Human chronic lymphocytic leukemia modeled in mouse by targeted TCL1 expression.

Kimmel Cancer Center, Jefferson Medical College, 233 South 10th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Impact Factor: 9.81). 06/2002; 99(10):6955-60. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.102181599
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The TCL1 gene at 14q32.1 is involved in chromosomal translocations and inversions in mature T cell leukemias. These leukemias are classified either as T prolymphocytic leukemias, which occur very late in life, or as T chronic lymphocytic leukemias, which often arise in patients with ataxia telangiectasia (AT) at a young age. In transgenic animals, the deregulated expression of TCL1 leads to mature T cell leukemia, demonstrating the role of TCL1 in the initiation of malignant transformation in T cell neoplasia. Expression of high levels of Tcl1 have also been found in a variety of human tumor-derived B cell lines ranging from pre-B cell to mature B cell. Here we describe the phenotype of transgenic mice, E mu-TCL1, established with TCL1 under the control of a V(H) promoter-Ig(H)-E mu enhancer to target TCL1 expression to immature and mature B cells. Flow cytometric analysis reveals a markedly expanded CD5(+) population in the peritoneal cavity of E mu-TCL1 mice starting at 2 mo of age that becomes evident in the spleen by 3-5 mo and in the bone marrow by 5-8 mo. Analysis of Ig gene rearrangements indicates monoclonality or oligoclonality in these populations, suggesting a preneoplastic expansion of CD5(+) B cell clones, with the elder mice eventually developing a chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)-like disorder resembling human B-CLL. Our findings provide an animal model for CLL, the most common human leukemia, and demonstrate that deregulation of the Tcl1 pathway plays a crucial role in CLL pathogenesis.

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