A c-myb antisense oligodeoxynucleotide inhibits normal human hematopoiesis in vitro

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Science  02 Dec 1988:
Vol. 242, Issue 4883, pp. 1303-1306
DOI: 10.1126/science.2461588


The nuclear protein encoded by the proto-oncogene c-myb has been hypothesized to play an important role in the process of hematopoiesis, but direct proof of this function has been lacking. To address this issue, normal human bone marrow mononuclear cells were exposed to c-myb sense and antisense synthetic oligodeoxynucleotides, and the effects on hematopoietic colony formation and maturation were examined. Exposure of these cells to c-myb antisense, oligodeoxynucleotides resulted in a decrease in both colony size and number, without apparent effect on the maturation of residual colony cells. Exposure to c-myb sense, or irrelevant antisense, oligonucleotides had no such effect. These results show that (i) c-myb plays a critical role in regulating normal human hematopoiesis and (ii) the combined use of antisense oligodeoxynucleotides and hematopoietic cell culture techniques will provide a powerful tool for studying the role of proteins encoded by proto-oncogenes, or other specific genes, in normal human hematopoiesis.