The Promyelocytic Leukemia Protein, PML, and Its Biological Function

Document Type: Review Paper


Division of Genetics, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, I.R. Iran.


The PML gene was first identified at the breakpoint region of t(15;17) chromosomal translocation in acute
promyelocytic leukemia (APL). There has been a large attention toward the elucidation of the biological function of PML in the cell. Our studies and those of others during the last decade resulted in elucidation of several fundamental biological functions for PML. These include: i) Regulation of transcription in a promoter
dependent manner; ii) Suppression of growth and tumorigenisity of cells transformed by oncogenes; iii)
Involvement in cell cycle progression through interaction with several key proteins involved in cell cycle regulation and apoptosis, e.g. p53 and pRb; iv) Association and mediation of the effects of a number
of viral regulatory protein via localization in the nucleus. These findings have introduced not only PML as a
multifunction protein, but also opened new windows for analysis of mechanisms involved in leukemogenesis
of the APL disease. The present article focused on the studies involving the elucidation of different biological
properties of PML.