The aberrant expression of proto-oncogenes is involved in processes that are responsible for cellular proliferation and the inhibition of myeloid differentiation in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Pituitary Tumor-Transforming gene 1 (PTTG1), an oncogenic transcription factor, is abundantly expressed in various human cancers and hematopoietic malignancies. However, its expression in normal leukocytes and most normal tissues is very low or undetectable. The mechanism by which PTTG1 overexpression modifies myeloid cell development and promotes leukemogenesis remain unclear. To investigate the mechanistic links between PTTG1 overexpression and leukemia cell differentiation, we utilized phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA), a well-known agent that triggers monocyte/macrophage differentiation, to analyze the expression patterns of PTTG1 in PMA-induced myeloid differentiation. We found that PTTG1 is down-regulated at the transcriptional level in PMA-treated HL-60 and THP1 cells. In addition, we identified a binding site for a tumor suppressor protein, Kruppel-like factor 6 (KLF6), in the PTTG1 promoter. We found that KLF6 could directly bind and repress PTTG1 expression. In HL-60 and THP1 cells, KLF6 mRNA and protein levels are up-regulated with a concordant reduction of PTTG1 expression upon treatment with PMA. Furthermore, KLF6 knockdown by shRNA abolished the suppression of PTTG1 and reduced the activation of the differentiation marker CD11b in PMA-primed cells. The protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitor and the MAPK/ERK kinase (MEK) inhibitor significantly blocked the potentiation of PMA-mediated KLF6 induction and the down-regulation of PTTG1, indicating that PTTG1 is suppressed via the activation of PKC/ERK/KLF6 pathway. Our findings suggest that drugs that increase the KLF6 inhibition of PTTG1 may have a therapeutic application in AML treatment strategies.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
- General Agricultural and Biological Sciences