Inactivation of p53 is insufficient to allow B cells and B-cell lymphomas to survive without Dicer.
ABSTRACT: Inactivation of p53, the master regulator of cellular stress and damage signals, often allows cells that should die or senesce to live. Loss of Dicer, an RNase III-like enzyme critical in microRNA biogenesis, causes embryonic lethality and activation of the p53 pathway. Several nonhematopoietic cell types that contain inactivated p53 have been shown to survive Dicer deletion, suggesting that p53 loss may protect cells from the negative consequences of Dicer deletion. However, here, we report that loss of p53 did not provide a survival advantage to B cells, as they underwent rapid apoptosis upon Dicer deletion. Moreover, a deficiency in p53 neither rescued the Dicer deletion-induced delay in Myc-driven B-cell lymphomagenesis, nor allowed a single B-cell lymphoma to develop with biallelic deletion of Dicer. A p53 deficiency did, however, restore the pre-B/B-cell phenotype and CD19 surface expression of the lymphomas that emerged in conditional Dicer knockout E?-myc transgenic mice. Moreover, p53 loss in transformed B cells did not confer protection from apoptosis, as Dicer deletion in established p53-null B-cell lymphomas induced apoptosis, and all of the 1,260 B-cell lymphoma clones analyzed that survived Cre-mediated Dicer deletion retained at least one allele of Dicer. Moreover, Dicer deletion in lymphomas in vivo reduced tumor burden and prolonged survival. Therefore, inactivation of p53 is insufficient to allow untransformed B cells and B-cell lymphomas to survive without Dicer, presenting a potential therapeutic opportunity for the treatment of B-cell lymphomas.
Project description:The effect of p53-dependent cell-cycle arrest and senescence on Emu-myc-induced B-cell lymphoma development remains controversial. To address this question, we crossed Emu-myc mice with the p53(515C) mutant mouse, encoding the mutant p53R172P protein that retains the ability to activate the cell-cycle inhibitor and senescence activator p21. Importantly, this mutant lacks the ability to activate p53-dependent apoptotic genes. Hence, Emu-myc mice that harbor two p53(515C) alleles are completely defective for p53-dependent apoptosis. Both Emu-myc::p53(515C/515C) and Emu-myc::p53(515C/+) mice survive significantly longer than Emu-myc::p53(+/-) mice, indicating the importance of the p53-dependent non-apoptotic pathways in B-cell lymphomagenesis. In addition, the p53(515C) allele is deleted in several Emu-myc::p53(515C/+) lymphomas, further emphasizing the functionality of p53R172P in tumor inhibition. Lymphomas from both Emu-myc::p53(515C/515C) and Emu-myc::p53(515C/+) mice retain the ability to upregulate p21, resulting in cellular senescence. Senescence-associated beta-galactosidase (SA beta-gal) activity was observed in lymphomas from Emu-myc::p53(+/+), Emu-myc::p53(515C/515C) and Emu-myc::p53(515C /+) mice but not in lymphomas isolated from Emu-myc::p53(+/-) mice. Thus, in the absence of p53-dependent apoptosis, the ability of p53R172P to induce senescence leads to a significant delay in B-cell lymphoma development.
Project description:Although the Myc transcription factor has been shown necessary for the oncogenic function of Ras, the contribution of Ras pathway signaling to the oncogenic function of Myc remains unresolved. We report the novel findings that Myc alone induced Ras/Mapk pathway signaling, and increased signaling following growth factor stimulation. Deletion of the scaffold protein kinase suppressor of Ras 1 (Ksr1) attenuated signaling through the Ras/Mapk pathway, including activation following Myc induction. B cells that lacked Ksr1 exhibited reduced proliferation and increased cytokine deprivation-induced apoptosis. Overexpression of Myc rescued the proliferation defect of Ksr1-null B cells, but loss of Ksr1 increased sensitivity of B cells to Myc-induced apoptosis. Notably, there was a significant delay in lymphoma development in Ksr1-null mice overexpressing Myc in B cells (Eμ-myc transgenic mice). There was an elevated frequency of p53 inactivation, indicative of increased selective pressure to bypass the p53 tumor suppressor pathway, in Ksr1-null Eμ-myc lymphomas. Therefore, loss of Ksr1 inhibits Ras/Mapk pathway signaling leading to increased Myc-induced B-cell apoptosis, and this results in reduced B-cell transformation and lymphoma development. Our data indicate that suppression of Myc-induced Ras/Mapk pathway signaling significantly impairs Myc oncogenic function. These results fill a significant gap in knowledge about Myc and should open new avenues of therapeutic intervention for Myc-overexpressing malignancies.
Project description:The transcriptional regulator c-MYC is abnormally overexpressed in many human cancers. Evasion from apoptosis is critical for cancer development, particularly c-MYC-driven cancers. We explored which anti-apoptotic BCL-2 family member (expressed under endogenous regulation) is essential to sustain c-MYC-driven lymphoma growth to reveal which should be targeted for cancer therapy. Remarkably, inducible Cre-mediated deletion of even a single Mcl-1 allele substantially impaired the growth of c-MYC-driven mouse lymphomas. Mutations in p53 could diminish but not obviate the dependency of c-MYC-driven mouse lymphomas on MCL-1. Importantly, targeting of MCL-1 killed c-MYC-driven human Burkitt lymphoma cells, even those bearing mutations in p53. Given that loss of one allele of Mcl-1 is well tolerated in healthy tissues, our results suggest that therapeutic targeting of MCL-1 would be an attractive therapeutic strategy for MYC-driven cancers.
Project description:The c-Myc oncoprotein promotes proliferation and apoptosis, such that mutations that disable apoptotic programmes often cooperate with MYC during tumorigenesis. Here we report that two common mutant MYC alleles derived from human Burkitt's lymphoma uncouple proliferation from apoptosis and, as a result, are more effective than wild-type MYC at promoting B cell lymphomagenesis in mice. Mutant MYC proteins retain their ability to stimulate proliferation and activate p53, but are defective at promoting apoptosis due to a failure to induce the BH3-only protein Bim (a member of the B cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl2) family) and effectively inhibit Bcl2. Disruption of apoptosis through enforced expression of Bcl2, or loss of either Bim or p53 function, enables wild-type MYC to produce lymphomas as efficiently as mutant MYC. These data show how parallel apoptotic pathways act together to suppress MYC-induced transformation, and how mutant MYC proteins, by selectively disabling a p53-independent pathway, enable tumour cells to evade p53 action during lymphomagenesis.
Project description:The ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) kinase is a key tumor suppressor that regulates numerous cell cycle checkpoints as well as apoptosis. Here, we report that ATM is a critical player in the regulation of apoptosis and lymphomagenesis in the presence of c-myc. In turn, deletion of the inhibitory ATM phosphatase, Wip1, results in ATM up-regulation and suppression of Emicro-myc-induced B cell lymphomas. Using mouse genetic crosses, we show that the onset of myc-induced lymphomas is dramatically delayed in Wip1-null mice in an ATM- and p53-, but not p38 MAPK- or Arf-, dependent manner. We propose that Wip1 phosphatase is critical for regulating the ATM-mediated tumor surveillance network.
Project description:Myc oncoproteins promote continuous cell growth, in part by controlling the transcription of key cell cycle regulators. Here, we report that c-Myc regulates the expression of Aurora A and B kinases (Aurka and Aurkb), and that Aurka and Aurkb transcripts and protein levels are highly elevated in Myc-driven B-cell lymphomas in both mice and humans. The induction of Aurka by Myc is transcriptional and is directly mediated via E-boxes, whereas Aurkb is regulated indirectly. Blocking Aurka/b kinase activity with a selective Aurora kinase inhibitor triggers transient mitotic arrest, polyploidization, and apoptosis of Myc-induced lymphomas. These phenotypes are selectively bypassed by a kinase inhibitor-resistant Aurkb mutant, demonstrating that Aurkb is the primary therapeutic target in the context of Myc. Importantly, apoptosis provoked by Aurk inhibition was p53 independent, suggesting that Aurka/Aurkb inhibitors will show efficacy in treating primary or relapsed malignancies having Myc involvement and/or loss of p53 function.
Project description:The expression of beta-catenin, a potent oncogene, is causally linked to tumorigenesis. Therefore, it was surprising that the transgenic expression of oncogenic beta-catenin in thymocytes resulted in thymic involution instead of lymphomagenesis. In this report, we demonstrate that this is because the expression of oncogenic beta-catenin induces DNA damage, growth arrest, oncogene-induced senescence (OIS), and apoptosis of immature thymocytes. In p53-deficient mice, the expression of oncogenic beta-catenin still results in DNA damage and OIS, but the thymocytes survive and eventually progress to thymic lymphoma. beta-Catenin-induced thymic lymphomas are distinct from lymphomas that arise in p53(-/-) mice. They are CD4(-) CD8(-), while p53-dependent lymphomas are largely CD4(+) CD8(+), and they develop at an earlier age and in the absence of c-Myc expression or Notch1 signaling. Thus, we report that oncogenic beta-catenin-induced, p53-independent growth arrest and OIS and p53-dependent apoptosis protect developing thymocytes from transformation by oncogenic beta-catenin.
Project description:Evasion of apoptosis contributes importantly to c-Myc-induced tumorigenesis. The BH3-only Bcl-2 family members Puma and Noxa are critical pro-apoptotic transcriptional targets of p53, a major mediator of Myc-induced apoptosis and suppressor of Myc-induced tumorigenesis. Hence, we have explored the impact of their individual or combined loss on myc-driven lymphomagenesis. Notably, Puma deficiency both increased B-lineage cells and accelerated the development of B lymphoma, accompanied by leukaemia, but not of pre-B lymphoma. Noxa deficiency alone also increased B-lineage cells but did not accelerate lymphomagenesis. However, its deficiency combined with loss of one puma allele produced more rapid onset of both pre-B and B lymphomas than did loss of a single puma allele alone. Nevertheless, the acceleration evoked by loss of both genes was not as marked as that caused by p53 heterozygosity. These results show that Puma imposes a significant, and Noxa a minor barrier to c-Myc-driven lymphomagenesis. They also indicate that additional BH3-only proteins probably also drive Myc-induced apoptosis and that non-apoptotic functions of p53 may contribute substantially to its tumour suppressor role.
Project description:DNA-damaging chemotherapy is the backbone of cancer treatment, although it is not clear how such treatments kill tumor cells. In nontransformed lymphoid cells, the combined loss of 2 proapoptotic p53 target genes, Puma and Noxa, induces as much resistance to DNA damage as loss of p53 itself. In E?-Myc lymphomas, however, lack of both Puma and Noxa resulted in no greater drug resistance than lack of Puma alone. A third B-cell lymphoma-2 homology domain (BH)3-only gene, Bim, although not a direct p53 target, was up-regulated in E?-Myc lymphomas incurring DNA damage, and knockdown of Bim levels markedly increased the drug resistance of E?-Myc/Puma(-/-)Noxa(-/-) lymphomas both in vitro and in vivo. Remarkably, c-MYC-driven lymphoma cell lines from Noxa(-/-)Puma(-/-)Bim(-/-) mice were as resistant as those lacking p53. Thus, the combinatorial action of Puma, Noxa, and Bim is critical for optimal apoptotic responses of lymphoma cells to 2 commonly used DNA-damaging chemotherapeutic agents, identifying Bim as an additional biomarker for treatment outcome in the clinic.