It is well established that the chimeric BCR-ABL gene formed by joining parts of the BCR and ABL genes plays a key role in the pathogenesis of Philadelphia (Ph) chromosome-positive leukemias. We report that simultaneous expression of P210 BCR-ABL and P160 BCR in simian COS-1 cells yielded stable complexes of these two proteins, and induced phosphorylation of P160 BCR on tyrosine residues in vivo. Tyrosine phosphorylation of a deletion mutant encoding 553 amino acids of BCR N- terminal sequences was also detected when it was coexpressed with P210 BCR-ABL. We propose that tyrosine phosphorylation of P160 BCR by P210 BCR-ABL and their stable physical interaction may perturb normal BCR functions and that these alterations are directly involved in the pathologic processes found in Ph chromosome-associated leukemias.

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