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Flubacher MM, Bear SE, Tsichlis PN
Replacement of Interleukin-2 (Il-2)-Generated Mitogenic Signals by a Mink Cell Focus-Forming (Mcf) or Xenotropic Virus-Induced Il-9-Dependent Autocrine Loop - Implications for Mcf Virus- Induced Leukemogenesis
Journal of Virology (1994) 68:7709-7716.
In earlier studies, we have shown that superinfection of an interleukin-2 (IL-2)-dependent, Moloney murine leukemia virus (MoMuLV)-induced rat T-cell lymphoma line (4437A) with mink cell focus-forming (also called polytropic) murine retroviruses induces rapid progression to IL-2-independent grow th. In this report, we present evidence that the vast majority (>90%) of the IL-2-independent lines established from polytropic or xenotropic virus-infected 4437A cells carry provirus insertions in the 3' untranslated region of the IL-9 receptor gene (Gfi- 2[for growth factor independence-2]/IL-9R). Prior to superinfection, the cells express neither IL-9 nor IL-9R. Following superinfection and provirus insertion in the Gfi- 2/IL-9R locus, the cells express high levels of mRNA transcripts with a truncated 3' untranslated region which are predicted to encode the normal IL-9R protein product. The same IL-2-independent cells also express IL-9 which is induced by an insertional mutagenesis-independent mechanism. The establishment of an IL-9-dependent autocrine loop was sufficient to render the cells IL-2 independent, as suggested by the finding that 4437A cells, expressing a stably transfected Gfi-2/IL-9R construct, do not require IL-2 when maintained in IL-9-containing media. Additional experiments designed on the basis of these results showed that IL-9 gene expression is induced rapidly following the infection of 4437A cells by polytropic or xenotropic viruses and occurs in the absence of selection for IL-2-independent growth. Taken together, these data suggest that infection of 4437A cells by mink cell focus-forming or xenotropic viruses induces the expression of IL-9, which in turn rapidly selects the cells expressing the IL-9 receptor through an insertional mutagenesis-dependent mechanism. Given that both the polytropic and xenotropic viruses can induce the IL-9-dependent autocrine loop, the reduced ability of the xenotropic viruses to rapidly induce IL-2 independence in culture and tumors in animals is likely to be the result of their lower growth rates.
Publication Date: 1994-12-01.
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