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The nuclear matrix plays an important role in the functional organization of the nucleus in part by locally concentrating regulatory factors involved in nucleic acid metabolism. A number of nuclear regulatory proteins initially identified due to their involvement in human cancer are localized to discrete nuclear matrix-attached foci and correct nuclear partitioning likely plays a role in their function. Two such examples are promyelocytic leukemia (PML) and acute myelogenous leukemia-1 (AML-1; Runx1). PML, the target of the t(15;17) in acute PML, is localized to PML nuclear bodies (also termed Nuclear Domain 10 and PML oncogenic domains), a nuclear matrix-associated body whose function appears to be quite complex, with probable roles in cancer, apoptosis, and in acute viral infections. In t(15;17)-containing leukemic cells, the PML nuclear bodies are disrupted, but reform when the leukemic cells are induced to differentiate in the presence of all-trans retinoic acid. AML1 (RUNX1) is a key regulator of hematopoietic differentiation and AML1 proteins are found in nuclear compartments that reflect their roles in transcriptional activation and repression. The t(8;21), associated with AML, results in a chimeric transcription factor, AML-1/ETO (eight twenty one), that remains attached to the nuclear matrix through targeting signals contained in the ETO protein. When co-expressed, ETO and AML-1/ETO co-localize to a nuclear compartment distinct from that of AML1 or PML nuclear bodies. Interestingly, enforced expression of ETO or AML-1/ETO changes the average number of PML nuclear bodies per cell. Thus, chromosomal translocations involving AML1 result in altered nuclear trafficking of the transcription factor as well as other changes to the nuclear architecture. J. Cell. Biochem. Suppl. 35:93-98, 2000.
Copyright 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.