The steady-state expression of three members of the myb family of genes, c-myb, B-myb, and A-myb, was studied in four purified normal human hematopoietic cell types, ie, T and B lymphocytes, monocytes, and granulocytes. The c-myb proto-oncogene is low to undetectable in resting T and B lymphocytes and shows a biphasic induction in both cell types after mitogenic stimulation, with a first peak at 3 hours and a second and stronger induction at 44 to 72 hours. Study of the B-myb gene showed that this gene is low to undetectable in resting T or B cells and is strongly induced after mitogenic stimulation with a peak between 44 and 72 hours in both cell types. Finally, the A-myb gene shows a pattern of expression in lymphocytes different from that of c- myb and B-myb. It is expressed in resting T lymphocytes and its levels gradually decrease after mitogenic stimulation to become undetectable at 48 hours. It is also expressed in a subpopulation of large B lymphocytes but not in in vitro activated B cells. Neither of the three members of the myb family of genes was expressed in monocytes and granulocytes, even after functional activation of these cells. Taken together, these data bring further evidence for the role of c-myb in cellular proliferation and on the basis of the kinetics of its induction relative to thymidine uptake, we hypothesize that it may have a role during G1 progression in addition to that already documented for entry into S phase. Furthermore, our studies indicate that another member of the myb family of genes, B-myb, may also be involved in cellular proliferation, because its expression correlates with the induction of mitogenesis.

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