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The Emerging Role of Bcr-Abl-Induced Cystoskeletal Remodeling in Systemic Persistence of Leukemic Stem Cells

[ Vol. 11 , Issue. 5 ]


Adrian Bartos and Patrycja M. Dubielecka   Pages 582 - 591 ( 10 )


Abl kinase plays a critical role in development and homeostasis of hematopoietic system. The importance of this kinase becomes apparent from the consequences of a specific, reciprocal translocation between chromosome 9 and chromosome 22 that yields a chimeric fusion protein, Bcr-Abl, in which the function of auto-regulatory mechanisms are inactivated. The resultant constitutively active kinase is responsible for development of a systemic leukemogenic phenotype. Studies employing currently available highly specific inhibitors, with high potency to block kinase activity, uncovered unanticipated characteristics of Bcr-Abl fusion protein. It became apparent that the kinase domain, with its primary significance for development and progression of leukemia, is not solely responsible for leukemogenic features of the Bcr-Abl transformed leukemic stem cells. In this review we summarize current understanding of non-enzymatic characteristics of Bcr-Abl, its effect on actin cytoskeleton, and its potential contribution to drug resistance and systemic persistence of leukemic stem cells.


Actin cytoskeleton, Imatinib mesylate, Leukemic stem cells, Rho GTPases.


Signal Transduction Lab., Rhode Island Hospital, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, RI 02903, USA.

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