Inhibition of PCGF2 enhances granulocytic differentiation of acute promyelocytic leukemia cell line HL-60 via induction of HOXA7

Sungsin Jo, Hongki Lee, Sojin Kim, Eun Mi Hwang, Jae-Yong Park, Sang Soo Kang, Heekyoung Chung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)


This study tested the hypothesis that Polycomb Repressive Complex 1 (PRC1) may play a negative role in the granulocytic differentiation of acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) cells. We first examined the expression of PRC1 genes during all-. trans retinoic acid (ATRA)-mediated differentiation of human HL-60 cells, and identified PCGF2 as a gene down-regulated by ATRA in a time-dependent manner. Upon gene silencing of PCGF2 with lentiviral short hairpin RNA, granulocytic differentiation was induced as assessed by differentiation marker gene expression, nitroblue tetrazolium staining, Wright-Giemsa staining, and cell cycle analysis. We next identified HOXA7 as a homeobox gene up-regulated by ATRA and successfully induced granulocytic differentiation by overexpression of HOXA7. We next tested the relationship between PCGF2 and HOXA7 by quantifying the changes in HOXA7 and PCGF2 expression upon PCGF2 gene silencing and HOXA7 overexpression, respectively. HOXA7 expression was up-regulated by PCGF2 gene silencing, while PCGF2 expression remained unchanged by ectopic HOXA7 expression, suggesting PCGF2 as acting upstream of HOXA7. Finally, chromatin immunoprecipitation assay was performed with HOXA7 chromatin. We observed gene-specific reduction in direct binding of Pcgf2 protein to HOXA7 chromatin upon PCGF2 gene silencing. Taken together, these results support the notion that down-regulation of PCGF2 is sufficient to induce granulocytic differentiation of HL-60 cells via de-repression of HOXA7 gene expression. In conclusion, we report that PCGF2, a PRC1 gene, played a negative role in the granulocytic differentiation of human APL cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-91
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical and biophysical research communications
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Dec 9
Externally publishedYes



  • Acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL)
  • Differentiation
  • HOXA7
  • PCGF2
  • Polycomb repressive complex (PRC)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

Cite this