Activated Notch1 induces lung adenomas in mice and cooperates with Myc in the generation of lung adenocarcinoma.
ABSTRACT: Notch1 encodes the canonical member of the mammalian Notch receptor family. Activating lesions frequently affect Notch1 in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) and, recently, have been found in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) as well. We explored the oncogenic potential of activated Notch1 in the lung by developing a transgenic mouse model in which activated Notch1 was overexpressed in the alveolar epithelium. The initial response to activated Notch1 was proliferation and the accumulation of alveolar hyperplasia, which was then promptly cleared by apoptosis. After an extended latency period, however, pulmonary adenomas appeared in the transgenic mice but failed to progress to become carcinomas. Interestingly, Myc and MycL1 were expressed in the adenomas, suggesting that selection for enhanced Myc activity may facilitate tumorigenesis. Using mice engineered to coexpress activated Notch1 and Myc, we found that supplementing Myc expression resulted in increased frequency of Notch1 intracellular domain (N1ICD)-induced adenoma formation and enabled progression to adenocarcinoma and metastases. Cooperation stemmed from synergistic activation of tumor cell cycling, a process that apparently countered any impedance to tumorigenesis posed by Myc and/or activated Notch1-induced apoptosis. Significantly, cooperation was independent of RAS activation. Taken together, the data suggest that activated Notch1 substitutes for RAS activation synergistically with Myc in the development of NSCLC. These tumor models should be valuable for exploring the role of activated Notch1 in the genesis of NSCLC and for testing therapies targeting either activated Notch1 or its downstream effectors.
Project description:MYC exerts both positive and negative functions in cancer cells, such that its procancerous effects are unmasked only after its anticancer effects are blocked. Here we used multiple mouse models of lung adenocarcinoma to identify genetic events that can cooperate with MYC activation to promote the genesis of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), the most common form of lung cancer in humans. MYC overexpression targeted to pulmonary alveolar cells was sufficient to induce lung adenomas and carcinomas. Tumorigenesis was assisted by either spontaneous mutations in Kras or experimental introduction of activated RAS, but investigations revealed that additional events were required to circumvent apoptosis, one of the most significant negative functions exerted by MYC. We determined that overexpression of the antiapoptotic protein MCL1 was sufficient to circumvent apoptosis in this setting. Previous clinical studies have indicated that prognosis of human NSCLC is not associated with MCL1, despite its overexpression in many NSCLCs. In reexamining the prognostic value in this setting, we found that MCL1 overexpression does correlate with poor patient survival, but only when accompanied by MYC overexpression. Our findings therefore produce a convergence of mouse and human results that explain how MCL1 can block an important negative consequence of MYC overexpression in both experimental models and clinical cases of NSCLC.
Project description:Notch receptors signaling is required for optimal T-cell activation and function. T-cell receptor (TCR) engagement can activate Notch receptors in T-cells in a ligand-independent fashion. In this study, we examined the role of adenosine A2A receptor (A2AR) signaling pathway in regulating the activity of Notch1 induced by TCR stimulation in CD8+T-cells. A selective A2AR agonist decreased Notch1 protein expression and Notch1 cleavage, and reduced transcripts of Notch1-target genes Hes1 and Myc in activated CD8+T-cells. Inhibition of TCR-induced Notch1 expression by an A2AR agonist was accompanied by increased cAMP concentration and mimicked by forskolin. This effect was associated with reduced IFN-? and granzyme B production. The effect of an A2AR agonist was abrogated by a selective A2AR antagonist and absent in CD8+T-cells harvested from A2AR-/- mice. Stimulation of A2AR reduced Notch1 receptor levels by inhibiting upstream TCR signals, including ZAP70 phosphorylation, in turn impairing the generation of the active Notch1 intracellular domain (N1ICD). Direct activation of PKC with PMA and ionomycin bypassed A2AR-induced Notch1 inhibition. Overexpression of N1ICD in CD8+T-cells prevented the suppressive effects of an A2AR agonist on proliferation and cytokine release during activation. Our results identify the A2AR signaling pathway as an important regulator of TCR-induced Notch1 receptor activation in CD8+T-cells, and Notch as an important target of the immune suppressive effects of A2AR. We propose a mechanism whereby A2AR impairs CD8 T-cells function through inhibition of Notch1 receptor activation.
Project description:Through the progressive accumulation of genetic and epigenetic alterations in cellular physiology, non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) evolves in distinct steps involving mutually exclusive oncogenic mutations in K-Ras or EGFR along with inactivating mutations in the p53 tumor suppressor. Herein, we show two independent in vivo lung cancer models in which CHUK/IKK-? acts as a major NSCLC tumor suppressor. In a novel transgenic mouse strain, wherein IKK? ablation is induced by tamoxifen (Tmx) solely in alveolar type II (AT-II) lung epithelial cells, IKK? loss increases the number and size of lung adenomas in response to the chemical carcinogen urethane, whereas IKK-? instead acts as a tumor promoter in this same context. IKK? knockdown in three independent human NSCLC lines (independent of K-Ras or p53 status) enhances their growth as tumor xenografts in immune-compromised mice. Bioinformatics analysis of whole transcriptome profiling followed by quantitative protein and targeted gene expression validation experiments reveals that IKK? loss can result in the up-regulation of activated HIF-1-? protein to enhance NSCLC tumor growth under hypoxic conditions in vivo.
Project description:RATIONALE:Maintaining endothelial cells (EC) as a monolayer in the vessel wall depends on their metabolic state and gene expression profile, features influenced by contact with neighboring cells such as pericytes and smooth muscle cells (SMC). Failure to regenerate a normal EC monolayer in response to injury can result in occlusive neointima formation in diseases such as atherosclerosis and pulmonary arterial hypertension. OBJECTIVE:We investigated the nature and functional importance of contact-dependent communication between SMC and EC to maintain EC integrity. METHODS AND RESULTS:We found that in SMC and EC contact cocultures, BMPR2 (bone morphogenetic protein receptor 2) is required by both cell types to produce collagen IV to activate ILK (integrin-linked kinase). This enzyme directs p-JNK (phospho-c-Jun N-terminal kinase) to the EC membrane, where it stabilizes presenilin1 and releases N1ICD (Notch1 intracellular domain) to promote EC proliferation. This response is necessary for EC regeneration after carotid artery injury. It is deficient in EC-SMC Bmpr2 double heterozygous mice in association with reduced collagen IV production, decreased N1ICD, and attenuated EC proliferation, but can be rescued by targeting N1ICD to EC. Deletion of EC- Notch1 in transgenic mice worsens hypoxia-induced pulmonary hypertension, in association with impaired EC regenerative function associated with loss of precapillary arteries. We further determined that N1ICD maintains EC proliferative capacity by increasing mitochondrial mass and by inducing the phosphofructokinase PFKFB3 (fructose-2,6-bisphosphatase 3). Chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing analyses showed that PFKFB3 is required for citrate-dependent H3K27 acetylation at enhancer sites of genes regulated by the acetyl transferase p300 and by N1ICD or the N1ICD target MYC and necessary for EC proliferation and homeostasis. CONCLUSIONS:Thus, SMC-EC contact is required for activation of Notch1 by BMPR2, to coordinate metabolism with chromatin remodeling of genes that enable EC regeneration, and to maintain monolayer integrity and vascular homeostasis in response to injury.
Project description:We show that c-Myc, in addition to activating transcription through E-box Myc binding sites (Ems), also represses transcription by a mechanism dependent on initiator (Inr) elements of the basal promoters of susceptible genes. Repression was first observed as a component of c-Myc biphasic regulation of the adenovirus-2 major late promoter (MLP), which contains both Inr and Ems sequences. Two differentiation-specific genes containing Inr, the C/EBP alpha and albumin genes, are repressed through their basal promoters by c-Myc, but are activated by the related B-HLH-LZ factor, USF. Repression requires both the B-HLH-LZ and Myc box II (MBII) domains. Significantly, a MBII deletion mutant which is deficient in repression, but transactivates normally, fails to cooperate with an activated ras gene to transform primary fibroblasts. Thus Myc-dependent transactivation is insufficient for Ras cooperation and the novel transcription repression function is implicated in Ras cooperation as well as the suppression of Inr-dependent genes.
Project description:Notch signaling is critical for the development and maintenance of the cardiovasculature, with loss-of-function studies defining roles of Notch1 in the endothelial/hematopoietic lineages. No in vivo studies have addressed complementary gain-of-function strategies within these tissues to define consequences of Notch activation. We developed a transgenic model of Cre recombinase-mediated activation of a constitutively active mouse Notch1 allele (N1ICD(+)) and studied transgene activation in Tie2-expressing lineages. The in vivo phenotype was compared to effects of Notch1 activation on endothelial tubulogenesis, paracrine regulation of smooth muscle cell proliferation, and hematopoiesis. N1ICD(+) embryos showed midgestation lethality with defects in angiogenic remodeling of embryonic and yolk sac vasculature, cardiac development, smooth muscle cell investment of vessels, and hematopoietic differentiation. Angiogenic defects corresponded with impaired endothelial tubulogenesis in vitro following Notch1 activation and paracrine inhibition of smooth muscle cells when grown with Notch1-activated endothelial cells. Flow cytometric analysis of hematopoietic and endothelial precursor populations demonstrated a significant loss of CD71(+)/Ter119(+) populations with an active N1ICD(+) allele and a corresponding increase in c-Kit(+)/CD71 and Flk1(+) populations, suggesting a developmental block during the transition between c-Kit- and Ter119-expressing erythroblasts. Cardiovascular lineages are sensitive to an imbalance in Notch signaling, with aberrant activation reflecting a vascular phenotype comparable to a loss-of-function Notch1 mutation.
Project description:Our recent study demonstrated altered expression of Notch ligands, receptors, and effector genes in testes of pubertal rats following reduced androgen production or signaling. Herein we aimed to explore the role of nuclear androgen receptor (AR) and membrane androgen receptor (Zrt- and Irt-like protein 9; ZIP9) in the regulation of Notch pathway activation in rodent Sertoli cells. Experiments were performed using TM4 and 15P-1 Sertoli cell lines and rat primary Sertoli cells (PSC). We found that testosterone (10-8 M-10-6 M) increased the expression of Notch1 receptor, its active form Notch1 intracellular domain (N1ICD) (p < 0.05, p < 0.01, p < 0.001), and the effector genes Hey1 (p < 0.05, p < 0.01, p < 0.001) and Hes1 (p < 0.05, p < 0.001) in Sertoli cells. Knockdown of AR or ZIP9 as well as antiandrogen exposure experiments revealed that (i) action of androgens via both AR and ZIP9 controls Notch1/N1ICD expression and transcriptional activity of recombination signal binding protein (RBP-J), (ii) AR-dependent signaling regulates Hey1 expression, (iii) ZIP9-dependent pathway regulates Hes1 expression. Our findings indicate a crosstalk between androgen and Notch signaling in Sertoli cells and point to cooperation of classical and non-classical androgen signaling pathways in controlling Sertoli cell function.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:Patients with SCLC have a poor prognosis and limited treatment options. Because access to longitudinal tumor samples is very limited in patients with this disease, we chose to focus our studies on the characterization of plasma cell-free DNA (cfDNA) for rapid, noninvasive monitoring of disease burden. METHODS:We developed a liquid biopsy assay that quantifies somatic variants in cfDNA. The assay detects single nucleotide variants, copy number alterations, and insertions or deletions in 14 genes that are frequently mutated in SCLC, including tumor protein p53 gene (TP53), retinoblastoma 1 gene (RB1), BRAF, KIT proto-oncogene receptor tyrosine kinase gene (KIT), notch 1 gene (NOTCH1), notch 2 gene (NOTCH2), notch 3 gene (NOTCH3), notch 4 gene (NOTCH4), phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate 3-kinase catalytic subunit alpha gene (PIK3CA), phosphatase and tensin homolog gene (PTEN), fibroblast growth factor receptor 1 gene (FGFR1), v-myc avian myelocytomatosis viral oncogene homolog gene (MYC), v-myc avian myelocytomatosis viral oncogene lung carcinoma derived homolog gene (MYCL1), and v-myc avian myelocytomatosis viral oncogene neuroblastoma derived homolog gene (MYCN). RESULTS:Over the course of 26 months of peripheral blood collection, we examined 140 plasma samples from 27 patients. We detected disease-associated mutations in 85% of patient samples with mutant allele frequencies ranging from 0.1% to 87%. In our cohort, 59% of the patients had extensive-stage disease, and the most common mutations occurred in TP53 (70%) and RB1 (52%). In addition to mutations in TP53 and RB1, we detected alterations in 10 additional genes in our patient population (PTEN, NOTCH1, NOTCH2, NOTCH3, NOTCH4, MYC, MYCL1, PIK3CA, KIT, and BRAF). The observed allele frequencies and copy number alterations tracked closely with treatment responses. Notably, in several cases analysis of cfDNA provided evidence of disease relapse before conventional imaging. CONCLUSIONS:These results suggest that liquid biopsies are readily applicable in patients with SCLC and can potentially provide improved monitoring of disease burden, depth of response to treatment, and timely warning of disease relapse in patients with this disease.
Project description:Since the generation of a mouse strain conditionally expressing the active intracellular domain of Notch1 (N1ICD), many laboratories have exploited this model (RosaN1-ICD) to assess the impact of constitutive Notch1 signalling activation in normal and pathological processes. It should be underscored that Cre-recombination leads to the expression of a C-terminally truncated form of N1ICD (N1ICDdC) in the RosaN1-ICD mutant mice. Given that no studies were undertaken to delineate whether deletion of this region leaves intact N1ICD function, stable cell lines with single targeted integration of inducible N1ICD and N1ICDdC were generated. We found that C-terminal deletion of N1ICD stabilized the protein but did not promote the activity of Notch responsive promoters. Furthermore, despite higher expression levels, N1ICDdC failed to phenocopy N1ICD in the promotion of anchorage-independent growth. Our results thus suggest that the C-terminal region of N1ICD plays a role in shaping the Notch response. Therefore, it should be taken into consideration that N1ICD is truncated when interpreting phenotypes of RosaN1-ICD mutant mice.