaging. Two-dimensional cultures of MCF-7 CXCR4ΔCTD cells, but not CXCR4WT, exhibited an epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) characterized by up-regulation of zinc finger E box-binding homeobox 1, loss of E-cadherin, up-regulation of cadherin 11, p120 isoform switching, activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2, and matrix metalloproteinase-2. In contrast to the 2D environment, MCF-7 CXCR4WT cells cultured in 3D rBM exhibited an EMT phenotype, accompanied by expression of CXCR2, CXCR7, CXCL1, CXCL8, CCL2, interleukin-6, and granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor. Dual inhibition of CXCR2 with CXCR4, or inhibition of either receptor with inhibitors of mitogen-activated protein kinase 1 or phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, reversed the aggressive phenotype of MCF-7 CXCR4-expressing or MDA-MB-231 cells in 3D rBM. Intravital imaging of CXCR4-expressing MCF-7 cells revealed that tumor cells migrate toward blood vessels and metastasize to lymph nodes. Thus CXCR4 can drive EMT along with an up-regulation of chemokine receptors and cytokines important in cell migration, lymphatic invasion, and tumor metastasis.

Mahmoud AM, Yang W, Bosland MC
Soy isoflavones and prostate cancer: a review of molecular mechanisms.
J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2014; 140:116-32 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
Soy isoflavones are dietary components for which an association has been demonstrated with reduced risk of prostate cancer (PCa) in Asian populations. However, the exact mechanism by which these isoflavones may prevent the development or progression of PCa is not completely understood. There are a growing number of animal and in vitro studies that have attempted to elucidate these mechanisms. The predominant and most biologically active isoflavones in soy products, genistein, daidzein, equol, and glycetin, inhibit prostate carcinogenesis in some animal models. Cell-based studies show that soy isoflavones regulate genes that control cell cycle and apoptosis. In this review, we discuss the literature relevant to the molecular events that may account for the benefit of soy isoflavones in PCa prevention or treatment. These reports show that although soy isoflavone-induced growth arrest and apoptosis of PCa cells are plausible mechanisms, other chemo protective mechanisms are also worthy of consideration. These possible mechanisms include antioxidant defense, DNA repair, inhibition of angiogenesis and metastasis, potentiation of radio- and chemotherapeutic agents, and antagonism of estrogen- and androgen-mediated signaling pathways. Moreover, other cells in the cancer milieu, such as the fibroblastic stromal cells, endothelial cells, and immune cells, may be targeted by soy isoflavones, which may contribute to soy-mediated prostate cancer prevention. In this review, these mechanisms are discussed along with considerations about the doses and the preclinical models that have been used.

Asmussen J, Lasater EA, Tajon C, et al.
MEK-dependent negative feedback underlies BCR-ABL-mediated oncogene addiction.
Cancer Discov. 2014; 4(2):200-15 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
UNLABELLED: The clinical experience with BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) for the treatment of chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) provides compelling evidence for oncogene addiction. Yet, the molecular basis of oncogene addiction remains elusive. Through unbiased quantitative phosphoproteomic analyses of CML cells transiently exposed to BCR-ABL TKI, we identified persistent downregulation of growth factor receptor (GF-R) signaling pathways. We then established and validated a tissue-relevant isogenic model of BCR-ABL-mediated addiction, and found evidence for myeloid GF-R signaling pathway rewiring that profoundly and persistently dampens physiologic pathway activation. We demonstrate that eventual restoration of ligand-mediated GF-R pathway activation is insufficient to fully rescue cells from a competing apoptotic fate. In contrast to previous work with BRAF(V600E) in melanoma cells, feedback inhibition following BCR-ABL TKI treatment is markedly prolonged, extending beyond the time required to initiate apoptosis. Mechanistically, BCR-ABL-mediated oncogene addiction is facilitated by persistent high levels of MAP-ERK kinase (MEK)-dependent negative feedback.
SIGNIFICANCE: We found that BCR–ABL can confer addiction in vitro by rewiring myeloid GF-R signaling through establishment of MEK-dependent negative feedback. Our findings predict that deeper, more durable responses to targeted agents across a range of malignancies may be facilitated by maintaining negative feedback concurrently with oncoprotein inhibition.

Osaki Y, Yokohama A, Saito A, et al.
Characterization of CD56+ dendritic-like cells: a normal counterpart of blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm?
PLoS One. 2013; 8(11):e81722 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
Blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm (BPDCN) is a rare hematological malignancy. Plasmacytoid DCs (pDCs), which are defined as lineage marker (Lin)(-)HLA-DR(+)CD56(-)CD123(+)CD11c(-) cells, are considered to be the normal counterpart of BPDCNs. However, BPDCN can be distinguished from pDCs by uniform expression of CD56. In this study, to identify a normal counterpart of BPDCN, we searched for a Lin(-)HLA-DR(+)CD56(+) population and focused on a minor subpopulation of Lin(-)DR(+)CD56(+)CD123(+)CD11c(-) cells that we designated as pDC-like cells (pDLCs). pDLC constituted 0.03% of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), and the pDLC/pDC ratio was higher in bone marrow cells than in PBMCs. pDLC clearly expressed BDCA2, BDCA4, and myeloid antigens, which are frequently expressed by BPDCN. pDLCs exhibited modest expression of Toll-like receptors and produced less interferon-α after CpG stimulation, but presented very low endocytic ability unlike mDCs. These functional differences were attributed to the expression profile of transcriptional factors. After in vitro culture with Flt3-ligand and GM-CSF, pDLCs expressed CD11c and BDCA1. These data suggested that pDLCs are a distinct subpopulation, with an immunophenotype similar to BPDCNs. Moreover, our results indicate that pDLCs might be immature DCs and might contribute to the immunophenotypical diversity of BPDCNs.

Peled A, Abraham M, Avivi I, et al.
The high-affinity CXCR4 antagonist BKT140 is safe and induces a robust mobilization of human CD34+ cells in patients with multiple myeloma.
Clin Cancer Res. 2014; 20(2):469-79 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: CXCR4 plays an important role in the retention of stem cells within the bone marrow. BKT140 (4F-benzoyl-TN14003) is a 14-residue bio stable synthetic peptide, which binds CXCR4 with a greater affinity compared with plerixafor (4 vs. 84 nmol/L). Studies in mice demonstrated the efficient and superior mobilization and transplantation of stem cells collected with GCSF-BKT140, compared with those obtained when using stem cells obtained with each one of these mobilizing agent alone. These results have served as a platform for the present clinical phase I study.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Eighteen patients with multiple myeloma who were preparing for their first autologous stem cell transplantation were included. Patients received a standard multiple myeloma mobilization regimen, consisting of 3 to 4 g/m(2) cyclophosphamide (day 0), followed by granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) at 5 μg/kg/d starting on day 5 and administered between 8 and 10 pm until the end of stem cell collection. A single injection of BKT140 (0.006, 0.03, 0.1, 0.3, and 0.9 mg/kg) was administered subcutaneously on day 10 in the early morning, followed by G-CSF 12 hours later.
RESULTS: BKT140 was well tolerated at all concentrations, and none of the patients developed grade 3 and 4 toxicity. A single administration of BKT140 at the highest dose, 0.9 mg/kg, resulted in a robust mobilization and collection of CD34(+) cells (20.6 ± 6.9 × 10(6)/kg), which were obtained through a single apheresis. All transplanted patients received ∼5.3 × 10(6) CD34(+) cells/kg, which rapidly engrafted (n = 17). The median time to neutrophil and platelet recovery was 12 and 14 days, respectively, at the highest dose (0.9 mg/kg).
CONCLUSIONS: When combined with G-CSF, BKT140 is a safe and efficient stem cell mobilizer that enabled the collection of a high number of CD34(+) cells in 1 and 2 aphaeresis procedures, resulting in successful engraftment.

Mehta HM, Futami M, Glaubach T, et al.
Alternatively spliced, truncated GCSF receptor promotes leukemogenic properties and sensitivity to JAK inhibition.
Leukemia. 2014; 28(5):1041-51 [PubMed] Related Publications
Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (GCSF) drives the production of myeloid progenitor and precursor cells toward neutrophils via the GCSF receptor (GCSFR, gene name CSF3R). Children with severe congenital neutropenia chronically receive pharmacologic doses of GCSF, and ∼30% will develop myelodysplasia/acute myeloid leukemia (AML) associated with GCSFR truncation mutations. In addition to mutations, multiple isoforms of CSF3R have also been reported. We found elevated expression of the alternatively spliced isoform, class IV CSF3R in adult myelodysplastic syndrome/AML patients. Aside from its association with monosomy 7 and higher rates of relapse in pediatric AML patients, little is known about the biology of the class IV isoform. We found developmental regulation of CSF3R isoforms with the class IV expression more representative of a progenitor cell stage. Striking differences were found in phosphoprotein signaling involving Janus kinase (JAK)-signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) and cell cycle gene expression. Enhanced proliferation by class IV GCSFR was associated with diminished STAT3 and STAT5 activation, yet showed sensitivity to JAK2 inhibitors. Alterations in the C-terminal domain of the GCSFR result in leukemic properties of enhanced growth, impaired differentiation and resistance to apoptosis, suggesting that they can behave as oncogenic drivers, sensitive to JAK2 inhibition.

Cazzola M, Della Porta MG, Malcovati L
The genetic basis of myelodysplasia and its clinical relevance.
Blood. 2013; 122(25):4021-34 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
Myelodysplasia is a diagnostic feature of myelodysplastic syndromes (MDSs) but is also found in other myeloid neoplasms. Its molecular basis has been recently elucidated by means of massive parallel sequencing studies. About 90% of MDS patients carry ≥1 oncogenic mutations, and two thirds of them are found in individuals with a normal karyotype. Driver mutant genes include those of RNA splicing (SF3B1, SRSF2, U2AF1, and ZRSR2), DNA methylation (TET2, DNMT3A, and IDH1/2), chromatin modification (ASXL1 and EZH2), transcription regulation (RUNX1), DNA repair (TP53), signal transduction (CBL, NRAS, and KRAS), and cohesin complex (STAG2). Only 4 to 6 genes are consistently mutated in ≥10% MDS patients, whereas a long tail of ∼50 genes are mutated less frequently. At presentation, most patients typically have 2 or 3 driver oncogenic mutations and hundreds of background mutations. MDS driver genes are also frequently mutated in other myeloid neoplasms. Reliable genotype/phenotype relationships include the association of the SF3B1 mutation with refractory anemia with ring sideroblasts, TET2/SRSF2 comutation with chronic myelomonocytic leukemia, and activating CSF3R mutation with chronic neutrophilic leukemia. Although both founding and subclonal driver mutations have been shown to have prognostic significance, prospective clinical trials that include the molecular characterization of the patient's genome are now needed.

Millrud CR, Kvarnhammar AM, Tajti J, et al.
Nod-like receptors in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.
Acta Otolaryngol. 2013; 133(12):1333-44 [PubMed] Related Publications
CONCLUSION: The capability of Nod1 to recognize bacteria along with its altered expression and ability to cause an immunological response in head and neck cancer suggest a novel pathway for bacteria to interfere with ongoing cancer inflammation.
OBJECTIVE: Nucleotide oligomerization domain (Nod)-like receptors (NLRs) comprise a recently discovered family of pattern-recognition receptors. In addition to their protective function against infections, accumulating evidence suggests a role for these receptors in various diseases, including cancer. The present study was designed to explore the presence of NLRs in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, and to determine if these cells have the ability to respond immunologically to ligand stimulation.
METHODS: The pharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma cell lines Detroit-562 and FaDu were used as a model for head and neck cancer, and compared to healthy primary human nasal epithelial cells. Analyses were performed using immunohistochemistry, real-time RT-PCR, Luminex Multiplex Immunoassay, ELISA, and flow cytometry.
RESULTS: The expression profile of NLRs in head and neck cancer cells differed from that seen in healthy epithelial cells. Further, Nod1 stimulation induced an immunological response in tumor cells that differed from the response in normal epithelial cells, especially regarding the expression of β-defensin 2, granulocyte monocyte colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF), granulocyte colony stimulating factor (G-CSF), intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), and cell survival.

Gallipoli P, Pellicano F, Morrison H, et al.
Autocrine TNF-α production supports CML stem and progenitor cell survival and enhances their proliferation.
Blood. 2013; 122(19):3335-9 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) stem cells are not dependent on BCR-ABL kinase for their survival, suggesting that kinase-independent mechanisms must contribute to their persistence. We observed that CML stem/progenitor cells (SPCs) produce tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) in a kinase-independent fashion and at higher levels relative to their normal counterparts. We therefore investigated the role of TNF-α and found that it supports survival of CML SPCs by promoting nuclear factor κB/p65 pathway activity and expression of the interleukin 3 and granulocyte/macrophage-colony stimulating factor common β-chain receptor. Furthermore, we demonstrate that in CML SPCs, inhibition of autocrine TNF-α signaling via a small-molecule TNF-α inhibitor induces apoptosis. Moreover TNF-α inhibition combined with nilotinib induces significantly more apoptosis relative to either treatment alone and a reduction in the absolute number of primitive quiescent CML stem cells. These results highlight a novel survival mechanism of CML SPCs and suggest a new putative therapeutic target for their eradication.

Kohanbash G, McKaveney K, Sakaki M, et al.
GM-CSF promotes the immunosuppressive activity of glioma-infiltrating myeloid cells through interleukin-4 receptor-α.
Cancer Res. 2013; 73(21):6413-23 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
Malignant gliomas are lethal cancers in the brain and heavily infiltrated by myeloid cells. Interleukin-4 receptor-α (IL-4Rα) mediates the immunosuppressive functions of myeloid cells, and polymorphisms in the IL-4Rα gene are associated with altered glioma risk and prognosis. In this study, we sought to evaluate a hypothesized causal role for IL-4Rα and myeloid suppressor cells in glioma development. In both mouse de novo gliomas and human glioblastoma cases, IL-4Rα was upregulated on glioma-infiltrating myeloid cells but not in the periphery or in normal brain. Mice genetically deficient for IL-4Rα exhibited a slower growth of glioma associated with reduced production in the glioma microenvironment of arginase, a marker of myeloid suppressor cells, which is critical for their T-cell inhibitory function. Supporting this result, investigations using bone marrow-derived myeloid cells showed that IL-4Rα mediates IL-13-induced production of arginase. Furthermore, glioma-derived myeloid cells suppressed T-cell proliferation in an IL-4Rα-dependent manner, consistent with their identification as myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC). Granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) plays a central role for the induction of IL-4Rα expression on myeloid cells, and we found that GM-CSF is upregulated in both human and mouse glioma microenvironments compared with normal brain or peripheral blood samples. Together, our findings establish a GM-CSF-induced mechanism of immunosuppression in the glioma microenvironment via upregulation of IL-4Rα on MDSCs.

Xu L, Zheng J, Nguyen DH, et al.
Enhancing whole-tumor cell vaccination by engaging innate immune system through NY-ESO-1/dendritic cell interactions.
J Immunother. 2013; 36(8):412-22 [PubMed] Related Publications
NY-ESO-1 is a cancer/germline antigen (Ag) with distinctively strong immunogenicity. We have previously demonstrated that NY-ESO-1 serves as an endogenous adjuvant by engaging dendritic cell (DC)-surface receptors of calreticulin (CRT) and toll-like receptor (TLR) 4. In the present study, NY-ESO-1 was investigated for its immunomodulatory roles as a molecular adjuvant in whole-tumor cell vaccines using the Renca kidney cancer model. Renca cells were genetically engineered to express NY-ESO-1 on the cell surface to enhance direct interactions with DC. The effect of ectopic cell-surface expression of NY-ESO-1 was investigated on tumor immunogenicity, DC activation, cytotoxic T lymphocytes against model tumor-associated Ags, and the effectiveness of the modified tumor cells as a therapeutic whole-cell vaccine. Cell-surface expression of NY-ESO-1 was able to reduce the tumor growth of Renca cells in BALB/c mice, although the modification did not alter cell proliferation rate in vitro. Directly engaging the innate immune system through NY-ESO-1 facilitated the interaction of tumor cells with DC, leading to enhanced DC activation and subsequent tumor-specific T-cell priming. When used as a therapeutic whole-cell vaccine, Renca cells with NY-ESO-1 on the surface mediated stronger inhibitory effects on tumor growth and metastasis compared with parental Renca or Renca cells expressing a control protein GFP on the surface. Augmented antitumor efficacy correlated with increased CD8 T-cell infiltration into tumors and decreased myeloid-derived suppressor cells and regulatory T cells in the spleen. As a cancer/germline Ag and as an immunomodulatory adjuvant through engaging innate immune receptors, NY-ESO-1 offers a unique opportunity for improved whole-tumor cell vaccinations upon the classic GM-CSF-engineered cell vaccines.

Orecchioni S, Gregato G, Martin-Padura I, et al.
Complementary populations of human adipose CD34+ progenitor cells promote growth, angiogenesis, and metastasis of breast cancer.
Cancer Res. 2013; 73(19):5880-91 [PubMed] Related Publications
Obesity is associated with an increased frequency, morbidity, and mortality of several types of neoplastic diseases, including postmenopausal breast cancer. We found that human adipose tissue contains two populations of progenitors with cooperative roles in breast cancer. CD45(-)CD34(+)CD31(+)CD13(-)CCRL2(+) endothelial cells can generate mature endothelial cells and capillaries. Their cancer-promoting effect in the breast was limited in the absence of CD45(-)CD34(+)CD31(-)CD13(+)CD140b(+) mesenchymal progenitors/adipose stromal cells (ASC), which generated pericytes and were more efficient than endothelial cells in promoting local tumor growth. Both endothelial cells and ASCs induced epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) gene expression in luminal breast cancer cells. Endothelial cells (but not ASCs) migrated to lymph nodes and to contralateral nascent breast cancer lesions where they generated new vessels. In vitro and in vivo, endothelial cells were more efficient than ASCs in promoting tumor migration and in inducing metastases. Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) effectively mobilized endothelial cells (but not ASCs), and the addition of chemotherapy and/or of CXCR4 inhibitors did not increase endothelial cell or ASC blood mobilization. Our findings suggest that adipose tissue progenitor cells cooperate in driving progression and metastatic spread of breast cancer.

CSF3R is mutated in chronic neutrophilic leukemia and atypical CML.
Cancer Discov. 2013; 3(7):OF23 [PubMed] Related Publications
Colony-stimulating factor 3 receptor (CSF3R) is mutated in 59% of CNL or atypical CML cases.

Klingemann HG
Cellular therapy of cancer with natural killer cells-where do we stand?
Cytotherapy. 2013; 15(10):1185-94 [PubMed] Related Publications
Although T-lymphocytes have received most of the attention in immunotherapy trials, new discoveries around natural killer (NK) cells suggest that they also should be suitable effector cells for cellular therapy of cancer. In addition to direct cytotoxicity, NK cells produce an array of immune-active cytokines, among them interferons and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor, which places them at the crossroads of innate and adaptive immunity. They also augment monoclonal antibody activity through antibody-mediated cellular cytotoxicity and can be transfected with chimeric antigen receptors. One of the stumbling blocks for NK cell-based therapies has been the inability to predictably obtain and expand larger numbers from donors, but also to achieve sufficiently high transfection efficiency of target genes. The first clinical trials with NK cells suggest some benefit, but more definite evidence is needed to justify this relatively expensive treatment.

Hsu DM, Agarwal S, Benham A, et al.
G-CSF receptor positive neuroblastoma subpopulations are enriched in chemotherapy-resistant or relapsed tumors and are highly tumorigenic.
Cancer Res. 2013; 73(13):4134-46 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
Neuroblastoma is a neural crest-derived embryonal malignancy, which accounts for 13% of all pediatric cancer mortality, primarily due to tumor recurrence. Therapy-resistant cancer stem cells are implicated in tumor relapse, but definitive phenotypic evidence of the existence of these cells has been lacking. In this study, we define a highly tumorigenic subpopulation in neuroblastoma with stem cell characteristics, based on the expression of CSF3R, which encodes the receptor for granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF). G-CSF receptor positive (aka G-CSFr(+) or CD114(+)) cells isolated from a primary tumor and the NGP cell line by flow cytometry were highly tumorigenic and capable of both self-renewal and differentiation to progeny cells. CD114(+) cells closely resembled embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells with respect to their profiles of cell cycle, miRNA, and gene expression. In addition, they reflect a primitive undifferentiated neuroectodermal/neural crest phenotype revealing a developmental hierarchy within neuroblastoma tumors. We detected this dedifferentiated neural crest subpopulation in all established neuroblastoma cell lines, xenograft tumors, and primary tumor specimens analyzed. Ligand activation of CD114 by the addition of exogenous G-CSF to CD114(+) cells confirmed intact STAT3 upregulation, characteristic of G-CSF receptor signaling. Together, our data describe a novel distinct subpopulation within neuroblastoma with enhanced tumorigenicity and a stem cell-like phenotype, further elucidating the complex heterogeneity of solid tumors such as neuroblastoma. We propose that this subpopulation may represent an additional target for novel therapeutic approaches to this aggressive pediatric malignancy.

Maxson JE, Gotlib J, Pollyea DA, et al.
Oncogenic CSF3R mutations in chronic neutrophilic leukemia and atypical CML.
N Engl J Med. 2013; 368(19):1781-90 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The molecular causes of many hematologic cancers remain unclear. Among these cancers are chronic neutrophilic leukemia (CNL) and atypical (BCR-ABL1-negative) chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), both of which are diagnosed on the basis of neoplastic expansion of granulocytic cells and exclusion of genetic drivers that are known to occur in other myeloproliferative neoplasms and myeloproliferative-myelodysplastic overlap neoplasms.
METHODS: To identify potential genetic drivers in these disorders, we used an integrated approach of deep sequencing coupled with the screening of primary leukemia cells obtained from patients with CNL or atypical CML against panels of tyrosine kinase-specific small interfering RNAs or small-molecule kinase inhibitors. We validated candidate oncogenes using in vitro transformation assays, and drug sensitivities were validated with the use of assays of primary-cell colonies.
RESULTS: We identified activating mutations in the gene encoding the receptor for colony-stimulating factor 3 (CSF3R) in 16 of 27 patients (59%) with CNL or atypical CML. These mutations segregate within two distinct regions of CSF3R and lead to preferential downstream kinase signaling through SRC family-TNK2 or JAK kinases and differential sensitivity to kinase inhibitors. A patient with CNL carrying a JAK-activating CSF3R mutation had marked clinical improvement after the administration of the JAK1/2 inhibitor ruxolitinib.
CONCLUSIONS: Mutations in CSF3R are common in patients with CNL or atypical CML and represent a potentially useful criterion for diagnosing these neoplasms. (Funded by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and others.).

Gutschalk CM, Yanamandra AK, Linde N, et al.
GM-CSF enhances tumor invasion by elevated MMP-2, -9, and -26 expression.
Cancer Med. 2013; 2(2):117-29 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
Granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) promotes tumor progression in different tumor models in an autocrine and paracrine manner. However, at the same time GM-CSF is used in cancer therapies to ameliorate neutropenia. We have previously shown in GM-CSF and G-CSF expressing or negative skin or head and neck squamous cell carcinoma that GM-CSF expression is associated with a highly angiogenic and invasive tumor phenotype. To determine the functional contribution of GM-CSF to tumor invasion, we stably transfected a GM-CSF negative colon adenocarcinoma cell line HT-29 with GM-CSF or treated the same cell line with exogenous GM-CSF. While GM-CSF overexpression and treatment reduced tumor cell proliferation and tumor growth in vitro and in vivo, respectively, it contributed to tumor progression. Together with an enhanced migratory capacity in vitro, we observed a striking increase in tumor cell invasion into the surrounding tissue concomitant with the induction of an activated tumor stroma in GM-CSF overexpressing or GM-CSF treated tumors. In a complex 3D in vitro model, enhanced GM-CSF expression was associated with a discontinued basement membrane deposition that might be mediated by the increased expression and activation of MMP-2, -9, and -26. Treatment with GM-CSF blocking antibodies reversed this effect. The increased presence and activity of these tumor cell derived proteases was confirmed in vivo. Here, expression of MMP-26 protein was predominantly located in pre- and early-invasive areas suggesting MMP-26 expression as an early event in promoting GM-CSF dependent tumor invasion.

Xin H, Lu R, Lee H, et al.
G-protein-coupled receptor agonist BV8/prokineticin-2 and STAT3 protein form a feed-forward loop in both normal and malignant myeloid cells.
J Biol Chem. 2013; 288(19):13842-9 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Signaling pathways underlying BV8-mediated oncogenesis remain unknown.
RESULTS: BV8-STAT3 forms a feed-forward loop in both normal and malignant myeloid cells and promotes tumor growth.
CONCLUSION: JAK2/STAT3 signaling plays critical roles in BV8-mediated myeloid cell-dependent oncogenesis.
SIGNIFICANCE: This study identifies a novel role of BV8-STAT3 signaling in mediating cross-talk between tumor microenvironment and tumor cells. An important role of BV8 in mobilization of myeloid cells and myeloid cell-dependent angiogenesis has been established. Recently, it has also been shown that granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF)-induced BV8 expression is STAT3 dependent in CD11b(+)Gr1(+) myeloid cells. However, the BV8 downstream signaling pathway(s) intrinsic to myeloid cells crucial for angiogenesis, and potentially also for development of cancers of myeloid origin, remains largely unknown. Here we show that BV8 activates STAT3, which is critical for regulating genes important for both tumor cell proliferation/survival and tumor angiogenesis, in both normal and malignant myeloid cells. Further, BV8-induced STAT3 activation requires Janus-activated kinase 2 (JAK2) activity as shown by both genetic and pharmacologic inhibition. Knocking down BV8 in human myeloid leukemia cells inhibits STAT3 activity and expression of STAT3 downstream angiogenic and pro-proliferation/survival genes, leading to a decrease in tumor cell viability. BV8 shRNA expressing leukemia cells exhibit reduced STAT3 activity and tumor growth in vivo. Taken together, we have delineated a signaling pathway downstream of BV8 that plays critical roles in both the tumor microenvironment and malignant myeloid cells for angiogenesis and tumor cell proliferation/survival.

Mathew M, Zaineb KC, Verma RS
GM-CSF-DFF40: a novel humanized immunotoxin induces apoptosis in acute myeloid leukemia cells.
Apoptosis. 2013; 18(7):882-95 [PubMed] Related Publications
DNA fragmentation factor 40 (DFF40) is an endonuclease that acts downstream in the apoptotic cascade. The objective of this study was to generate a novel humanized chimeric protein with human DFF40 fused with GM-CSF for targeting acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells. cDNA cloning of human DFF40 and GM-CSF was done and the chimeric gene GM-CSF-DFF40 was generated by overlap extension PCR. The fusion protein was expressed in E.coli, purified, refolded and characterized. In vitro cytotoxicity was evaluated on various AML cell lines. Treated cell lines were screened for various morphological and biochemical changes that are characteristic of apoptosis, by different assays like annexin V-FITC staining, TUNEL assay, JC-1 staining and immunocytochemistry of pro-apoptotic proteins and caspases. Cell cycle analysis of treated cells was done to quantify the percentage of apoptotic cells. The chimeric protein was found to be cytotoxic to AML cells in a dose and time dependent manner. Morphological changes such as formation of apoptotic bodies were revealed by microscopic examination of treated cells after staining. Immunocytochemical staining demonstrated biochemical changes such as changes in mitochondrial membrane potential, mitochondrial co-localization of Bax, cytochrome c release, presence of activated caspase-3 and DNA fragmentation. FACS analysis proved the presence of apoptotic cells following treatment. The chimeric protein GM-CSF-DFF40 was found to mediate targeted killing of AML cells by inducing apoptosis. Thus, this chimeric construct can act as a prospective candidate for targeted therapy of AML and other malignancies where GM-CSF receptor expression is upregulated.

Germeshausen M, Deerberg S, Peter Y, et al.
The spectrum of ELANE mutations and their implications in severe congenital and cyclic neutropenia.
Hum Mutat. 2013; 34(6):905-14 [PubMed] Related Publications
Neutrophil elastase gene (ELANE) mutations are responsible for the majority of cases of severe congenital neutropenia (CN) and cyclic neutropenia (CyN). We screened CN (n = 395) or CyN (n = 92) patients for ELANE mutations and investigated the impact of mutations on mRNA expression, protein expression, and activity. We found 116 different mutations in 162 (41%) CN patients and 26 in 51 (55%) CyN patients, 69 of them were novel. CyN-associated mutations were predicted to be more benign than CN-associated mutations, but the mutation severity largely overlapped. The frequency of acquired CSF3R mutations, malignant transformation, and the need for hematopoietic stem cell transplantation was significantly higher in CN patients with ELANE mutation than in ELANE mutation negative patients. Cellular elastase activity was reduced in neutrophils from CN/CyN patients, irrespective of the mutation status. In CN, enzymatic activity was significantly lower in patients with ELANE mutations compared with those with wild-type ELANE. Despite differences in the spectrum of mutations in CN or CyN, type or localization of mutation only partially determine the clinical phenotype. Specific ELANE mutations have limited predictive value for leukemogenesis; the risk for leukemia was correlated with disease severity rather than with occurrence of an ELANE mutation.

Skokowa J, Welte K
Defective G-CSFR signaling pathways in congenital neutropenia.
Hematol Oncol Clin North Am. 2013; 27(1):75-88, viii [PubMed] Related Publications
Several signaling systems downstream of G-CSFR have been identified that are defective or hyperactivated in myeloid cells of patients with congenital neutropenia: severely reduced expression of myeloid-specific transcription factors LEF-1 and C/EBPα, severely reduced expression and functions of HCLS1 protein, severely reduced expression of neutrophil elastase protein, dramatic compensatory up-regulation of the NAMPT/NAD(+)/SIRT pathway leading to continuous activation of emergency granulopoiesis via the transcription factor C/EBPβ, and hyperactivation of STAT5 protein by tyrosine phosphorylation.

Urdinguio RG, Fernandez AF, Moncada-Pazos A, et al.
Immune-dependent and independent antitumor activity of GM-CSF aberrantly expressed by mouse and human colorectal tumors.
Cancer Res. 2013; 73(1):395-405 [PubMed] Related Publications
Granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF/CSF2) is a cytokine produced in the hematologic compartment that may enhance antitumor immune responses, mainly by activation of dendritic cells. Here, we show that more than one-third of human colorectal tumors exhibit aberrant DNA demethylation of the GM-CSF promoter and overexpress the cytokine. Mouse engraftment experiments with autologous and homologous colon tumors engineered to repress the ectopic secretion of GM-CSF revealed the tumor-secreted GM-CSF to have an immune-associated antitumor effect. Unexpectedly, an immune-independent antitumor effect was observed that depended on the ectopic expression of GM-CSF receptor subunits by tumors. Cancer cells expressing GM-CSF and its receptor did not develop into tumors when autografted into immunocompetent mice. Similarly, 100% of the patients with human colon tumors that overexpressed GM-CSF and its receptor subunits survived at least 5 years after diagnosis. These data suggest that expression of GM-CSF and its receptor subunits by colon tumors may be a useful marker for prognosis as well as for patient stratification in cancer immunotherapy.

Nemoto A, Inukai T, Uno K, et al.
Diverse underlying proliferation response to growth factors in imatinib-treated Philadelphia chromosome-positive leukemias.
Leuk Res. 2013; 37(1):93-101 [PubMed] Related Publications
Since BCR-ABL plays an essential role in the growth factor-independent proliferation of Philadelphia chromosome (Ph)+ leukemia cells, imatinib treatment of Ph+ leukemia cells inactivates signaling pathways of BCR-ABL, and subsequent addition of growth factors (GFs) could restore the signaling pathways without reactivating BCR-ABL. Here we demonstrated that non-lymphoid Ph+ leukemia cell lines responded to diverse GFs depending on their immunophenotype and gene expression of transcription factors and GF receptors, while lymphoid Ph+ leukemia cell lines restrictively responded to flit3 ligand and interleukin-7, suggesting that GF sensitivity of imatinib-treated Ph+ leukemia cells could be powerful for specifying their distinctive lineage.

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