LASP1 is a novel BCR-ABL substrate and a phosphorylation-dependent binding partner of CRKL in chronic myeloid leukemia.
ABSTRACT: Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is characterized by a genomic translocation generating a permanently active BCR-ABL oncogene with a complex pattern of atypically tyrosine-phosphorylated proteins that drive the malignant phenotype of CML. Recently, the LIM and SH3 domain protein 1 (LASP1) was identified as a component of a six gene signature that is strongly predictive for disease progression and relapse in CML patients. However, the underlying mechanisms why LASP1 expression correlates with dismal outcome remained unresolved. Here, we identified LASP1 as a novel and overexpressed direct substrate of BCR-ABL in CML. We demonstrate that LASP1 is specifically phosphorylated by BCR-ABL at tyrosine-171 in CML patients, which is abolished by tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapy. Further studies revealed that LASP1 phosphorylation results in an association with CRKL - another specific BCR-ABL substrate and bona fide biomarker for BCR-ABL activity. pLASP1-Y171 binds to non-phosphorylated CRKL at its SH2 domain. Accordingly, the BCR-ABL-mediated pathophysiological hyper-phosphorylation of LASP1 in CML disrupts normal regulation of CRKL and LASP1, which likely has implications on downstream BCR-ABL signaling. Collectively, our results suggest that LASP1 phosphorylation might serve as an additional candidate biomarker for assessment of BCR-ABL activity and provide a first step toward a molecular understanding of LASP1 function in CML.
Project description:Chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) is a clonal myeloproliferative stem cell disorder characterized by the constitutively active BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase. The LIM and SH3 domain protein 1 (LASP1) has recently been identified as a novel BCR-ABL substrate and is associated with proliferation, migration, tumorigenesis and chemoresistance in several cancers. Furthermore, LASP1 was shown to bind to the chemokine receptor 4 (CXCR4), thought to be involved in mechanisms of relapse. In order to identify potential LASP1-mediated pathways and related factors that may help to further eradicate minimal residual disease (MRD), the effect of LASP1 on processes involved in progression and maintenance of CML was investigated. The present data indicate that not only overexpression of CXCR4, but also knockout of LASP1 contributes to proliferation, reduced apoptosis and migration as well as increased adhesive potential of K562 CML cells. Furthermore, LASP1 depletion in K562 CML cells leads to decreased cytokine release and reduced NK cell-mediated cytotoxicity towards CML cells. Taken together, these results indicate that in CML, reduced levels of LASP1 alone and in combination with high CXCR4 expression may contribute to TKI resistance.
Project description:The serine/threonine protein kinase AKT1 is a downstream target of the chemokine receptor 4 (CXCR4), and both proteins play a central role in the modulation of diverse cellular processes, including proliferation and cell survival. While in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) the CXCR4 is downregulated, thereby promoting the mobilization of progenitor cells into blood, the receptor is highly expressed in breast cancer cells, favoring the migratory capacity of these cells. Recently, the LIM and SH3 domain protein 1 (LASP1) has been described as a novel CXCR4 binding partner and as a promoter of the PI3K/AKT pathway. In this study, we uncovered a direct binding of LASP1, phosphorylated at S146, to both CXCR4 and AKT1, as shown by immunoprecipitation assays, pull-down experiments, and immunohistochemistry data. In contrast, phosphorylation of LASP1 at Y171 abrogated these interactions, suggesting that both LASP1 phospho-forms interact. Finally, findings demonstrating different phosphorylation patterns of LASP1 in breast cancer and chronic myeloid leukemia may have implications for CXCR4 function and tyrosine kinase inhibitor treatment.
Project description:Aberrant phosphorylation and overexpression of BCR-ABL fusion protein are responsible for the main pathogenesis in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). Phosphorylated BCR-ABL Y177 recruits GRB2 adaptor and triggers leukemic RAS-MAPK and PI3K-AKT signals. In this study, we engineered a SPOA system to dephosphorylate and degrade BCR-ABL by targeting BCR-ABL Y177. We tested its effect on BCR-ABL phosphorylation and expression, as well as cell proliferation and apoptosis in CML cells. We found that SPOA remarkably dephosphorylated BCR-ABL Y177, prevented GRB2 recruitment, and uncoupled RAS-MAPK and PI3K-AKT signals. Meanwhile, SPOA degraded BCR-ABL oncoprotein in ubiquitin-independent manner and depressed the signal transduction of STAT5 and CRKL by BCR-ABL. Furthermore, SPOA inhibited proliferation and induced apoptosis in CML cells and depressed the oncogenecity of K562 cells in mice. These results provide evidence that dephosphorylating and degrading oncogenic BCR-ABL offer an alternative CML therapy.
Project description:Emergence of resistance to Tyrosine-Kinase Inhibitors (TKIs), such as imatinib, dasatinib and nilotinib, in Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML) demands new therapeutic strategies. We and others have previously established bortezomib, a selective proteasome inhibitor, as an important potential treatment in CML. Here we show that the combined regimens of bortezomib with mitotic inhibitors, such as the microtubule-stabilizing agent Paclitaxel and the PLK1 inhibitor BI2536, efficiently kill TKIs-resistant and -sensitive Bcr-Abl-positive leukemic cells. Combined treatment activates caspases 8, 9 and 3, which correlate with caspase-induced PARP cleavage. These effects are associated with a marked increase in activation of the stress-related MAP kinases p38MAPK and JNK. Interestingly, combined treatment induces a marked decrease in the total and phosphorylated Bcr-Abl protein levels, and inhibits signaling pathways downstream of Bcr-Abl: downregulation of STAT3 and STAT5 phosphorylation and/or total levels and a decrease in phosphorylation of the Bcr-Abl-associated proteins CrkL and Lyn. Moreover, we found that other mitotic inhibitors (Vincristine and Docetaxel), in combination with bortezomib, also suppress the Bcr-Abl-induced pro-survival signals and result in caspase 3 activation. These results open novel possibilities for the treatment of Bcr-Abl-positive leukemias, especially in the imatinib, dasatinib and nilotinib-resistant CML cases.
Project description:The BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase is the defining feature of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) and its kinase activity is required for induction of this disease. Current thinking holds that BCR-ABL forms a multi-protein complex that incorporates several substrates and adaptor proteins and is stabilized by multiple direct and indirect interactions. Signaling output from this highly redundant network leads to cellular transformation. Proteins known to be associated with BCR-ABL in this complex include: GRB2, c-CBL, p62(DOK), and CRKL. These proteins in turn, link BCR-ABL to various signaling pathways indicated in cellular transformation. In this study we show that a triple mutant of BCR-ABL with mutations of the direct binding sites for GRB2, CBL, p62(DOK) and CRKL, is defective for transformation of primary hematopoietic cells in vitro and in a murine CML model, while it retains the capacity to induce IL-3 independence in 32D cells. Compared to BCR-ABL, the triple mutant's ability to activate the MAP kinase and PI3-kinase pathways is severely compromised, while STAT5 phosphorylation is maintained, suggesting that the former are crucial for the transformation of primary cells, but dispensable for transformation of factor dependent cell lines. Our data suggest that inhibition of BCR-ABL-induced leukemia by disrupting protein interactions could be possible, but would require blocking of multiple sites.
Project description:Self-renewal of Bcr-Abl(+) chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) cells is sustained by a nuclear activated serine/threonine-(S/T) unphosphorylated beta-catenin. Although beta-catenin can be tyrosine (Y)-phosphorylated, the occurrence and biological relevance of this covalent modification in Bcr-Abl-associated leukemogenesis is unknown. Here we show that Bcr-Abl levels control the degree of beta-catenin protein stabilization by affecting its Y/S/T-phospho content in CML cells. Bcr-Abl physically interacts with beta-catenin, and its oncogenic tyrosine kinase activity is required to phosphorylate beta-catenin at Y86 and Y654 residues. This Y-phospho beta-catenin binds to the TCF4 transcription factor, thus representing a transcriptionally active pool. Imatinib, a Bcr-Abl antagonist, impairs the beta-catenin/TCF-related transcription causing a rapid cytosolic retention of Y-unphosphorylated beta-catenin, which presents an increased binding affinity for the Axin/GSK3beta complex. Although Bcr-Abl does not affect GSK3beta autophosphorylation, it prevents, through its effect on beta-catenin Y phosphorylation, Axin/GSK3beta binding to beta-catenin and its subsequent S/T phosphorylation. Silencing of beta-catenin by small interfering RNA inhibited proliferation and clonogenicity of Bcr-Abl(+) CML cells, in synergism with Imatinib. These findings indicate the Bcr-Abl triggered Y phosphorylation of beta-catenin as a new mechanism responsible for its protein stabilization and nuclear signalling activation in CML.
Project description:Chromosomal translocation occurs in some cancer cells, which results in the expression of aberrant oncogenic fusion proteins that include BCR-ABL in chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). Inhibitors of ABL tyrosine kinase, such as imatinib and dasatinib, exhibit remarkable therapeutic effects, although emergence of drug resistance hampers the therapy during long-term treatment. An alternative approach to treat CML is to downregulate the BCR-ABL protein. We have devised a protein knockdown system by hybrid molecules named Specific and Non-genetic inhibitor of apoptosis protein [IAP]-dependent Protein Erasers (SNIPER), which is designed to induce IAP-mediated ubiquitylation and proteasomal degradation of target proteins, and a couple of SNIPER(ABL) against BCR-ABL protein have been developed recently. In this study, we tested various combinations of ABL inhibitors and IAP ligands, and the linker was optimized for protein knockdown activity of SNIPER(ABL). The resulting SNIPER(ABL)-39, in which dasatinib is conjugated to an IAP ligand LCL161 derivative by polyethylene glycol (PEG) × 3 linker, shows a potent activity to degrade the BCR-ABL protein. Mechanistic analysis suggested that both cellular inhibitor of apoptosis protein 1 (cIAP1) and X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein (XIAP) play a role in the degradation of BCR-ABL protein. Consistent with the degradation of BCR-ABL protein, the SNIPER(ABL)-39 inhibited the phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 5 (STAT5) and Crk like proto-oncogene (CrkL), and suppressed the growth of BCR-ABL-positive CML cells. These results suggest that SNIPER(ABL)-39 could be a candidate for a degradation-based novel anti-cancer drug against BCR-ABL-positive CML.
Project description:Notch signalling is critical for haemopoietic stem cell (HSC) self-renewal and survival. The role of Notch signalling has been reported recently in chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) - a stem cell disease characterized by BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase activation. Therefore, we studied the relationship between BCR-ABL and Notch signalling and assessed the expression patterns of Notch and its downstream target Hes1 in CD34+ stem and progenitor cells from chronic-phase CML patients and bone marrow (BM) from normal subjects (NBM). We found significant upregulation (p<0.05) of Notch1, Notch2 and Hes1 on the most primitive CD34+Thy+ subset of CML CD34+ cells suggesting that active Notch signalling in CML primitive progenitors. In addition, Notch1 was also expressed in distinct lymphoid and myeloid progenitors within the CD34+ population of primary CML cells. To further delineate the possible role and interactions of Notch with BCR-ABL in CD34+ primary cells from chronic-phase CML, we used P-crkl detection as a surrogate assay of BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase activity. Our data revealed that Imatinib (IM) induced BCR-ABL inhibition results in significant (p<0.05) upregulation of Notch activity, assessed by Hes1 expression. Similarly, inhibition of Notch leads to hyperactivation of BCR-ABL. This antagonistic relationship between Notch and BCR-ABL signalling was confirmed in K562 and ALL-SIL cell lines. In K562, we further validated this antagonistic relationship by inhibiting histone deacetylase (HDAC) - an effector pathway of Hes1, using valproic acid (VPA) - a HDAC inhibitor. Finally, we also confirmed the potential antagonism between Notch and BCR/ABL in In Vivo, using publically available GSE-database, by analysing gene expression profile of paired samples from chronic-phase CML patients pre- and post-Imatinib therapy. Thus, we have demonstrated an antagonistic relationship between Notch and BCR-ABL in CML. A combined inhibition of Notch and BCR-ABL may therefore provide superior clinical response over tyrosine-kinase inhibitor monotherapy by targeting both quiescent leukaemic stem cells and differentiated leukaemic cells and hence must be explored.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The bcr-abl fusion gene is the pathological origin of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) and plays a critical role in the resistance of imatinib. Thus, bcr-abl disruption-based novel therapeutic strategy may warrant exploration. In our study, we were surprised to find that the characteristics of bcr-abl sequences met the design requirements of zinc finger nucleases (ZFNs). METHODS:We constructed the ZFNs targeting bcr-abl with high specificity through simple modular assembly approach. Western blotting was conducted to detect the expression of BCR-ABL and phosphorylation of its downstream STAT5, ERK and CRKL in CML cells. CCK8 assay, colony-forming assay and flow cytometry (FCM) were used to evaluate the effect of the ZFNs on the viablity and apoptosis of CML cells and CML CD34+ cells. Moreover, mice model was used to determine the ability of ZFNs in disrupting the leukemogenesis of bcr-abl in vivo. RESULTS:The ZFNs skillfully mediated 8-base NotI enzyme cutting site addition in bcr-abl gene of imatinib sensitive and resistant CML cells by homology-directed repair (HDR), which led to a stop codon and terminated the translation of BCR-ABL protein. As expected, the disruption of bcr-abl gene induced cell apoptosis and inhibited cell proliferation. Notably, we obtained similar result in CD34+ cells from CML patients. Moreover, the ZFNs significantly reduced the oncogenicity of CML cells in mice. CONCLUSION:These results reveal that the bcr-abl gene disruption based on ZFNs may provide a treatment choice for imatinib resistant or intolerant CML patients.
Project description:Recent evidence suggests chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) stem cells are insensitive to kinase inhibitors and responsible for minimal residual disease in treated patients. We investigated whether CML stem cells, in a transgenic mouse model of CML-like disease or derived from patients, are dependent on Bcr-Abl. In the transgenic model, after retransplantation, donor-derived CML stem cells in which Bcr-Abl expression had been induced and subsequently shut off were able to persist in vivo and reinitiate leukemia in secondary recipients on Bcr-Abl reexpression. Bcr-Abl knockdown in human CD34(+) CML cells cultured for 12 days in physiologic growth factors achieved partial inhibition of Bcr-Abl and downstream targets p-CrkL and p-STAT5, inhibition of proliferation and colony forming cells, but no reduction of input cells. The addition of dasatinib further inhibited p-CrkL and p-STAT5, yet only reduced input cells by 50%. Complete growth factor withdrawal plus dasatinib further reduced input cells to 10%; however, the surviving fraction was enriched for primitive leukemic cells capable of growth in a long-term culture-initiating cell assay and expansion on removal of dasatinib and addition of growth factors. Together, these data suggest that CML stem cell survival is Bcr-Abl kinase independent and suggest curative approaches in CML must focus on kinase-independent mechanisms of resistance.