Expression of bcr-abl abrogates factor-dependent growth of human hematopoietic M07E cells by an autocrine mechanism

C Sirard, P Laneuville and JE Dick


The introduction of a retrovirus vector expressing p210bcr-abl (P210) into the human factor-dependent cell line M07E resulted in the rapid outgrowth of factor-independent cells. Early after infection, four factor-independent clones were isolated and analyzed in greater detail along with mass populations obtained from separate infections. High levels of P210 tyrosine kinase activity were measured in the factor- independent cells. The mass populations and three of the four clones remained responsive to exogenous growth factors. Concentrated conditioned media isolated from the factor-independent populations and from all clones contained biologically active granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF); interleukin-3 (IL-3) was detected at low levels in the mass population and in two of the clones. Neutralizing antibodies to IL-3, GM-CSF, and mast cell growth factor inhibited proliferation of the factor responsive clones by 60% to 90%. These results indicate that the growth autonomy of the P210-expressing M07E cells was acquired via an autocrine mechanism. In addition to factor-independent growth, P210-expressing M07E cells readily acquired a more mature megakaryocytic phenotype compared with control M07E cells. These data provide experimental evidence that expression of P210 tyrosine kinase in human hematopoietic cells induced growth factor secretion resulting in a pleiotropic effect on growth factor dependence and differentiation.