Retrovirus-mediated gene transfer of MLL-ELL transforms primary myeloid progenitors and causes acute myeloid leukemias in mice.


Journal Article

The MLL-ELL fusion gene results from the translocation t(11;19)(q23;p13.1) that is associated with de novo and therapy-related acute myeloid leukemia. To study its transforming properties, we retrovirally transduced primary murine hematopoietic progenitors and assessed their growth properties both in vitro and in vivo. MLL-ELL increased the proliferation of myeloid colony-forming cells in methylcellulose cultures upon serial replating, whereas overexpression of ELL alone had no effect. We reconstituted lethally irradiated congenic mice with bone marrow progenitors transduced with MLL-ELL or the control MIE vector encoding the enhanced green fluorescent protein. When the peripheral blood of the mice was analyzed 11-13 weeks postreconstitution, we found that the engraftment of the MLL-ELL-transduced cells was superior to that of the MIE controls. At this time point, the contribution of the donor cells was normally distributed among the myeloid and nonmyeloid compartments. Although all of the MIE animals (n = 10) remained healthy for more than a year, all of the MLL-ELL mice (n = 20) succumbed to monoclonal or pauciclonal acute myeloid leukemias within 100-200 days. The leukemic cells were readily transplantable to secondary recipients and could be established as immortalized cell lines in liquid cultures. These studies demonstrate the enhancing effect of MLL-ELL on the proliferative potential of myeloid progenitors as well as its causal role in the genesis of acute myeloid leukemias.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Lavau, C; Luo, RT; Du, C; Thirman, MJ

Published Date

  • September 26, 2000

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 97 / 20

Start / End Page

  • 10984 - 10989

PubMed ID

  • 10995463

Pubmed Central ID

  • 10995463

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0027-8424

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1073/pnas.190167297


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States