Macrophage colony-stimulating factor (CSF-1; M-CSF) is a growth factor required for growth and differentiation of mononuclear phagocytes. The effects of CSF-1 are mediated through binding to specific, high-affinity surface receptors encoded by the c-fms gene. CSF-1 and c-fms gene expression was investigated in fresh human acute myeloblastic leukemic cells by Northern blot hybridization using cDNA probes. 4.0-kb CSF-1 transcripts were detected in 10 of 17 cases of acute myeloblastic leukemia (AML), while c-fms transcripts were detected in 7 of 15. Coexpression of CSF-1 and c-fms was observed in five cases, and in five other cases neither gene was expressed. In situ hybridization demonstrated that transcripts for CSF-1 were present in 70-90% of cells in each of three cases studied while c-fms mRNA was detected in 40-70% of cells. The constitutive expression of CSF-1 transcripts was associated with production of CSF-1 protein, although detectable amounts of CSF-1 were not secreted unless the cells were exposed to phorbol ester. These results demonstrate that leukemic myeloblasts from a subset of patients with AML express transcripts for both the CSF-1 and CSF-1 receptor genes, often in the same leukemic cells in vitro.
A Rambaldi, N Wakamiya, E Vellenga, J Horiguchi, M K Warren, D Kufe, J D Griffin