EVI1 abrogates interferon-α response by selectively blocking PML induction

Silvia Buonamici, Donglan Li, Fady M. Mikhail, Antonella Sassano, Leonidas C. Platanias, Oscar Colamonici, John Anastasi, Giuseppina Nucifora*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


EVI1 is an oncogene frequently associated with chronic and acute myeloid leukemia. In hematopoietic cells, EVI1 impairs several pathways including proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis. Interferon-α (IFN-α) is a powerful cytokine that controls the immune response and limits the expansion of several tissues including bone marrow. These properties contribute to the effectiveness of IFN-α in the treatment of many neoplastic disorders especially chronic myeloid leukemia. We report here that in murine hematopoietic progenitors the expression of EVI1 completely abrogates the antiproliferative and apoptotic effects of IFN-α. EVI1 does not repress the JAK/STAT signaling pathway or the activation of many IFN-responsive genes. On the contrary, EVI1 prolongs the phosphorylation of STAT1 and the activation of an IFN-dependent reporter gene. However, EVI1 specifically represses the IFN-dependent induction of the tumor suppressor PML and blocks the apoptotic pathways activated by PML. We show that the position of the ISRE, which is located within the first exon of PML, is critical to block PML induction by IFN-α. The relocation of the ISRE to a position upstream of the transcription start site is sufficient to re-establish the response to IFN in the presence of EVI1. Our data suggest that stabilized STAT1 phosphorylation and prolonged binding of the STAT1 complex to the first exon could impair PML transcription and inhibit the activation of PML-dependent apopiotic pathways resulting in loss of IFN response. These results point to a novel mechanism utilized by an oncogene to escape normal cell response to growth-controlling cytokines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)428-436
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 7 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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