Par-4 overexpression impedes leukemogenesis in the Eµ-TCL1 leukemia model through downregulation of NF-κB signaling.
ABSTRACT: Prostate apoptosis response 4 (Par-4) is a tumor suppressor that prevents proliferation and induces cell death in several solid tumors. However, its role in B-cell malignancies has not been elucidated. To describe the role of Par-4 in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) pathogenesis, we developed a B-cell-specific human Par-4-overexpressing mouse model of CLL using the TCL1 leukemia model. While Par-4 transgenic mice did not display any obvious defects in B-cell development or function, disease burden as evidenced by abundance of CD19+CD5+ B cells in the peripheral blood was significantly reduced in Par-4 × TCL1 mice compared with TCL1 littermates. This conferred a survival advantage on the Par-4-overexpressing mice. In addition, a B-cell-specific knockout model displayed the opposite effect, where lack of Par-4 expression resulted in accelerated disease progression and abbreviated survival in the TCL1 model. Histological and flow cytometry-based analysis of spleen and bone marrow upon euthanasia revealed comparable levels of malignant B-cell infiltration in Par-4 × TCL1 and TCL1 individuals, indicating delayed but pathologically normal disease progression in Par-4 × TCL1 mice. In vivo analysis of splenic B-cell proliferation by 5-ethynyl-2-deoxyuridine incorporation indicated >50% decreased expansion of CD19+CD5+ cells in Par-4 × TCL1 mice compared with TCL1 littermates. Moreover, reduced nuclear p65 levels were observed in Par-4 × TCL1 splenic B cells compared with TCL1, suggesting suppressed NF-κB signaling. These findings have identified an in vivo antileukemic role for Par-4 through an NF-κB-dependent mechanism in TCL1-mediated CLL-like disease progression.
Project description:Receptor tyrosine kinase-like orphan receptor 1 (ROR1) is an oncoembryonic antigen found on chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) B cells, but not on normal adult tissues. We generated transgenic (Tg) mice with human ROR1 regulated by the murine Ig promoter/enhancer. In contrast to nontransgenic littermates, such animals had B-cell-restricted expression of ROR1 and could develop clonal expansions of ROR1(bright)CD5(+)B220(low) B cells resembling human CLL at ? 15 mo of age. Because immune-precipitation and mass spectrometry studies revealed that ROR1 could complex with T-cell leukemia 1 (TCL1) in CLL, we crossed these animals with Eµ-TCL1-Tg (TCL1) mice. Progeny with both transgenes (ROR1 × TCL1) developed CD5(+)B220(low) B-cell lymphocytosis and leukemia at a significantly younger median age than did littermates with either transgene alone. ROR1 × TCL1 leukemia B cells had higher levels of phospho-AKT than TCL1 leukemia cells and expressed high levels of human ROR1, which we also found complexed with TCL1. Transcriptome analyses revealed that ROR1 × TCL1 leukemia cells had higher expression of subnetworks implicated in embryonic and tumor-cell proliferation, but lower expression of subnetworks involved in cell-cell adhesion or cell death than did TCL1 leukemia cells. ROR1 × TCL1 leukemia cells also had higher proportions of Ki-67-positive cells, lower proportions of cells undergoing spontaneous apoptosis, and produced more aggressive disease upon adoptive transfer than TCL1 leukemia cells. However, treatment with an anti-ROR1 mAb resulted in ROR1 down-modulation, reduced phospho-AKT, and impaired engraftment of ROR1 × TCL1 leukemia cells. Our data demonstrate that ROR1 accelerates development/progression of leukemia and may be targeted for therapy of patients with CLL.
Project description:Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is a prevalent B-cell neoplasia that is often preceded by a more benign monoclonal CD5(+) B-cell lymphocytosis. We previously generated transgenic mice expressing catalytically inactive RAG1 (dominant-negative recombination activating gene 1 [dnRAG1] mice) that develop an early-onset indolent CD5(+) B-cell lymphocytosis attributed to a defect in secondary V(D)J rearrangements initiated to edit autoreactive B-cell receptor (BCR) specificity. Hypothesizing that CD5(+) B cells in these animals represent potential CLL precursors, we crossed dnRAG1 mice with CLL-prone Eμ-TCL1 mice to determine whether dnRAG1 expression in Eμ-TCL1 mice accelerates CLL onset. Consistent with this hypothesis, CD5(+) B-cell expansion and CLL progression occurred more rapidly in double-transgenic mice compared with Eμ-TCL1 mice. Nevertheless, CD5(+) B cells in the 2 mouse strains exhibited close similarities in phenotype, immunoglobulin gene usage, and mutation status, and expression of genes associated with immune tolerance and BCR signaling. Gene expression profiling further revealed a potential role for prolactin signaling in regulating BCR editing. These results suggest a model in which benign accumulation of CD5(+) B cells can be initiated through a failure to successfully edit autoreactive BCR specificity and may, in turn, progress to CLL upon introduction of additional genetic mutations.
Project description:B cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is often preceded by a benign monoclonal or oligoclonal CD5+ B cell lymphocytosis. We have generated transgenic mice expressing a catalytically inactive, dominant-negative recombination activating gene 1 (dnRAG1 mice) in the periphery. These animals develop an early-onset indolent CD5+ B cell lymphocytosis, caused in part by a defect in secondary V(D)J rearrangements initiated to alter autoreactive B cell receptor specificity. Hypothesizing that the CD5+ B cells accumulating in dnRAG1 mice represent a CLL precursor, we crossed dnRAG1 mice with CLL-prone Eµ-TCL1 mice to determine whether dnRAG1 expression in Eµ-TCL1 mice accelerates the onset of CLL-like disease. We find that CD5+ B cell expansion and CLL progression occurs more rapidly and uniformly in double-transgenic mice (DTG mice) compared to Eµ-TCL1 mice, but with similar phenotypic and leukemogenic features. To gain insight into genes or pathways responsible for CD5+ B cell accumulation in the transgenic mice, we performed comparative gene expression profiling studies using normal and CD5+ B cells isolated from wild-type and transgenic mice at either 12 weeks of age (pre-leukemia) or at CLL onset in DTG mice (using age-matched wild-type and single-transgenic mice as controls). These analyses confirm the upregulation of tolerogenic genes in CD5+ B cells and reveal a possible role for prolactin signaling in the regulation of receptor editing. This study suggests that a failure to remodel B cell antigen receptor genes in response to autoreactivity may promote the benign accumulation of CD5+ B cells, which may then be subjected to secondary genetic lesions that promote CLL progression. dnRAG1 mice were bred to Eµ-TCL1 mice to obtain cohorts of wild-type (WT), single-transgenic (dnRAG1 and Eµ-TCL1), and DTG mice. Splenic CD19+B220hiCD5- B cells from WT mice or CD19+CD5+ B cells from transgenic mice were purified using fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS). Biotin end-labeled cDNA prepared from the sorted cells was hybridized to Mouse Gene 1.0 ST Arrays. These experiments were performed two independent times: once with a cohort of 12-week-old mice, and once with older mice (>34 weeks old) consisting of two ill DTG mice and their age-matched counterparts. At least two biological replicates were used where possible.
Project description:Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) can be immunosuppressive in humans and mice, and CLL cells share multiple phenotypic markers with regulatory B cells that are competent to produce interleukin (IL)-10 (B10 cells). To identify functional links between CLL cells and regulatory B10 cells, the phenotypes and abilities of leukemia cells from 93 patients with overt CLL to express IL-10 were assessed. CD5(+) CLL cells purified from 90% of the patients were IL-10-competent and secreted IL-10 following appropriate ex vivo stimulation. Serum IL-10 levels were also significantly elevated in CLL patients. IL-10-competent cell frequencies were higher among CLLs with IgV(H) mutations, and correlated positively with TCL1 expression. In the TCL1-transgenic (TCL1-Tg) mouse model of CLL, IL-10-competent B cells with the cell surface phenotype of B10 cells expanded significantly with age, preceding the development of overt, CLL-like leukemia. Malignant CLL cells in TCL1-Tg mice also shared immunoregulatory functions with mouse and human B10 cells. Serum IL-10 levels varied in TCL1-Tg mice, but in vivo low-dose lipopolysaccharide treatment induced IL-10 expression in CLL cells and high levels of serum IL-10. Thus, malignant IL-10-competent CLL cells exhibit regulatory functions comparable to normal B10 cells that may contribute to the immunosuppression observed in patients and TCL1-Tg mice.
Project description:B cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL) is a clonal overgrowth of CD5(+) B lymphocytes. In this disease, the B cell antigen receptor (BCR) is intimately linked to disease severity, because patients with BCRs, comprised of unmutated V(H) genes, follow a much more aggressive course. This and related observations suggest that B-CLL derives from a B cell subset comprised of restricted BCR structural diversity and that antigen-selection and drive are major factors promoting the disease. Nevertheless, the initiating event(s) that lead to the development of B-CLL are still unclear, in part because of the lack of an animal model that spontaneously evolves the molecular abnormalities that occur in the human disease. Because overexpression of the TCL1 gene in murine B cells leads to a CD5(+) B cell lymphoproliferative disorder with many of the features of human B-CLL, we studied leukemias emerging in these mice to examine the extent to which their BCRs resemble those in B-CLL. Our data indicate that the immunoglobulin heavy and light chain rearrangements in TCL1 mice display minimal levels of somatic mutations and exhibit several molecular features found in the human disease. Like human B-CLL, TCL1 leukemic rearrangements from different mice can be very similar structurally and closely resemble autoantibodies and antibodies reactive with microbial antigens. Antigen-binding analyses confirm that selected TCL1 clones react with glycerophospholipid, lipoprotein, and polysaccharides that can be autoantigens and be expressed by microbes. This (auto)antigen-driven mouse model reliably captures the BCR characteristics of aggressive, treatment-resistant human B-CLL.
Project description:Tcl1 tg mice develop a chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) -like disease. To investigate the contribution of the adhesion molecule CD44 to CLL pathophysiology, we developed a CD19Cre CD44flox/flox Tcl1 tg mouse with a B cell specific CD44 deficiency (CD44ΔB Tcl1 tg). We used the Clariom S mouse microarray from Affymetrix to investigate transcriptional differeneces between Tcl1 tg and CD44ΔB Tcl1 tg mice Overall design: CD5+/CD19+ malignant B cells isolated from splenocytes from 4 different Tcl1 tg mice and 4 different CD44ΔB Tcl1 tg were used for RNA extraction and hybridization on Affymetrix microarrays.
Project description:B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is the most common human leukemia. Deregulation of the T-cell leukemia/lymphoma 1 oncogene (TCL1) in mouse B cells causes a CD5(+) leukemia similar to aggressive human CLL. To examine the mechanisms by which Tcl1 protein exerts its oncogenic activity in B cells, we performed proteomics experiments to identify its interacting partners. We found that Tcl1 physically interacts with de novo DNA methylthansferases Dnmt3A and Dnmt3B. We further investigated the effects of Tcl1 up-regulation on the enzymatic activity of Dnmt3A and found that Tcl1 overexpression drastically inhibits Dnmt3A function. In addition, B cells from TCL1 transgenic mice showed a significant decrease in DNA methylation compared with WT controls. Similarly, CLL samples with high Tcl1 expression showed a decrease in DNA methylation compared with CLL samples with low Tcl1 expression. Given the previous reports of inactivating mutations of DNMT3A in acute myelogenous leukemia and myelodysplastic syndrome, our results suggest that inhibition of de novo DNA methylation may be a common oncogenic mechanism in leukemogenesis.
Project description:Prostate apoptosis response-4 (Par-4), a proapoptotic tumor suppressor protein, is downregulated in many cancers including renal cell carcinoma, glioblastoma, endometrial, and breast cancer. Par-4 induces apoptosis selectively in various types of cancer cells but not normal cells. We found that chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) cells from human patients and from Eµ-Tcl1 mice constitutively express Par-4 in greater amounts than normal B-1 or B-2 cells. Interestingly, knockdown of Par-4 in human CLL-derived Mec-1 cells results in a robust increase in p21/WAF1 expression and decreased growth due to delayed G1-to-S cell-cycle transition. Lack of Par-4 also increased the expression of p21 and delayed CLL growth in E?-Tcl1 mice. Par-4 expression in CLL cells required constitutively active B-cell receptor (BCR) signaling, as inhibition of BCR signaling with US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved drugs caused a decrease in Par-4 messenger RNA and protein, and an increase in apoptosis. In particular, activities of Lyn, a Src family kinase, spleen tyrosine kinase, and Bruton tyrosine kinase are required for Par-4 expression in CLL cells, suggesting a novel regulation of Par-4 through BCR signaling. Together, these results suggest that Par-4 may play a novel progrowth rather than proapoptotic role in CLL and could be targeted to enhance the therapeutic effects of BCR-signaling inhibitors.
Project description:In human chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) pathogenesis B cell antigen receptor signaling seems important for leukemia B cell ontogeny, whereas the microenvironment influences B cell activation, tumor cell lodging and provision of antigenic stimuli. Using the murine E?-Tcl1 CLL model, we demonstrate that CXCR5-controlled access to follicular dendritic cells (FDCs) confers proliferative stimuli to leukemia B cells. Intravital imaging revealed a marginal zone B cell-like leukemia cell trafficking route. Murine and human CLL cells reciprocally stimulated resident mesenchymal stromal cells through lymphotoxin-?-receptor activation, resulting in CXCL13 secretion and stromal compartment remodeling. Inhibition of lymphotoxin/lymphotoxin-?-receptor signaling or of CXCR5 signaling retards leukemia progression. Thus, CXCR5 activity links tumor cell homing, shaping a survival niche, and access to localized proliferation stimuli. This GEO dataset is comprised of GEP measurements for EµTCL mouse CD5+CD19+ tumor cells and healthy WT controls, including healthy MZB cells and B1 cells. 6 measurements are for WT EµTCL1 mice, 5 for the CXCR5-KO EµTCL1 genotype. MZB and B1 cells were pooled from 15 animals. WT reference was obtained from 5 WT animals
Project description:Although activation of the B-cell receptor (BCR) signaling pathway is implicated in the pathogenesis of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), its clinical impact and the molecular correlates of such response are not clearly defined. T-cell leukemia 1 (TCL1), the AKT modulator and proto-oncogene, is differentially expressed in CLL and linked to its pathogenesis based on CD5(+) B-cell expansions arising in TCL1-transgenic mice. We studied here the association of TCL1 levels and its intracellular dynamics with the in vitro responses to BCR stimulation in 70 CLL cases. The growth kinetics after BCR engagement correlated strongly with the degree and timing of induced AKT phospho-activation. This signaling intensity was best predicted by TCL1 levels and the kinetics of TCL1-AKT corecruitment to BCR membrane activation complexes, which further included the kinases LYN, SYK, ZAP70, and PKC. High TCL1 levels were also strongly associated with aggressive disease features, such as advanced clinical stage, higher white blood cell counts, and shorter lymphocyte doubling time. Higher TCL1 levels independently predicted an inferior clinical outcome (ie, shorter progression-free survival, P < .001), regardless of therapy regimen, especially for ZAP70(+) tumors. We propose TCL1 as a marker of the BCR-responsive CLL subset identifying poor prognostic cases where targeting BCR-associated kinases may be therapeutically useful.