Dual specificity protein tyrosine phosphatase PRL-2 is overexpressed in pediatric acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and is located at human chromosome 1p35, a region often rearranged or amplified in malignant lymphoma and B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL). Little is known of the significance of PRL-2 expression in hematopoietic malignancies. Herein we demonstrated that ectopic expression of PRL-2 in murine pre-B-cell line Baf3ER and mouse bone marrow cells induced key features associated with malignant progression and metastasis. PRL-2-transfected Baf3ER cells had augmented growth responses to hematopoietic growth factors Epo or IL-3 with shortened cell cycle, reduced requirement (5×) for Epo in cell survival, increased cell migration (3×), reduced cell adhesion (5×), and conversion to an immature cell morphology in association with increased expression (3×) of stem cell marker Bmi-1. When transduced into mouse bone marrow cells, PRL-2 increased Epo-induced colony formation (4×) and gave rise to larger colonies. These observations provide evidences implicating PRL-2 as a pathogenic molecule in hematopoietic malignancies and suggest its potential as a novel therapeutic target.
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