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This article has been peer reviewed. It was published in: The Journal of experimental medicine.

Volume 189, Issue 8, April 1999, Pages 1229-42.

The published version is available at 10209040 PMID: 10209040. Copyright © Rockefeller University


Signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT)5 is constitutively activated in BCR/ ABL-expressing cells, but the mechanisms and functional consequences of such activation are unknown. We show here that BCR/ABL induces phosphorylation and activation of STAT5 by a mechanism that requires the BCR/ABL Src homology (SH)2 domain and the proline-rich binding site of the SH3 domain. Upon expression in 32Dcl3 growth factor-dependent myeloid precursor cells, STAT5 activation-deficient BCR/ABL SH3+SH2 domain mutants functioned as tyrosine kinase and activated Ras, but failed to protect from apoptosis induced by withdrawal of interleukin 3 and/or serum and did not induce leukemia in severe combined immunodeficiency mice. In complementation assays, expression of a dominant-active STAT5B mutant (STAT5B-DAM), but not wild-type STAT5B (STAT5B-WT), in 32Dcl3 cells transfected with STAT5 activation-deficient BCR/ABL SH3+SH2 mutants restored protection from apoptosis, stimulated growth factor-independent cell cycle progression, and rescued the leukemogenic potential in mice. Moreover, expression of a dominant-negative STAT5B mutant (STAT5B-DNM) in 32Dcl3 cells transfected with wild-type BCR/ABL inhibited apoptosis resistance, growth factor-independent proliferation, and the leukemogenic potential of these cells. In retrovirally infected mouse bone marrow cells, expression of STAT5B-DNM inhibited BCR/ABL-dependent transformation. Moreover, STAT5B-DAM, but not STAT5B-WT, markedly enhanced the ability of STAT5 activation-defective BCR/ABL SH3+SH2 mutants to induce growth factor-independent colony formation of primary mouse bone marrow progenitor cells. However, STAT5B-DAM did not rescue the growth factor-independent colony formation of kinase-deficient K1172R BCR/ABL or the triple mutant Y177F+R522L+ Y793F BCR/ABL, both of which also fail to activate STAT5. Together, these data demonstrate that STAT5 activation by BCR/ABL is dependent on signaling from more than one domain and document the important role of STAT5-regulated pathways in BCR/ABL leukemogenesis.

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