Publications by authors named "Lanwei Xu"

30 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Novel frameshift mutations of ANKUB1, GLI3, and TAS2R3 associated with polysyndactyly in a Chinese family.

Mol Genet Genomic Med 2020 06 6;8(6):e1223. Epub 2020 Apr 6.

Department of Hand and Foot Surgery, Shandong provincial Hospital Affiliated to Shandong University, Jinan, China.

Background: Polysyndactyly (PSD) is an autosomal dominant genetic limb malformation caused by mutations.

Methods: Whole exome sequencing and Sanger sequencing were used to determine the mutations in PSD patients. Luciferase reporter assay was performed to determine the effect of GLI3 mutation on its transcriptional activity.

Results: In this study, we investigated the gene mutations of three affected individuals across three generations. The frameshift mutations of GLI3 (NM_000168:c.4659del, NP_000159.3: p.Ser1553del), ANKUB1 (NM_001144960:c.1385del, NP_001138432.1: p.Pro462del), and TAS2R3 (NM_016943:c.128_131del, NP_058639.1: p.Leu43del) were identified in the three affected individuals, but not in three unaffected members by whole exome sequencing and sanger sequencing. Luciferase reporter assay demonstrated that GLI3 mutation reduced the transcriptional activity of GLI3. The results from SMART analysis showed that the frameshift mutation of TAS2R3 altered most protein sequence, which probably destroyed protein function. Although the frameshift mutation of ANKUB1 did not locate in ankyrin repeat domain and ubiquitin domain, it might influence the interaction between ANKUB1 and other proteins, and further affected the ubiquitinylation.

Conclusion: These results indicated that the frameshift mutations of GLI3, ANKUB1, and TAS2R3 might alter the functions of these proteins, and accelerated PSD progression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mgg3.1223DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7284028PMC
June 2020

Trib1 regulates T cell differentiation during chronic infection by restraining the effector program.

J Exp Med 2020 05;217(5)

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.

In chronic infections, the immune response fails to control virus, leading to persistent antigen stimulation and the progressive development of T cell exhaustion. T cell effector differentiation is poorly understood in the context of exhaustion, but targeting effector programs may provide new strategies for reinvigorating T cell function. We identified Tribbles pseudokinase 1 (Trib1) as a central regulator of antiviral T cell immunity, where loss of Trib1 led to a sustained enrichment of effector-like KLRG1+ T cells, enhanced function, and improved viral control. Single-cell profiling revealed that Trib1 restrains a population of KLRG1+ effector CD8 T cells that is transcriptionally distinct from exhausted cells. Mechanistically, we identified an interaction between Trib1 and the T cell receptor (TCR) signaling activator, MALT1, which disrupted MALT1 signaling complexes. These data identify Trib1 as a negative regulator of TCR signaling and downstream function, and reveal a link between Trib1 and effector versus exhausted T cell differentiation that can be targeted to improve antiviral immunity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1084/jem.20190888DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7201917PMC
May 2020

TooManyCells identifies and visualizes relationships of single-cell clades.

Nat Methods 2020 04 2;17(4):405-413. Epub 2020 Mar 2.

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

Identifying and visualizing transcriptionally similar cells is instrumental for accurate exploration of the cellular diversity revealed by single-cell transcriptomics. However, widely used clustering and visualization algorithms produce a fixed number of cell clusters. A fixed clustering 'resolution' hampers our ability to identify and visualize echelons of cell states. We developed TooManyCells, a suite of graph-based algorithms for efficient and unbiased identification and visualization of cell clades. TooManyCells introduces a visualization model built on a concept intentionally orthogonal to dimensionality-reduction methods. TooManyCells is also equipped with an efficient matrix-free divisive hierarchical spectral clustering different from prevalent single-resolution clustering methods. TooManyCells enables multiresolution and multifaceted exploration of single-cell clades. An advantage of this paradigm is the immediate detection of rare and common populations that outperforms popular clustering and visualization algorithms, as demonstrated using existing single-cell transcriptomic data sets and new data modeling drug-resistance acquisition in leukemic T cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41592-020-0748-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7439807PMC
April 2020

Trib1 regulates eosinophil lineage commitment and identity by restraining the neutrophil program.

Blood 2019 05 27;133(22):2413-2426. Epub 2019 Mar 27.

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and.

Eosinophils and neutrophils are critical for host defense, yet gaps in understanding how granulocytes differentiate from hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) into mature effectors remain. The pseudokinase tribbles homolog 1 (Trib1) is an important regulator of granulocytes; knockout mice lack eosinophils and have increased neutrophils. However, how Trib1 regulates cellular identity and function during eosinophilopoiesis is not understood. expression markedly increases with eosinophil-lineage commitment in eosinophil progenitors (EoPs), downstream of the granulocyte/macrophage progenitor (GMP). Using hematopoietic- and eosinophil-lineage-specific deletion, we found that Trib1 regulates both granulocyte precursor lineage commitment and mature eosinophil identity. Conditional Trib1 deletion in HSCs reduced the size of the EoP pool and increased neutrophils, whereas deletion following eosinophil lineage commitment blunted the decrease in EoPs without increasing neutrophils. In both modes of deletion, Trib1-deficient mice expanded a stable population of Ly6G eosinophils with neutrophilic characteristics and functions, and had increased CCAAT/enhancer binding protein α (C/EBPα) p42. Using an ex vivo differentiation assay, we found that interleukin 5 (IL-5) supports the generation of Ly6G eosinophils from Trib1-deficient cells, but is not sufficient to restore normal eosinophil differentiation and development. Furthermore, we demonstrated that Trib1 loss blunted eosinophil migration and altered chemokine receptor expression, both in vivo and ex vivo. Finally, we showed that Trib1 controls eosinophil identity by modulating C/EBPα. Together, our findings provide new insights into early events in myelopoiesis, whereby Trib1 functions at 2 distinct stages to guide eosinophil lineage commitment from the GMP and suppress the neutrophil program, promoting eosinophil terminal identity and maintaining lineage fidelity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.2018872218DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6543518PMC
May 2019

MAFB enhances oncogenic Notch signaling in T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Sci Signal 2017 11 14;10(505). Epub 2017 Nov 14.

Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.

Activating mutations in the gene encoding the cell-cell contact signaling protein Notch1 are common in human T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemias (T-ALLs). However, expressing mutant alleles in mice fails to efficiently induce the development of leukemia. We performed a gain-of-function screen to identify proteins that enhanced signaling by leukemia-associated Notch1 mutants. The transcription factors MAFB and ETS2 emerged as candidates that individually enhanced Notch1 signaling, and when coexpressed, they synergistically increased signaling to an extent similar to that induced by core components of the Notch transcriptional complex. In mouse models of T-ALL, MAFB enhanced leukemogenesis by the naturally occurring Notch1 mutants, decreased disease latency, and increased disease penetrance. Decreasing MAFB abundance in mouse and human T-ALL cells reduced the expression of Notch1 target genes, including and , and sustained MAFB knockdown impaired T-ALL growth in a competitive setting. MAFB bound to ETS2 and interacted with the acetyltransferases PCAF and P300, highlighting its importance in recruiting coactivators that enhance Notch1 signaling. Together, these data identify a mechanism for enhancing the oncogenic potential of weak Notch1 mutants in leukemia models, and they reveal the MAFB-ETS2 transcriptional axis as a potential therapeutic target in T-ALL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/scisignal.aam6846DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5885022PMC
November 2017

High selective pressure for Notch1 mutations that induce Myc in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Blood 2016 11 26;128(18):2229-2240. Epub 2016 Sep 26.

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute, Institute of Medicine and Engineering, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA; and.

Activating NOTCH1 mutations are frequent in human T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) and Notch inhibitors (γ-secretase inhibitors [GSIs]) have produced responses in patients with relapsed, refractory disease. However, sustained responses, although reported, are uncommon, suggesting that other pathways can substitute for Notch in T-ALL. To address this possibility, we first generated Kras transgenic mice with T-cell-specific expression of the pan-Notch inhibitor, dominant-negative Mastermind (DNMAML). These mice developed leukemia, but instead of accessing alternative oncogenic pathways, the tumor cells acquired Notch1 mutations and subsequently deleted DNMAML, reinforcing the notion that activated Notch1 is particularly transforming within the context of T-cell progenitors. We next took a candidate approach to identify oncogenic pathways downstream of Notch, focusing on Myc and Akt, which are Notch targets in T-cell progenitors. Kras mice transduced with Myc developed T-ALLs that were GSI-insensitive and lacked Notch1 mutations. In contrast, Kras mice transduced with myristoylated AKT developed GSI-sensitive T-ALLs that acquired Notch1 mutations. Thus, Myc can substitute for Notch1 in leukemogenesis, whereas Akt cannot. These findings in primary tumors extend recent work using human T-ALL cell lines and xenografts and suggest that the Notch/Myc signaling axis is of predominant importance in understanding both the selective pressure for Notch mutations in T-ALL and response and resistance of T-ALL to Notch pathway inhibitors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2016-01-692855DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5095757PMC
November 2016

Trib2 Suppresses Tumor Initiation in Notch-Driven T-ALL.

PLoS One 2016 18;11(5):e0155408. Epub 2016 May 18.

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute, Institute of Medicine and Engineering, Institute for Immunology, Center for Personalized Diagnostics, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, United States of America.

Trib2 is highly expressed in human T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) and is a direct transcriptional target of the oncogenic drivers Notch and TAL1. In human TAL1-driven T-ALL cell lines, Trib2 is proposed to function as an important survival factor, but there is limited information about the role of Trib2 in primary T-ALL. In this study, we investigated the role of Trib2 in the initiation and maintenance of Notch-dependent T-ALL. Trib2 had no effect on the growth and survival of murine T-ALL cell lines in vitro when expression was blocked by shRNAs. To test the function of Trib2 on leukemogenesis in vivo, we generated Trib2 knockout mice. Mice were born at the expected Mendelian frequencies without gross developmental anomalies. Adult mice did not develop pathology or shortened survival, and hematopoiesis, including T cell development, was unperturbed. Using a retroviral model of Notch-induced T-ALL, deletion of Trib2 unexpectedly decreased the latency and increased the penetrance of T-ALL development in vivo. Immunoblotting of primary murine T-ALL cells showed that the absence of Trib2 increased C/EBPα expression, a known regulator of cell proliferation, and did not alter AKT or ERK phosphorylation. Although Trib2 was suggested to be highly expressed in T-ALL, transcriptomic analysis of two independent T-ALL cohorts showed that low Trib2 expression correlated with the TLX1-expressing cortical mature T-ALL subtype, whereas high Trib2 expression correlated with the LYL1-expressing early immature T-ALL subtype. These data indicate that Trib2 has a complex role in the pathogenesis of Notch-driven T-ALL, which may vary between different T-ALL subtypes.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0155408PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4871414PMC
July 2017

Comparison of the expression of prognostic biomarkers between primary tumor and axillary lymph node metastases in breast cancer.

Int J Clin Exp Pathol 2015 1;8(5):5744-8. Epub 2015 May 1.

Department of Breast Surgery, Qilu Hospital of Shandong University Jinan 250012, Shandong, P. R. China.

The prognosis and prediction of axillary lymph node (ALN) metastases in breast cancer is traditionally based upon the biomarkers status of the primary tumor. Some retrospective studies showed significant discordance in receptor expression between primary and metastatic tumors. We aim to prospectively assess the incidence of discordant biomarkers status in primary tumor and ALN metastases and to evaluate the role of ALN biopsies for the reassessment of receptor status. Tissue arrays were constructed from 54 breast cancer patients with ALN metastases diagnosed. Arrays were immuno-stained to compare protein expression of four biomarkers including estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR), HER2, and Ki67 by immunohistochemistry. The kappa value of consistency in the primary tumor and the metastatic lymph nodes were 0.465 for ER, 0.445 for PR, and 0.706 for HER2. Good consistency was shown for Ki67 expression in primary and metastases regions with T test. No significant difference is existed between primary tumor and ALN metastases. It is concluded that the good consistency is present for ER, PR, HER2 and Ki67 between the primary tumor and the metastatic lymph nodes, suggesting that ER, PR, HER2, or Ki67 status in primary tumors could reflect their status in ALN metastases.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4503162PMC
April 2016

The Notch1 transcriptional activation domain is required for development and reveals a novel role for Notch1 signaling in fetal hematopoietic stem cells.

Genes Dev 2014 Mar;28(6):576-93

Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA;

Notch1 is required to generate the earliest embryonic hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs); however since Notch-deficient embryos die early in gestation, additional functions for Notch in embryonic HSC biology have not been described. We used two complementary genetic models to address this important biological question. Unlike Notch1-deficient mice, mice lacking the conserved Notch1 transcriptional activation domain (TAD) show attenuated Notch1 function in vivo and survive until late gestation, succumbing to multiple cardiac abnormalities. Notch1 TAD-deficient HSCs emerge and successfully migrate to the fetal liver but are decreased in frequency by embryonic day 14.5. In addition, TAD-deficient fetal liver HSCs fail to compete with wild-type HSCs in bone marrow transplant experiments. This phenotype is independently recapitulated by conditional knockout of Rbpj, a core Notch pathway component. In vitro analysis of Notch1 TAD-deficient cells shows that the Notch1 TAD is important to properly assemble the Notch1/Rbpj/Maml trimolecular transcription complex. Together, these studies reveal an essential role for the Notch1 TAD in fetal development and identify important cell-autonomous functions for Notch1 signaling in fetal HSC homeostasis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/gad.227496.113DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3967047PMC
March 2014

Divergent effects of supraphysiologic Notch signals on leukemia stem cells and hematopoietic stem cells.

Blood 2013 Feb 31;121(6):905-17. Epub 2012 Oct 31.

Division of Hematology-Oncology and the University of Michigan Cancer Center, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.

The leukemia stem cell (LSC) hypothesis proposes that a subset of cells in the bulk leukemia population propagates the leukemia.We tested the LSC hypothesis in a mouse model of Notch-induced T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) in which the tumor cells were largely CD4+ CD8+ T cells. LSC activity was enriched but rare in the CD8+ CD4 HSA(hi) immature single-positive T-cell subset. Although our murine T-ALL model relies on transduction of HSCs, we were unable to isolate Notch-activated HSCs to test for LSC activity. Further analysis showed that Notch activation in HSCs caused an initial expansion of hematopoietic and T-cell progenitors and loss of stem cell quiescence, which was followed by progressive loss of long-term HSCs and T-cell production over several weeks. Similar results were obtained in a conditional transgenic model in which Notch activation is induced in HSCs by Cre recombinase. We conclude that although supraphysiologic Notch signaling in HSCs promotes LSC activity in T-cell progenitors, it extinguishes self-renewal of LT-HSCs. These results provide further evidence for therapeutically targeting T-cell progenitors in T-ALL while also underscoring the need to tightly regulate Notch signaling to expand normal HSC populations for clinical applications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2012-03-416503DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3567338PMC
February 2013

Notch ankyrin repeat domain variation influences leukemogenesis and Myc transactivation.

PLoS One 2011 13;6(10):e25645. Epub 2011 Oct 13.

Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America.

Background: The functional interchangeability of mammalian Notch receptors (Notch1-4) in normal and pathophysiologic contexts such as cancer is unsettled. We used complementary in vivo, cell-based and structural analyses to compare the abilities of activated Notch1-4 to support T cell development, induce T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia/lymphoma (T-ALL), and maintain T-ALL cell growth and survival.

Principal Findings: We find that the activated intracellular domains of Notch1-4 (ICN1-4) all support T cell development in mice and thymic organ culture. However, unlike ICN1-3, ICN4 fails to induce T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia/lymphoma (T-ALL) and is unable to rescue the growth of Notch1-dependent T-ALL cell lines. The ICN4 phenotype is mimicked by weak gain-of-function forms of Notch1, suggesting that it stems from a failure to transactivate one or more critical target genes above a necessary threshold. Experiments with chimeric receptors demonstrate that the Notch ankyrin repeat domains differ in their leukemogenic potential, and that this difference correlates with activation of Myc, a direct Notch target that has an important role in Notch-associated T-ALL.

Conclusions/significance: We conclude that the leukemogenic potentials of Notch receptors vary, and that this functional difference stems in part from divergence among the highly conserved ankyrin repeats, which influence the transactivation of specific target genes involved in leukemogenesis.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0025645PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3192765PMC
February 2012

Identification of Flt3⁺CD150⁻ myeloid progenitors in adult mouse bone marrow that harbor T lymphoid developmental potential.

Blood 2011 Sep 26;118(10):2723-32. Epub 2011 Jul 26.

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.

Common myeloid progenitors (CMPs) were first identified as progenitors that were restricted to myeloid and erythroid lineages. However, it was recently demonstrated that expression of both lymphoid- and myeloid-related genes could be detected in myeloid progenitors. Furthermore, these progenitors were able to give rise to T and B lymphocytes, in addition to myeloid cells. Yet, it was not known whether these progenitors were multipotent at the clonogenic level or there existed heterogeneity within these progenitors with different lineage potential. Here we report that previously defined CMPs possess T-lineage potential, and that this is exclusively found in the Flt3(+)CD150(-) subset of CMPs at the clonal level. In contrast, we did not detect B-lineage potential in CMP subsets. Therefore, these Flt3(+)CD150(-) myeloid progenitors were T/myeloid potent. Yet, Flt3(+)CD150(-) myeloid progenitors are not likely to efficiently traffic to the thymus and contribute to thymopoiesis under normal conditions because of the lack of CCR7 and CCR9 expression. Interestingly, both Flt3(+)CD150(-) and Flt3(-)CD150(-) myeloid progenitors are susceptible to Notch1-mediated T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL). Hence, gain-of-function Notch1 mutations occurring in developing myeloid progenitors, in addition to known T-lineage progenitors, could lead to T-ALL oncogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2010-09-309989DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3172791PMC
September 2011

Notch dimerization is required for leukemogenesis and T-cell development.

Genes Dev 2010 Nov 8;24(21):2395-407. Epub 2010 Oct 8.

Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA.

Notch signaling regulates myriad cellular functions by activating transcription, yet how Notch selectively activates different transcriptional targets is poorly understood. The core Notch transcriptional activation complex can bind DNA as a monomer, but it can also dimerize on DNA-binding sites that are properly oriented and spaced. However, the significance of Notch dimerization is unknown. Here, we show that dimeric Notch transcriptional complexes are required for T-cell maturation and leukemic transformation but are dispensable for T-cell fate specification from a multipotential precursor. The varying requirements for Notch dimerization result from the differential sensitivity of specific Notch target genes. In particular, c-Myc and pre-T-cell antigen receptor α (Ptcra) are dimerization-dependent targets, whereas Hey1 and CD25 are not. These findings identify functionally important differences in the responsiveness among Notch target genes attributable to the formation of higher-order complexes. Consequently, it may be possible to develop a new class of Notch inhibitors that selectively block outcomes that depend on Notch dimerization (e.g., leukemogenesis).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/gad.1975210DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2964750PMC
November 2010

Deletion-based mechanisms of Notch1 activation in T-ALL: key roles for RAG recombinase and a conserved internal translational start site in Notch1.

Blood 2010 Dec 17;116(25):5455-64. Epub 2010 Sep 17.

Department of Pathology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.

Point mutations that trigger ligand-independent proteolysis of the Notch1 ectodomain occur frequently in human T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) but are rare in murine T-ALL, suggesting that other mechanisms account for Notch1 activation in murine tumors. Here we show that most murine T-ALLs harbor Notch1 deletions that fall into 2 types, both leading to ligand-independent Notch1 activation. Type 1 deletions remove exon 1 and the proximal promoter, appear to be RAG-mediated, and are associated with mRNA transcripts that initiate from 3' regions of Notch1. In line with the RAG dependency of these rearrangements, RAG2 binds to the 5' end of Notch1 in normal thymocytes near the deletion breakpoints. Type 2 deletions remove sequences between exon 1 and exons 26 to 28 of Notch1, appear to be RAG-independent, and are associated with transcripts in which exon 1 is spliced out of frame to 3' Notch1 exons. Translation of both types of transcripts initiates at a conserved methionine residue, M1727, which lies within the Notch1 transmembrane domain. Polypeptides initiating at M1727 insert into membranes and are subject to constitutive cleavage by γ-secretase. Thus, like human T-ALL, murine T-ALL is often associated with acquired mutations that cause ligand-independent Notch1 activation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2010-05-286328DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3031398PMC
December 2010

Transformation by Tribbles homolog 2 (Trib2) requires both the Trib2 kinase domain and COP1 binding.

Blood 2010 Dec 30;116(23):4948-57. Epub 2010 Aug 30.

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute, Institute for Medicine and Engineering, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

Tribbles homolog 2 (Trib2) is a pseudokinase that induces acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) in mice and is highly expressed in a subset of human AML. Trib2 has 3 distinct regions, a proline-rich N-terminus, a serine/threonine kinase homology domain, and a C-terminal constitutive photomorphogenesis 1 (COP1)-binding domain. We performed a structure-function analysis of Trib2 using in vitro and in vivo assays. The N-terminus was not required for Trib2-induced AML. Deletion or mutation of the COP1-binding site abrogated the ability of Trib2 to degrade CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein-α (C/EBP-α), block granulocytic differentiation, and to induce AML in vivo. Furthermore, COP1 knockdown inhibited the ability of Trib2 to degrade C/EBP-α, showing that it is important for mediating Trib2 activity. We also show that the Trib2 kinase domain is essential for its function. Trib2 contains variant catalytic loop sequences, compared with conventional kinases, that we show are necessary for Trib2 activity. The kinase domain mutants bind, but cannot efficiently degrade, C/EBP-α. Together, our data demonstrate that Trib2 can bind both COP1 and C/EBP-α, leading to degradation of C/EBP-α. Identification of the functional regions of Trib2 that are essential to its oncogenic role provides the basis for developing inhibitors that will block Trib functions in cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2009-10-247361DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3012589PMC
December 2010

Differential ability of Tribbles family members to promote degradation of C/EBPalpha and induce acute myelogenous leukemia.

Blood 2010 Aug 21;116(8):1321-8. Epub 2010 Apr 21.

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute, Institute for Medicine & Engineering, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.

Trib1, Trib2, and Trib3 are mammalian homologs of Tribbles, an evolutionarily conserved Drosophila protein family that mediates protein degradation. Tribbles proteins function as adapters to recruit E3 ubiquitin ligases and enhance ubiquitylation of the target protein to promote its degradation. Increased Trib1 and Trib2 mRNA expression occurs in human myeloid leukemia and induces acute myeloid leukemia in mice, whereas Trib3 has not been associated with leukemia. Given the high degree of structural conservation among Tribbles family members, we directly compared the 3 mammalian Tribbles in hematopoietic cells by reconstituting mice with hematopoietic stem cells retrovirally expressing these proteins. All mice receiving Trib1 or Trib2 transduced hematopoietic stem cells developed acute myeloid leukemia, whereas Trib3 mice did not. Our previous data indicated that Trib2-mediated degradation of the transcription factor, CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein-alpha (C/EBPalpha), is important for leukemogenesis. Similar to Trib2, Trib1 induced C/EBPalpha degradation and inhibited its function. In contrast, Trib3 failed to inactivate or promote efficient degradation of C/EBPalpha. These data reveal that the 3 Tribbles homologs differ in their ability to promote degradation of C/EBPalpha, which account for their differential ability to induce leukemia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2009-07-229450DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2938240PMC
August 2010

Pre-TCR signaling inactivates Notch1 transcription by antagonizing E2A.

Genes Dev 2009 Jul;23(14):1665-76

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute, Institute for Medicine and Engineering, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA.

Precise control of the timing and magnitude of Notch signaling is essential for the normal development of many tissues, but the feedback loops that regulate Notch are poorly understood. Developing T cells provide an excellent context to address this issue. Notch1 signals initiate T-cell development and increase in intensity during maturation of early T-cell progenitors (ETP) to the DN3 stage. As DN3 cells undergo beta-selection, during which cells expressing functionally rearranged TCRbeta proliferate and differentiate into CD4(+)CD8(+) progeny, Notch1 signaling is abruptly down-regulated. In this report, we investigate the mechanisms that control Notch1 expression during thymopoiesis. We show that Notch1 and E2A directly regulate Notch1 transcription in pre-beta-selected thymocytes. Following successful beta-selection, pre-TCR signaling rapidly inhibits Notch1 transcription via signals that up-regulate Id3, an E2A inhibitor. Consistent with a regulatory role for Id3 in Notch1 down-regulation, post-beta-selected Id3-deficient thymocytes maintain Notch1 transcription, whereas enforced Id3 expression decreases Notch1 expression and abrogates Notch1-dependent T-cell survival. These data provide new insights into Notch1 regulation in T-cell progenitors and reveal a direct link between pre-TCR signaling and Notch1 expression during thymocyte development. Our findings also suggest new strategies for inhibiting Notch1 signaling in pathologic conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/gad.1793709DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2714710PMC
July 2009

Leukemia-associated NOTCH1 alleles are weak tumor initiators but accelerate K-ras-initiated leukemia.

J Clin Invest 2008 Sep;118(9):3181-94

Division of Hematology-Oncology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA.

Gain-of-function NOTCH1 mutations are found in 50%-70% of human T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia/lymphoma (T-ALL) cases. Gain-of-function NOTCH1 alleles that initiate strong downstream signals induce leukemia in mice, but it is unknown whether the gain-of-function NOTCH1 mutations most commonly found in individuals with T-ALL generate downstream signals of sufficient strength to induce leukemia. We addressed this question by expressing human gain-of-function NOTCH1 alleles of varying strength in mouse hematopoietic precursors. Uncommon gain-of-function NOTCH1 alleles that initiated strong downstream signals drove ectopic T cell development and induced leukemia efficiently. In contrast, although gain-of-function alleles that initiated only weak downstream signals also induced ectopic T cell development, these more common alleles failed to efficiently initiate leukemia development. However, weak gain-of-function NOTCH1 alleles accelerated the onset of leukemia initiated by constitutively active K-ras and gave rise to tumors that were sensitive to Notch signaling pathway inhibition. These data show that induction of leukemia requires doses of Notch1 greater than those needed for T cell development and that most NOTCH1 mutations found in T-ALL cells do not generate signals of sufficient strength to initiate leukemia development. Furthermore, low, nonleukemogenic levels of Notch1 can complement other leukemogenic events, such as activation of K-ras. Even when Notch1 participates secondarily, the resulting tumors show "addiction" to Notch, providing a further rationale for evaluating Notch signaling pathway inhibitors in leukemia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/JCI35090DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2491459PMC
September 2008

Canonical notch signaling is dispensable for the maintenance of adult hematopoietic stem cells.

Cell Stem Cell 2008 Apr;2(4):356-66

Center for Stem Cell Biology, Life Sciences Institute, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA.

Gain-of-function experiments have demonstrated the potential of Notch signals to expand primitive hematopoietic progenitors, but whether Notch physiologically regulates hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) homeostasis in vivo is unclear. To answer this question, we evaluated the effect of global deficiencies of canonical Notch signaling in rigorous HSC assays. Hematopoietic progenitors expressing dominant-negative Mastermind-like1 (DNMAML), a potent inhibitor of Notch-mediated transcriptional activation, achieved stable long-term reconstitution of irradiated hosts and showed a normal frequency of progenitor fractions enriched for long-term HSCs. Similar results were observed with cells lacking CSL/RBPJ, a DNA-binding factor that is required for canonical Notch signaling. Notch-deprived progenitors provided normal long-term reconstitution after secondary competitive transplantation. Furthermore, Notch target genes were expressed at low levels in primitive hematopoietic progenitors. Taken together, these results rule out an essential physiological role for cell-autonomous canonical Notch signals in HSC maintenance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.stem.2008.02.011DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3717373PMC
April 2008

Potent antitumor effects of ZD6474 on neuroblastoma via dual targeting of tumor cells and tumor endothelium.

Mol Cancer Ther 2008 Feb 1;7(2):418-24. Epub 2008 Feb 1.

Department of Vascular Biology, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Among children with relapsed or refractory neuroblastoma, the prognosis is poor and novel therapeutic strategies are needed to improve long-term survival. As with other solid tumors, high vascular density within neuroblastoma is associated with advanced disease, and therapeutic regimens directed against the tumor vasculature may provide clinical benefit. The receptor tyrosine kinase RET is widely expressed in neuroblastoma and is known to activate key signal transduction pathways involved in tumor cell survival and progression including Ras/mitogen-activated protein kinase and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt. We investigated the effect of dual targeting of tumor cells and tumor endothelium with ZD6474, a small-molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitor of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptor 2, epidermal growth factor receptor, and RET. ZD6474 inhibited the phosphorylation of RET in neuroblastoma cells and had a direct effect on tumor cell viability in seven neuroblastoma cell lines. In a human neuroblastoma xenograft model, ZD6474 inhibited tumor growth by 85% compared with treatment with vehicle alone. In contrast, no significant inhibition of tumor growth was observed after treatment with bevacizumab, an antihuman VEGF monoclonal antibody, or the epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitor erlotinib, either alone or in combination. Immunohistochemical analysis showed that ZD6474 treatment led to an increase in endothelial cell apoptosis along with inhibition of VEGF receptor-2 activation on tumor endothelium. In conclusion, dual targeting of tumor cells, potentially through RET inhibition, and tumor vasculature with ZD6474 leads to potent antitumor effects. This approach merits further investigation for patients with neuroblastoma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-07-0568DOI Listing
February 2008

Tribbles homolog 2 inactivates C/EBPalpha and causes acute myelogenous leukemia.

Cancer Cell 2006 Nov;10(5):401-11

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute, Institute for Medicine and Engineering, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA.

Tribbles homolog 2 (Trib2) was identified as a downregulated transcript in leukemic cells undergoing growth arrest. To investigate the effects of Trib2 in hematopoietic progenitors, mice were reconstituted with hematopoietic stem cells retrovirally expressing Trib2. Trib2-transduced bone marrow cells exhibited a growth advantage ex vivo and readily established factor-dependent cell lines. In vivo, Trib2-reconstituted mice uniformly developed fatal transplantable acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). In mechanistic studies, we found that Trib2 associated with and inhibited C/EBPalpha. Furthermore, Trib2 expression was elevated in a subset of human AML patient samples. Together, our data identify Trib2 as an oncogene that induces AML through a mechanism involving inactivation of C/EBPalpha.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ccr.2006.09.012DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2839500PMC
November 2006

The requirement for Notch signaling at the beta-selection checkpoint in vivo is absolute and independent of the pre-T cell receptor.

J Exp Med 2006 Oct 11;203(10):2239-45. Epub 2006 Sep 11.

Division of Hematology-Oncology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.

Genetic inactivation of Notch signaling in CD4(-)CD8(-) double-negative (DN) thymocytes was previously shown to impair T cell receptor (TCR) gene rearrangement and to cause a partial block in CD4(+)CD8(+) double-positive (DP) thymocyte development in mice. In contrast, in vitro cultures suggested that Notch was absolutely required for the generation of DP thymocytes independent of pre-TCR expression and activity. To resolve the respective role of Notch and the pre-TCR, we inhibited Notch-mediated transcriptional activation in vivo with a green fluorescent protein-tagged dominant-negative Mastermind-like 1 (DNMAML) that allowed us to track single cells incapable of Notch signaling. DNMAML expression in DN cells led to decreased production of DP thymocytes but only to a modest decrease in intracellular TCRbeta expression. DNMAML attenuated the pre-TCR-associated increase in cell size and CD27 expression. TCRbeta or TCRalphabeta transgenes failed to rescue DNMAML-related defects. Intrathymic injections of DNMAML(-) or DNMAML(+) DN thymocytes revealed a complete DN/DP transition block, with production of DNMAML(+) DP thymocytes only from cells undergoing late Notch inactivation. These findings indicate that the Notch requirement during the beta-selection checkpoint in vivo is absolute and independent of the pre-TCR, and it depends on transcriptional activation by Notch via the CSL/RBP-J-MAML complex.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1084/jem.20061020DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2118105PMC
October 2006

Notch-dependent T-lineage commitment occurs at extrathymic sites following bone marrow transplantation.

Blood 2006 May 5;107(9):3511-9. Epub 2006 Jan 5.

611 BRB II/III, 421 Curie Blvd, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.

Early T-lineage progenitors (ETPs) arise after colonization of the thymus by multipotent bone marrow progenitors. ETPs likely serve as physiologic progenitors of T-cell development in adult mice, although alternative T-cell differentiation pathways may exist. While we were investigating mechanisms of T-cell reconstitution after bone marrow transplantation (BMT), we found that efficient donor-derived thymopoiesis occurred before the pool of ETPs had been replenished. Simultaneously, T lineage-restricted progenitors were generated at extrathymic sites, both in the spleen and in peripheral lymph nodes, but not in the bone marrow or liver. The generation of these T lineage-committed cells occurred through a Notch-dependent differentiation process. Multipotent bone marrow progenitors efficiently gave rise to extrathymic T lineage-committed cells, whereas common lymphoid progenitors did not. Our data show plasticity of T-lineage commitment sites in the post-BMT environment and indicate that Notch-driven extrathymic Tlineage commitment from multipotent progenitors may contribute to early T-lineage reconstitution after BMT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2005-08-3454DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1895767PMC
May 2006

Notch signaling is a potent inducer of growth arrest and apoptosis in a wide range of B-cell malignancies.

Blood 2005 Dec 23;106(12):3898-906. Epub 2005 Aug 23.

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, 611 BRB II/III, 421 Curie Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6160, USA.

Although Notch receptor expression on malignant B cells is widespread, the effect of Notch signaling in these cells is poorly understood. To investigate Notch signaling in B-cell malignancy, we assayed the effect of Notch activation in multiple murine and human B-cell tumors, representing both immature and mature subtypes. Expression of constitutively active, truncated forms of the 4 mammalian Notch receptors (ICN1-4) inhibited growth and induced apoptosis in both murine and human B-cell lines but not T-cell lines. Similar results were obtained in human precursor B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia lines when Notch activation was achieved by coculture with fibroblasts expressing the Notch ligands Jagged1 or Jagged2. All 4 truncated Notch receptors, as well as the Jagged ligands, induced Hes1 transcription. Retroviral expression of Hairy/Enhancer of Split-1 (Hes1) recapitulated the Notch effects, suggesting that Hes1 is an important mediator of Notch-induced growth arrest and apoptosis in B cells. Among the B-cell malignancies that were susceptible to Notch-mediated growth inhibition/apoptosis were mature B-cell and therapy-resistant B-cell malignancies, including Hodgkin, myeloma, and mixed-lineage leukemia (MLL)-translocated cell lines. These results suggest that therapies capable of activating Notch/Hes1 signaling may have therapeutic potential in a wide range of human B-cell malignancies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2005-01-0355DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1895093PMC
December 2005

Notch signaling controls the generation and differentiation of early T lineage progenitors.

Nat Immunol 2005 Jul 12;6(7):663-70. Epub 2005 Jun 12.

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA.

Signaling by the transmembrane receptor Notch is critical for T lineage development, but progenitor subsets that first receive Notch signals have not been defined. Here we identify an immature subset of early T lineage progenitors (ETPs) in the thymus that expressed the tyrosine kinase receptor Flt3 and had preserved B lineage potential at low progenitor frequency. Notch signaling was active in ETPs and was required for generation of the ETP population. Additionally, Notch signals contributed to the subsequent differentiation of ETPs. In contrast, multipotent hematopoietic progenitors circulated in the blood even in the absence of Notch signaling, suggesting that critical Notch signals during early T lineage development are delivered early after thymic entry.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ni1216DOI Listing
July 2005

Mastermind critically regulates Notch-mediated lymphoid cell fate decisions.

Blood 2004 Sep 8;104(6):1696-702. Epub 2004 Jun 8.

Division of Hematology-Oncology, Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6160, USA.

During lymphoid development, Notch1 plays a critical role in the T-cell/B-cell lineage decision, while Notch2 is essential for marginal zone B-cell (MZB) development. Notch pathway activation induces translocation of intracellular Notch (ICN) to the nucleus, where it interacts with the transcription factor CSL (CBF1/RBP-Jk, Suppressor of Hairless, Lag-1). In vitro, ICN binds Mastermind-like proteins, which act as potent Notch coactivators. Three MAML family members (MAML1-3) have been identified in mammals, but their importance in vivo is unknown. To investigate the function of MAMLs in hematopoietic development, we introduced a dominant negative (DN) mutant of MAML1, capable of inhibiting Notch1-4, in murine hematopoietic stem cells. DNMAML1 resulted in early inhibition of T-cell development and the appearance of intrathymic B cells, phenotypes consistent with Notch1 inhibition. The T-cell differentiation block was as profound as that produced by enforced expression of the Notch modulator Deltex1. In DNMAML1-transduced spleen cells, a dramatic decrease in MZB cells was present, consistent with Notch2 inhibition. In contrast, Deltex1 did not decrease MZB cell numbers. These results suggest a critical role for MAMLs during Notch-mediated cell fate decisions in vivo and indicate that DNMAML1, but not Deltex1, can be used to interfere with the function of multiple Notch family members.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2004-02-0514DOI Listing
September 2004

Notch signaling augments T cell responsiveness by enhancing CD25 expression.

J Immunol 2003 Sep;171(6):2896-903

Departments of Medicine, Institute for Medicine and Engineering, The Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.

Notch receptors signal through a highly conserved pathway to influence cell fate decisions. Notch1 is required for T lineage commitment; however, a role for Notch signaling has not been clearly defined for the peripheral T cell response. Notch gene expression is induced, and Notch1 is activated in primary CD4(+) T cells following specific peptide-Ag stimulation. Notch activity contributes to the peripheral T cell response, as inhibition of endogenous Notch activation decreases the proliferation of activated T cells in a manner associated with the diminished production of IL-2 and the expression of the high affinity IL-2R (CD25). Conversely, forced expression of a constitutively active Notch1 in primary T cells results in increased surface expression of CD25, and renders these cells more sensitive to both cognate Ag and IL-2, as measured by cell division. These data suggest an important role for Notch signaling during CD4(+) T cell responses, which operates through augmenting a positive feedback loop involving IL-2 and its high affinity receptor.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4049/jimmunol.171.6.2896DOI Listing
September 2003

The biology of chronic myelogenous leukemia:mouse models and cell adhesion.

Oncogene 2002 Dec;21(56):8612-28

Institute for Medicine and Engineering, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104-6160, USA.

Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) is a biphasic neoplasm of the bone marrow that is precipitated by the Philadelphia chromosome, a t(9;22) balanced translocation that encodes a constitutively activated nonreceptor tyrosine kinase termed P210(BCR-ABL). This oncoprotein has several intracellular functions; however, the most important effect of P210(BCR-ABL) leading to cell transformation is phosphorylation of signaling molecules through a constitutively active tyrosine kinase domain. Despite extensive knowledge of the structure and functional domains of BCR-ABL, its precise function in transformation is not known. Progress has been hampered, in part, by the lack of relevant CML models, as cell culture and in vitro assays do not mimic the pathogenesis of CML. Recently, there has been significant progress toward improving murine models that closely resemble human CML. This has allowed researchers to evaluate critical functions of BCR-ABL and has provided a model to test the efficacy of therapeutic medications that block these pathways. Our laboratory has developed two intersecting research programs to better understand the functioning of P210(BCR-ABL) in leukemogenesis. In one approach, we have developed a murine CML model by transferring HSCs that express BCR-ABL from a retroviral vector. All recipients develop a rapidly fatal MPD that shares several important features with CML. This model has been extremely useful for studying the function of BCR-ABL in the pathogenesis of CML. A second approach utilizes a quantitative cell detachment apparatus capable of measuring small changes in cell adhesion to investigate the mechanism by which P210(BCR-ABL) causes abnormal cell binding. Altered cell adhesion may contribute to the imbalance between proliferation and self-renewal in the hematopoietic progenitor compartment. To better understand the role abnormal adhesion may play in the development of leukemia, we have attempted to correlate the effects of functional P210(BCR-ABL) mutants in regulating adhesion and oncogenicity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/sj.onc.1206089DOI Listing
December 2002

The coiled-coil domain and Tyr177 of bcr are required to induce a murine chronic myelogenous leukemia-like disease by bcr/abl.

Blood 2002 Apr;99(8):2957-68

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Institute for Medicine and Engineering, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA.

The bcr/abl fusion in chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) creates a chimeric tyrosine kinase with dramatically different properties than intact c-abl. In P210 bcr/abl, the bcr portion includes a coiled-coil oligomerization domain (amino acids 1-63) and a grb2-binding site at tyrosine 177 (Tyr177) that are critical for fibroblast transformation, but give variable results in other cell lines. To investigate the role of the coiled-coil domain and Tyr177 in promoting CML, 4 P210 bcr/abl-derived mutants containing different bcr domains fused to abl were constructed. All 4 mutants, Delta(1-63) bcr/abl, (1-63) bcr/abl, Tyr177Phe bcr/abl, and (1-210) bcr/abl exhibited elevated tyrosine kinase activity and conferred factor-independent growth in cell lines. In contrast, differences in the transforming potential of the 4 mutants occurred in our mouse model, in which all mice receiving P210 bcr/abl-expressing bone marrow cells exclusively develop a myeloproliferative disease (MPD) resembling human CML. Of the 4 mutants assayed, only 1-210 bcr/abl, containing both the coiled-coil domain and Tyr177, induced MPD. Unlike full-length P210, this mutant also caused a simultaneous B-cell acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL). The other 3 mutants, (1-63) bcr/abl, Tyr177Phe bcr/abl, and Delta(1-63) bcr/abl, failed to induce an MPD but instead caused T-cell ALL. These results show that both the bcr coiled-coil domain and Tyr177 are required for MPD induction by bcr/abl and provide the basis for investigating downstream signaling pathways that lead to CML.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.v99.8.2957DOI Listing
April 2002

Deltex1 redirects lymphoid progenitors to the B cell lineage by antagonizing Notch1.

Immunity 2002 Feb;16(2):231-43

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.

Notch1 signaling drives T cell development at the expense of B cell development from a common precursor, an effect that is dependent on a C-terminal Notch1 transcriptional activation domain. The function of Deltex1, initially identified as a positive modulator of Notch function in a genetic screen in Drosophila, is poorly understood. We now demonstrate that, in contrast to Notch1, enforced expression of Deltex1 in hematopoietic progenitors results in B cell development at the expense of T cell development in fetal thymic organ culture and in vivo. Consistent with these effects, Deltex1 antagonizes Notch1 signaling in transcriptional reporter assays by inhibiting coactivator recruitment. These data suggest that a balance of inductive Notch1 signals and inhibitory signals mediated through Deltex1 and other modulators regulate T-B lineage commitment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/s1074-7613(02)00271-6DOI Listing
February 2002