Interferon regulatory factor 4 (IRF-4) plays important functions in B- and T-cell development and immune response regulation and was originally identified as the product of a proto-oncogene involved in chromosomal translocations in multiple myeloma. Although IRF-4 is expressed in myeloid cells, its function in that lineage is not known. The closely related family member IRF-8 is a critical regulator of myelopoiesis, which when deleted in mice results in a syndrome highly similar to human chronic myelogenous leukemia. In early lymphoid development, we have shown previously that IRF-4 and IRF-8 can function redundantly. We therefore investigated the effects of a combined loss of IRF-4 and IRF-8 on hematologic tumorigenesis. We found that mice deficient in both IRF-4 and IRF-8 develop from a very early age a more aggressive chronic myelogenous leukemia-like disease than mice deficient in IRF-8 alone, correlating with a greater expansion of granulocyte-monocyte progenitors. Although these results demonstrate, for the first time, that IRF-4 can function as tumor suppressor in myeloid cells, interestingly, all mice deficient in both IRF-4 and IRF-8 eventually develop and die of a B-lymphoblastic leukemia/lymphoma. Combined losses of IRF-4 and IRF-8 therefore can cooperate in the development of both myeloid and lymphoid tumors.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology