Reports

Differential expression of c-myb mRNA in murine B lymphomas by a block to transcription elongation

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Science  18 Sep 1987:
Vol. 237, Issue 4821, pp. 1473-1476
DOI: 10.1126/science.3498214

Abstract

Expression of c-myb proto-oncogene messenger RNA (mRNA) and protein has been detected principally in tumors and in normal tissue of hematopoietic origin. In each hematopoietic lineage examined, expression of the c-myb gene is markedly downregulated during hematopoietic maturation. However, the mechanism by which differential expression of the c-myb gene is regulated is not known. In murine B-lymphoid tumor cell lines, the amount of steady-state c-myb mRNA is 10 to more than 100 times greater in pre-B cell lymphomas than in B cell lymphomas and plasmacytomas. The downregulation of c-myb mRNA correlates with events at the pre-B cell-B cell junction. Differential expression of c-myb mRNA levels detected between a pre-B cell lymphoma and a mature B cell lymphoma is now shown to be mediated by a block to transcription elongation in the first intron of the c-myb locus. In addition, this developmentally regulated difference in transcriptional activity is correlated with alterations in higher order chromatin structure as reflected by changes in the patterns of hypersensitivity to deoxyribonuclease I at the 5' end of the c-myb transcription unit. Regulation of transcription elongation may provide a more sensitive mechanism for rapidly increasing and decreasing mRNA levels in response to external stimuli than regulation of the initiation of transcription.