Pathogenesis of Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) is one of the well-characterized subtypes of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The essential drugs used in the treatment strategy for APL include all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) and arsenic trioxide (ATO), which are both pioneer molecular-targeting agents. They were initially administered to patients based on the therapeutic experience of traditional Chinese medicine, and their marked effectiveness has been demonstrated. Subsequently, the molecular mechanisms of these drugs, as well as the molecular pathogenesis of APL, have been elucidated, whereby the chimeric gene product PML-RARα induces epigenetic changes and transcription repression. This review summarizes the findings of previous studies related to the in vitro and in vivo function of PML-RARα and the effects of ATRA and ATO on PML-RARα and APL cells. These findings are very important, because the concept of epigenetic modulation in oncogenesis and their application as molecular targets in APL therapy have now been accepted in other types of leukemia, as well as for other malignancies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)631-642
Number of pages12
JournalRinsho byori. The Japanese journal of clinical pathology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2015 May 1
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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