Abstract

In the Philadelphia chromosome (Ph1) of chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), the c-abl gene on chromosome 9 is translocated to bcr on chromosome 22. This results in the expression of a chimeric bcr-abl message that encodes the P210bcr-abl tyrosine kinase. The cells of 10% of acute lymphocytic leukemia patients (ALL) carry a cytogenetically similar Ph1 translocation. We report that Ph1-positive ALL cells express unique abl-derived tyrosine kinases of 185 and 180 kilodaltons that are distinct from the bcr-abl-derived P210 protein of CML. The appearance of the 185/180-kilodalton proteins correlates with the expression of a novel 6.5-kilobase messenger RNA. Thus, similar genetic translocations in two different leukemias result in the expression of distinct c-abl-derived products.

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