Cell fusion plays a well-recognized physiological role during development, while its function during progression is still unclear. Here, we show that acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells spontaneously fused with murine host cells in vivo. AML cells fused in most cases with mouse macrophages. Other targets of AML cell fusion were dendritic and endothelial cells. Cytogenetic and molecular analysis revealed that successive recipients conserved detectable amounts of parental DNA. Moreover, in a mouse AML1-ETO model where female AML1-ETO-leukemic cells, expressing CD45.2, were injected in congenic CD45.1 male mice AML cells, we found hybrid cells expressing both allelic types of CD45 and XXY set of sexual chromosomes. More importantly, the fusion protein AML1-ETO was transferred in the hybrid cells. When sorted hybrid cells were reinjected in a secondary recipient, they gave rise to leukemia with 100% penetrance and similar time of onset of leukemic cells. Our data indicate that in vivo fusion of cancer cells with host cells may be a mechanism of gene transfer for cancer dissemination and suggest that fused cells may be used to identify still unrecognized leukemogenic genes that are conserved in hybrid cells and able to perpetuate leukemia in vivo.
|Titolo:||Spontaneous cell fusion of acute leukemia cells and macrophages observed in cells with leukemic potential|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore MED/08 - Anatomia Patologica|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2012|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1593/neo.12736|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su periodico|