Ecotropic MuLVs induce myeloid leukemia in BXH2 mice by insertional mutagenesis of cellular proto-oncogenes or tumor suppressor genes. Disease genes can thus be identified by viral tagging as common sites of viral integration in BXH2 leukemias. Previous studies showed that a frequent common integration site in BXH2 leukemias is the Nf1 tumor suppressor gene. Unexpectedly, about half of the viral integrations at Nf1 represented a previously undiscovered defective nonecotropic virus, termed MRV. Because other common integration sites in BXH2 leukemias encoding proto-oncogenes contain ecotropic rather than MRV viruses, it has been speculated that MRV viruses may selectively target tumor suppressor genes. To determine if this were the case, 21 MRV-positive BXH2 leukemias were screened for new MRV common integration sites. One new site, Mrvi1 was identified that was disrupted by MRV in two of the leukemias. Ecotropic virus did not disrupt Mrvi1 in 205 ecotropic virus-positive leukemias, suggesting that Mrvi1 is specifically targeted by MRV. Mrvi1 encodes a novel protein with homology to Jaw1, a lymphoid restricted type II membrane protein that localizes to the endoplasmic reticulum. MRV integration occurs at the 5' end of the gene between two differentially used promoters. Within hematopoietic cells, Mrvi1 expression is restricted to megakaryocytes and some myeloid leukemias. Like Jaw1, which is down-regulated during lymphoid differentiation, Mrv1 is down-regulated during monocytic differentiation of BXH2 leukemias. Taken together, these data suggest that MRV integration at Mrvi1 induces myeloid leukemia by altering the expression of a gene important for myeloid cell growth and/or differentiation. Experiments are in progress to test whether Mrvi1 is a tumor suppressor gene.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was sponsored by the National Cancer Institute, DHHS, under contract with ABL. The contents of this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of policies of the Department of Health and Human Services, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the US Government. We thank J Frederic Mushinski for the plasma cell and pre B-cell mRNAs. We also thank Deborah Gilbert, Linda Cleveland and Deborah Householder for expert technical assistance. Accession no. Mouse MRVi1 U63407, U63408. Human MRVi1 AFO81249, AFO81250.
- Common sites of integration
- Myeloid leukemia model
- Retroviral insertional mutagenesis