Requirement of the Jak2 tyrosine kinase in Bcr -Abl oncogenic transformation

Shanhai Xie, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


Philadelphia chromosome (Ph)-positive chronic myeloid leukemia is caused by a clonal myeloproliferative expansion of malignant primitive hematopoietic progenitor cells. The Ph results from the reciprocal translocation of the ends of chromosome 9 and 22, which generate Bcr-Abl fusion proteins. The Bcr-Abl proteins possess a constitutively activated Abl tyrosine kinase, which is the driving force responsible for causing leukemia. The activated Bcr-Abl tyrosine kinase stimulates multiple signal transduction pathway affecting growth, differentiation and survival of cells. It is known that the Bcr-Abl tyrosine kinase activates several signaling proteins including Stat5, which is a member of the Jak/Stat pathway that is activated by cytokines that control the growth and differentiation of normal hematopoietic cells. Our laboratory was the first one to report that Jak2 tyrosine kinase is activated in a human Bcr-Abl positive hematopoietic cell line. In this thesis, we further investigated the activation of Jak2 by Bcr-Abl. We found that Jak2 is activated not only in cultured Bcr-abl positive cell lines but also in blood cells from CML blast crisis patients. We also demonstrated that SH2 domain of Bcr-Abl is required for efficient activation Jak2. We further showed that Jak2 binds to the C-terminal domain of Bcr-Abl; tyrosine residue 1007, which is critical for Jak2 activation, is phosphorylated by Bcr-Abl. We searched downstream targets of Jak2 in Bcr-Abl positive cells. We treated Bcr-Abl positive cells with a Jak2 kinase inhibitor AG490 and found that c-Myc protein expression is inhibited by AG490. We further demonstrated that Jak2 inhibitor AG490 not only inhibit C-MYC transcription but also protect c-Myc protein from proteasome-dependent degradation. We also showed that AG490 did not affect Bcr-Abl kinase activity and Stat5 activation and its downstream target Bcl-xL expression. AG490 also induced apoptosis of Bcr-Abl positive cells, similar to Bcr-Abl kinase inhibitor STI571 (also termed Gliveec, a very effective drug for CML), but unlike STI571 the apoptosis effects induced by AG490 can not be rescued by IL-3 containing WEHI conditioned medium. We further established several Bcr-Abl positive clones that express a kinase-inactive Jak2 and found that these clones had reduced tumor formation in nude mice assays. Taken together, these results establish that Jak2 is activated in Bcr-Abl positive CML cells and it is required for c-Myc induction and the oncogenic effects of Bcr-Abl. Furthermore, Jak2 and Stat5 are two independent targets of Bcr-Abl.

Subject Area

Molecular biology|Oncology|Cellular biology

Recommended Citation

Xie, Shanhai, "Requirement of the Jak2 tyrosine kinase in Bcr -Abl oncogenic transformation" (2002). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3046073.